Fool or Fraud

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The world isn't usually black or white

I tend not to think in the world as black and white, where big issues are absolutely right or wrong, good or bad. Most people are trying to do the right thing, and selectively looking at evidence to support their view (with the best of intentions). In MOST cases there are grays and enough ambiguity that people can disagree without them being asshats (fool or a fraud) just because we draw the lines differently. For example:

If a girl knowingly gets drunk, and willingly has sex with a guy that she later regrets, that's not rape (even if she gave consent while in an altered state). I think personal responsibility applies to both sides. She made many choices, and guys shouldn't have to get breathalyzers and signed agreements... and in fact, usually the guy is as drunk as she is, and thus she shouldn't be sued/prosecuted for taking advantage of him either.

But I realize some people might disagree with me. And I think people should have that room to disagree with each other, and cut each other some slack. We don't agree, probably won't, and are applying different life experiences. But just because they're wrong doesn't mean I need capitulation from them. I love them anyways, and it's just a difference of opinion.

Unless it is black and white

But I do think there's such a thing as ethics and morals, and lines that can be crossed (absolutely). So using the above example: rape. A woman has a right to her own body, and she shouldn't have to compromise (and give a blowjob), just because someone thinks she's hot (or female), or he's really horny, or she took a dinner and a movie -- or whatever his expectations were. We can debate where the lines are drawn, but in many cases when they're clearly crossed (like she's forced to do something against her will), there's less ambiguity. Or when you get down to narrower arguments and facts, or very minor sub-points in arguments, which can be proven. There, you can easily fall into black and white. Or If you get caught denying facts, what I call the "Fool or Fraud" spectrum.

Changing examples we know that:

  • (a) guns are a reliable (painless?) way to commit suicide
  • (b) if someone wants to commit suicide, and has access to guns, the person will often choose the gun
  • (c) we have no evidence that guns cause suicide or increase the rates in any measurable way.

Denmark (the happiest place on earth), and Japan (the most gun restricted) both have higher suicide rates than gun-crazy U.S., as do at least 50 other countries (most with gun control). So despite dozens of studies on the topic (and liberals/progressives hunting for decades for an excuse to take people's liberty away), there's never been good/definitive evidence that gun access increase suicide rates in any meaningful way, and quite a bit that implies it does not.

Thus anyone who has studied the topic, at all, would know adding in suicides to "gun violence" is committing a lie or being incompetent. Either they know the basic facts and are misleading people for their agenda (they're a fraud as an honest person). Or they don't know that, and they're a fool (ignorant of the basics on the topic they're discussing). It's a real dichotomy, not a false one. I've found no one that can find a reasonable answer that isn't on that black (ignorant) or white (intentionally deceptive) spectrum.

People can still disagree on the bigger or sub-issues. that guns might increase suicide effectiveness. They can believe in gun control. I don't care. We can argue, but your opinion is your own, and I love you in spite of them. But you're not entitled to imaginary facts. If you're ignorant, that's fine -- here's the real facts, check them out, live and learn. No problem. But if you refuse to learn, and continue to mislead others while knowing better, then you're on that bad person spectrum (fool or fraud). You can learn, or be exposed as the bully-of-the-truth that you're trying to be. And I don't like bullies.

Now, I'm not close-minded. If anyone can show me evidence that contradicts everything I've read on it, for 30+ years, and start showing significant correlations that hold up to scrutiny, then sure, I'll give them some room and reconsider. But for 30+ years debating this topic, no one has been able to back up the claim that guns increase suicide rates.

Don't broad brush

That doesn't mean I think they're a fool in other aspects of their life. They might be geniuses for all I know. So I'm not saying they're a fool in general, but all I know is on that one issue, they're presenting a lie either knowingly or through willful ignorance. And being a fool is giving them the benefit of the doubt over the worse assumption: that they're just a dishonest person that would lie / omit basic facts, to win an argument on the Internet. What kind of duplicitous egomaniac would do that? So, "never attribute to malice, that which can more easily be explained by incompetence".


  1. the world isn't black/white on many issues (opinions)
  2. there should be room to breathe on most issues (far more than the media, and especially progressives), give society room for
  3. and the bigger the issue (the more facts are involved in an opinion), the more room for diversity of thought (weighting those facts and experience/biases) there should be
  4. But in those rare cases where it's clear, and they had a couple (few) chances to see the facts and correct their opinions, but they choose to continue to lie well past the point where they could know better? They deserve to be smacked down, slut shamed (they fucked the truth), and be taught to NOT do that again.

If someone can know (and should know -- like a politician on their pet issue), either: they're ignorant of the topic, or intentionally misleading others for personal/political gains. And I have contempt for that kind of person, and take great sport in embarrassing them publicly. Not because I care about being wrong in public. Heck, I value learning something new (and getting to be right in the future), far more than a moment of embarrassment by being corrected. But since the truth of them being wrong bugs them too much to learn, they deserve to have their noses rubbed in the mess, until they learn to not repeat that lie in the future.