Reasons why I will not be replying to your argument 31

This post has been made for my own later use. Others are welcome to use it as well.

The numbers on the list are for reference rather than ordinal purposes.


To whom it may concern:

Thank you for your interest in my blog post/comment/tweet/facebook post/[insert social media of choice here]. I appreciate that you have taken time out of your day to share your opinion with me. However, I will not be addressing said opinion further or at all in any substantive way (beyond the link I have just shared with you) for one or more of the following reasons:

  1. Something you have said indicates to me that you are not interested in arguing in good faith. That is to say, I have reason to believe you are not interested in an actual discussion in which both sides listen to each other, modify their positions, and come to some form of agreement.
    1. I might have just given your social media profile a brief look and seen slurs indicating racism, misogyny, homophobia, or transphobia, or observed terms such as “libtard,” or other MAGA/MRA/Gamergater/Neo-Nazi flavored language thrown around and thus concluded this really isn’t going to be worth my time.
    2. Same if I notice you run a climate denial website or something similarly disconnected from reality.
  2. You have moved the goal posts at least once.
  3. Something you have said indicates to me that you lack the necessary factual grounding in order to have this argument, and I am completely uninterested in doing the background research for you.
    1. If you are interested in paying me to do the research for you, for example by way of writing an annotated bibliography that you can peruse at your convenience, we can discuss my hourly rates.
  4. You have thus far done such a good job at arguing with straw man conceptions of my words that I’ve come to realize my input is entirely superfluous. Please feel free to continue this argument without me.
    1. See also: the argument you are attempting to have has only the most passing resemblance to the argument in which I’ve been participating.
  5. You have said something so gob-smackingly insulting or downright evil that I don’t want to be on the same planet as you, let alone in some kind of intellectual interchange.
  6. Mommy taught me not to feed the trolls.
  7. I don’t see the point in responding to complete non-sequiturs.
  8. You said something about the First Amendment that indicates you have no actual understanding of the First Amendment; refer back to point number 3.
  9. This argument is two people shouting “Nuh UH!” “Uh HUH!” into the internet for eternity in all but the most literal sense.
  10. I’m annoyed enough that I have completely lost my ability to be either kind or only gently sarcastic.
  11. I have homework to do/I have work to do/I have cats to pet/I have a Fist of Havoc better utilized elsewhere/my pedicure could use some maintenance.
  12. Responding substantively to this argument would give it more intellectual cachet than it deserves.
  13. You immediately misgendered me and I can’t be arsed to deal with you right now.
  14. I’m too mentally or physically tired to want to mount an expedition down this rabbit hole.
  15. I just finished having this exact same argument with someone else and don’t feel like repeating myself, kindly refer to my comments/mentions.
  16. You appear to be attempting your own version of the Gish Gallop, and I have better things to do with my time.
  17. My humanity, my identity, or that of my siblings in struggle is not up for debate. You are simply wrong. The end.
  18. I have a deadline and my agent has a rubber hose.

Please do not take my lack of interest in responding as a sign that you have “won” in any sense but that of water “winning” over a piece of rock by wearing it smooth. My silence is neither agreement nor assent, but rather lack of interest in anything further you might have to say coupled with disinclination to waste energy or breath better spent elsewhere.

I wish you luck in your future endeavors. Have a nice day.

31 thoughts on “Reasons why I will not be replying to your argument

    • Reply Rachael Mar 20,2016 18:45

      “I recognize that you have made an argument, but given that it’s a stupid-ass argument, I’ve elected to ignore it.”

  1. Reply Joel Mar 21,2016 00:46

    But I am CISHETWHITEMAN and my Valuable Opinions *must* be heard regardless of my qualification to speak on the matter at have!

  2. Reply Steve Fahnestalk Mar 21,2016 10:28

    I can only argue with people whose IQ is within 30 points of my own. You fail to qualify.

    • Reply Rachael Mar 21,2016 10:40

      I think there are very stupid arguments that are made (and goodness knows, I’ve been the source of a few), but I don’t like casting aspersions on the intelligence of others or making it a point of superiority. Setting aside that IQ is an incredibly flawed metric to begin with, people who are “smart” in a technical sense have been the source of some of the most fallacious, disingenuous arguments I’ve ever witnessed. Being smart doesn’t make someone’s argument good or worthwhile by default, but it certainly makes them more likely to believe that it is despite all evidence to the contrary.

    • Reply Randy Noak Mar 21,2016 13:24

      Also, there are a lot of really smart people who make really stupid arguments.

  3. Reply JohnD Mar 21,2016 12:10

    “You immediately misgendered me and I can’t be arsed to deal with you right now.”

    I’m sorry; I do not understand this one. Is it that the person posing the argument assumed that you were FITB and based the rest of the argument on that?

    As for me, most of mine fall into the #9 time sink, with occasional excursions to #4 and #3. I am surprised that you don’t have one for the Gish gallop – or do you donsider that to be a special subcase of #2?

    • Reply Rachael Mar 21,2016 15:45

      It’s more like someone starts off an argument with “Ms. Acks…” Which for all I know is not actually intended to get on my nerves, though it’s rare addressing someone like that with this context is anything but sarcastic or condescending. But whatever follows, if I responded to it, I’d also feel the need to say, “Please don’t call me Ms.” And I just don’t feel like dealing with that sometimes.

      Hm, I think the Gish Gallop deserves its own point, and I have had that happen to me before. (Thanks, climate change deniers.) I’ll add that point.

  4. Reply scyllacat Mar 21,2016 12:55

    May I republish this as a checklist? :D

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  6. Reply Kim Iverson Mar 21,2016 16:42

    Saw this shared on Facebook and will now be linking this somehow over on my site. I don’t yet know how, but just, yes. :) Thanks for taking the time to write this out.

    I’ve often dealt with the gender issue in my own way. Typically the one that goes, since I’m female, I must be “put into place.” As if somehow me trying to have a rational debate or discuss anything is substantially different than if I were male. Somehow I’m more arrogant in expressing my thoughts. My idea is that they’ve dealt with women who may have made them feel belittled and now all women must now be “put into place.”

  7. Reply Alan Preston Williamson Mar 21,2016 19:45

    I like Willow’s version: “Bored now.”

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  9. Reply joanneeddy Mar 22,2016 09:57

    So well said! A friend posted tis on Facebook and suggested we link back to it when we get caught in these kinds of threads…such a great suggestion! Somehow, I seem to have intelligent and reasonable friends, if differently opinioned, who have other ideologue nutcases comment on/attack my reply to posts or status updates. All interaction is useless. I think Lorie was brilliant to suggest a link to this list! Thanks so much!

  10. Reply kyledelaney1988 Mar 22,2016 16:59

    How would you define winning an argument?

    • Reply Rachael Mar 22,2016 17:45

      Personally? Successful interchange of ideas, satisfactory conclusion. Ideally all involved sides have listened and accepted any valid points. Elaborating upon one’s points with full factual logical support. If we look at it from a standpoint of logic and rhetoric, it could even be showing that your position is the one best supported and exposing the opposing argument as weak and without merit.

      Generally not yelling at someone until they concede that you’re right.

      • Reply kyledelaney1988 Mar 22,2016 19:32

        If it’s a successful interchange of ideas and a satisfactory conclusion, would you say that if one side wins then that usually means the other side wins too?

        • Reply Rachael Mar 22,2016 19:43

          That would certainly be an ideal. Though I can also imagine cases where it wouldn’t work that way. For example, climate scientist versus climate change denier, only one side is going to win that and I’d hope it’s the guy with the actual science. Maybe you could look at it as Mr. Denier winning too by learning something new and modifying his position, but in that kind of scenario his denialism would need to lose. In some arguments, there is a right and wrong answer being debated. In some arguments, both answers can be right in their own way but still in opposition.

          Which really points to winning be a situationally defined rather than broadly defined thing.

          • Reply kyledelaney1988 Mar 23,2016 14:12

            As a general guideline to help keep an open mind, I define the winner of the argument as the person who learns the most.

          • Reply Rachael Mar 23,2016 15:00

            There’s nothing wrong with that as a personal definition. It’s an interesting spin to put on scientific debates.

  11. Reply Blaine Terrill Mar 25,2016 04:51

    I want to now quit my job and troll for arguments just to link this. Thank you Rachel (Naturally with an average IQ, I am not smart enough to be debt free so I remain enslaved in the Financial Matrix for a wee bit longer.) Another worthy post to promote to any and all hypocrites……er people.

  12. Reply Blaine Terrill Mar 25,2016 04:53

    Apologies for misspelling your name, Rachael.

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