Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Only Sane Man

The following essay was named after this literary trope: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/OnlySaneMan

Hope you like it!
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     What? What are you talking about? How do you know that? Why are you getting so upset? I’m just asking questions.
     Well, obviously I wouldn’t ask if I was already certain that I knew the answers. How are you so certain? Do you know something about this that I don’t know?
     That wasn’t a challenge, it was an honest question.
     No really, if there’s something you know about this that I don’t, I would love to hear it.
     I mean it, I’m not being sarcastic!
     Arguing? I’m not trying to argue with you, I’m just asking questions. If you don’t want to talk about it, that’s fine.
     I thought you didn’t want to talk about it, why are you still bothering me about this? Even if you’re right, just saying that isn’t going to convince me. It might seem obvious to you, but that doesn’t make it obvious to everyone.
     But if what you said is true, wouldn’t it make more sense to do that? Do you even believe what you’re saying?
     Well, if you really believed that, you would do it. In the hypothetical world where what you are saying is true, the consequences of not doing that are worse than the consequences of actually doing that.
     Oh for crying out loud, you know what truth is. Just because you don’t know how to describe it in perfectly precise detail doesn’t mean you don’t know what it is.
     Well, if you didn’t believe in gravity, and you walked off a cliff, you would still fall to your death.
     The universe doesn’t care how you feel about it.
     This isn’t any different. Gravity exists. So do people. So does love and friendship and conversation and memory. Complex things are made of simpler things. Just because you don’t know the laws doesn’t mean that the laws don’t exist.
     Why are we even still talking about this when you’re not even going to consider anything I say?
     I have considered what you have said, I just haven’t seen enough evidence to support it.
     Really? What evidence is your belief based on, and is that the same evidence you’re using to justify it to me?
     Why does it matter to you so much whether I agree with you about this or not?
     Most of your responses are rather unrelated to the things I’ve actually said. It’s almost like you don’t know how to answer my real questions, so you made up some knockdown arguments that you’d rather respond to instead.
     I’m not upset because you disagree with me. That’s all you. I’m upset because you’re not listening to me and considering what I say respectfully like I have been doing for you.
     That isn’t just how I feel about it, that’s how you’ve actually been acting this entire time.
     Okay, that’s a low blow. I have not put you down even once this entire conversation. Can’t we talk about this like adults?
     Okay. Uhuh. Right, I’ll go do that then. I’m done talking about this with you. Goodbye.
     Oh, like you’re one to talk about intellectual integrity. If you care so much about honesty, try being honest with yourself.
     You think I’m an emotionless robot? Just because I’m actually trying to be reasonable? I might not be perfectly reasonable all the time, but at least I try. You’re probably just reiterating beliefs your friends and parents taught you without thinking about it. Who’s really the robot here?
     Again, how do you know that? Did you actually look?
     I give up. I’m tired of arguing with you about this. Believe whatever you want, just quit pestering me about it and stop trying to interfere in matters that affect me and people I care about which you know nothing about! If you continue to do so, then I will try to stop you. I won’t waste my time trying to reason with you, since that never works.
     I don’t care what you think of me anymore. I don’t care what you think about anything important anymore. I’ll still respect whatever expertise you do have. If you want to talk about social relationships, food, entertainment or creative design, I’m all ears, since those are things everybody is at least somewhat familiar with. But I’m not going to talk to you about important things that require knowledge and common sense.
     I’m not saying you’re stupid, just that you’re poorly informed and clearly unwilling to change your mind about anything. Talking to you about anything deeper or more complex than what we had for lunch today feels like talking to a brick wall, and I have better things to do with my time than that.
     How are you? How are the kids? Is life treating you okay? Glad to hear it. I’ve been pretty busy lately. Lots of work to do. Yeah, I heard about that movie. It sounds kinda interesting. Say, do you want to go grab a coffee some time? I heard there’s this place that opened up recently and it’s gotten some pretty good reviews…

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