Another reprint from Mormon Matters.
“Brainwashed” is probably ranked with the weakest possible arguments. If I say you’re brainwashed, I can ignore the chance that someone might be able to disagree with me and have a valid point. If I can relegate you to a pat little category, I don’t have to listen. A little wake-up call, folks: it could be easily said that we are all brainwashed. We are all products of our environment. Quit name-calling and try—just try—to understand another person’s point of view for once. You might find yourself stretching and growing. You might even find yourself becoming wise.
Two related comments:
When a debate reduces to the point of namecalling it’s all over. Names are the verbal equivalent of throwing rocks, which is what kids do when they’re scared. (said by jendoop)
Jendoop—I love your turn of phrase, and your point. When people turn to namecalling it is generally because they are scared. Perhaps a little more compassion towards them is in order. (said by SilverRain)