On the infinitely damnable conceit inherent in telling your opponent to “WAKE UP!”:

Any comments section with conflicting views concerning stories that deal with conspiracy theories or woo will have at least one example of this. YouTube and Yahoo! News are gold mines for this; in fact, it’s basically a mathematical certainty you’ll see this.

Typically, the sentences themselves in which “WAKE UP” will be featured will be guilt-tripping, painful, rambling, paragraph-long run-on sentences with zero commas, LOTS OF CAPS LOCK FOR EMPHASIS, and will contain logic that can best be described as not even wrong. The law of exclamation seems to coincide nicely with the phrase, as there is almost always a gratuitous amount of exclamation marks at the end of the sentence!!!!! These rants often stem from the horror that the majority of people don’t subscribe to paranoid, divorced-from-reality theories about society and need to be told to awaken from their slumbers.

In tinfoil hat personal ads (yes, there are such things) and the like, the writers will sometimes say how long they’ve been “awake.” Although it is amusing to do so, it probably isn’t terribly productive to suggest that they have been literally awake that long, no matter how stained their coffee mug is in their YouTube ramblings. Besides all that, it’s actually a pretty apt term. Consider, notwithstanding the effects on mortality, what the reasoning capacity for an individual remaining conscious for that long would actually resemble, and compare that to their arguments.

Not only can this phrase or variants be found in the sewers of the Internet but also among political pundits (both left and right) whose style of argumentation relies more on demonizing the opposition as “sheeple“/blind/ignorant masses/insert-your-variation-here than making a coherent argument.

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Wake_up

Quite frankly, the notion that your ideological opponent is “asleep” is both incredibly insulting and incomprehensibly stupid:

Quite frankly, there are ONLY two (mutually exclusive/mutually exhaustive) options:

  1. You/Your opponent are sincerely wrong
  2. You/your opponent are actively lying about your/their views

For example: the standard ‘Fundie” Christian gimmick I’ve encountered innumerable times, goes as follows:

  1. Ask your would-be theological prey/recruit whether or not they’ve “been saved”/”accepted Jesus as their personal lord and savior”, etc.
  2. If they say “no”, launch into the sales-pitch/screed, and continue — relentlessly and doggedly — until they surrender out of sheer exhaustion.
  3. If they say “yes”, pretend to befriend them, and become all smiley-huggy-cuddly toward them — and then go back to your particular “clique” of “True Christians”, so you can talk shit about how they just “think” they’re a Christian, and how “being in a garage doesn’t make you a car”, etc.

There is literally no way to “win” with people like that:

It’s not about whether “YOU” consider yourself to have “accepted Christ”, or to have a “personal relationship with Jesus” (or whatever other theological buzz-phrase you want to use).  Rather, it IS about whether The specific Fundie who happens to be harassing/brow-beating you at the time “believes” you’re a “true Christian” (by their specific — often highly-idiosyncratic — definition), or not.

Telling your opponent to “WAKE UP!” amounts to essentially the same notion:  that YOU are in some sort of unique position to summarily dismiss your opponent’s objections merely on the basis that you “know” that they are deluded “sheeple” — whereas, YOU/your clique have “seen the truth”.

How about this:  instead of screeds yip-yapping at others to “WAKE UP!” — how about you actually HELP THEM ALONG, by at least pointing them to evidence supporting your position?

Same goes for the “do your own research” cop-out:  IF you’ve done as much ‘research” as you claim to have done (and are no longer a “sheeple” as a result) — it follows that you can POINT OTHERS in at least the general direction of where they can find out about the topic.

For example:  let’s say I’m interested in learnning about macrame.

A neccesarily first step is: figuring out how to learn about macrame.

Having someone screeching about all the “stupid sheeple” who don’t know about Macrame is exceedingly unhelpful.

Again, just sayin’. 🙂

 

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