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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Church Leaders Telling Each Other "You're Stupid!"

Dilbert Do any of you read the comic strip Dilbert?  Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert also has a blog, and last week he posted a column  about how people debate on blogs.  I've found this to be oh, so true here at the MMI blog.  Allow me to share some of Scott's post:

A few days ago I invited the readers of my blog to tell me why I’m stupid. The results are in.

If you are new to the Internet, allow me to explain how to debate in this medium. When one person makes any kind of statement, all you need to do is apply one of these methods to make it sound stupid. Then go on the offensive.

1.  Turn someone’s generality into an absolute. For example, if someone makes a general statement that Americans celebrate Christmas, point out that some people are Jewish and so anyone who thinks that ALL Americans celebrate Christmas is stupid. (Bonus points for accusing the person of being anti-Semitic.)

2.  Turn someone’s factual statements into implied preferences. For example, if someone mentions that not all Catholic priests are pedophiles, accuse the person who said it of siding with pedophiles.

3.  Turn factual statements into implied equivalents. For example, if someone says that Ghandi didn’t eat cows, accuse the person of stupidly implying that cows deserve equal billing with Gandhi.

4.  Omit key words. For example, if someone says that people can’t eat rocks, accuse the person of being stupid for suggesting that people can’t eat. Bonus points for arguing that some people CAN eat pebbles if they try hard enough.

5.  Assume the dumbest interpretation. For example, if someone says that he can run a mile in 12 minutes, assume he means it happens underwater and argue that no one can hold his breath that long.

6.  Hallucinate entirely different points. For example, if someone says apples grow on trees, accuse him of saying snakes have arms and then point out how stupid that is.

7.  Use the intellectual laziness card. For example, if someone says that ice is cold, recommend that he take graduate courses in chemistry and meteorology before jumping to stupid conclusions that display a complete ignorance of the complexity of ice.

Humorous?  Yes, but very, very true.  I've seen most all of these at play here.  As Christians, why do so many of us seem to take such pride in proving other Christians wrong?  What's up with that?

Let's vow to not make these communication errors here at the blog from this moment on.

As always, your comments are encouraged.


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November 30, 2005 in Blogging How-Tos | Permalink

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I am sooooo guilty of this at times! I am glad he wrote it, it is almost a primer on how not to argue on a blog.

Posted by: Pastor Al | Nov 30, 2005 4:09:25 PM

Amen Brother, we all need to take a "chill pill"and show eachother respect and love.

Posted by: David White | Nov 30, 2005 4:22:14 PM

HA HA HA HA HA , Oh my gosh, I'm sorry I'm laughing too hard to reply....

Posted by: Abbey | Nov 30, 2005 4:24:35 PM


Posted by: Bernie Dehler | Nov 30, 2005 4:28:17 PM

Yikes!! I would have LOL but for the stinging from the Dilbert’s justified rebuke.

Hey – I had a Dachshund once who did eat rocks, had her stomach pumped twice. Now shes dead. Do I get bonus points for convincing anyone of something ridiculous?

Posted by: Wendi | Nov 30, 2005 4:29:20 PM

I love you man!!!

Posted by: Christopher Coggins | Nov 30, 2005 4:36:48 PM

The other side of the coin... do you see blogs where everyone agrees and it seems like there's no critical thinking going on??? I have... looks like a bunch of lemmings...

Posted by: Bernie Dehler | Nov 30, 2005 6:11:54 PM

I guess it depends on what side of the Truth a person is on... but that might come down to "perspective" (in alternative to Scripture).

2. Turn someone’s factual statements into implied preferences.

Unfortunately, this happens more often than not. I guess it depends on what (or whom) we use for "facts".

Posted by: BeHim | Nov 30, 2005 6:17:52 PM

I find it humorous that a Mensa Member wants people to tell him why he is stupid.

Link: http://encarta.msn.com/list_famousmensamembers/Famous_Mensa_Members.html"Mensa (Note - Only MSN Encarta members can see the info).

Posted by: Aaron | Nov 30, 2005 6:37:56 PM

So you're siding with a cartoon? Dilbert's not even real. How did he get smart enough to judge us?

Posted by: brian_m | Nov 30, 2005 8:54:47 PM

Correction: Anyone can see the Encarta list.

Posted by: Aaron | Dec 1, 2005 3:00:20 AM

That is too priceless. It's the reason I stopped blogging for so long...something about "foolish and stupid arguments that breed quarrels"

I so appreciate this entry

Posted by: Rob | Dec 1, 2005 4:53:52 AM

I for one do not think you are stupid nor is anyone else who makes comments here. Sorry if my comments have made anyone feel like this. Being called this hurts and should be avoided at all cost. Keep up the good work everyone. There are several of who disagree but I do not think you all are stupid or dum. I am enjoying this because you all are helping me grow. Bernie and Bill have some very interesting thoughts. Enough said, I love each and everyone of you very much. Merry Christmas and God bless you today.

Posted by: Evangelist Jeff | Dec 1, 2005 9:45:05 AM

How could you call Church Leaders stupid Todd? I can only assume you believe all Church Leaders are stupid and therefore you are superior to all leaders. As usual you are taking the side of the non-stupid because you have no understanding of Church leadership. If you would take the time to research the original Greek meaning of the phrase "stupid church leaders" you would know it actually refers to "overly sensisitive, humor challenged pastors"

Posted by: Geoff Surratt | Dec 1, 2005 11:09:27 AM


I believe you missed what Todd was saying buddy. He stated above that he invited his readers on the blog to tell me why I am stupid.I did not read anything that Todd said what you are talking about.

Posted by: Evangelist Jeff | Dec 1, 2005 1:34:05 PM

Geoff, you write " I can only assume you believe all Church Leaders are stupid"

No, I think Todd was either saying that all leaders are stupid or all Churches are stupid! Including himself!


Posted by: Peter Hamm | Dec 1, 2005 2:38:30 PM


In the few months I have been reading and to some degree posting here I have developed a genuine appreciation for you. Without question I have aired some disagreement with some of your input as well as that of others. But, until now I have never thought of you as being stupid!

How's that for a set up! Did I just call you stupid? Some who post here will undoubtedly say yes.

Answer: NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I still haven't and, in fact, actually see you as far from being stupid as it gets! So, keep up the excellent work bro and don't prove me wrong! LOL

I think the number one way Christians in our culture today usually invalidate what another says (or calls them stupid), is by playing the ever ready trump card of responding with, "that's just your opinion!"

I'd like to go on record, to cover ALL of any past or future posts I may post here, by saying that I am without a doubt one of the most STUPID writers in this forum!

The dent in my forhead from the butt of my hand hitting it on a regular basis after posting something and realizing, after the fact, what a can of worms I just opened up, is the only evidence I need to confirm how stupid I can reaaly be.

Even more telling of my stupidity is the reality that I often post something and actually believe at the time that any sincere brother or sister in the Lord who reads it is going to appreciate what I had to say and receive it as edifying encouragement!

How stupid is that!

So, bless you Todd. You are awesome! So are most of the rest of you who post here. I do believe we have our share of frustrated antagonists and spiritually dense contributors, but I'm not convinced their presence is entirely unhealthy.

After all, it doesn't take too long, after getting caught up in debating some insignificant and foolish issue, before we realize just HOW STUPID ALL OF US CAN BE!

Posted by: JCE | Dec 1, 2005 10:25:37 PM

Humn nature is interesting!
Sometimes we can't enjoy ourselves for being so serious...appreciate your blog and all the statements that appear on it...someitmes even my own.

I like the way you cause us to think...sometimes question...challenging us to reason through STUFF!

Keep up the good work...this one hit home.

Posted by: Wayne Cook | Dec 2, 2005 10:41:49 AM

guys, it seems the essence of this post, the point we're really trying to make, is to be united as Christians, not to fight with each other, but to build each other up in love. so here's a wee quote im trying to live my life by, and trying to impart to the people im leading and loving and doing life with...

"In essentials, unity.
In non-essentials, liberty.
In all things, LOVE."

Posted by: Emma | Dec 8, 2005 3:14:43 PM

Church people never fail to amaze me. As a minister, it seems an ongoing process sweeping up after well meaning leaders alienate spiritually hungry people then wonder why the church attendance numbers are shrinking. Years ago a wise old minister made a critical yet true statement I'll never forget. He said, "church people have only one equivelant, Sharks! They too kill the wounded...."

We must remember, and teach those who will listen that it's not all about us. It is all about him who we serve.


Posted by: Pilot | Jan 27, 2006 6:51:50 PM

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