Saturday, February 14, 2015

Let the Hate Flow Through You

Happy Valentine's Day!

This is a follow up to my last blog. Oh the irony! Today I thought would be a good day to talk about some HATE!

I was sitting in on this class a few years ago about a certain issue in public policy and how to deal with it. It was an online video feed so I wasn't actually there. After all these suggestions were mentioned on what could be done to influence the public and policy makers, a woman kindly suggested that one should “get angry!” That’s right convince people of your position by getting outraged!

Arguing from outrage (a variation of the appeal to emotions fallacy) has always been a tactic people have used to “convince” others, and social media really plays upon it. In fact, it is a common theme I have heard over the past few years with people asking, “Where is the outrage?“ For me, getting outraged over something doesn't mean someone has special access to moral superiority that others don’t. I think sometimes people get a little too tempted into using it as if it somehow makes them feel morally stronger.

What I am about to say I would suggest you already know, but I am just going to mention a few things about this that seem to be going on in a situation like this. Yes, I have had this used against me online and in public. The sad thing is in just about all cases I was trying to be reasonable and present good factual information, but then comes the “how pathetic” type of response to me. It’s like, “what do I do now?” This is because when someone is outraged he or she doesn't want to hear reason anymore. It then becomes a case of throwing a few one liner cheap shots back and forth at each other.

One of the words connected with all of this is the word “passion”. You know, “follow your passion.” For example, this person was very passionate about this, and that makes everything they did okay. As if it justifies any bad behavior. Passion can be a good thing, but if it not kept in check can become obsessive. Which might not be a good thing.

In my experience, people that get outraged means they can’t give you good reasons to persuade you, have run out of good reasons to persuade you, or can’t handle what you are saying to them. They are fed up and had it. They are using it as a shaming tactic.

That might work on some people, but in my own experiences you don’t win people over by acting that way. In fact, quite the opposite. It will harden them, and they will resist you even more later on.

What typically happens when a person feels outraged is they FEEL they have the moral high ground. In that psychological state they feel the righteousness flowing through them in such a way that they can’t be wrong. You are wrong, and I am right! I will not back down now you idiot! Lol. If you think I am wrong about this, think of all those times you have been outraged yourself. Did you ever think while the outrage was going on that you were in the wrong? The Emperor (Darth Sidious) in the above video was speaking to you during those times. It was the power of the dark side in you.

Like a lot of things I have mentioning in the past few blogs, there is a time and place for getting angry over something. However, if not kept in check can be a very bad thing. It’s the type of thing that can lead to fist fights and wars. In the end, getting outraged as you see on some of the social media sites over and over just leads to desensitization. People will stop caring, and it will just be noise.