Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Am I Crazy?

You've probably heard that the colloquial definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result.  Of all forums, I once again found myself trying to engage in serious debate on YouTube.  YouTube.  Let that sink in.

Now, YouTube is among the worst places on the internet to expect reasonable debate to take place on serious issues.  Since I've gone there several times in the hopes that "maybe this time things will be different," I'm now questioning my sanity.

Here's the dilemma, though.  If I'm insane, I shouldn't know that I'm insane, right?  Crazy people don't know they're crazy.  So, if I'm insane for expecting a different result from YouTube, but I know it, then I can't be insane.  It gets even nuttier from here!  If I now know that I'm sane, then maybe I'm crazy after all.  Since crazy people believe they're sane, what if that includes me!?

Goodness!  My whole world is crumbling beneath me! :)

Look, the fact of the matter is that whatever your religious or political persuasion, if you're looking for meaningful debate and or dialogue, you need to learn to choose your battles.  That means avoiding nutcases who substitute personal attacks for sound philosophical arguments.  It means not letting yourself get baited into debates that have nothing whatsoever to do with the topic at hand.  Finally, it means not getting yourself worked up over the fact that "someone on the internet is wrong."  We live in a complex world, filled with all kinds of ideas and philosophies.  Be comfortable in your own skin and you'll be fine.


  1. Amen, brother. It's just the same with me when I read the comboxes of most apologetics blogs. I expect reasoned discourse every time, but only find slivers of it buried beneath heaps of insults, non-sequiturs and red herrings. It's so difficult to lower your expectations, though.

  2. I've noticed the same thing, James. Apologetics blogs probably have comments sections a bit better than YouTube, since the apologist can at least act as a moderator. I'll read Victor Reppert's blog (a great one, by the way), for example, and see a combination of reasonable and quite obviously unreasonable comments. Vic allows most of that stuff with some limitations. I run my own blog a little more strictly. If a comment is either spam, from a troll, or laced with profanity, then I won't even publish it. Yet, you'll still find atheists, such as Walter (whom you may have seen around here), posting comments that I publish because he follows the rules.

    I like the way I run my blog. I wish the admins on YouTube were more like me. ;) In all seriousness, though, it's just a matter of finding the right forum to engage in rational debate.

  3. Nonetheless, there is a popular series of videos by a Youtuber named evid3nce that ought to be responded to in some form. They are very popular, but laughably muddle-headed. For example, he thinks that rationalism is when you do math in your head, and empiricism is when you do math on paper.

    They are well produced and get tons of upvotes and very little downvotes. This kind of misinformation is what makes the Internet a cesspool.

  4. The only way I can rationalize the inconsistencies of thumbs up versus thumbs down on videos that address the exact same topics in the exact same ways is that the uploader of the video has a large constituency of subscribers. This results in a disproportionate amount of "thumbs up" responses, since the subscribers are more likely to agree with these uploaders. There's just so much misinformation on the internet in general, e.g. the Zeitgeist documentary. Wow, is that full of holes or what?