I’ve noticed that when a topic is emotionally charged, people often lose the faculties of logic and reason. Topics of morality and religion are always emotionally charged. This is because they are the most important topics there are. If you doubt me, try debating a person on whether on not these are the most important topics there are. But be careful, there’s a good chance this person will lose the faculties of logic and reason. (You may laugh now, or at least smile.)
When discussing such topics, it is important to know when to shut your mouth. If your point of view happens to be right, you must know when to shut your mouth so that you will have a chance to be a positive influence on this person in the future. If your point of view happens to be wrong, it is in your best interest to shut your mouth and listen, unless, of course, you’re asking a question to help yourself understand your error.
I’ve failed in both regards, but much more in the first case. This is not because I’m always right, but because it seems I’m a little more open to being corrected than what is usual. This is likely due to some painful experiences that some may describe as abusive, but they have eventually been beneficial, so they could also be described as educational. (It’s usually a good idea to put a positive spin on everything you possibly can.)
Those that know me know I am prone to open my mouth quite a bit, particularly in order to laugh and joke around. When it comes to confrontation, however, I’m usually pretty quiet, unless it’s something extremely important and I’m extremely confident. I can put up with a great deal of abuse, but if you start abusing my family (you don’t have to be blood related to be family) or being unduly disrespectful to the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, be prepared to be made to look like an idiot. Also remember that I view martyrdom as a glorious crown, and history has shown that those who kill martyrs all look like idiots. (In case you’re wondering, I am aware of the etymology and correct use of the word idiot. You can find this word in the Greek and Latin of Acts 4:13.)
If a person is wrong on a particular topic, that is, he doesn’t know what he is talking about, which is the definition of being unlearned or an idiot, and you are silent enough, his lack of reasons and logic will eventually be apparent. However, pointing out the lack of logic or reason will often be pointless due to the emotional charge of the topic. Thus, tact must be used (of which I have failed many times, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa). Nonetheless, sometimes it is best to make a person look like the idiot that he is in order to protect yourself and others.
I’ve found that the best way to make a person look like an idiot is by agreeing with the person. This is not always possible. However, often when you are as agreeable as possible, but your agreement actually contradicts the main point that the person is making, they are unable to say anything further. Unfortunately some people really do lack the faculties of logic and reason and this doesn’t work. I’ve also seen people that lack the faculties of logic and reason use this tactic and make themselves look like idiots without even knowing it. This doesn’t really matter as the objective is not necessarily for the person to know they look like an idiot, but to prevent them from hurting others.
I will give a real life example to demonstrate this. A person was being quite disrespectful on Facebook, and after realizing logical reasoning was pointless because this person was not open to honest dialogue, I became a little aggressive. I did this in a few ways, but one of them was by attacking the following cartoon he posted in a comment on one of my Facebook posts. This cartoon was meant to discredit the Doctrine of the Trinity by having a Christian who believes in the Trinity contradicting Jesus Himself.
It is very important to apply logic in every statement you make and to avoid making any statements that can be used against you. As well, it is also good to plan for future comments and arguments, even if they may never be used. While the Arian heresy denied the Trinity, this person is not an Arian nor did his religion develop it’s denial of the Trinity from Arianism. He may not even know anything about Arianism. It may be fun to joke around in referring to Arius and even Santa Claus (i.e. St. Nicholas) in relationship to such modern religious errors, but in a serious debate it’s best to avoid such comments because they are not directly apparent or historically accurate. By not making such comments, I was planning to possibly point out that I didn’t make such comments because it is not true, just as his comments about Christians getting the Doctrine of the Trinity from Nimrod (i.e. Osiris, Isis, and Horus) is not true. The Arian comparison is actually quite legitimate, while the other one that he did use elsewhere is not, but by avoiding the comparison with Arianism, I was already set up to easily win a particularly point.
I reposted the above cartoon with the following comment:
Heavenly Shepherd: Was this cartoon created by someone completely ignorant of the etymology and history of the English word “ghost” and it’s use in translating the Greek word “πνεύματος,” or was it specifically created to mislead those that are ignorant of such things?
This is quite obviously a loaded question, which is a really mean thing to do to someone, but in this case, these are the only two logical possibilities and one or both of them are true. As well, the objective was to shut this person up to prevent any harm. When asked a loaded question, the best thing to do is to deconstruct it and ask the person why he did such a disrespectful thing while pointing out any errors in the loaded question. As you’re doing this, avoid actually answering the question itself. The objective would be to demonstrate that the person asking the loaded question is being a bully, thus making you a martyr and him an idiot.
Please note: when you know the etymology and correct use of words like idiot, ignorant, and heretic, it is useful to correctly use them. If one takes offence, you can explain how you are technically correct. The word heretic is particularly useful because if the other person doesn't agree that he believes you are a heretic, then the only other conclusion is that he accepts the same doctrines that you do. Precise and correct use of language is very important when dealing with logic. However, if you don't want this person to avoid talking to you, I don't suggest being quite so blunt.
One thing I didn’t do is address the error of the message that is being attempted. While this may be quite obvious to myself and to others, it would likely not be obvious to all, particularly the person I’m dealing with. Thus, it’s best for me to just keep my mouth shut about it because I’d be wasting my time and would miss real opportunities to meet my objective.
I did look at a few other things in the cartoon, and noticed that the person supposedly supporting the trinitarian point of view had a symbol on his shirt to represent the Trinity that is identical to the symbol Led Zeppelin’s bass player, John Paul Jones, used to represent himself on their fourth album. I purposely misinterpreted this symbol in my next comment, as well as the “PTL,” so that I set myself up to win another point in discussing the nature of interpreting symbols, words, and Bible verses. This was actually relevant to a couple other discussions we were having in other Facebook posts. I also called myself “ignorant” so that I can use this emotionally charged word on my opponent, which I already did, without looking like a bully because I'd have an example of freely admitting when I'm ignorant of something (i.e. I used the same word on myself, just I suggested I could do with the word heretic). Humility is a useful weapon, but only if it is genuine.
I had to look it up because I was ignorant of what "PTL" stood for. In this context, I assume it means "Praise The Lord." However, this context could also suggest it means "Post-Thesis Life" as the guy with the John Paul Jones shirt may have just finished a Theology degree of some kind. Although, his thesis might have just been on playing bass or Led Zeppelin.
After this comment, I had to go to a doctors appointment. A bit of time away from things allows you to come up with good ideas, especially if you don’t think about them. This is what happened, and when I came home, I wrote this comment to demonstrate how this cartoon actually supports the Doctrine of the Trinity. That is to say, I agree with the cartoon he posted because it completely opposes his point of view.
While I was away, I realized why the guy with the John Paul Jones shirt is so angry. He just got a failing grade because he couldn’t defend his thesis. That’s what you get when you listen to Led Zeppelin all night instead of studying your text on trinitarian theology. Now, when Jesus says, “My Father is the only true God,” the John Paul Jones fan should have said, “Yes! You and the Ghost are too!” If he had said that, he wouldn’t have flunked out. As it is, his answer has major Tritheism implications. There are two errors in his statement: first, the “No!” indicates that there is more than only One God; second, saying “a Ghost” rather than “the Ghost” indicates that there are more than one Ghosts as well. Both of these are major heretical errors that deny the Trinity.
I’m not sure when it happened or how much this particular post played in it, but sometime within the next 24 hours, he had unfriended me and two of our mutual friends. He also deleted all of his comments on the posts we exchanged comments in. Thus, I successfully shut him up. Hopefully I also gave him some reason to doubt his beliefs, but the main objective was to protect my Facebook friends from his nonsense. It is rather unfortunate that he wasn’t interested in honest and respectful dialogue, but WDJD (What did Jesus do)? “Then Jesus said to the twelve: Will you also go away?” (John 6:68, or verse 67 depending on your translations)
Heavenly Shepherd left some comments on a post of mine, but he first asked me not to read them (reading is a process of interpreting symbols). I don't know what they say due to my respecting his wishes, but I did happen to see a picture of Archbishop Cesare Orsenigo talking to Adolf Hitler. I don't know what context this picture was framed in, but I happened to have explained the actual context of this picture in a blog post I wrote almost six years ago. I thought I would post it in case anyone was misled by the person that wrote these comments on my post, but asked me not to read his comments.
I do realize it seem a bit bizarre that I don't read his comments, but that's what I'm doing in a demonstration of reason and logic, and even respect for the lack of reason and logic. What else would you expect from a computer programmer whose only formal education in philosophy is critical thinking and logic. (St. Francis was reluctant to allow his friars to be educated at first. I hope St. Anthony didn't lead him astray on this issue.)
Archbishop Orsenigo Celebrates Hitler's Birthday