In The Face of Critical Spirits, How to Act?
There are critical spirits that destroy everything they find in their way.
What you read or what you hear is crumbled without mercy. They point out real or imaginary errors, potential dangers in every statement analyzed, inaccuracies and loopholes, including hidden intentions and projects full of malice.
In the face of these spirits, it is almost impossible to build an acceptable discourse. Whatever you do, the critical spirit will fall upon you. It only wish is to contradict you. There is no escape: if you have started to dialogue with him, you are lost.
Of course, the critical spirit does not act like this with everyone, otherwise it would be impossible for him to live in society. It selects its "adversaries", and it won't let them rest. It uses the best of its intelligence to prepare arrows with which to contradict its "victims." After an apparent listening, it lashes out thoroughly and argues against everything said by the other.
In front of people like that, it is almost useless to measure one's own words. One is simply condemned to contempt and defeat, if the critical spirit has decided to do so.
Not everyone comes to the radicalism described here. There are quieter occasions, such as when the critical spirit is limited to a particular argument or to such or that person, group, or institution. In such cases, critics act normally on many issues, but launch their dialectical offensive towards predetermined targets. They are selective critics, sometimes by seasons, and based on more or less specific reasons.
So, is it worth arguing with someone like that? It depends. If there is no hint of goodwill, any effort to offer more or less elaborate reasoning will be useless: the critical spirit will attack without compassion. On the other hand, if there is even a small possibility of openness of mind and heart, it will be possible to sow the ground of trust and benevolence, which are indispensable for the initiation of a constructive exchange of opinions for both sides.