How People Slide Around in Arguments

In a recent long and heated exchange on a listserv I saw something over and over which seems to be inherent in human thought processes. Nevertheless, as human as it is, it still ticks me off. I wish people would not do this.

If you feel strongly about something and someone else talks about it without contradicting you but just talks about it in a different way, do not attack them for disagreeing with you.


I don’t have much more to say about this other than to put some examples in . I’ll make up something b/c I don’t want to upset people who are passionate about an issue. They’ll just think I disagree with their position simply b/c I’m pointing out something I don’t like about the way they write.

Let’s say the topic is Russian fur practices. Someone says Russians beat little animal puppies to death with clubs, like the seals. They say this happens in Siberia. Someone else writes in and says, “Yes, that’s terrible, but it happens not in Siberia but in Sakhalin.”

BAM!! What comes back is, “Oh, so you think bludgeoning puppies is a good thing!”


“Yes, that’s terrible. However, it is legal and we have to put pressure on the government to end it.”

And, BAM!! “Oh, so you think bludgeoning puppies is a good thing!”


The conversation goes on a little and b/c one writer leaves out something, e.g. that Siberia is cold, they are attacked b/c they didn’t add in that it’s cold there, as if that is disagreeing with the basic idea.

Boy, I am obviously frustrated and have been reading way too many posts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *