I’ve been wanting to write about ‘how to discuss and debate well’. I’m quite passionate about this since I love deep thinking and discussing ideas and I also want to act in a loving, Jesus-like way. However, I find myself highly unqualified to write about such a topic when I feel like I still fail at it regularly. So I decided to write about something I feel quite qualified to talk about. So here we go.

9 ways to make enemies and alienate people:

1. Start by assuming that you know where the other person is coming from and what their motives are. All motives must be assumed to be foolish, hateful, or otherwise bad.

2. Believe that you are the guardian of truth. To do this you must pre-determine that your position is completely correct and that to disagree with you is to disagree with all that is right and good and therefore be an enemy of the truth. If you are debating theology, then to disagree with you should be considered to disagree with God.

3. Focus on your differences. To spend time on areas you agree might encourage feelings of camaraderie and discourage the war like atmosphere you are going for.

4. Talk a lot, there is no need to spend time listening (see #1).

5. Rest assured you have nothing to learn (see #2).

6. Make sure you focus on winning the debate, not caring for the person. To do this it’s better to forget you are debating a real person at all. The best way to accomplish this is to take up debating in comments sections on blogs where people often seem to imagine that the person on the other side of the screen is a name-less, face-less, evil robot sent here by Satan himself.

7. Use terms like ‘bigot’, ‘racist’, ‘homophobe’, ‘liberal’, ‘neo-con’ ‘fem-nazi’, ‘tea bagger’, and ‘God-hater’ without reserve.

8. Never back down, even if the other person makes a good point. Act like their good point is clearly idiotic to everyone but them and hope they feel stupid or inferior.

9. And, lastly, never ever be willing to admit you don’t have a good response to their good point. This would betray weakness and undermine your position. Make up some b.s. and move on.

So what do you think? I’m pretty sure I have used all of these approaches at one point. Do you have any tips about how to make enemies and alienate people?

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