Let’s watch how people change their minds about a normal, everyday topic.
A: Hey, the speed limit here is 65 miles per hour.
B: No, that sign right there says 70.
A: Oh hey, you’re right.
Now how about something more contentious?
A: Creationism is science, anti-vax is a good thing, and the earth is flat.
B: Those are all demonstrably wrong, and here’s wh—
A: [10 hour long lecture on the nature of truth, falsity, logic, etc. from a delusional perspective and how stupid B is]
If you’ve wondered why this is, especially when it comes to religion, conspiracy theories, and such, it might have to do with the Apolotrash Cycle.
What is Apolotrash?
If you’ve argued about religion, you know about apologetics, which is a glorified term for “bullshit”. Signs you’re dealing with apolotrash:
- Frequently regurgitated (a related term is PRATT: Point Refuted A Thousand Times)
- Already long since refuted or debunked
- Used as “gotchas” or throwaway lines
- Almost always scripted
- Red flags that indicate this person is a cretin/troll
Some prime examples include:
- “Atheists don’t have morals”
- “Atheism is a religion”
- “You can’t have logic with atheism”
Apolotrash is thought-free drivel meant to distract, deflect, deceive, and worst of all, dehumanize. The goal is not just to reassure believers as many posit (though this is certainly one key use of apolotrash); it is also intended to psychologically torture those who will not obey.
This seems like a bold claim, but it’s really not hard to evidence. When Yahwallahans project their own failings (moral bankruptcy, failed logic, and so on) on to others, it is fully meant to cast said others as sub-human, and okay to abuse (or worse). Apolotrash often aims to deny those who will not obey their essential human qualities: moral agency, thinking capacity, identity, and so on. Again, this is often done through pushing the user’s own faults onto those they’re foisting these techniques on. Since Yahwallahans can’t kill or physically torture those who won’t obey as much anymore (especially in the West), they resort to psychological abuse.
Other peddlers of poor thinking have adopted elements of the cycle.
What is the Apolotrash Cycle?
It’s not enough to have one or two pieces of apolotrash. In order to perpetuate the ongoing campaign of torturing those who will not obey, you need a process. Here’s the basic routine:
- Post a ridiculous claim
- Get challenged
- Defend claim with apolotrash
- Get shown these ways are faulty
- Change to another failed tactic (but do not acknowledge the tactic failed, as you’ll reuse it later), tack on some other insults if desired
- Repeat as needed (or just block/report)
- Declare victory
- Move on to the next victim
What Are the Goals of the Cycle?
As already mentioned, apolotrash has two main goals: reinforce cohesion for those inside the in group, and abuse those who will not obey. The goal of the cycle is to systematize this process, so that even less thought is required.
What Can Be Done?
First, the cycle needs to be recognized when it’s used. Then you need pattern interrupts.
- Don’t just answer with the standard responses. Apolotrash users are ever-increasingly trained to skip over the failings of their arguments and use the cycle. Once you realize that most apolotrash is projection (and it almost always is), simply return it with postage due – and don’t stop. For example, when apolotrash users attempt to claim “atheism is a religion”, give them the hugs and love they need to escape the religion of calling atheism a religion. When they try to shame atheists with dictators, ask why they’re airing their filthy dictator fetish.
- Do not allow step five to happen without an acknowledgement their tactic failed and that they’ll never use it again. If they continue to distract or deceive, just keep bringing them back. (Of course, don’t believe them if you actually can extract such a promise; in all likelihood they’ll find someone else to use it on, but definitely screen capture it if you can somehow get it)