Since this happens to me a lot, I've written up a canned response that pretty much exhaustively explains my reasons for bowing out at this time:

I may have dealt with you before, [Person to whom I direct this towards.], and the history of those interactions cause me to very strongly doubt there is a single thing I could say, however logical or reasonable it seems to me, that would make you admit you're wrong or make you give up and stop arguing about it. Frankly I don't have the time. And really, I'm just not that good. If [My cited cartoon, long essay on the Web, Wikipedia article, big book by famous bright spark.] doesn't convince you, I'm out of ammo.

My attitude towards the people who do this kinda thing to me here at IO9 has changed over the years. I think I've learned to see a productive discussion versus a waste of my time. I've learned to avoid gun control discussions, abortion discussions, Libertopian discussions, Creationism discussions, sexism discussions, gay rights discussions, religion discussions and, even though it tears my beard (If I had one.), even discussions about the feasibility of strong AI.

I've come to realize that these subjects remain as controversies, despite being disputed by people much smarter and more patient than me, is because logic itself is no good here. Logic and reasoning, certainly not my logic or reasoning, won't settle the matter.

If they did, Bertrand Russell would have ended all religion back at the turn of the last century. But he didn't and no one ever will. Dennett, Dawkins and Carlin can argue until their are blue in the face and religion and spirituality shall remain. (Or homophobia, racism, sexism apologists, strong AI skeptics, NRA fanatics, Libertopians, etc. etc. )


So instead my tactics have changed, and yes, perhaps they are quite cowardly, but mostly it's just out of exhaustion, not creeping doubts that I'm actually wrong.

What I do now is just make my opening statements or just cite someone, whom states my position much more cogently that I do, hence [My citation of aforementioned cartoon, long essay, big thick book, etc.]. Then I might do a little back and forth with you to clarify a few points in my opening statement but then I bow out when I feel it's going nowhere.


Or maybe I'm really wrong. I'm a lefty. I'm in favor of strong gun regulation. I think creationism is bunk. I'm atheist. I support all manner of LGBT rights because they are human rights. I'm a feminist. I condemn racism. I think the ideologies espoused by the Cato Institute and Reason Magazine are bunk. I'm a physicalist, a mechanist and I think the strong goal of AI research will result in sapient machines one day.

And on and on. But I could be hugely wrong.

In which case, I can flip this entire thing on it's head and say there is nothing logical or reasonable you or others can say that will convince me of that. I'll have to think about a complicated controversy on my own, without anyone needling me, before I'll change my mind and realize I am wrong. J Random Internet user isn't gonna do it for me, no matter how cogent their argument is.


So let this be my manifesto as to why I bow out and let others have the last word: Perhaps I'm wrong but really, I know I'm just exhausted.

Now, although I still don't agree with you, you win and you've got the last word. Peace!