Crazy Co-irkers strike again…

Ok… despite the title, I actually kinda like these guys… where by “these guys” I mean the two loudly right wing fellows on my team. (There’s 3 more who just turn up their headphones every time the three of us get into it.) Just want to get that out of the way… I’m fully capable of disagreeing with you vehemently, and still enjoying your company.

In my last, (also first) political post, I was ranting about my co-irker the Right-Wing Libertarian, a fellow who disavowed his Republican roots and became a Right-Wing Libertarian instead, to distance himself from their recent behavior.

I keep saying “Right-Wing Libertarian,” because there is, in both his mind and mine, a world of difference between them and what I previously believed “Libertarians” to be, whom he describes as “Left-Wing Libertarians”. He doesn’t like them. I do. I will not refer to them as “Left-Wing Libertarians” myself however, as I’m pretty sure that this is a case of classifying everyone not as conservative as he is, as a “Liberal.” This includes Centrists like myself, who’s existence he acknowledges.

The other Right-Winger in my office is a dedicated dyed in the wool Republican, who aligned on my side of the debate, on the “Chilling Effect” issue. He doesn’t like the policy, but was every bit as confused as I was on the assertion that it was a violation of our First Amendment rights. Despite scoring on the World’s Smallest Political Quiz as a Libertarian (albeit one far to the right, like my other politically vociferous co-irker) the only part of the Republican Party which he disavows, is the “Religious Right.” He denies that they hold any sway with the party, or are anything more than an embarrassing outlier which the Liberals latch on to and flog the crap out of.

So… it’s the Republican’s turn to be lambasted, (I’ll keep calling him that because he wants to be called that) and here’s why…

He continually and unabashedly conflates “Theory” with “Hypothesis.”

If I hear, one more time, that something is “only a Theory” my head is going to explode. When faced with the “Theory of Gravity” he only replies that gravity isn’t a theory but a Law. He cannot be swayed off this position, because I don’t have a textbook handy, and “Wikipedia is full of liberals” so their page on Gravitation is invalid.

This isn’t even strictly political, I should point out, because one of the big things which to him is “only a Theory” is the link between Cigarette Smoking and Lung Cancer. It’s “only a Theory” so of course, it’s an infringement on our rights to bar smoking from enclosed public spaces where other people have to inhale your smoke. After all it’s not PROVEN that they WILL get sick from it, only that they might. The Anecdotal Evidence that his Grandmother has not yet died from smoking proves that smoking does not “cause cancer.” The term “Significant Risk Factor” means nothing to him, because unless it is “100% proven” then our laws shouldn’t take it into account. I asked him how it could be “100% proven” (as theories are generally falsifiable but not provable, otherwise they would be proofs) and was told that a one to one correlation between smoking and dying of cancer would be required.

The RW Libertarian is with him on this… *sigh.*

I have no clever arguments this time… because you can’t argue with someone who has adopted a differing definition of a word from that which you hold, and will not budge off the spot unless a credible Right-Wing source tells him otherwise. Unfortunately, according to both my Right-Wing Co-irkers the education system, like Wikipedia, is “Liberal,” ruling out science text books, encyclopedias, peer reviewed papers and any and all other educational sources.


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2 Responses to Crazy Co-irkers strike again…

  1. colossus716 says:

    Willful ignorance on a common definition OF THE LANGUAGE YOU USE to communicate, is still ignorance.

  2. thkya says:

    I seriously can’t deal with people like that.

    I’m fine talking with people I disagree with – I’m reminded of one particular conversation I had with a young american boy who was very much anti-gay, whereas I’m about as pro as you can get. You’d think we couldn’t have a serious debate on that, right? But we did, because we were both willing to follow common sense rules for debate and listen to each other respectfully. We broke it all the way down, agreed to disagree on the religious implications and put those aside for a moment, debated it further and eventually got all the way down to the point we really disagreed on, once you removed all the BS that this particular issue gets dressed up in.

    We didn’t achieve anything meaningful or manage to change each other’s point of view, but it was still an extremely satisfying experience, being able to explore the structure of his worldview (and he mine), ask questions, and find out where our actual differences were.

    All this to say, as long as people can have a sensible conversation about it, I’m fine with them having positions I disagree with. But logical fallacies make me a sad panda, and pretty much unwilling to even have conversation with that person – it seems clear to me that someone who screws around with the rules like that is in it to ‘win’, rather than communicate.

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