Thursday, April 29, 2010

Fuck Tone

There's all sorts of tut-tutting about the tone of the political debate. To some extent FLG agrees, but really it doesn't particularly matter to him. Then there's the whole Epistemic Closure debate, which gets closer to the mark, but he thinks still misses it.

The thing for FLG is this:

Don't assume that the other side is morally inferior, evil, stupid, ignorant, ill-informed, or otherwise deficient. All political parties and movements have people in them who are any number of those things. What FLG aspires to do, although he doesn't always live up to it, is to find the most compelling argument on the other side, and at least mention it if not address it fully. FLG doesn't really care if people actually hold the idea because they happen to be stupid or racist or ignorant or evil. It's about addressing what you view as the best case for the other side. Find a logic that you can see a reasonable person using to justify the position. The tone with which you attack that case can be completely fucking rude. FLG doesn't really care about that. Far better to be an asshole when addressing the best case than to be polite attacking a strawman. FLG's complaint about some radio talk show hosts is that they are both impolite and attacking strawmen.

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