Tuesday, July 26, 2005

My Life As A "Libtard Idiot"

It was not too long ago that I was browsing an opinion article written in the Huffington Post, a piece that congratulated Tom Cruise for calling out Matt Lauer on his glibness (I personally would not know how shallow Lauer is) and for bringing attention to a national dysfunction at the hands of psychiatric drugs and treatments. Because I wonder what my peers think about this situation, I visited the discussion board for the article and read the responses. The only messages were several posts decrying Cruise (and the doctor who wrote the article thanking him) as an ignorant hack, saying his assault on psychology was unfounded and based on information spoon-fed from the Scientologist propaganda machine. I felt it necessary to defend Cruise, if only because the posters opted to wholly ignore Cruise's position and instead proclaim psychiatry as a fool-proof science. Such a misguided notion needs to be addressed, and I reminded them first that his attack was not on psychology, a much less controversial science, second that numerous psychiatric drugs have been recalled both by their parent companies and the FDA, and third that Cruise has taken an enormous interest in the topic and is apparently very well read. His arguments are concise and based on fact. The initial response from several users was "Show me your Ph.D. and I'll listen to you." This was also their response to Cruise's assertions, that his lack of higher education negated any logical argument he could present. I considered my options for response: (1) inform them that they have no Ph.D. either, and calling Cruise a hack is just as ignorant on their part, (2) Point out each and every one of my sources, written by much more credible sources who are educated in mental health or (3) flame them. I refrained from posting alltogether. My reasoning? Their response demonstrated that they considered me an unintelligent hack, and anything I told them would be disregarded as trash. It's a sad day when someone refuses to accept a logical argument unless it is spoon-fed to them by a so-called "expert," especially when so many of these scientists are proven wrong on a daily basis. Remember when margarine was better for you than butter? Or when bottled water was supposed to be the cure-all of drinking water problems? Or how about the healthy lifestyle from low-carb diets? If you demand and expect empirical, uncontested, unbiased data from an unstable and relatively new science, you are unreasonable.Before I could even respond, the same posters attacked my sources, basically saying "I've never heard of it, so it can't be true." I considered asking them how reliable the FDA's recall records were, but I didn't want to risk being flamed. I could have mentioned how my parents put me on ritalin until I grew old enough to know better, and how as soon as I stopped taking it I crashed into depression, something I had never experienced before. Or how I fight bouts of depression every year because the medicine permanently affected my brain (research it if you don't believe me). I could have also told them of people in my communities who have killed themselves while on anti-depressants. I could have told them that my sometimes extreme depression is fixed easily by a week of athletic activity and healthy eating, and how seeing a psychiatrist just pissed me off and made me feel helpless. I could tell them about the herbal remedies my mother takes, and how they work better than any foreign substance she ever introduced into her body. And I could tell them that between a man who is passionate about a subject and a man who is ordered to interview him and counter him about it, I'll believe the passionate one any day. But I didn't say any of this because of my experience as a "libtard idiot."

My first attempt at reasonable discourse with the red side of the country began on the discussion board for Sandra Day O'Connor's retirement. I loaded up the board and was immediately hit with all-caps titles like "FUCKING LIBTARDS CRY" and "DIE NAZI BITCH" and other most unpleasant topics. Undeterred, I searched for a thread started by someone with a shred of dignity. After a fruitless search I tried again, this time for someone who used lower-case letters and wasn't trolling. Well, there was one I saw that had been untouched so far: "Liberals, answer just one question for me." I clicked, and the question seemed to be a legitimate request. The author asked us (liberals) to explain why we condoned abortion. So I replied, naively, saying that to me at least, a fetus that early in development bore no resemblance to a human, and that although it was potential life, so was a sperm and an unfertilized egg, and because I had no problem with preventing fertilization, I saw no outstanding evidence that a fetus was any more valuable. This is of course why I fully support stem cell research from embryos. Anyway, I posted my response and waited for theirs. Immediately it came. The man hurls the most vicious insults at me, calling me a nazi bastard, kin to slaveowners, and thoroughly immoral and idiotic example of a worthless human being. Future replies to my answer all referred to me, in some form or another, as a "fucking libtard idiot." These words were filled with emotion, and I know the man was angry at me, and all I had done was what he had asked. The man went on to explain that if I saw 3 month old baby ripped from its mother's womb, screaming and wiggling its arms in anguish, I would immediately renounce my sins and admit that abortion is a monstrous infection in society. I politely informed him that a baby has only minor feeling in its face and genitalia by the 3rd month, and is in fact unable to sense any real pain until well into the second trimester, finally having the ability to recognize pain as humans do during the 32nd week (end of 8th month). The baby doesn't have a bit of control over its body until week 16 (4th-5th month), at which point it can flex its developing body. The developing fetus begins to resemble a human during the third month, before which it looks mostly like a tadpole. Even in the early stages as a fetus, there is small resemblance to the human body. Only 1% of abortions take place after the 20th week, when a fetus would have the opportunity to barely wriggle its arms. It hasn't even developed the ability to use its voicebox yet (that doesn't come until the 6th month, upon which the baby is able to breathe air). So for over 95% of abortions, the doctor is removing a small, inch-long tadpole with rudimentary arms and legs and no developed neck or throat. I was drowned out by threats and more violent hate-filled insults. By the way, if you doubt my claims, read the Discovery.com handbook on pregnancy below. My abortion data comes from a pro-life site, though they left a blank between week 13 and week 20. I extrapolated conservatively (in favor of higher weeks) for my numbers.

My further attempts to bridge even significantly less controversial issues, such as the 10 Commandments display and even censorship, have led to my receiving a string of hate. How one can get so angry over a video game is beyond me. If you recommend that parents regulate what their children are playing, the NeoCons, as the trollers like to call themselves, will call you an immoral bastard. If you suggest that the video games aren't as bad as the media makes them out to be, the NeoCons will call you an immoral bastard. And if you remind them that a Democrat is co-sponsoring the bill with a Republican, well, that's when they fall back on "libtard" and company. The moral of the story is debate is useless with anyone with blind faith, whether it be in religion, in one's country, or in the president. No topic can be reasonably approached with these people. So I'll take "fucking libtard idiot" as a compliment, because it signifies that I refuse to blindly believe without questioning what I am told.
---Discovery.com's Pregnancy Factbook


---ReligiousTolerance.org's abortion data

2 Comments:

Anonymous Kendall said...

i don't think i can express to you how angry the closed-minded "conservative" side of this issue (the abortion one) makes me.

i absolutely hate how rational arguments and facts and good points make zero difference to people who just have their mind set on "baby killer" when they don't know at all what they're talking about.

angry.

also, i think that the issues surrounding the tom cruise psychiatry/scientology thing... all of this study seems so un-grounded to me. there are too many examples and counterexamples to come up with a true explanation or solution to anything. no one knows who is right, and lord knows if we ever WILL know who's right.

i kind of wish we could all just believe what we want to believe, and let everyone be. live and let live, you know? this is a Free Country, right? let's not make laws that take away peoples' rights and let's not flame each other for believing something different. a debate is one thing. a screaming match full of insults is another.

yeahhh i'm done.

11:42 PM, July 26, 2005  
Blogger Shawn said...

You spent alot of time researching the point when a fetus can feel pain. I would suggest you spend an equal amount of time researching at what point life begins. I would also suggest you research how much pain the potential father will go through after finding out his unborn child was aborted, or the parents of this girl, grand parents, etc. I understand there are times when abortion is a legit and viable option. I would suggest you think of a time when it is not, and then understand that there are two sides to this story. Not all conservatives will harass you for your point of view either, I won't. I don't mind video games, and I don't think all liberals are idiots. I think the reason our country is great is that two opposing points of view are used to govern it. Your post is a bit scathing without a response to neutralize it.

8:59 PM, July 05, 2006  

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