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Why Do We Argue With Crazy People?

TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member

I read this article on Cracked.Com (3 Despicable Internet Behaviors That Really Are Your Fault) and one of the topics got me wondering.

The idea goes like this. If you saw a homeless, obviously crazy person on the street screaming that the world was going to end, or that the President was a lacky of the Lizard people, you wouldn't stop to try and correct him, because he's crazy. You can't argue with crazy. Even if the topic isn't completely off the wall, you still wouldn't sit there and argue with him.

Yet we do it all the time on these forums. People come up with crazy, off the wall and delusional things to complain about, and then other people come here and argue with them about it.

Why do we do this? What is it about moving a completely insane conversation to an internet forum that makes it an acceptable conversation?

I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.


  • GruntyGrunty TexasPosts: 7,193Member Uncommon

    Who's this "We", Kemo-sabe?

  • dave6660dave6660 New York, NYPosts: 2,543Member Uncommon
    Some of us have to make sure everything is correct on the internet :)

    “There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody's expense but his own.”
    -- Herman Melville

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member

    Originally posted by Grunty
    Who's this "We", Kemo-sabe?

    Well, in this case, "We" would be the other people besides me who find themselves arguing with people who seem to be somewhat less than rational. This assumes I'm the rational one, but that doesn't have to be the case. I could be the irrational person that someone is arguing against. In that case, my question would be, why are they doing that? If I'm irrational, I'm not going to suddenly come to my senses because of their eloquently worded argument against my irrational point of view.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • GruntyGrunty TexasPosts: 7,193Member Uncommon
    Don't argue with someone you find to be irrational.  Why try to win something that can't be won? The last person to speak is not necessarily the winner of an arguement. State your view and move on like I'll be doing now.
  • rpg_gunnerrpg_gunner Green Cove Springs, FLPosts: 80Member
    For the fun of it and to prove how awesome and smart we really are.
  • adenostaradenostar Cape Girardeau, MOPosts: 13Member

    Because online you're anonymous. Using the crazy guy in the street corner vs the crazy guy on the internet argument is the same as asking why are some people jerks online, but those same people wouldn't dare do the same things offline.

    Its because the internet gives them that power. Now, granted, there ARE some people that behave the same way on or offline, but in general, most of us are willing to do and say things in an online invironment, that we wouldn't dream of doing or saying anywhere offline. 

    I think theres a sense of safety online thats not present in real life. Its both a physical thing and a mental thing. You don't argue with the crazy guy in real life because 1) hes crazy. He could cut you or something. And 2) someone you know could see you doing it and then you'd forever be labled as "that idiot that argues with the nutcases".

    But online no one knows you, no ones able to physically harm you for arguing with them (unless they know where you live, but I'm pretty sure most of us are smart enough not to give our addresses out to crazy people). There is this idea, that I think a lot of people have, that our online actions don't have the same consequences that our offline actions have. So people tend to do things online that make no sense and that they wouldn't normally do in other situations.

  • trash656trash656 Here, SKPosts: 357Member Uncommon

    Undiagnosed Mental Illness and Serious Depression. I work part time on weekends with people with this who have no friends and just sit on the computer all day arguing, and generally very unhappy so they go online to vent their frustrations.

    It seems there is a lot of people who use the internet in a negative way which are mentally ill or depressed and are not happy with their lives. I'de say 65% of youtube users that comment are undiagnosed who are seriously ill. Just read some of the comments on there.

    Not to say Mentally Ill people all act this way, because most don't or seriously Depressed people for that matter, but with how they act, and the dalusional things they say makes me believe they are very disconnected with people and the real world. The same could be said for people who watch T.V and believe everything in the news as well.

    People online are very uncaring, unempathetic because a lot of people who don't fit into normal society go to the internet.

  • MaidenberryMaidenberry QCPosts: 30Member
    Originally posted by rpg_gunner
    For the fun of it and to prove how awesome and smart we really are.

    i agree.. FOR FUN :D

  • greenreengreenreen Punchoo, AKPosts: 2,101Member Uncommon

    The crazy thing is applicable to some topics you can't ever talk people out of - core beliefs. I've learned the ones to stay away from without an argument that spans over months. Politics and religion are two big ones. Spelling can be corrected on some forums, some they get boohoo about it. The ones where you can correct spelling are more fun I think, they have great pun jokes and it's not putting people down as much as having fun. 

    There probably are plenty of crazy people online but it doesn't mean we should let them drop crazy all over the place and not clean it up sometimes. Suppose it just depends on how much you want to clean up how much effort you spend on trying to get their heads on straight. It wouldn't be wise to think that you can change people though just with type, your message usually gets sent to the person that doesn't respond anyway. Every once in awhile you'll get some private message from another person that wasn't in the thread saying - I never thought of it that way, good read, thanks. Never know who is watching... dun dun dun.

    You know what I find funny about the internet. I imagine that big superstars post on it too. People argue with them and the whole time they are thinking - if only you knew who I was you would kiss my arse. Well not today, Mr. Bond. That even playing field makes it feel right to sometimes do a clean up. It may not just be crazy that you attempt to set straight but someone who just has too many yes men telling them everything they decree is magical.


  • dalin89dalin89 New York, NYPosts: 33Member
    I don't think it is a crazy things. In all of our life, we can't avoid to do something crazy. This is life, only this kind of life is wonderful life.
  • ElikalElikal ValhallaPosts: 7,907Member Uncommon

    Because you know it's so cool to argue with me!






    And who IS crazy, eh?

    People don't ask questions to get answers - they ask questions to show how smart they are. - Dogbert

  • hellokittypink17hellokittypink17 Redondo Beach, CAPosts: 5Member
    Because we like to challenge the intelligence of others and prove that we are smarter than them. Also just for the heck of it. :)
  • MediBlastMediBlast new york, NYPosts: 36Member
    if you're bored sometimes arguing with crazy people is one of the best thing to do... but make sure you have the patience... ;)
  • treelotreelo caralPosts: 70Member

    If you pick the right crazy person, you're in for a treat.


    Mostly it's because they're seen as an easy target to bolster your standing within a community.  "You remember that time I told Xxx_Fruitloop64_xxX that frogs and toads are the same?"  Bickering with nutjobs often results in hilarity, and memories of it will forever be linked to your name.


    It's fun too.


  • delete5230delete5230 Posts: 3,066Member Uncommon

    We have a built in "  I'm right " we all have it.  It's a defense feature.

    Some are ok with letting people live there lifes, others like to impress there opinions. Reasions why could vary and can not be changed.

  • MediBlastMediBlast new york, NYPosts: 36Member
    Originally posted by delete5230

    We have a built in "  I'm right " we all have it.  It's a defense feature.

    Some are ok with letting people live there lifes, others like to impress there opinions. Reasions why could vary and can not be changed.


  • bhugbhug earth, FLPosts: 912Member Uncommon

    false equivalence a fallacy perpetuated where one shared trait between two subjects is assumed to show equivalence.
    (i.e. 'you saw a homeless, obviously crazy person on the street screaming that the world was going to end')

    pejorative: Having a disparaging, derogatory, or belittling effect or force (i.e. 'crazy')

    Shills with an agenda usually use fallacies and outright lies or ridicule to avoid having to defend their bogus positions.
    Much of brainwashed "reality" is little more then not rocking the boat.
    You are unable to 'argue' with 'crazy' because either you are to ignorant to formulate an effective rebuttal or B. you intend not to expose yourself by defending fraudulent propaganda (e.g. great and mighty Oz, 'do not look behind the curtain')

    It is quite easy to present an informed response based on truth and verifiable evidence, especially if the purpose is to show why your rebuttal is valid and the audience can recognize that.

    But in RL most of the world is comprised by sheeple and debt slaves. Prophets are almost always ignored/imprisoned/murdered by those with something to hide.

    one step ahead of the crowd is genius, three steps is crackpot. btw, 100iq is only average.


  • JemcrystalJemcrystal Champaign, ILPosts: 1,609Member Uncommon
    "Never argue with a fool; onlookers may not be able to tell the difference."  -Mark Twain
  • rpg_gunnerrpg_gunner Green Cove Springs, FLPosts: 80Member
    Originally posted by Maidenberry
    Originally posted by rpg_gunner
    For the fun of it and to prove how awesome and smart we really are.

    i agree.. FOR FUN :D

    see ;) it kills boredum!

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