When someone can’t put aside their instinctive “Ugh, yuck” reaction for long enough to discuss an issue dispassionately and maturely, that’s their problem, not yours.
In a discussion on a taboo topic, if you take an unpopular position that violates a social taboo and someone can’t argue against it on its own merits (or lack thereof), they often end up resorting to the “urgh, yuck” defence rather than acknowledge to themselves that maybe - just maybe - you have a point.
It’s caused by them realising at some level that they’re in danger of losing the logical, rational debate so they retreat into irrational emotionality (and as you found, often even ad-hominem attacks) in an attempt to move the goalposts and avoid losing. Sort of a disingenuous and shitty “if you can’t win the game you’re playing, change the rules of the game”.
It’s the debate equivalent of knocking over the game-board just because you’re losing - immature, obnoxious and reflecting only on the person that does it, not on their opponent."
Quoted from a thread on Reddit, debating the morality and ethics of child porn, and the place of paedophiles in society.
It’s highly annoying discussing issues such as this with close-minded individuals, because approaching the issue impartially and philosophically puts you at considerable risk of being branded as a paedo’ yourself.
I’d Also like to take this chance to say that I come from a family full of really shitty debaters, and that it seems at times that I’m the only one who developed any sort of faculties for critical thinking.
Mother, sister and father all used to complain to each other that I ‘always have something to say’ in a debate, and so arguments with them would invariably result in them exhausting their ammunition in less than a minute, and then adopting a stupid brute-force approach.
My personal favourite was my sister’s ‘just shut up’ device.
Don’t even get me started on religious debates with extended family.