This PowerPoint presentation, along with commentary by Hank Kraychir, is intended to educate the brethren about the afflictions of Masonic debate.
Albert Pike wrote, “Your debates should be but friendly conversations. You need concord, union, and peace. Why then do you retain among you men who excite rivalries and jealousies; why permit great and violent controversy and ambitious pretensions? How do your own words and acts agree? If your Masonry is a nullify, how can you exercise any influence on others (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1872, p. 198)?
In Kenneth Corbit’s 2017 dissertation, A Theory-Centered Model of Debate Assessment, he claimed that the untrained debater would only want to win, not seek the truth, when he referenced both Plato and Aristotle.
“Plato thought speakers untrained in dialectic (the art of investigating or discussing the truth of opinions) would only attempt to win because they could not understand the philosophical aspects of a case. For that reason, he argued, only philosophers should attempt rhetoric (persuasive speaking or writing).”
“As did his mentor, Plato, Aristotle opposed using rhetoric as the sophists did, to exploit rhetorical techniques merely to win disputes rather than to persuade the audience through a sound argument.”
Ad hominem is a term that is applied to several different types of arguments, most of which are fallacious (based on a mistaken or false belief). Typically it refers to a fallacious argumentative strategy whereby genuine discussion of the topic at hand is avoided by instead attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself. People with strong narcissistic, sociopathic, and psychopathic tendencies (hereafter narcissists) are unwilling or unable to resolve conflicts or participate in discussion in a healthy, mature manner.
Six Point Summary:
In a social interaction, discussion, or argument, regular, well-meaning people treat others with curiosity, empathy, and good faith. A narcissist, on the other hand, sees interaction as a win-lose situation. To “win,” they try to dominate, bully, deceive, demean, humiliate, and hurt others. For that, they use certain common and predictable tactics that include but are not limited to arguing in bad faith, lying, denying, deflecting and attacking, gaslighting, and intimidating. If and when they feel they have lost or were wronged, they will try to intimidate you further and manipulate others in order to hurt you personally and socially. Sometimes while accusing you of it at the same time. Engaging with a person who uses these tactics is fruitless, frustrating, boring, and predictable. Yet someone who is not quite familiar with it may think, “But if only I explained myself better…” Or, “But if only I presented my argument better…” Or, “But if only they could understand where I’m coming from…” But if only…. Yet they’re not interested in, and often not even capable of, that. They don’t care about sound arguments, honesty, empathy, curiosity, or win-win resolutions. They might claim that they are all about that, but if you look at how they act it’s evident that they are not. So after you noticed that you’re dealing with someone who is consistently participating in something like this and is not really interested in conflict resolution or finding truth, you can safely decide not to engage with them and save yourself a headache.
Some More Supporting Quotes:
“WHETHER the legend and history of this Degree are historically true, or but an allegory, containing in itself a deeper truth and a profounder meaning, we shall not now debate. If it be but a legendary myth, you must find out for yourself what it means (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 204).
“If you have Eloquence, it is a mighty force. See that you use it for good purposes—to teach, exhort, ennoble the people, and not to mislead and corrupt them. Corrupt and venal orators are the assassins of the public liberties and of public morals” (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1972, p. 99).
“Let us away with this odious self-flattery! Let us be men, if we cannot be sages! The laws of Masonry, above others excellent, cannot wholly change men’s natures. They enlighten them, they point out the true way; but they can lead them in it, only by repressing the fire of their passions, and subjugating their selfishness. Alas, these conquer, and Masonry is forgotten” (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 186).
So Mote It Be!
Blue Lodge Master Mason – Scottish Rite Mason – York Rite Mason – Knight Mason – Allied Mason – York Rite College – Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priest – Red Cross of Constantine – Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis.