This is a very tolerant website where most people will be generous in argument, although they may not agree with the stance which you wish to take in an argument. I myself have engaged in several threads where I held unpopular stands, where I constantly saw people with three atlas icons on their posts for doing nothing else than calling me a heretic, while they studiously ignored my points. You simply can't expect people to come to your point of view, to refrain from bringing up issues you didn't want to address, or to post extremely long arguments when they think that what they are saying is clear.
A case in point would be Mr. Hall's post immediately above. He did pay you the respect of addressing your thread, even if he disagreed with your desired conclusion. Your response was an ejaculation (-1000 points; i.e., "off with his head!") an accusation of his begging the question, and then what amounted to an ad hominem attack, implying that he had neither read you nor made an argument. But he did not beg the question. And although it was brief, he did make an argument, logically equivalent to:
One knows the possible consequences of copulation.
One cannot avoid responsibility for the know consequents of their action.
Ergo, one cannot avoid responsibility for the consequences of copulation.
That does amount to an argument. A limited one, one that doesn't address whether women should be able to sue for child support if they trick a father by conceiving intentionally while lying about their intentions, but an argument and a valid one none the less.
Now don't think that he and I are ganging up, I would bet that where he and I have had the rare exchange, we have almost always been in disagreement, and I won't insist, but I don't get the impression that he particularly cares for me personally.
Furthermore, while I noticed the comment for which John Dailey's criticized you: "we all know that rights come with responsibilities" (One which Rand explicitly condemned, word for word, as not only invalid but vicious) I didn't bother to take the easy atlas point and mention it, knowing that anyone who's read Rand would see your gaffe. Instead, I posted several long posts talking about other issues that had not been brought up, but which I felt were relevant. I used strongly connotative and morally charged language ("random squirtings, lone-wolf scoundrels") as Rand herself would do, since she never divorced emotion from evaluation, and chose her words for maximum emotional and evocative rhetorical effect - and you objected yourself to this with equally emotional language, not in impersonal argument, but in personal psychologizing aimed at me. I took this in stride, didn't complain that you were hurting my feelings, but tried to give examples as to why I thought you might be unjustified in your personal accusations against me. And then, when you basically blew me off with a non-argument, "Ooh, so what" you got atlas points for doing a toned-down Michael Richards on me.
No problem, I've beaten-up muggers, pickpockets and thugs, seen people murdered, and have even been called names by drag queens (most horrifying!) so I didn't whine, I responded in kind, and am able to de-escalate the attack when you and I can communicate with mutual toleration. Looking at your post 19, I can't imagine why you got Atlas points for it, perhaps the person or people who sanctioned you could explain themselves. Maybe they just don't like me, so they sanctioned you because you criticized me. But I won't stay up nights worrying about it.
Your posts on this website are generally entertaining, if only for their provocative nature. If I had no respect or regard for you or what you said, I wouldn't have bothered posting on your thread. But neither can you reasonably take such offense if people make equally provocative or (what you see as) frustrating posts contra your positions. That's why I said, paraphrasing the 60's pop hit, "It's your thread and you can cry if you want to, cry if you want to..."
As someone who's controversial, and willing to take up an unpopular cause, or respond in kind to a personal attack, I invite you to step back, take a breath, and consider whether your own arguments themselves are orthodox - often they aren't - and whether the disagreement of others is such an insult - it isn't.
[In personal correspondence, Mr. Hall has assured me he bears me no personal dislike, and I apologize to him for using him as an example and impertinently implying so much.]
(Edited by Ted Keer
on 4/22, 5:41pm)