A debate troll shares five principles to win every debate
Winning is no longer the greatest difficulty to a fruitful debate. | Photo Courtesy of pi.tedcdn.com
EDITOR’S NOTE: THE FOLLOWING IS A WORK OF SATIRE.
With great trolling comes great responsibility. So, for the sake of Christian charity, here are the five principles to win a debate every time.
1. Leading Questions
The first principle is “Ask leading questions.” For example, you could ask, “What do you dislike most about your boss?” This question prompts an answer the recipient may not have originally chosen. It assumes you think poorly of your boss. But there is a more noble form: ask leading questions that assassinate a person’s character. When Michael Ramsden, director of the Oxford Study Centre for Christian Apologetics, was a child, he would ask his playground friends, “Does your mother know you are stupid?” Notice the intricacy of the question. If you answer “Yes,” you are stupid and your mother knows it. If you answer “No,” you are still stupid, though somehow you have managed to hoodwink your mother.
2. Legitimate questions without legitimate solutions
The second principle is “Raise legitimate questions, but fail to provide legitimate solutions.” With finals around the corner, opportunities abound. You may ask, “How do I pass my final class for graduation?” This is a legitimate question, but demands a response. Your professor may reply, “Make sure you budget your time well,” or perhaps, “Avoid overbooking and staying out late with friends.” Rejoin with fresh questions. If you have a theology professor, ask “But what if by a set of circumstances, only foreknown by God, I was predetermined to be elsewhere during class?” Keep rejoining until your professor responds with something out of A Clockwork Orange: “We will strap you into a chair, hold your eyes open and brainwash you with the correct answers.” You can then reply, “But professor, why are you such a villainous person?”
3. Appeal to personal experience
The third principle is “Appeal to personal experience over public experience.” Lemony Snicket once wrote, “I still hope that one day a slow and complicated mystery will be solved quickly and simply. An associate of mine calls this feeling 'the triumph of hope over experience,' which simply means that it's never going to happen." Snicket is, of course, despairingly wrong. When your own experience becomes the object of your own study, you can easily become an expert. And surely, who is a better expert about yourself than yourself?
4. Load your words with ill-defined definitions
The fourth principle is “Load your words with ambiguous or contradictory definitions.” Take the word “tolerance” for example. Approach a significant other, family relative, friend or even someone in the cafeteria. Tell them, “I tolerate your views and I tolerate our relationship. In fact, I am so well-rested today, I even tolerate your existence.” While they are confused, continue with, “Because we all know tolerance is love, and love is love.” By appealing to a vague term such as “love,” you can craft an illusion of universal consent by concealing the nuances found in each individual’s definition of love and send the weight of the world bearing down upon this person.
5. All roads lead to hell
The fifth principle is “All roads lead to nuclear holocaust.” If the homeschool debate community has taught anything to anyone, it is that this truth is indubitable. Less formulaic than the previous principles, it is your panic button. If your opponent is trying to kill all of mankind, they are obviously in the wrong. Even if your opponent doubts its truth, they are setting their breath against a feathered weight, tipping the scales ever closer to the ledge of the abyss of their own demise.
With these five principles, you are now free to be draped in self-righteous glory, trolling your way to the top simply because no one else is as responsible as yourself.