Good day, Lyfers. It’s Buttnana. Welcome to the first installment of Wokesday. The hell is Wokesday? It’s the Wednesday segment where I briefly discuss some aspect of social interaction. The key word in that last sentence is “briefly” because my goal is to give y’all the quick and dirty about a Buttnana observation.
Today’s Wokesday topic is the Master Debater. Who are they? What do they do? Most importantly (my favorite point), why is it important to not be this person?
What in the Hell is a Master Debater?
Glad you asked. The Master Debater is a person who takes it upon themselves to open debate-like discourse where none was invited. Or, if philosophy-talk tickles your fancy, the Master Debater sees a phenomenological argument (where someone describes a thing that has happened), has an old-timey conniption fit for whatever reason, and turns it into an analytic one (where every component of an experience has to be logically sound in order for it to be admissible to them).
Okay, so what the Hell does that Mean, Buttnana?
Don’t worry, fam. I got choo. Buckle in, because mama is lowkey super pissed but copes with humor.
The Master Debater thinks everything is up for debate, all the time, because they love science and skepticism and they’re warriors for the truth.
The Master Debater misuses logical fallacies while also being one big giant walking logical fallacy.
The Master Debater loves rationality above all else. Their rationality is deeply and problematically biased, but they called it rationality so they get to occupy a place of intellectual neutrality/epistemological invisibility.
The Master Debater tells YOU to calm down in an argument. They know full well that that’s never worked. They just want you to get upset so they can continue to use the +3 Shield of Self-Defined Rationality.
The Master Debater makes you educate them. Always. They can’t be bothered to Google anything. The Belle Jar did an incredible piece on this phenomenon.
The Master Debater asks rhetorical, intellectual questions about someone’s lived emotional experiences and doesn’t realize how profoundly insensitive and inappropriate that is.
The Master Debater loves to be the Devil’s Advocate as though they and the Devil are good buddies that help each other out of a jam every once in awhile.
The Master Debater does what I like to call the Shitlord Bait and Switch. Observe this faithfully paraphrased example:
MD: Does philosophy have a woman problem? Or do women have a philosophy problem?
Me: I think philosophy has a woman problem. I am a woman who has studied philosophy. I have lived experience in that area. Talk to other women in philosophy and see what they think.
MD: I just wonder if women have a philosophy problem.
See how they asked a question about a group they weren’t part of, then ignored that person entirely when they ventured an answer? It’s because they didn’t want an actual answer. They wanted to be the Criss Angel of rhetoric and flex their Master Debater skills.
The Master Debater wants you to reinforce their worldview through the lens of pretending to care about your worldview. You know, like the person who asks you how you’re doing so they can talk about how they’re doing.
The Master Debater’s definition of a “fact” is anything they want to be true. Your lived experience is not a fact. What people have said and done to you is not a fact. What THEY said or did to you is not a fact. However. Anything they can infer from what you’ve said, even if you didn’t say it, is a fact. The mere event of them having that thought qualifies anything they think as a fact. Because they’re the Criss Angel of rhetoric.
The Master Debater is lowkey this person,
but is also, unfortunately, this person,
and then turns into this person later.
The Master Debater isn’t going to like what I said here, then cite the fact that I use humor to make a point to prove my writing is substandard, serves no purpose at all, and then condescendingly suggest that I edit my work a little more 🙂 😉 :).
The Master Debater JAQs off onto every available surface with the frustrated fervor of a mating raccoon.
The Master Debater acknowledges their emotions as valid, but dismisses everyone else’s as frivolous and not necessary to the discussion at hand.
Oh my God, the Master Debater says “I’m sorry you feel that way.” And actually thinks that’s an apology.
The Master Debater, honestly, is a budget-ass lawyer who kicks in the door to your support meeting, turns it into a monster truck rally, blames you for the monster truck rally being loud and destructive, leaves because they can’t handle how emotional you’re being, then posts to reddit how lonely it is at the top and sends pictures of their genitals to people who didn’t ask for them.
The Master Debater is a fucking charlatan. They’re a bunch of god damned frauds, and they know it.
Well, Shit. How do I Not be that Person?
I’m going to give you three really really easy things you can do so as to avoid being the Master Debater.
1. If someone is talking about an experience they’ve had, online or in-person, listen to them.
2. Err on the side of being charitable. The worst that could happen is that you learn something.
3. Remember that there are groups of people who have way different experiences than you do because of their race, class, sex, gender identification, sexual orientation, and/or religion. They might stand in direct conflict with what you think you know to be true. But you need to accept that people’s experiences will differ from yours and that doesn’t necessarily make them not-real or made up.
Aaand that’s all for me today, lovelies. I’m off to enjoy breakfast before I confront my one mortal fear: the dentist. Stay classy. ❤
P.S. Do you want to hear my thoughts on more stuff? Do you have experience with Master Debaters? Let me know in the comments below.