Red Herrings, Ad Hominems, Straw Men, Oh My!

I like the religion versus non-religion debate. It’s not a mystery.

What makes me laugh more than a man getting kicked in the balls on America’s Funniest Home Videos is the frequency and ineptitude that people exhibit when they say things like, “Billy goats? that’s a red herring.” Or “Pussy cat? That’s ad hominem.” Or “The bible is ridiculous? That’s a straw man!”

If it’s not painfully apparent that I’m making a bad joke, you can go ahead and skip the rest and leave you tired response in the comments section. Yawn.

Usually, the people who use these words in debates are Christians. They are the same type of people who say, “frick!” instead of “fuck!”. They say, “darn!” instead of “damn!”. And they say “crackers!” instead of “cunt.”

I don’t think anyone uses these terms of argument well. In fact, the current overuse is dumbing down the words and those who use them.

“But, Jeremy, you don’t understand! We need these words to make us feel ‘smarter,'” you say with emphatic constipated faces.

To you all collectively straining your way to a nasty, welty hemorrhoid, I say “Well, Christian, why don’t you try being smarter to look smarter?”

I’m not saying to look like the guy that calls himself the Egalicontrarian. He thinks he’s going to be the next Noam Chomsky, and he’s only recently graduated from college with a worthless degree in philosophy. There’s nothing worse than a recent college grad who thinks they are smart, so they construct sentences with smart sounding syntax only to appear as dumb as the rock they crawled out from under.

“But, Jeremy, you can’t go around condescending strangers and other people and expect us to think that you’re smart!” You all say with perplexed thrill at the thought I came up with for you.

And to you, I say,”Yes, you’re right! Expressing disdain for people does NOT make me smarter. Nor does it make me appear smarter. In fact, it lowers my level of intellectuality, and I feel really frigging crappy fucking shitty about it.”

What I am trying to clarify isn’t that I’m smarter.

I’m clarifying that when you say, “Frick” instead of “Fuck”. What you meant to say  was “FUCK.” Through euphemism you have avoided the utterance of a socially unacceptable word. Yet, in the heads of everyone that heard you, they heard “fuck” because their brains immediately synapsed to the word “fuck” when you said “frick” and then returned almost immediately to the rest of what you were saying. So what’s the point of saying “frick” if everyone hears “fuck”?

Or watch TV and try not to mentally synapse to the word being bleeped out. Try. If you’re successful at that, touch your finger to your tongue and then put your finger to your ass like your butting out a cigarette.

When you say, “ad hominem!” you mean, “You’re attacking me and I don’t like it so I’m going to whine about it!”

When you say, “God loves you and me”, you really mean, “You better love him or he’s going to have no choice by to send you to hell.”

Say what you mean. Mean what you fucking say.

Otherwise, I spent more time being distracted by your stupid use of euphemisms rather than focusing on the message you’re trying — albeit unsuccessfully — to say. If you have no message, euphemism doesn’t make your message better. It makes your message dumber.

Or perhaps, you’re doing it on purpose, because you know you’ve really got nothing better to say than to distract us with your painfully awkward attempts at intelligence.