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"Why the Hate?" & Other Misleading Online Arguments

'Why the Hate?': Decoding Misleading Online Discussion Tactics


If you've ever been drawn into the chaos of YouTube comments or an online debate, you've likely bumped into comments that have left you scratching your head.


A perfectly pleasant conversation was suddenly derailed and spiralled into an emotional argumentative free-for-all.


Online troll

Picture this - "Trollmaster69", with their garish anime avatar and a payload of jargon-laden gibberish, smugly slides into the comment section to derail a conversation you were previously enjoying, leaving you and everyone else more than a little befuddled.


What the hell happened? One of the tools often pulled from their arsenal is the seemingly innocuous question:


"Why the Hate?"


When "Why the Hate?" Isn't Just a Question



"Why the hate?" is often more than meets the eye. It's not just about querying the tone of the debate but about subtly derailing the conversation.


Why the hate?

Engaging in an online discussion and suddenly being asked, "Why the hate?" can be quite disorienting.


This question often does more than seek clarification—it can subtly deflect the conversation's focus. Rather than addressing the core issue or the criticism presented, the questioner shifts attention to the emotional tone or perceived negativity.


Sneaky, isn't it?


Sometimes, "Why the hate?" can function as linguistic sleight-of-hand in an attempt to discredit an opposing viewpoint.


It indirectly suggests that the critique arises not from a rational perspective but from a hateful or biased stance. As such, it doesn't just challenge the argument, but attempts to undermine the character of the person making it.


Playing the victim card

Equally, by transforming criticism into undue 'hate,' individuals can assume a victim role.


This manipulation of narrative can make them appear as targets of irrational hostility, attempting to evoke sympathy or portraying critics as overly aggressive.


When you understand what's going on, It all starts to seem a little deceptive.



Beyond "Why the Hate?": Navigating the Labyrinth of Online Debate Tactics


The phrase "Why the Hate?" is just the tip of the iceberg.


Tip of the iceberg


There are numerous other phrases and tactics deployed to circumnavigate a direct address of an argument.


Let's look at a few other common phrases & tactics:



"You're Just Jealous"

Ad Hominem - A Sly Personal Attack


Just like "Why the hate?", "You're just jealous" is often a veiled personal attack. Rather than directly addressing the argument, it undermines the critic by implying their critique stems from jealousy.



"What about [insert unrelated topic]?"

Red Herring Fallacy - A Masterclass in Distraction


This classic deflection tactic, known as the red herring fallacy, is used to steer a conversation away from the topic at hand by introducing an unrelated subject.



"Reality Shifting is real because I'm a Reality Shifter"

Circular Argument - The Unbreakable Loop


The circular argument, well encapsulated by "Because I said so," is a sneaky tactic that offers no evidence but bases its conclusion on its own premise.


An example being: "Astral projection is real, because this book on Astral Projection says it is".


In other words, a person attempts to prove their argument by offering their own argument as evidence.

"So You're Saying [Extreme Version of Argument]?"

Strawman Fallacy - Arguing with Ghosts


A Strawman argument is when your opponent distorts or exaggerates your viewpoint to make it easier to attack.


For example, if you say that lucid dreaming teachers should have experience in the subject, and someone responds with, "So you're saying lucid dreaming requires elitist gatekeepers and everyone else should just shut up?"



"Either You're With Us or Against Us"

False Dichotomy - Fake Extremes


False Dichotomy is a tactic used to force you into choosing between two extremes, ignoring the fact that there might be other valid alternatives.


For example, someone might proclaim, "If you don't believe in astral projection you're a cold hard materialist who hasn't got a shred of spiritual thought."


Limiting the options to two extremes ignores the vast number of nuanced alternative standpoints.



"According to This Popular YouTuber"

Appeal to Authority - Incorrectly Equating Fame with Truth


An Appeal to Authority is when someone tries to strengthen their argument by referring to a famous person or entity that agrees with them, regardless of whether that entity is an expert in the field.


For example, "According to PewDiePie, lucid dreaming is impossible".



"Everyone Knows That…”

Appeal to Popularity - Incorrectly Equating Popularity with Truth


The Appeal to Popularity fallacy equates widespread belief with truth.


"Everyone knows you can't look in a mirror in a lucid dream" is a typical example of this fallacy, implying that the common (but false) belief must be accurate.



"If We Allow This, It Will Lead to…”

Slippery Slope - If we accept this we're all dooooomed!


A Slippery Slope argument asserts that a relatively small first step will inevitably lead to a chain of related events culminating in some significant impact, often negative.


For instance, "If we allow teenagers to lucid dream they will become addicted and spend all day in bed, society will collapse!" exaggerates the potential consequences to an unrealistic extreme.


Staying Lucid When discussing Lucid Dreaming


Recognizing these tactics is key to avoiding falling for them and maintaining healthy discussions. Whether it's "Why the hate?" or "What about...?", we need to stay vigilant to ensure discussions remain focused, respectful, and grounded in rational thought.


Troll warning

So, the next time you come across "Why the hate?" or similar phrases in an online discussion, you'll not be so easily misled.


Debate is a skill like anything else, and as with any skill, there are often those who play-dirty or cheat. Equally, these phrases are also often used by those who simply do not have a good grasp of logic.


Being prepared for such eventualities is a good way to remain level-headed, and to not be drawn into arguments that sound convincing, pull at your emotional heart-strings, and derail the logical process.


Remember, staying lucid is more than just being aware in your dreams, but being aware in waking life!

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