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Fruitless Debates

One of the biggest problems that plagues rational beings is debating on dual planes. The use of emotionally charged words invokes irrelevant images, which cloud the judgment and usually obscure any attempt to make ourselves understood.Atlastorm has created a provocative post, in which he asserts that rape is part of the natural order of things.On one plane, he is absolutely correct. The plane upon which humans exist side by side with everything else in the universe ? neither greater than animals nor less than a supernova ? is where rational thought not only fails, but is irrelevant. For, if we exist solely to march through time until our parts are recycled, what possible difference does any of it make? We are born, we breathe, eat, eliminate, procreate and expire.

If that journey is interrupted by cataclysmic events, so what? We are as powerless in such a case as a beetle beneath our heel.On the other hand ?.There exists the plane where philosophers live cheek by jowl with pragmatists, idealists, fatalists and the occasional apathetic slacker. Each of these thinkers has her own ideas about the meaning of words, the relevance of justice and the price of power. Those are just three of the thousands of thought patterns impressed on the brains of thinkers and, often times in the heat of debate, those thoughts no longer line up the way they are expected.

So, when the philosopher ponders the essence of rape or, for that matter, any other reality, the need for context forces the discussion into a public forum. After all, if it were enough to merely ruminate, philosophers would never have anything to say!.Once a discussion has reached enough thinkers, chaos perforce, ensues. In its simplest form, the chaos manifests itself as two people shouting across the chasm between the two planes.

It is tempting to prove this point by lifting portions of the debate out of context; however, it would hardly do justice to the massive amount of thinking that has already been applied on Atlastorm's blog. Suffice it to say that terminology has been flung around with little consensus as to meaning. This has caused a vicious circular reasoning, in which rape is defined in terms of its necessity! This is clearly an unintended error, but it is no more grievous than the repeated offense of assuming that sexual gratification is inherent in the act.Bringing in the heavy guns of sociology to combat the weapons of science and philosophy is like placing a mirror before Socrates and demanding that he argue with himself. A proper discourse must strip away everything but the essence of the subject. The key terms must be defined and their use agreed upon by all participants.

Ad hominem attacks must be avoided, as they serve only to obscure the real issue.It may be helpful to understand each participant's world-view and the ways in which that perspective might affect the progress of the debate.At the end of it all, we may find that we have accomplished absolutely nothing.

.Mitchell Allen is an advocate for cross-networking: synergistically linking multiple social networks in order to increase membership exposure.He writes for fun and profit at WritingUp.com.He maintains The Vertical Blog Tunnel Network at the social network, Ryze.com.

By: Mitchell Allen

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