Stop Arguing with Trolls! — Bad Faith Arguments and YOU! (Breadville Puppet Theater)

Neckybeard: Hey Glue! Have you seen this horrible character design for the new She-Ra? Glue The Horse: Oh gee, Neckybeard. I don’t see anything wrong with it. She looks okay to me. Neckybeard: Okaaaay? She’s disgusting! Look at how flat her chest is. That’s not what She-Ra’s suppose to look like. She-Ra’s suppose to have big… giant… sexy… barely concealed breasts. These SJWs are ruining my childhood! Glue: Don’t you think that new design might be better for a little kids’ show? Neckybeard: God, Glue, you are such a snowflake. You and all these feminists have an agenda of creating gender chaos and emasculating all men, so that we become second-class citizens. Glue: Relax, Neckybeard, it’s not that big a deal. I really don’t care about the way She-Ra is redesigned. Neckybeard: It’s a huge deal when beta cucks like you wanna take away my freedom of speech by robbing the world of She-Ra’s heavy… glistening… pendulous… sweeeeaty… Carrot: Uh-oh! Looks like Glue here has signed himself up for a 45-minute long debate about cartoon boobies that he didn’t even wanna talk about to begin with. What went wrong? It turns out Glue fell into the rhetorical trap of a bad faith argument. What is bad faith, you ask? According to Wikipedia, it means all kinds of bullshit. But in this film, we’ll be focusing on the use of bad faith arguments and debates with angry trolls who can’t fathom the notion that somebody might disagree with them. When a person argues in good faith, they have a basic level of respect for the person they are speaking with. Good faith arguments are intended to seek truth and better understanding of the topic with due consideration given to both sides of the debate. Let’s see what a good faith argument looks like. Karl Marx-Chan: If you ask me, the best ninja turtle is Raphael. Krobotkin: Really? Why do you think that? Karl: I guess because my favorite color’s red. Krobotkin: I can see the appeal in Raphael’s red bandana, Marx-Chan. But when selecting my favorite ninja turtle, I prefer to reflect upon the deeper aspects of the turtle’s character. I find Raphael’s brash personality to be distasteful and overly aggressive. Michaelangelo, on the other hand, is a kind-hearted and agreeable fellow and he also has those awesome nunchuks. Carrot: We can stop here. Did you notice anything different about this argument? To begin with, Krobotkin did not immediately launch into an attack of Marx-Chan’s opinion, even though he disagreed. He began by asking for a clarification: “Why did Marx-Chan prefer Raphael?” When following up with his own opinion, Krobotkin adressed Marx-Chan’s evidence and provided evidence of his own. This was a respectful, good faith argument. Through this kind of discussion, Krobotkin and Marx-Chan are likely to discover aspects of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that they hadn’t considered before, which will lead to a deeper engagement with the subject of the debate. Now that we know what a good faith argument looks like, let’s see what the same argument would look like in bad faith. Neckybeard: Hey Glue! Who’s your favorite ninja turtle? Glue: I like that Donatello. Neckybeard: Donatello? He’s the worst ninja turtle! His weapon is a stupid stick and he wears purple bandanas. The only people who like the color purple are women and- Carrot: Okay, I think we’ve heard enough. Neckybeard has clearly launched a bad faith argument. As soon as he heard an idea that he disagreed with, he began attacking it aggressively. He displayed no interest in why Glue liked Donatello and gave his opinion no credit whatsoever. It is clear that Neckybeard is more interested in winning this argument than in seeking any kind of truth. He came to the discussion with a fixed attitude and will not be satisfied until Glue either cedes to his opinion or gives up in frustration. So what should Glue do next? Let’s see what happens if he decides to defend himself and his ideas. Neckybeard: And that’s why Donatello is the worst and Raphael is the best. Glue: Well, it’s fine with me if Raphael is your favorite ninja turtle, Neckybeard, but I still like Donatello. And in the NES game, Donatello has the best weapon. Neckybeard: If you can’t play the NES game with Raphael, then that just means you suck at gaming, Glue. Stop whining and get good! Glue: Well, I’m not whining, I just… I like Donatello. He does machines! Neckybeard: “Does machines…” Why don’t you look at this exhaustive list of every time one of Donatello’s machines broke down at the comic books, both cartoon series and every feature film that I just pulled up on Google and then tell me how good Donatello is at doing machines? Carrot: Poor Glue… He’s in for a long night of disputing a bunch of crap that Neckybeard pulls off of Google. What could he have done differently to avoid this nasty fate? The answer is easy if you remember one simple acronym. I.D.G.A.F. is a foolproof method for dealing with anyone who argues in bad faith. Let’s break it down. I stands for Identifying the bad faith argument. Look for telltale signs that your debate opponent is arguing from a position of bad faith. For example: Your opponent seems completely fixed in their position with no willingness to examine any differing perspective. Neckybeard: It is a simple, basic FACT that Donatello is the worst ninja turtle. Carrot: Your opponent seems to have absolutely no respect for you on a personal level. They act dismissive and hurl frequent insults. Neckybeard: And anyone who thinks otherwise is a beta cuck. You’d have to be a total moron to think that Donatello’s anything but the worst of all Ninja Turtles. Your opponent is more concerned with winning the argument than determining the truth. Neckybeard: Why can’t you admit that Donatello is the worst ninja turtle, Glue? Everybody knows it, you’re just making yourself look like a total fool by saying otherwise. Your opponent parrots a bunch of token, cliché statements that only have a superficial connection to the conversation at hand. SJWs like you are ruining Ninja Turtles. Sorry this isn’t one of your safe spaces, where everyone has to agree with all of your snowflake opinions. Donatello is just another example of Cultural Marxism! Now that we have identified a bad faith argument troll, it’s time for Step 2: Stop talking to the troll immediately. Don’t waste your time. Inform your opponent that you don’t engage in bad faith arguments and end the discussion abruptly. Glue: This argument is in bad faith, Neckybeard, so I’m going to go now. Goodbye. The troll will likely consider this a victory. Neckybeard: Yeah, you just know that you can’t defeat my superior intellect. You know I’m right and you’re wrong. I win again! Carrot: And that’s okay. Remember that your precious, fleeting time on this Earth is far too valuable for you to waste your life arguing unimportant drivel with pedantic shitheads. Now you’re ready for steps 3 through 5: Go do literally anything else. Avoid this person for the rest of your life and Forget they exist. Bad faith trolls get off on having long, rambling, abusive arguments. They seek to win in debates at all costs because when they have these meaningless victories, it’s the closest their cold, black hearts will ever come to actually feeling anything. Neckybeard: This should stave off my overwhelming sense of self-loathing for at least another 15 minutes. Carrot: Cut these people out of your life. Block them on social media, stop hanging out with them, just avoid them to whatever extent you can and do your best to forget that they are alive. You’ll be glad you did. Glue: I thought I smelled carrots. Carrot: Oh hi there, Glue, I was just wrapping up. Have a nice day! Glue: Wait, professor Carrot, come back! I have a deep hunger for knowledge right now. I really wanna chew on this topic s’more! Let me nibble yooooou!

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