Debate Guide: Don't be too rational
The most vehement haters of adult-minor sexuality frequently win debates (and public appreciation) not because their arguments are irrational but because some of the most irrational parts of their arguments are at the same time extremely powerful. This is because most people - through lack of, or the wrong kind of education, do not have the ability to reason. And when someone can't conceive of logical arguments, they are highly unlikely to see them in other people. Whilst the level of reasoning ability does depend on your audience (see starting a debate), there is a need for irrationality in just about any debate. Dry reason alone is not likely to overcome this century's most entrenched taboo, or the fears of its victims.
Here are a number of irrational devices that you can use in your debates:
- Reproduced anecdotes - Very often people are more willing to learn from personal experiences and spoken word. The arguments of a remote layman who could have any number of motives are likely to be ignored if they are not shown to pertain to real life.
- Your own experiences - Similarly, you can argue from your own personal experience. This can be touted as the very reason that you want to press forward an argument. This technique is unlikely to work for sex offenders, but may help increase understanding of non-offending pedophiles.
- Because we do not know how certain arguments pertain to your experiences, our guide does not mention personal experiences as often as you should.
- Thinking of the Children - It is irrational to base a whole argument around its implications on children. However, arguing that "even though it may have been slightly disturbing but harmless for the kid, the adult enjoyed it so much it was worthwhile" is one form of rationality that should be checked at the door.
- Authority - There is nothing rational about authority itself. But opponents and readers are more likely to believe an argument if it is supported by secondary sources, including the news media, government figures and the scientific establishment. Our research section and adverse effects article are good starting points for this kind of information.
Debates with audiences who may be seen as "tabloid readers" or "underclass" (not recommended) should avoid any advanced use of rational devices. In fact, any use of reason with such an audience should be restricted to the clearest and most striking of maxims, rationalisations and factoids.