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mykcob4's picture

When we get up every morning, or whenever we stir, we don't automatically decide how we will conduct ourselves. We largely depend on events that happen to us and respond. Even when we have a plan, short or long range, this is still the case.This is a product of evolution. Living organisms responded to their respective environments and sought out the best situation that they could thrive and function. They had to adapt when necessary. These adaptations were random and only the successful adaptations survived.
So conduct or behavior is a product of evolution. Now I could bore you with endless observations and clinical studies that prove this very fact but I will continue with the thought that you well know this fact already and don't need exhaustive references to pour over.
Psychology, anthropology, and many other disciplines utilize this knowledge every single day.
For me, I have found that I adjust my behavior according to necessity. Of course, I have a plan in mind before I do things, but circumstances dictate my responses on many occasions.
I am brash, blunt and yes rude, for many reasons. I have explained some of those reasons before. But what many don't understand that my conduct is not the same for every situation.
For example, I am quite bored with conservative and theists excuses. It pains me to read and hear the same old drone that is obviously a lie. Therefore I confront those people with clear disdain and profanity. It is an attack on their sensibilities. It is a tactic that I learned on the drill field and I know it works.
It goes like this.
A person that is comfortable with themselves can never change. The fear of change freezes them into a cacoon stupor. They need to be shocked out of that comfort zone. Incidentally, it just happens to be the widest used tactic of sales.
I'll give you an example. Take Rush Limbaugh. Why do you think he rose to the top of conservative propaganda ministry? Shock value! Now I don't respect Rush at all, but I cannot deny his success.
So lately a couple of theists and one atheist on this forum have complained about my language. Their fragile sensibilities have been rocked. Good!
They have been cocooned in their proverbial comfort zone too long.
This has stimulated vigorous debate and has done two things. It has exposed their lack of ability to answer simple debate questions and believe it or not has caused them to question themselves.
So I don't mind the recent personal attack on me. I welcome it. I know that I have struck a nerve.
As for all you civil atheists debaters, I'll hope you will thank me for absorbing their irrationalities. If you noticed that they spew hate at me but desperately try to be rational with you. The effect was strategic. It is a short lived plan, however, because these irrational illogical theists find themselves in a self-positioned corner and start lashing out at everyone. Just observe the chronology and you'll see what I mean.
I doubt if I will change my style but on occasion, given whom I am replying to, I do behave quite differently. For example, my interaction with John Breezy. I don't agree with him at all, but I don't try and shock him with profanity. He is an excellent debater and his statements are well grounded in fact and logic (even though he is always wrong in my book, ha ha).

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Daniel's picture
m4, has it ever worked? Have

m4, has it ever worked? Have any theists ever changed their mind after debating you? Not doubting, just wondering if there's evidence to support your claim that yours is an effective strategy.

mykcob4's picture
Yes, there have been 3 so far

Yes, there have been 3 so far. I am not in the business of converting anyone. I want t cause people to think. Many believers that come here do so because their faith is shaky. I am not trying to convert them, but I do want them to think.

ZeffD's picture
In my experience, people are

In my experience, people are more disgusted by profanity and rudeness than shocked. To be persuade by an argument people generally need to be engaged rather than 'shocked' or 'made to think about it'. Even if that weren't true, there's the question of whether rudeness is acceptable. Confrontation can certainly work sometimes, but I tend to choose conversation more interesting than browbeating.

I also doubt the value of using the term 'converting'. In this context it means (
"2. to cause to adopt a different religion, political doctrine, opinion, etc.: to convert the heathen."

I would urge people not to see relinquishing belief in an Abrahamic god (or any superstition) as 'converting' [the mind?]. I think that 'converting' is the religionist practice of labelling. Non-believers in god(s) are labelled atheists or blasphemers and so people suitably indoctrinated ('raised in the faith') are less likely to see them as simply folk who don't believe in god or who don't accept religious rules on free speech. So, I tend to avoid what I see as theological labels like 'converts'. I would avoid the term atheist too but many non-believers accept the label and there is some advantage to taking pride in what is intended as a negative label. 'Yankie' and 'Prime Minister' are two other labels that began as insults, I believe.

Myke and I may often seem at odds, but I agree with very much of what he writes. Where we do disagree, it is on minor points or attitudes rather than matters of much substance. I think our approach to people and to life sometimes differs.

mykcob4's picture

I am not in the business of conversion. I said that shock is a valuable tool to push people out of their comfort zone, to make them think.
I like YOUR approach Zeff but if you read what I wrote, I said that I use profanity and it frees people like you to engage in actual debate.
It is like a war tactic that gets people to the negotiating table. You bomb the hell out of them and then they would rather debate than fight.

Daniel's picture
I'm not sure where I stand in

I'm not sure where I stand in using rudeness or profanity as a strategy in debate. I'll have to take some time to observe and get back to you. I do appreciate your sincerity and the main points of your arguments, though.

ZeffD's picture
The way I look at it is that

The way I look at it is that I wouldn't be rude to my wife or child. I wouldn't like anyone to be rude to them, so why would I be rude to anyone else? There is still more compelling reason not to indulge in rudeness: if someone is rude and the response is tempered and to the point, who appears most reasonable and certain of their ground?

One doesn't "win" arguments and one shouldn't own any. To be constructive, arguments must be weighed to arrive at a useful conclusion.

Never confuse ARGUMENT with 'rowing' or squabbling; with confrontation; or with disputation. They are three different things.

It's useful to understand what is to be gained through discussion. Is it persuasion, education, learning, or venting (for examples).

As for profanity, I would argue it is always best avoided. It too is often the refuge of people unsure of their ground or how to defend it. There is also the appearance of being less articulate than the interlocutor. Sometimes it indicates a loss of temper or even an unsound mind.

At least know what guidelines most reasonable people accept:

Ignorance never helps - and that appears to me to rule out both rudeness and bad language.

I think people listen most to who sounds most informed, intelligent and thoughtful.

It will feel necessary to defend an argument if one owns it, so the way it is couched can be important for that reason. If one is over-committed to an argument being right or loss of face will result from the appearance of 'losing' a debate, it can be very difficult to admit one is wrong. There is always the feeling that people will point to how badly or often one is wrong. So I only ever insist on my belief or 'fact' to the extent that I can support it with reason and evidence. I neither want or need bad language or poor behaviour.

(Just my humble opinions)

mykcob4's picture
Of course, you wouldn't be

Of course, you wouldn't be rude to your wife or child. That isn't the point but if you encounter the continual stubbornness that theist persists at, you have to move them off of their comfort zone.

ZeffD's picture
By the way, if you've got a

By the way, if you've got a wife like mine - NEVER be rude to her! :-)

algebe's picture


ZeffD's picture
I don't agree that rudeness

I don't agree that rudeness can be part of a useful strategy. And whether one is rude to one's wife or child is pertinent.

I think you are wrong and over-invested in there being a justification for rudeness or profanity. I think that makes it more difficult for you to admit your mistake in this instance, which is a position I choose to avoid.

ImFree's picture
Wed, 05/24/2017 - 10:35

Wed, 05/24/2017 - 10:35

CyberLN: So far as my post on civility, I will simply say that if any poster overtly tells someone with an opposing view to go away, brutally intimidates them, or shames them venomously about their age, sexuality, gender, nationality, etc., I will have to consider banning you. I prefer to give a lot of leeway to folks in the interest of discourse, but for fuck sake, cut out the bullshit! If anyone has any questions, comments, or want clarification about this, please PM me.

How many instances of brutal intimidation is mycoby4 allowed before he faces some consequences?

There have been so many I have lost count. He has been in the “consider” stage too long.

Sky Pilot's picture
Even Yeshua cursed people.

Even Yeshua cursed people.

Hovitose's picture
Surely we are all adults here

Surely we are all adults here. We do whatever the fuck is necessary to rubbish religion and hopefully hasten its demise.

ZeffD's picture
I take Mykcob's point that

I take Mykcob's point that some people may be 'made to think' or shocked by bad language or rudeness. Doubtful though I am about that, religionists are often conservative in outlook and often complain of "another bunch of foul-mouthed" atheists. I have to admit that I sometimes think I see what they mean. There is nothing adult about rudeness or bad language, it is simply a choice people make.

Disagreement with someone doesn't excuse bad behaviour and I see no reason why it hastens the demise of religion. In fact, I think it hinders us.

Mykcob is a valuable contributor because he comes across as a nice guy and is a veteran of the USMC. With the superstitious and conservative, I think that is usually more persuasive than being 'shocked out of their comfort zone'.

algebe's picture
I think foul language has

I think foul language has shock value, and it's also useful for venting anger. But the more you use it, the less effective it becomes for either purpose. Speak softly and carry a big stick might be a better policy for debate.

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