A post intended for my village’s Facebook group, not yet a wretched hive of scum and villainy:
There’s a style of discussion that relies on ‘ad hominem’ arguments*; yes I am indeed attempting to use Latin in my own village discussion group. In a nutshell it’s employed as a blunt force attack on a person rather than picking apart their position using logic, careful thought, and crucially, respect.
And here’s the thing, I’m seeing a lot of actual intolerance here. Rather than understanding others, there’s a lot of piling on when faced with differences of perspective.
For instance, anyone who complains about the noise of fireworks or speeding cars acquires a label and with it comments along the lines of ‘it doesn’t affect me on the other side of the village, so why should I care?’ and ‘what are you, the thought/fun police’ and…
It fails to take into account shift worker sleep patterns, those unwell, sensitive pets, children, those who live alone and dare not complain about antisocial behaviour…
I’ve seen entire posts (yes I’m guessing) removed by their originators thus ending the discussion, posts locked to prevent further debate, and comments selectively deleted – all because the level of narrow-mindedness displayed exceeds the capacity of the group member to deal with it.
Sure some are because the outcome isn’t entirely what the poster expected, but in the main it’s mean-spirited reaction comments that are the killers here.
So what do I want?
Simply this: instead of finding every single view contrary to your own so utterly objectionable that stabbing at the keyboard is your only release, remember where you live.
Then remember where the object of your scorn lives.
I can’t be arsed making up a hashtag of local solidarity, so over to you.
*From Wikipedia: Ad hominem, short for argumentum ad hominem, is a term that refers to several types of arguments, most of which are fallacious.