Tag Archives: argue

Internet Forums…

At this moment, I am watching a few educational videos online. Earlier, I read a few newspaper articles about human rights issues, cultural traditions, and racism. I like to skim through different mediums of information, and I actually prefer articles that are clearly biased. When authors claim to be stating objective facts, I roll my eyes and bite my lip. I like people who are savvy enough to admit their own faults and who recognize the lens through which they are looking at a particular circumstance. I enjoy reading information written by those who are clearly well-researched, clear, and who believe in something and stick to it throughout.

That being said, I am concerned. No, not about sensationalist journalism or about one-sided publications. I am concerned about the general population. Reading the comments beneath news articles, videos, and essays – I am deeply disappointed in what people say, how they say it, and how little they know about the world they inhabit. There is so much hate – for both the innocent and the guilty. There is so little empathy – for humans who, by no fault or little fault of their own, are struggling. At first, I read these comments and start vigorously typing responses. But I soon realize that I cannot possible reply to the hundreds of hurtful, mean, ignorant remarks. Moreover, I cannot change the thoughts of these people. My anger subsides, and I close my laptop and take a few deep breathes.

People feel safe online – they can bully, say unacceptable things, and they can choose to not reply to reasonable refutations to their statements. Although people have the ability to research whatever they please, they tend to do so mindlessly and without any sort of critical reflection on their sources. Furthermore, instead of attacking ideas, they attack the people who hold the ideas – which is completely useless for the purposes of intelligent discussion.

So I am concerned – about the opinions of certain members of the internet community, the lack of logic applied to arguments, the atrocious use of grammar.

 

“A man only becomes wise when he begins to calculate the approximate depth of his ignorance.” – Gian Carlo Menotti

 

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The Loss of Intelligent Conversation.

I guess the way to get a million followers is to write about exciting things that the majority of bloggers/blog readers find either witty, funny, and/or insightful.
These posts should also probably include a disproportionate amount of photographs, a few words, and probably a numbered list of some sort. Also, pure entertainment should be the primary goal of every post. Nobody really likes to talk about things that matter, because they are so afraid of disagreement and debate. Everyone is afraid to hurt everyone else’s feelings, and “attack” everyone else’s beliefs. The internet is known to be this great source of knowledge and a significant manifestation of progress.  But oh my God, when did we become so shallow? When did moral relativism and dismissal of this idea of “truth” become so widely accepted.  Don’t we care about our beliefs? Don’t we care about the values of others? What’s the point of believing in anything, if we go around saying things like: “We’ll never know the truth, so we might as well drop this argument”? Sure, it’s fine to believe in different things, and sure, we may never know the answers to many of our questions. But by rejecting the existence of truth, aren’t we also dismissing our own personal beliefs?

Personal beliefs are sensitive issues, but by no means are belief systems the only topics of shallow discourse online. Let’s take celebrity Twitter accounts. A celebrity says something offensive [I’m sure you can think of many of these occurrences, and therefore I won’t list names] about either politics, socio-economic issues, a TV show, another celebrity, etc.  and fans go nuts. Social media sites have brought celebrities closer to their fans, but have also forced the people involved to put on facades. Celebrities who say things the majority of people do not like later apologize or have to have some big-time interview explaining why they said what they said. The problem, though, is not in these celebrities. It’s in the fans. Why are fans constantly criticizing successful human beings? Why must these humans beings think and talk in such a way as to not offend anybody? Why do we expect public figures to be “better” than regular citizens? We want to see these stars as real life people, but we really hate when they aren’t perfect and say things that we don’t like. But most importantly, why are we so afraid of allowing people to voice the things they truly think, regardless of whether or not we think their opinions are correct? Why are we so sensitive?

There are many people out there who have world views that you and I may find to be absolutely ridiculous, yet it is ignorant to silence them: because they exist.
And when views exist they have power, regardless of whether or not they adhere to our standards.

Why are we so afraid of our own thoughts?
Why do we fear our own humanity?