Saturday, August 13, 2005


The mindset of a smoker...

You might remember me last week saying I was going to try and walk away from debates with people who are talking nonsense. Unfortunately, over at Balrog, I wasted far too much of my time today debating with 'Madradin Ruad' on the issue of smoking which you can read both here and here. I'm very angry at the disrespect shown to me over there by Madradin Ruad and allow me to show you why through excerpts from the first and second conversation:

Me: "If I drink or eat fattening food, then I may be harming myself but it's my choice.If you smoke in my vicinity, you're not only harming yourself but you're harming me.That's hardly fair now, is it"

MR: "The Doctor who started the ball rolling about smoke related illness stated that passive smoking was not an appreciable risk...whereas for drinking ... "passive drinking " includes rapes, murders,domestic violence, sexual abuse of children, deaths and injuries caused by drink driving etc etc etc"

Me: "Bollocks. Neither I nor any of my friends have engaged in anything like that. That argument is farcical. What will you argue next? Computer games cause people to kill? You can do better than that."

MR: "Now you are in denial. What people who drink do to people who don't drink are real - typical Southern attitude !If you don't want to face upto something - deny it. Child abuse the classic example"

Me: "So everyone who drinks is a child absuer (sic) too, is that it? And I don't like that last comment one bit. Just because I'm from the South I turn a blind eye to child abuse is that what you're saying? Funny as I've never heard of passive alcohol abuse... "

MR: "Not a lot more needs ne said if you are in denial of drunk drivers killing and maiming people or drunk men abusing their wives and children, or drunk yobs attacking people in towns at week-ends"

Me: "I never denied those things but you are unable to distinguish between responsible drinkers and irresponsible drinkers. You lump all drinkers into the one category. That's wrong. Passive smoking hurts others. A moderate amount of pints may indeed hurt me, but not others."

"And please explain the following comment which I asked you about and which you ducked:

"typical Southern attitude !If you don't want to face upto something - deny it. Child abuse the classic example""

MR: "Bollix - You are lumping all smokers together - responsible and irresponsible.And you have twisted my arguments ...we ARE comparing the effect of Smoking and Drinking on our society. Drink - a huge trail of illness and violence against innocents"

Me: "Do tell what is responsible smoking? Where and when have I twisted your arguments? I have been drinking for years and have never harmed an innocent. The same goes for the majority of drinkers who are responsible. Wise up"

MR: "Not worth continuing if you cannot see that discussing the violence associated with drinking in society ( and comparing that to the vague risks of passive smoking) isn't a personal attack upon you. Cretin."

Me: "The violence associated with drinking in society affects those who are unable to drink responsibly and who are clearly not emotionally or mentally stable. Drink is not to blame. Passive smoking affects everybody. There is no similarity."

I also responded to his personal attack: "Another personal attack. Not sure where it ranks in comparison to this though:

"typical Southern attitude ! If you don't want to face upto something - deny it. Child abuse the classic example"

"I never realised how sterotypical your views were. In your eyes, everybody who drinks is an attacker of innocents or even, amazingly, a child abuser! Ludicrous. And, in your eyes, apparently all Irish people in the South don't want to face up to things and instead deny things, like child abuse.Suffice to say this argument has been a real eye opener for me and judging by your 'ROFL' response in the other thread, it would be wise for me to walk away from someone whose views are seriously warped. You have gone way down in my estimation with the nonsense you've spouted."

That wasn't all though. In another thread that was on a completely different topic, he said the following:

MR: "Careful mate - us smokers are , according to YI, as bad as terrorists !"

Me: "When did I say that?"

MR: "What other implication is there when you accuse us of indiscriminately harming/killing non-smokers ? Although in your book it seems ok to harm/ kill people because one has been drinking...."

Me: "That is not an accusation but rather a medical fact since passive smoking hurts others. I did NOT however label smokers as being "as bad as terrorists" and I don't appreciate you putting words into my mouth.What I pointed out, and you have tremendous difficulty understanding this for some reason, is that drinking only harms the person who is drinking, whereas smoking harms the person smoking and others in the smoker's vicinity. Fact. Stop putting words in my mouth."

He responded with a quote by "Sir Richard Doll", whoever he is, and the following:
"It's funny to see you indignant because I look at what you say and it's implications - you aren't one bit slow about twisting the arguments that blow you away in a far more dishonest manner...."

Amazing that I am the one accused of twisting the argument! As I responded:

"I'm 'indignant' due to you putting words in my mouth and due to you failing to grasp what I have been saying which has been rather basic stuff to comprehend. For some reason you have twisted things I've said and even made up things I haven't said which is a sure sign of someone being blown away if I may say so!"

MR: "ROFL!!!!!!!!!!!"

Me: "Sums your argument up to be honest."

MR: "No, it shows that you are so scared of looking at what an opponent is saying that you won't Google a quoted source to find out for yourself Tell me - as a non-smoker - would you feel more at risk spending 4 hours in a railway carriage with half a dozen people smoking or with half a dozen Rangers Fans full of cheap lager ?"

By this time I had retired from the debate though I will say that his last point is flawed in that the "lager" would not be the thing to worry about but rather the half a dozen Rangers fans.

I had much respect for 'Madradin Ruad/Davros' and have debated with him on numerous occasions but to call me a 'cretin', to twist my arguments and put words in my mouth and to say the following sentence which he would not acknowledge or explain despite me repeatedly asking him left me deeply disappointed to say the least:

"typical Southern attitude !If you don't want to face upto something - deny it. Child abuse the classic example"

This comment is disgraceful and implies all Irish people in the South as being apathetic towards child abuse. It's sickening and would be like me insinuating all people in the North are terrorists. Actually I think his comment is even worse than that.

I'm disgusted at the level of debate offered to me tonight. Word twisting, insults, and xenophobic comments against Irish people. Comments of that nature drag Balrog down. For shame MR.


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