The Sophist Troll. Sophist Trolls, or "philotrolls," fancy themselves
Enlightened Philosophers or Learned Experts of the highest order. Often well
educated, Philotrolls are capable of speaking intelligently on a number of
topics, and when the spirit moves them they can be worthwhile forum
participants. Unfortunately, Sophist Trolls are an extremely hostile and
When confronted by opinions with which they do not agree – particularly when
they do not see any means of successfully arguing their contrary views –
Sophists resort (repeatedly) to a variety of intellectually dishonest tactics.
Most often, this is characterized by an overly snide, condescending, patronizing
attitude. Philotrolls consider anyone with whom they do not agree to be
"immature," and are fond of quoting that old saw that "A little knowledge is a
When cornered they are quick to resort to personal attacks. A philotroll's bag
of rhetorical tricks includes a variety of transparent ploys, such as willfully
misinterpreting the opponent's words, committing Straw Man fallacies, accusing
his or her opponents of engaging in the very tactics used by the philotroll, and
When engaging in their sophistry, philotrolls are among the most hypocritical
and aggravating of trollkind.
Many members are willing adherents to Group Think:
"Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people, in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an incorrect or deviant decision-making outcome.
Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative ideas or viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences.
Loyalty to the group requires individuals to avoid raising controversial issues or alternative solutions, and there is loss of individual creativity, uniqueness and independent thinking.
The dysfunctional group dynamics of the "ingroup" produces an "illusion of invulnerability" (an inflated certainty that the right decision has been made). Thus the "ingroup" significantly overrates their own abilities in decision-making, and significantly underrates the abilities of their opponents (the "outgroup").
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