Classic Troll technique or Intelligent debate: fine line

Learned couple of important things last night via Facebook.

1. What is a Classic Troll?   I was accused of being one in a rather intense personal debate thread. Truth is, I didn't know what a troll was.. so... I looked it up.   via Google of course ;-)
"Over the years, cases of amateur failtrolls and users on the losing side of an argument have created a misconception about what trolling really is. Some interwebs users have found the internet an excellent place to get on their soapbox and spout unsolicited opinions, which is the major cause of arguing on the internet. Trolling both sides, though entertaining, is a very easy form of trolling and thus is often used by newer, inexperienced trolls. As it's become commonplace, it's also become a common excuse for a user who loses an internet argument. To say that they never intended to win the argument the entire time is a justification for their inadequate argument skills.
Since then, the definition of trolling (through eliciting an argument) has devolved into anyone trying to elicit an argument altogether. Though this technically fits the definition of the troll, the intention behind arguing is what makes the difference. Remember: to be considered a troll, the user must have had the intention of trolling from the beginning. If there isn't some subtle hint of the intention to troll during the argument, the user is either a failtroll or a fail arguer." -- from Encycopledia Dramatica / Troll

2. Fundamental Flaw in my logic as a writer, thinker, Christian, and political thinker.

"I see a serious flaw in your logic. You seem to believe that people would donate to support the poor and disadvantaged if we just left them alone. Sadly history shows us that it never happens. Sometimes social constructs (governments) need to coerce us to do the right thing. Your argument is designed to insure that anyone who disagrees with GOP leadership is silenced. You then go on to disallow us, as people of faith, to offer our theological basis for our point of view as well. It's very clever and disingenuous as well.
Sadly Jeff you've chosen a variety of classic troll techniques. You want to limit every one else's ability to judge, pass judgment yourself, then piously claim not to judge and retire from the discussion without ever having answered any challenge. I try to see the best in individuals too but ANY study of history shows that a coercive element is necessary in order to insure the larger good."  - Jay

These comments really set me to thinking..  my response was...
Looked it up this am. I am not a troll. I am genuinely interested in these topics and have no intent to spark a flame war. Those blog posts/links are my own writing and span over 2 years of thought and discussion. They arent designed to trap or inflame. They honestly discuss and present ideas.

If my logical arguments are flawed because I genuinely believe and see the best in others..I am okay with that. It may make me naive, but so be it. Coercive institutional governance may be required practically. Sadly, I agree here. Even as a libertarian, I can't see any alternative to this reality. So the question becomes degrees of regulatory control. I desire less in conjunction with my belief in freedom. We should freely choose as we have freely received. That seems biblically grounded to me.
As to Coercive institutional controls... Ideologically it is a roadmap to enslaving the minds and actions of a people. History has proven that fact as well.

I do indeed believe the best in others and that does perhaps make me a bit naive as a practical political leader.  Once again, the practicality vs ideology debate comes into focus for this blog. I can't seem to get away from it.   One thing to note, while I am pretty conservative, I am far from a GOP apologist.. and I have no intention or scheme to create a position which disallows any discussion or idea.   I don't think religion is a justification for the social justice mantra so prevalent in our leaders' rhetoric these days, and my ask to "leave Jesus out of it" was what spurred the intense emotional opposition.. I believe.  It is very interesting that I was perceived as disallowing a theological basis for debate.  I have to work through this one over time. I of course use a theological basis for almost all of my ideological positioning.. As a Christian, I can't imagine any other way.. but I don't approve of telling others what Jesus would do... My systematic theology creates a model of freedom based on their need to discern and learn for themselves.  Friends who disagree with my approach don't hear my thinking... They tend to judge my intentions first and create constructs of intention.  They see the worst in me?  

So at the root of all of this is a powerful kernel.
Perhaps, libertarians and conservatives believe the best in others and seek to empower a system which allows that "goodness" to flourish. Likewise, perhaps, the more leftist thinkers don't actually see the goodness in others.. and seek to mandate a system which enforces goodness.   Everyone has goodness at the end of the tunnel..  or everyone is evil... you can see what you choose in others.

As always, the relationships and the dialogue must be the preserved. Winning a debate by debasing the opponent is not winning.

Ok, maybe I learned more than two things..


Jeff Prillaman said…
debate continued this am.. seemed fair to post "jay's" response this am.

"Two things Jeff - I didn't say you were a troll only that you had adopted some troll-like tactics. and the fact that you came back and responded with humility and reason proves that you are in fact NOT a troll. So we can put that aside between us.
I would love it if we could all just live together and not require the coercive efforts of higher authority. I just dont' see any evidence for it in our history. As with any thing it must be used in moderation. Which is why we need the voice of the libertarian in all our political discourse. " -- JAY

At least I now have confirmation that I'm not a troll for sure. ;-)
Anonymous said…
Cool Story Bro

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