Being Mad Doesn’t Make One Wrong

you-mad-broThis is another one of those funny little observations that you make when you’ve been arguing with idiot theists and they all seem to have the same pattern.  I’ve noted in the past the tendency to vilify people that a lot of failed debaters have, where they cannot actually defend their own claims so they want to try to vilify the opposition as a means to justify their own actions.  This is yet another case of misdirection, where they realize they’ve lost the debate on any rational grounds so they try to make an end-run around the far side of sanity.

“Hey, why are you so mad?”

I think we see a lot of that with the whole “angry atheist” thing, theists will deflect the failures of their theology by inquiring why the person who is asking them to defend their faith is upset or angry, even if it’s clear that they’re not.  Obviously, if their opponent wasn’t so pissed off, they’d be able to see just how wonderful the religion or the political claim or whatever actually was!

In reality, it is just a fallacious deflection, an attempt to get around their own failures and if you point out that’s what they’re doing, it’s just more proof that you’re far too upset to be worth talking to.  I’m not sure if the ploy is designed more to give them a quick escape hatch because you’re too mad to deal with, or if it’s designed to frustrate you enough to actually make you mad, but I find that once they spring the “why are you mad” fallacy, there’s usually very little way to back away from the precipice.  They’re just going to ask that question over and over and over again and any response you make, no matter how measured and pleasant, is going to convince them that you’re getting madder by the minute.

The fact is, so many of these apologetic techniques that I see lately seem to be more a means of getting out of a debate than in actually winning one.  Perhaps theists are finally starting to realize that they can’t win based on evidence and reason, they can only call for blind faith and if the person they are debating eschews faith, they’re shit out of luck and have to call for a hasty retreat.

I wish I knew of a good tactic for people who use any of these irrational escape ploys.  Anyone have any suggestions?

5 thoughts on “Being Mad Doesn’t Make One Wrong

  1. Interesting post. I would add that many of theists tell me I am "angry" or am "just another typical arrogant atheist" when I have stated nothing to warrant those words. Sure, I get angry at times when debating—who doesn't? But just because I find a particular point a theist is making to be objectionable or even reprehensible, it does not imply that I am angry.

    I think you may be on to something in calling attention to the fact that the whole charade may just be a ploy to get out of the argument when they have nothing left to say…and have already lost.
    My recent post Why the Teleological/Intelligent Design Arguments Fail

    1. I don't get angry either, it doesn't stop them from accusing you of being angry, even if you're not, as their "escape from a debate that's not going your way" card.

  2. The only place I've seen this a lot is on Fark, it's a regular meme response there. I can't speak to the motivations in other situations, but most of the time I see it, it happens when somebody gets flustered at an asshole or a troll, and then the troll or often a second observer chimes in to piss in their ear a little more. Like toadies for trolls. "Oh look at him, all red-faced and puffing, U Mad, Bro?"

    In your case, it definitely sounds to me like somebody just using it to get out of taking responsibility for their words. Say stupid shit, get called on it, "oh no, I wasn't all serious & shit, U mad Bro?" In the right context, it can even be funny, but as with all things, it's 99% crap.

    1. It just happened to me on Twitter in the past week, someone was losing a debate and then started asking why I was so mad. I wasn't mad, I was winning!

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