citrakayah: (Default)
A while ago, I posted only five things, and they were all things that someone should internalize. After having it suggested that I should have some thing that someone should find useful on an external level, I added five more.

Internal:

1. You are under no obligation to justify yourself to them. You are not demanding special recognition, or government research/funding of transspecies surgery, or specialized accommodations that are in the least bit difficult to provide. You asking for respect and to be left alone, and that is a right inherent to every sentient being, and they’d better have a damn good reason before saying that you don’t have that right. They must justify why they think that you, by virtue of being otherkin or therian, do not deserve the rights that must be afforded to all sentients.
2. Don’t be impolite, even if the other person is. First off, nothing is going to get people to sympathize with you against a troll faster than your reaction to the troll being calm and polite. Nor will it get you anywhere with skeptics (for the most part), who couldn’t care less if you’re impolite. I can’t speak for haters, but I can guess that someone who hates us all is going to be delighted to, after a barrage of personal attacks, see one of us retaliate likewise and lower themselves to his or her level.
3. Just because the explanation of how something works is wrong doesn’t mean that the thing is wrong itself. And as something related to that, don’t insist your pet theory (and I suspect that most of us have one) is certain. Unless the rest of us missed a very loud booming voice complete with thunder and lightning or a truly stunning series of scholarly articles that were cross-tested by every psychologist and neurologist in the country, we don’t know. We can suspect, and we can have well-backed, thought-out suspicions. But we don’t have absolute proof that any of our theories on how therianthropy works is the right theory, or, if it is, that it is the only right theory. On a similar note, just because a specific idea of how therianthropy works doesn’t stand up to logic doesn’t mean that therianthropy itself doesn’t.
4. A subjective experience is not somehow scientifically false. This ties into the last point. One can attempt to find cause behind subjective experiences, but one can’t say that they’re false via scientific testing. Not yet, anyway, and possibly not ever.

It doesn’t matter if a homosexual person has the expected finger-length ratios or unusual hormones; it doesn’t matter if a transgendered person’s brain appears the same as a non transgendered person’s. The mind and the brain is too complex to fully understand, and it will probably remain that way, so in regards to such things it is best to assume that pretty much any subjective experience, such as romantic attraction or self-identification, that is in the mind or the brain is real. To do otherwise is not only insulting, it is folly.
5. You are not alone. Many if not most of us have had to deal with the same things you’re dealing with. There are resources for this sort of thing (besides this one, of course), and you can ask for help. Hatred affects the entire therian and otherkin community; as such hatred demands a community response.



External:

1. Know your logical fallacies. This is not only so you can avoid them, it is also so that you can point out each and every single time, in clear detail and as politely as possible, every single fallacy in the argument of your opponent. Fallacies that you will see include argument from ignorance, argument from incredulity, ad hominen, and hasty generalization.

Note that simply saying ‘That is an excellent example of an ad hominen attack and is therefore illogical,’ only works on Vulcan. You will have to go into details, as calmly as possible, about why an ad hominen attack isn’t logical. However, knowing your fallacies does allow you to avoid having to completely reinvent the wheel; there are detailed explanations for why fallacies don’t make any sense and you can easily adapt them, and it is better that you adapt them than simply give them the link, because they probably won’t read it too carefully.
2. Be prepared to cut your losses. You cannot win every argument. You might ‘win’ every argument in the sense that you’ve systematically disproven every point raised by your opponent, and there are a multitude of topics where one position always will win in that sense if said position has the slightest bit of competence. The problem is at the other end, so to speak, because some people, to put it politely, are not consistantly logical thinkers.

You probably have better things to do than get into a pointless argument. Even if you don’t, the longer you continue trying to get someone to think differently while having no effect, the more likely that you will lose your temper and look bad. End the discussion elegantly and it will be they who will come out looking worse, not you. Sometimes this will not feel easy to do, but it may be your only real option.
3. Know your audience. Are they coming from a rationalistic point of view? Religious? Or are they coming from the point of view of a troll? If the latter, I might add, your best bet is to remain calm and uninvolved in the face of personal attacks, or to exit completely.

A rationalist won’t be swayed by the same arguments that you’ll need to give to one arguing from a Biblical perspective. It would actually do your cause a fair deal of harm in many cases if you don’t tailor your argument to your audience. A fundamentalist Christian is not going to be impressed with your detailed analysis of reincarnation and souls, and a rationalist will not be either.
4. Be well read and use your knowledge to your advantage. That doesn’t just apply to therianthropic literature, by the way. It also applies to scientific and philosophical literature--in fact, anything that could be of use. If you don’t know off the top of your head, scan through the appropriate sources and gain at least a rudimentary understanding of it. You might need more if you are arguing with an actual expert who can cite obscure sources that you don’t have access to, but your opponent is almost certainly not an actual expert, merely a layman. This does not, I repeat does not, exempt you from being obligated to understand what you are talking about. If you do not, you are a potential liability to your own argument, and depending on how much arguing you’re doing and how bad it looks, the community. Rather, it means that you do not have to have expert level of knowledge when talking to another layman.
5. Anticipate your opponents’ arguments. Believe me, after you go through an argument a few times, even with radically different people, you can and will develop a sense of what’s coming next and what their counterpoint will be. While this can be... useful... don’t let it happen too much.

Problem is that an argument devolves into a bickering match if each side is only repeating the same thing over and over again. Unless you are a proponent of the ‘bother them until they go away’ method of debate, this is obviously unacceptable, as the status quo does not change. Best case scenario, you’ve got their attention and they won’t harass anyone else. You have become a lightning rod.

So avoid this. Throw them curveballs, arguments they’ve never seen before and never saw coming. Preempt their objections with refutations (though be careful not to state that they will state what you are refuting). Force them to work to oppose you, force them to dig up their own material. Aim for the central point and not just the periphery. Toss them into ontological shock.




Thoughts?
citrakayah: (Default)
I just got a form letter back from Discovery Channel in response to the letter I sent them about Primal Productions. It is the usual 'thank you for your concern' but at least they're recognizing it.

Update

Oct. 19th, 2011 03:21 pm
citrakayah: (Default)
Whole gang was together for last Sunday's RPG session. I was pulled up two hundred feet into the sky by the tail of a silvanshee agathion and tried to dispel a giant storm by setting off six fireballs in the center to disrupt the winds (it didn't work, but in my defense, the storm was magical in nature, a fact I didn't realize at first). Ended up having to fall two hundred feet into water, but rolled a natural twenty and used my cloak of the manta ray, so I was pretty much fine. Then the druid transformed into a giant whale after some prodding of the GM (just so that's clear, we did the prodding), held the crew, the cargo, and my plants inside her mouth, and deposited them inside an underwater dungeon. Also, she got a splinter.

Then we ran into an aboleth. I got transformed and got de-transformed later, but we lost all our crew and will probably have to track the bloody morons down, if they are even still alive, which I doubt. Next time we're getting some people with high will saves.


Haven't posted anything lately, which I'm sorry for, but things got in the way and my giant big post kind of gummed up the works. Still been reading everybody's journals, though.

I was going to send cookies to the Wall Street protesters, but apparently they want non-perishables. Cookies are perishable. And the ones I made were fragile. So sending them would be a bad idea. Instead, I shall send them canned food. But good, wholesome canned food. Possibly locally grown and inside glass cans.

I've joined the Wanderer's Library, and posted Skinwalkers on it.

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citrakayah: (Default)
Citrakāyaḥ

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