posted on Apr, 21 2012 @ 01:15 PM
If there's one type of troll that I truly despise on the Internet, more than any other, it is the science worshipping, pseudo-atheistic, arbitrary
skeptic. The individual who uses dishonesty, ad hominem, personal attacks, and appeals to semantics and pedantry, and mistakes all of these (whether
intentionally or otherwise) as rational argument.
This is the species of troll that I hold primarily responsible for the fact that anyone still believes the American government's account of 9/11.
This is also a species of troll which customarily self-identifies as an atheist, and does enormous harm to atheism's reputation in the process.
1. The "Citation Needed," troll.
I have never seen a single argument on the Internet...anywhere...not a single one...where a request for sources or citations, was not in fact a
request for rhetorical ammunition, which could then be used to attack the person, from whom said sources were requested.
It is a form of hollow, deceptive pedantry which is used as a means of accomplishing such, while maintaining a plausibly deniable facade of
rationality. It is an exceptionally cheap, gutter tactic, and one which I find infuriating and detestable.
2. The Appeal to Authority.
While arbitrarily skeptical, pseudo-rationalistic trolls have a poor understanding of logical argument in general, and customarily resort to a wide
variety of logical fallacies, probably their favourite is the appeal to authority. This is usually also an appeal to scientism; i.e., the idea that
institutional scientists who perform research in large, centralised facilities are the only people who should be considered to have the right to hold
an opinion about anything at all, or even the right to think.
If you wish to reinforce the idea that science was meant to be a closed priesthood, and that rather than engaging in any form of independent thought,
we should only wait for edicts to be handed down from on high, then that is your perogative, but I am not going to emulate your behaviour on that
score. If you knew anything about the history of science, you would also know just how incredibly anti scientific such an attitude
really is. Copernicus and Gallileo were outcasts; they dissented from the prevailing opinion of their time, which was represented by the church.
3. The use of personal attacks.
When the other standard tactics of the pseudo-skeptical arsenal predictably fail, a false skeptic will generally have no other place to turn in order
to attempt to win an argument, than by attempting to either shame a rhetorical opponent into silence, or otherwise cause said opponent sufficient
psychological pain that their opponent withdraws. I have often been the target of this tactic.
Usually it involves the citation of some piece of personal information about the skeptic's opponent, which the skeptic either knows or can anticipate
will be a source of great shame or pain to said opponent, if it is publically disclosed. This can work extremely effectively as a form of pre-emptive
blackmail. If an opponent knows that a skeptic is likely to use this tactic, then it may intimidate the opponent beforehand.
In summary:- Pseudo-skeptics, I recognise your game. I know it, and I am exposing it and drawing attention to it, so that others here can learn to
identify it. If you attempt to employ any of the tactics derived above, while in any debate with me, you can expect further public exposure at the
time for doing so. I will not tolerate the above described behaviour.