Lots of people out there who are actually offended that anyone disagrees with them, to the point of calling anyone who opposes their point of view abusive. Disagreement isn’t abuse, it isn’t offensive and so long as it isn’t done in an insulting way, you shouldn’t feel bad about it. In fact, if you do feel bad that someone challenges your beliefs, then your beliefs are pretty poorly supported out of the gate. Saying “I’m right” doesn’t make you right. You have to prove that you actually are.
Let’s be honest, you are only correct on any particular subject if you are actually correct and the only way to demonstrate that you are actually correct is to have some kind of objective evidence of critically evaluated reasoning to back you up. If you have that, you ought to be able to present it to all challengers in order to convince them that you’re actually correct in your assertions. If you cannot, then you have no good reason to think you’re right in the first place. If your evidence does not convince your detractors and they can point out logical fallacies and failures, then you need to go back to the drawing board. Of course, we all know this isn’t how it works in many cases. People get emotionally attached to their opinions and really couldn’t care less if they are objectively correct or not. It makes them feel good, therefore they have to be right. There are any number of examples that I could give, of course, but I wanted to limit it to just a few.
Religion is probably the biggest one that comes to mind. The overwhelming majority of religious adherents are emotionally attached to their beliefs, such that even daring to question them results in a serious emotional reaction, not a rational one. Most religious people cannot step back and evaluate their beliefs critically, they are not able to doubt that what they believe is true, they just have to have blind faith because to do otherwise causes emotional pain and suffering. That’s why you really can’t argue with the majority of religious believers because they cannot even imagine being wrong, it isn’t even a remote possibility for them, they are fundamentally convinced, not by reason or logic or evidence, but by feelings. It makes them feel good. That’s all they care about.
Then we get to the other end of the spectrum with feminism. Feminism is rarely associated with religion but it looks an awful lot like it. Modern feminists, particularly third and fourth wave feminists, are really indistinguishable from the religious in their faith. They believe the things they believe because they are emotionally invested in believing them. It doesn’t matter if they are true or not, it doesn’t matter if they have any evidence to support the craziness like the patriarchy and the gender wage gap, they just have to be true because their entire ideology depends on it and there is no point in challenging them on it because disagreeing, to them, is the same as “raping” them, which is idiotic in and of itself. The same is true of other fanatical beliefs, like some of the more extremist libertarians who follow essentially the same path, they believe what they believe and anyone who doesn’t agree is the enemy.
Just to show you that this is ridiculously widespread and not necessarily politically connected, I wrote a review on my other blog about this season of Dominion where I pretty much panned it, said I was done watching it and, if there’s any justice in the world, it would be cancelled (and it was). I gave my reasons why I thought it was an actively bad show. The responses I got were just mindless insults, both on the blog, on Facebook, on Google+, etc. Nobody could be bothered to explain why they liked it, why they thought I was wrong, or to defend the show against my charges, they could only say “you suck” and “you’re a hater” and other mindless crap like that. There’s no conversation to be had with people like that, they cannot be reasoned with, they are right and everyone else is wrong, so there, fuck you.
But how can anyone actually discuss their positions, regardless of what those positions are, if they are unwilling to even examine or think about what they already believe? How can they find out if they are wrong if they won’t listen to the criticism leveled against them? Simply put, they don’t care and in not caring, they have excused themselves from any form or rational conversation. There was a time that I wasted a lot of time on debating abortion and creationism and all of that, but no longer, because it doesn’t actually accomplish anything. Nobody will change their minds. Nobody will listen to the arguments. Nobody will look at the evidence. In the end, you’ve just wasted your time and the other party leaves even more self-assured that they were right all along. What’s the point in that?