Doctrine of Ridiculing
January 4, 2011
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Reviling, scolding, or ridiculing is a cognitive bias and a technique to promote propaganda [Wikipedia]. It is normally used by propagandists to incite fear and prejudices and in some cases to ignite provocation. The method is further used to emotionally persuade to conclusions and performing acts without impartial analysis of realities. As a result, people without domain knowledge unintentionally accept ’em. Although people who know a thing or two about the domain don’t fall in the fallacy but mostly ignore the propagandists and silently let ’em continue their abusive agenda. One of our famous Urdu language humorist Mushtaq Ahmed Yusufi in his well-known ‘Aab-i-gum‘ writes:
ٹھٹھہ کرنے سے ٰادمی لاجواب ھو جاتا ھے لیکن قائل نہیں ھوتا
Ridiculing can leave someone speechless but not convinced
It is widely believed that ridiculing others is mostly practiced by politicians, however, in reality this is not the case; this is common in all sects of life, from children to grown up and so-called well-educated people are also intentionally or unintentionally involved in this act. Look around, you will find people hanging around for bantering and trying to one up each other. Gangs enter into vicious cycle of pranks to put others down by any mean. Go to the Internet and browse the Web, you’d find hundreds of pages and thousands of posts full of abusive material including articles, blogs and caricatures of things, ideas and personalities we don’t like personally, religiously, or due to political differences. Social networking sites encourages people to ‘like‘ any kind of stuff but does not provide option to ‘dislike‘ at least scolding material if not all. Biased users of such kind of sites would not mind endorsing reviling material without any cognitive base if it fits within their religious or political views. On the other hand, a well written document supported with impartial arguments is not even worth a look if it does not fit into their school of thought.