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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

56. "RASTAMAN"; HOW TO ARGUE LIKE AN IDIOT


Greetings, TDL readers. If you've ever wondered how to make an idiotic argument, today is you lucky day. Below I've posted a transcript (edited for bevity) of a recent exchange that took place between myself and a fellow called "Rastaman" on the excellent blog Making Headlines which you can find in our links section.

Rastaman, our idiotic argument protagonist, argues that overpopulation is the cause of all of man's ills. To substantiate this rather grand claim, he cites that he doesn't see any "agate" in the desert when he visits, and that all of California's ocean water has all turned "orange".

Of course, when confronted with reason, Rastaman goes ballistic and starts attacking. This is the final mark of the true idiot arguer.

Naturally, yours truly handily dispatches this lightweight. Be sure and click the links in my final response for the coup-de-gras.....

Also, check out Rastaman's musings on "the Golden Age of Earth". They're classic.

[Emphasis Added]


The List Administrator said...
The fact is we Westerners need to have way more babies. Although the left is averse to babies because it feels they impede a woman's potential, I say babies are good for the future, emotionally fulfilling, and lots of fun to make.


Do any fine-looking, disease free European girls want to help me save Western Cristendom? I'm willing to hear out any offer.
Wednesday, 31 May, 2006

Rastaman said...
Oh, but NO!Look at all the problems facing the planet today. All of them. Look at the single root cause: Overpopulation!

All the immigration going on all over the world, the so-called Multiculturalism, the wars, the high prices, the death of so many species of animals and plants, the crowding, loss of habitat, destruction of wildlands, hell, the permanent LOSS of huge areas that used to be beautiful and full of wildlife and now are full of cement and people.

When I was born, the population of the United States was about 146 million people. It is now over 300 million and rapidly rising. A decrease in the sustainable birth rate is GOOD. It took 60 years, since the end of World War II, for things to reach this point of mass global depletion due to overpopulation. If the birth rate is declining, that's very good news for Mother Earth and all us creatures on it.

I would be thrilled if the majority of children started to be born sterile. We desparately need to reduce our global population back down to reasonable levels. Then maybe the rain forests can start making a slow comeback and some of that paved-over farmland can be unpaved and farmed again.Trying to outnumber each other ethnically is suicide for all of us. Not this generation but the next ones coming. Would you like your grandchildren to eat fresh food, or do you think Soylent Green is good enough for your family? Save them and the planet and stop having kids.
Wednesday, 31 May, 2006

The List Administrator said...
Rastaman,

All that talk about Earth being overpopulated is a myth. Scientists and other brilliant people have been predicting a world disaster from exponential population growth for the last 40 years but it will never happen.

In fact, world fertitlity rates have fallen since the 1960s. In fact, by current math we are more likely to go extinct than overpopulate. All that crap about earth being overpopulated is a scare tactic forwarded by environmental extremists who despise humanity and wish the Tufted Titmouse to have its own private forest. Overpopulation is rubbish.

Westerners need to have all the babies they can. The big problem with Westerners having no babies is that Westerners (especially continental Europeans) love cradle to the grave welfare and social services. Unfortunately, these programs depend on large numbers of young workers being around to support the system. If we don't start having babies, we will have to import workers to support the system. These workers will destroy or drastically alter the predominant culture.....Thus, low birth rate + a sense of entitlement = cultural alteration and/or destruction.

This is especially bad for Europe, becuase I would argue that Europe's greatest asset/world contribution is its many cultures. And if anyone thinks that importing workers of a different culture wont change things for the worse, I challenge them to find a stituation in any of world history to find a situation where it produced a good result. If the Romans couldn't deal with it, what makes anyone think we can?
Thursday, 01 June, 2006

Rastaman said...
List Administrator must be in his 20s as he plainly has no concept of the damage that's already been done. Instead he's focussed in on the economics of a rising population. More money for more people.I've been watching the destruction of the planet for a pretty long time.

The Golden Age of Earth was from 1960 to 1970. There was lots of everything and no overcrowding, and the vast majority of us were happy and making a decent wage. The world economy was good. Mass extinctions were yet in the future along with the destruction of the forests and the depletion of many resources. Personally, I feel privileged to have experienced that time. The Greeks felt they lived in a Golden Age for the exact same reasons. That ended when war ended it. What we have now is so very far from being Golden, and it's steadily degrading thanks to all of us making more of us and using up the planet.

List Administrator and anyone else who thinks more people is better, kindly go find yourself a remote spot where there's no sign of humanity and rest there awhile. Feel how good it feels. Get some perspective over and above the pound or dollar or euro. There's a hell of a lot more to life than that and we're losing it.
Thursday, 01 June, 2006

Tom Tyler said...
Just to add my tuppenceworth in (what an out-of-date phrase that is becoming now! But I'm old fashioned like that): Take a train from the Midlands to London and look out the window the whole time. What do I see? 95% fields, sheep, crops, wasteland. 5% built-up areas. Where is this overpopulation? I don't see it. Similarly, I took a train from Dublin to Galway not too long ago: same story. It's very easy to talk about overpopulation when you come out of Covent Garden station (blooming hell, I like crowds to an extent, but that was way too claustrophobic for my tastes), but if you live in a rural town surrounded by countryside, like I do, it gives you a different perspective. The UK could support twice, three times its current population, no problem. Australia, for example, is 99.9% unpopulated in terms of actual square miles of land space. There is simply heaps and heaps of room for more people on the planet. That's my opinion, anyway.
Friday, 02 June, 2006

The List Administrator said...
The best thing about your comment is that Engalnd has some of the highest population density in the world! Ive traveled England and Ireland by rail and I can substantiate that once you get out of the urban centers, there's lots and lots of cows, sheep, and empty space. The United States, on the other hand, has a MUCH lower population density than England. The entire continent is mostly empty space.Does this mean I want to see every inch of it developed? Of course not.

To address Rastaman, You're welcome to your opinion but I must add that your comments are totally and utterly subjective. You are, however, correct- I was not around during the 60s or most of the 70s, but don't go telling me that those decades were a magical depopulated fairlyland with tangerine trees and maramlade skies.

Don't take this as an insult, but it seems to me that you accept left wing environmental orthodoxy with little critical or skeptical thought. We shouldn't necessarily discount the the things told to us by MSM and pop culture out of hand, but when it comes to politically charged issues such as the environment, the Iraq War, or global warming, you'd have a better chance of getting the real truth from a ouija board.
Friday, 02 June, 2006


Rastaman said...
L A, don't take this as an insult but you are so stuffed full of yourself that you must need a giant shoehorn to pry yourself thru doorways.

"To address Rastaman, You're welcome to your opinion but I must add that your comments are totally and utterly subjective.You are, however, correct- I was not around during the 60s or most of the 70s, but don't go telling me that those decades were a magical depopulated fairlyland with tangerine trees and maramlade skies.Don't take this as an insult, but it seems to me that you accept left wing environmental orthodoxy with little critical or skeptical thought."

You blaring idiot, left wing orthodoxy my ass. Check it out: I used to go rockhounding out in the Mojave desert, the hills and mountains had seemingly endless supplies of agate. Now you literally can't find a chip of it anywhere and we're talking millions of acres.

I used to fish along the So. Calif. coast where you could see bottom 20 feet down. Now the water is orange and you actually cannot see into it so much as an inch. There were lots of fish and all were good to eat. Now there are warning signs: "Danger, Pollution. DO NOT EAT THE FISH."You talk out of your ass and think you are soooo intellectual. You have no concept of the damage wrought by overpopulation and the resultant depletion and pollution. If anyone has delusions of marmalade skies, it's you, bud.

I was right, you're too young to know what it used to be like so you think the world as it is today is the world as it has always been. If you can't grow a brain at least try to demonstrate the minimal amount of intelligence required to know when to shut up.
Friday, 02 June, 2006

Rastaman said...
Well, what else can I do with someone who comes off with "Don't take this as an insult BUT..." and proceeds to mouth puerile inanities at me? This guy is the same sort of lamer who says things like "Some of my best friends are Negroes, (or Pakis or whatever)". Young wanna-be unread intellectuals are so BORING!
Friday, 02 June, 2006

The List Administrator said...
Now you literally can't find a chip of [agate] anywhere and we're talking millions of acres. "

So? What relevance does this have to overpopulation?

"I used to fish along the So. Calif. coast where you could see bottom 20 feet down. Now the water is orange and you actually cannot see into it so much as an inch. There were lots of fish and all were good to eat. Now there are warning signs: "Danger, Pollution. DO NOT EAT THE FISH."'

Again, you point out an instance of what you take to be pollution. What does this have to do with overpopulation?

Pollution and overpopulation are not necessarily related. Nations with low or declining populations- like Ukraine or Romania- are often more polluted than more populous nations.

Moreover, since the 1970s evidence indicates that even though the US Population has swelled to 300 million, its gotten cleaner due to environmental laws. For an illustration, google the amount of smog warning days Los Angeles had in 1977 and look how many less it had in 2005. You can't make assumptions.

What you are doing is equivalent to walking outside to see wetness on your sidewalk and cursing the bad weather when that water could have come from your leaky garden hose, a toddler's spilt cup, or the town drunk taking a piss on your lawn during his way home from the pub last night.

Plus, you are needlessly angry and nasty. And no, I have no negro best friends and I generally dislke Pakis. Have a nice day.
Friday, 02 June, 2006

Rastaman said...
"Now you literally can't find a chip anywhere and we're talking millions of acres. I used to fish along the So. Calif. coast where you could see bottom 20 feet down. Now the water is orange."

So? What relevance does this have to overpopulation?

Uhhh, golly, uhhh, mebbe cuz da roks wer der fer towsands uv yeers but lotta peepul wuznt? An duh watter wuz der too wit all dem peepul livun der n now is so menny peepul dey tern it all funny culer an all duh fish erverywherr all over duh werld am lots scarcer cuz we eatin em too fast? An peepul mak polewshun an is lots more peepul so is lots more polewshun? Uhhh?

There is no "Right to Life". There is no "Manifest Destiny". Human babies are not sacred, nor is human life. If we really thought so we wouldn't be so quick to kill each other. What rules humanity is not the accumulated wisdom of ages.

We are ruled entirely by greed and stupidity. Anyone who doubts this may look no further than the history of mankinds wars. We are strange creatures. We all want to live and have children to succeed us, and go to great lengths to ensure this, with the result that our numbers increase disastrously. At the same time we all want more space around us to claim as our own, and we covet what our neighbors have. So we strive for wealth and make war on our neighbors.

The result is that we end up with less space and more degraded lifestyles as overpopulation and war progressively make our lives more miserable. We no longer sit around a table in the evening and play parlor games. Instead we go to pubs and drink to excess or lose ourselves in some electronic gadget to escape. At the same time we vigorously deny that there are too many of us, and like L.A. above, attack those who suggest it or that we cut back on having so many children.Getting old has the disadvantage of having little time left, but it has the great advantage of remembrance of times past.

We all used to have so much FREEDOM. There were far fewer laws and we didn't need many. There was so much more available space, the world was much more beautiful, vast areas were untouched and we were free to enjoy them. We could go camping in a forest and not need any permissions, or fish in a river that had no catch limits, children could be out playing after dark without fear from strangers. There was no such thing as smog. On and on. It was just a different world because it had a lot less people in it.We are unfortunately doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past, simply because, like L.A., we sneer at it. WE are too smart to make those mistakes, WE know better, WE have a plan. Good luck, L.A. and the rest of you, I guarantee you're going to need all you can get.
Saturday, 03 June, 2006

The List Administrator said...
Really, Rastaman, good job refuting my arguments. Not only did you fail to tell us why pollution is always and necessarily linked to population growth (because its clearly not!), but you also exposed yourself as a nutbag with your statements like: "human babies aren't sacred". Your remind me of Eric Pianka. Go figure.

Here's a thought- If human population growth disgusts you so much, start by sterilizing your children (if you even have any), and then kill yourself. By your own logic, niether you nor your family has a "right to life", so practice what you preach. As for me, Ill just be content with my smog infested overpopulated hell-hole where all the water is yellow, there are no tangerine trees, and 'agate' is just a fond memory of a few whacked-out old baby boomers.....
Monday, 05 June, 2006



So, kids, what did we learn today?

Arguing like an idiot involves six easy, do-it-yourself steps:

1) Subjectivity- base your conclusions on the world around you solely on your own personal observations and/or gut feeling. Ex- "It was abnormally hot today where I live. I know this not because I have a thermometer or I watched the weather channel, but because I can feel it" or "Blacks are better atheletes than whites because when I was in high school, most ran faster and jumped higher than I did"

2) Huge Assumptions- Make jumps in logic, prematurely connecting causes and effects that are unsupported by fact and/or reason. Ex- "It was abnormally hot today where I live. Temperatures around the world must be higher than normal. Global Warming is real, and it causes powerful hurricanes" or "Gas prices are high these days. Oil Companies must be price gouging. Dick Cheney is growing rich on this illegal price gouging"

3) Blanket Statements- Relate various complex, multifaceted issues to a singular root cause. Make sure that root cause is a personal pet peeve. Ex- "All of the world's problems are caused by high temperatures" or "Terrorism is caused by the Iraq War".

4) Dellusion- Ignore reality. View the past through rose-colored glasses. Let pure ideology color your thoughts and memories even though most evidence is clearly to the contrary. Ex- "Back in the 1920s, the world was a perfect place. Temperatures were low, there was no crime or poverty, and everyone drove a shiny new Model T which cost only $5" or "Socialism/Statism works, it just hasn't been tried yet. Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Kim Il Sung, and Pol Pot weren't true Socilaists, and aren't valid examples of its repeated failures"

5) Lack of Citation and/or Citation of Unreliable Sources- Just state your opinion as if you are an authoritative source. Ex- "Temperatures are much hotter than normal. I base this on absolutely nothing quantifiable."

Cite sources who are quacks, idealogues, lawyers, politicians, or anyone else with a clear agenda. Ex- "Temperatures are much hotter than normal because of the Jews. As proof, I cite a 1938 study conducted by the Nazi Party Comission on Atmospheric Measurement."

6) Attack- When you have a poor argument, shift attention on to the other guy. Try to make him angry; draw him into a name-calling duel. Ex- "I have no valid points, but at least I'm not a puerile stoopid-head doodyface"