In a world full of many different ideologies, big egos, and hurt feelings, a man can come across many different opinions. Sometimes there can be thoughtful, rational and logical arguments. This occurs in certain places. These places tend to be few and far between. The consumerist herd mentality of modern society has diffused into politics, education and the workplace. This has created environment that are almost entirely ideologically driven and dominated by one belief through non-intellectual methods.
In most political spheres and in public, peoples’ opinions become their identity. Losing an argument is not an option because that would invalidate their existence. Engaging these people in certain discussions is a tricky venture. They are more like salesmen than defenders of a premise. They seek to sell you something. Whether you need it or not, they will find a way to convince you that you need it and should conform.
I found that typically the biggest advocate of an idea is not necessarily the most informed person of that group. This person’s advocacy usually is an attempt to belong to something. Countering their argument is rather simple, just avoid playing by their rules. There are four main techniques in engaging these ideological salesmen.
The first technique is nonchalance.This is where you listen to what they say and are indifferent to it.
Typical global warming advocate: We should save the environment utilizing “x” method.
Response: that’s nice
if you’re feeling more antagonistic you can use this:
Response: cool story bro
The second technique is asking questions.This is a variation on the Socratic method. You just ask questions that could lead to sales men disagreeing with his own premise.
Typical feminist: We should enforce equality utilizing “x” method.
Response: What is your selective service number?
Response: Are men and women different?
Response: Has this method been tried before?
The third technique is war gaming.
This is where you play out their idea as if it’s actually been implemented.
Typical collectivist: We should have some sort of “x” economy to solve “z” problem.
Response: What would be the punishment for people that don’t comply with the system?
Response: What would your position be in this system?
Response: Would the system be sustainable in the face of the inherent selfish nature of people?
The fourth technique is being indifferent emotionally.Some people trying to sway your opinion with emotional appeals. This is an attempt to circumvent logic and rational thought. By appealing to your empathy and/or aversion to hurting people, they seek to manipulate you. If you are indifferent emotionally, they cannot influence you.
Typical “victim”: I was the victim of “x” crime therefore you should acquiesce and agree with me.
Response: If you feel a crime has been committed, call the police.
Response: I don’t really care.
Response: Sucks to be you.
As you can see, these responses would throw a monkey wrench into these ideological sales pitches. The vacuous zombie that is spewing buzzwords will be confused by these methods. They would not have a reply to these response because they have not seen them before nor have been trained how to answer. To the rational outside observer, these responses will work to discredit whatever ideology is being pushed. In conclusion, it is best to do your own research to make any decisions. This is especially true with what ideology you follow and believe in. If you do choose to engage these “salespeople of salvation”, these methods will surely get them off their pitch and might actually cause them to question their own beliefs.