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Things I will not accept in an argument posted 24 Jul 2004, 13:07 by Aldarion, Sorcerer-of-Rank

Here are a few things, that if heard within the context of an argument, will lead to me immediately bearing down upon that person: * Human nature - I absolutely, categorically, without exception will not accept that as an answer. If someone ever says to me, "well, it's human nature," I'm likely to proceed to ask them to define "it" and also to defend against the countercharge that there's no such thing as a common "human nature." * Good/Evil - Unless qualified by statements that indicate the person is talking about concepts of good/evil, I tend to want further elaboration if someone were to say, "That's an evil thing" (for example) without providing explanations. * "I don't know" - If I can, I tend to get that person to try to think of reasons why he/she is saying what she/he believes * Relativism - I do not accept Relativism as an answer, except in a few rare situations. Acknowledging differences of interpretation is one thing, but just saying that it's all relative is lazy debating in my books. Are there other things that people say/do in debates/discussions that cause you to question closely their reasoning? view post

posted 24 Jul 2004, 14:07 by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I could go on and on, but here's my biggies. Lack of charity: people who respond to caricatures of your argument, rather than your argument. The good old strawman fallacy. Self-congratulation: people who mistake agreement for intelligence. Since everyone tends to agree with themselves, it automatically makes them the most intelligent person in the room. Dogmatism: free and open debate is impossible unless both parties acknowledge they could be the one in the wrong. Anyone who makes their conclusions the immovable point of their arguments has ceased to reason and has started to [i:sur4zrw3]rationalize[/i:sur4zrw3]. More importantly, they've closed down all hope of learning or expanding their views. view post

posted 24 Jul 2004, 14:07 by Aldarion, Sorcerer-of-Rank

Nice points, because I've seen all three in a recent series of discussions at another site I post at. Thankfully, in one thread at least, the conversation is largely managing to avoid those points you mention. Sadly, I've noticed those more and more over the years. But yeah, I suspect we could go on and on for quite some time. Be interesting to see how much in common peoples' lists are, though. view post

posted 24 Jul 2004, 15:07 by Replay, Auditor

Things I will not accept in an argument? Actually being in one :) Seriously though, I think it maybe a good idea whenever you do find yourself in an argument to pause for a moment and think about what you are trying to achieve. It's all to easy to fall in to the trap of just arguing to prove you are right and the other is wrong. It just becomes a game of oneupmanship, and has very little other value. Another thing I am not that keen on in any kind of debates is when someone takes it all to personally. If they come on and say that "grass is the colour red", and you say "no, it's not", it is just pointing out the fallacy of that paticular view and is not an insult aimed at them. Unfortuantly though, many do tend to be overly attached to their views and beliefs, so do not see it this way. view post

posted 24 Jul 2004, 16:07 by Grantaire, Moderator

Things I won't accept...people who mindlessly hold to a view, even when they're overbearingly being proven wrong. view post

posted 30 Jul 2004, 18:07 by drosdelnoch, Subdidact

I'll let people get away with most things in an argument, one thing that I dont accept is the quickness that some change from trying to argue thier situation through to trying to prove it via combat ie fist fights. Now I'll admit Im not one for pussy footing about in a situation like that, however I also dont like people who believe volume makes right either, if you cant argue the case articulately and calmly dont try to force you doctrines on me. Thats me though, I know that Im not clever enough to be able to quickly change a discussion round or glibly through a witty retort in, but just like to add my own philosphy in it as I see it. Probably looking at it, its what most people would say is a "farmers" or "simplistic" philosophical pov. But at times thats what I feel it boils down to in a nut shell. view post

posted 03 Aug 2004, 05:08 by Sovin Nai, Site Administrator

Something I particularly hate are analogies that do not work. My mother does this constantly, and refuses to admit their failure. An analogy can be helpful in illustrating a point, but not if it breaks down at a fundamental level. view post

la posted 21 May 2005, 02:05 by diarmuid, Peralogue

nothing can be more frustrating than the closed mind those that "know what they know" or assume that your lack of expertise in a given set of circumstances somehow denotes a general and all encompassing lack of knowledge give some cedit to the life of people I say view post

Re: posted 30 May 2005, 05:05 by Kidruhil Lancer, Auditor

I'd have to agree with what a few others said. Especially about taking things too personally. It really bugs me when I try to discuss something with a person and they either, A: Think that I'm trying to argue with them, or B: assume I'm saying that they're wrong. Another thing that bugs me.. When people try to repeat the crap they've heard before about a certain topic. As a christian, I hear this alot. Alot of people seem to want to take a stereo-typical stance on christianity. ... that we're bigots who hate homosexual's is usually the most common stereo-type. Or people that try to argue about christianity without knowing all the facts. ( Either they haven't read the Bible, or they've read and mis-understood. ) view post

posted 06 Jun 2005, 17:06 by sciborg2, Candidate

Ah, but what does it mean to misunderstand something like the Bible that has multiple interpretations? As for me, I hate anecdotal evidence that is accepted as fact. I also don't like people attempting to use the material in question to prove that it is true. view post

posted 06 Jun 2005, 22:06 by Quinthane, Candidate

[u:1kv2ftnb]Things I don't accept:[/u:1kv2ftnb] Improper use of the word "[b:1kv2ftnb]irony[/b:1kv2ftnb]". Same goes for "[b:1kv2ftnb]literally[/b:1kv2ftnb]". The warm blanket-of-a-phrase; "[b:1kv2ftnb]Well, everything happens for a reason[/b:1kv2ftnb]." Yes. It's called 'cause' and 'effect'. People who endeavor to shape how you think of them by saying to you "[b:1kv2ftnb]I don't care what anybody thinks of me.[/b:1kv2ftnb]" Those are the highlights. Ironically, I deal with these things almost every day and it literaly drives me nuts, which I know is just life's plan for me. Quinthane view post

Re: posted 06 Jun 2005, 22:06 by tellner, Peralogue

[quote="Kidruhil Lancer":14rknmqj]Another thing that bugs me.. When people try to repeat the crap they've heard before about a certain topic. As a christian, I hear this alot. Alot of people seem to want to take a stereo-typical stance on christianity. ... that we're bigots who hate homosexual's is usually the most common stereo-type. Or people that try to argue about christianity without knowing all the facts. ( Either they haven't read the Bible, or they've read and mis-understood. )[/quote:14rknmqj] The Bible? Which parts? The real Bible including the Written Law, the Oral Law and the Haftorah or the heresies of Yeshua Bin Miryam and his deluded followers :shock: OK, I'm being provocative on purpose here. I hope you see the point. And if you're talking about the Christian Bible do you restrict yourself to the politically-inspired document enforced by murder according to the whims of Theodora? Or do you include Thomas, Phillip, Mary Magdala wife of Jesus and the rest that the Church Fathers ruthlessly destroyed? Step just a little outside the bubble and it starts to get much more difficult than most will admit. As for prejudice against homosexuals, well, your other posts would tend to confirm it. You certainly seem to believe their existence and freedom represent a threat to your way of life. And you are willing to use the machinery of the Law to ensure that they not share in the same rights and privileges you enjoy. view post

posted 07 Jun 2005, 03:06 by sciborg2, Candidate

whoah, KL said he figured homosexuals had the right to marry, just that Christian ministers couldn't marry them due to what it says in the Bible. Its not the opinion I'd want someone to have, but it is a rather mature one within the context of his beliefs. I know many liberals who wouldn't make such a compromise. view post

Heh.. posted 07 Jun 2005, 09:06 by Kidruhil Lancer, Auditor

First off, thanks to Sciborg2 for the defense. As to the statements of Tellner... I haven't heard of half the sources you've mentioned there. I've been planning to read the "extra" parts of the bible that have been found over the years to decide for my own beliefs whether they will effect me or not. Frankly, though, I don't see how anything can add to what has already been said, besides adding further historical insight. The base laws are already presented.. and the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament finish out what any christian would need to know. As for homosexuality, as Sciborg2 said, I already said I have no problem with them getting married, as long as it doesn't cross over into the bounderies of christianity which clearly views homosexuality as a sin. Whether it is or not is not something that I'm willing to debate, for the simple reason that it's beyond my depth. I feel that the bible does make it clear, and for that reason alone I refuse to accept it as anything other than an unnatural practice that goes against the laws of nature. Does this mean I hate anyone who is a homosexual? Of course not. That would go against my beliefs in the most basic way, since the core of Jesus's teachings are to love one another. Not to mention that sin is universal and color-blind. One sin is no more worse than any other, in which case I have no right to judge anyone but myself. Something I try very hard not to do. But there it is. Thanks again Sci for having my back. view post

posted 07 Jun 2005, 15:06 by sciborg2, Candidate

No prob KL, I guess I find the morality debate will get people nowhere. There are so many competing belief systems, and I find the line drawn between the two sides to leave me in the middle on a lot things. Within the context of a legal argument, there is much more room for agreement and disagreement. The inability of the pro-gay movement to make people understand that gay marriage doesn't mean churches have to marry gays is self-defeating---though people like Sean Hannity enjoy scaring people into thinking Christianity is near dissolving. But that just goes back to Sci's First Law: Organized groups crave two things--incredible power along with the sense of victimization needed to justify abuse of such power. Whether its the religious right seeing the ACLU as a dangerous menace or NOW expelling prochoice feminists, the political nature in America gives into a sense of dualism that prevents any headway from being made on a wide range of issues. view post

posted 05 Sep 2005, 04:09 by Fortey, Commoner

I'm suddenly motivated to point out [url:3325utj5][/url:3325utj5] Good skeptical website with some interesting commentaries by James Randi that are definitely worth reading. This one perhaps in particular, just as something current and of interest [url:3325utj5][/url:3325utj5] Not to overtly trash anyone's beliefs, but whenever I hear about anyone's faith I'm always lead to wonder why people believe the things they believe. [/code] view post

posted 06 Sep 2005, 01:09 by target, Auditor

I think that generally to have an idea is better than to have a belief. Belief can become inflexible and dogmatic, much better to philosophise, but hey, that's what we're all here for. As for things i hate in argumets: people who don't listen to you people who constantly interupt and yet hate to be interupted people who dont respond with anything but indignation or anger if you question their beliefs/faith - they dont respond with a rational argument, they just refuse to justify themselves dogmatism - always people who read a book or two and think they know everything on the subject and then blankly disagree with your arguments without propperly backing up theirs. Anyway, that was a nice vent. Bed for me. view post

posted 06 Sep 2005, 18:09 by RedShift, Candidate

What really irks me is people who aren't in a discussion to learn other people's views and possibly amend their own, but only to air their beliefs in which they have complete certainty. What's the point of arguing with someone who already "knows" the answer? The other thing that annoys me is the English language (well, not specifically English). I just find it hard to communicate ideas properly, especially obscure ones, and [i:1ekaqc7n]especially[/i:1ekaqc7n] philosophy. I want telepathy, dammit. view post

posted 06 Sep 2005, 19:09 by target, Auditor

I wonder how people would communicate telepathically? Surely you must think in the language that you speak? What exactly do you mean when you say you have a problem with the english language communicating ideas propperly? And please don't use that as an example :D as quick and wity as that would be, it wouldn't help. view post

posted 07 Sep 2005, 18:09 by RedShift, Candidate

Do you think in words? I have been told some people do, but personally I don't, except when I want to clarify and pin down something in my mind. Then I tend to think it out in words, but most of the time I, and I think most people, think in concepts and ideas. Really, if you thought in words, then you would be unable to think something you didn't have a word for (and you wouldn't have thought at all until you learned to speak, and how could you do that without thinking?), and I think we can dismiss that possibility. I think my problem with the English language is more of a personal one. Still, have you never felt difficulty conveying an idea to someone? A feeling that your words aren't reallly saying what you want to say? And I'm sure we've all been in arguments where people (especially teachers) just don't quite understand your point, and end up trying to answer a different one, or just getting confused. Discussion would be a lot easier if you could just communicate the concept itself. Of course most of this is just IMHO. EDIT: With the whole telepathy thing, you might then be able to communicate your entire understanding of something. Especially in maths, I find that trying to explain something complicated is exceptionally hard without drawings, and even then can be difficult, even though it can seem very simple once you understand it. view post

posted 07 Sep 2005, 23:09 by target, Auditor

I get what you're saying, and it makes quite a lot of sense. I do agree that thought, to some extent, must be in concepts and ideas, but of course, thats what thoughts are: concpets and ideas. What i think (thus proving your second point - back to that later :) )i'm trying to say is that i express these ideas to myself in something that i understand: English/words. The baby thought point im not going to touch, simply because i can't. However, the possibility that you dont think in words because, should you consider something that you cannot describe in one way or another through the use of words, how would you define it to yourself? I cannot imagine that you could think of something that you cannot describe in words. The only thing that i can think of that comes close is trying to comprehend nothingness ie. the beginnings of the universe - pre-big bang or whatever. But even then, you're cosmic meanderings of the mind must surely be constrained by language as there is no other way to describe it, not even to yourself. As far as im aware - at least when im thinking to myself, even my postulations are bound by the confines of language so that i know what im talking about. It's almost like arguing with someone, except its with your own mind - if you get me. Which brings me to language. Yes, i have had that problem. Within this posts and others, i had a similar discussion with Lucimay in another thread, except this was only a side effect of you will. Language can be tricky, and yes it would be much better to be able to comunicate ideas as they appear to you, in their pure conceptual form. We're not that lucky though. I don't think its the language that cause the problem, its the concepts and ideas that are the troublemakers. Expressing these can be tricky, not because there are no words to do so with, but because you cannot find the correct words to communicate the problem. Of course, im playing Devil's Advocate here because these are my thoughts and i'd be interested to here your thoughts on the matter. You've got me thinking, close the deal. view post

posted 08 Sep 2005, 16:09 by RedShift, Candidate

I agree when you say that you often express thoughts to yourself in English, but I question the assumption that you do it all the time. I find that I do that if I want to hammer something out in my mind, get it truly pinned down, but most of the time, you don't need to do that. For example, imagine you're sitting down, reading, but you're slightly uncomfortable. Do you think to yourself (in words), "I'm slightly uncomfortable, let's try shifting in this way to see if it's better"? Or perhaps, "I'm going to turn the page now". At the very basic level of body control, there is no way you can be thinking it all out in words, and I think that applies to higher functions too. I usually notice when I'm thinking in words because it's almost laborious, as I'm trying to fix down exactly what I mean in words. That suggests to me that all the quick thoughts cannot really be conveyed in words. In fact, going back to the point of how difficult it can be to express exactly what you mean with language: how then can you have the thought with any ease in the first place. If I think in words, then I will never have any difficulty expressing myself to others, because all I have to do is vocalise my thoughts. I don't think anyone has it that easy. As for not being able to comprehend something you can't describe in words, I'm going to withold judgement on that, but I think the more pertinent point is whether or not you can comprehend something [i:2utpmc1h]before[/i:2utpmc1h] you have put it in words. I believe you can. Look at language. If you see a flower, then you know (assuming you can speak) that that is a "flower". The word "flower" is not inherently linked to that object, it is merely a label. Most of language (i.e. not really grammar) is like this: applying labels to what we already know so we can convey them to others. This in itself implies that there must be a thought that is independant of the label, that exists to be labeled, that exists without language. The problem with communication occurs because the labels are not specific enough. "Flower" (leaving aside the fact that it can include all types of flowers) does not contain all the information you get from the thought "flower", information about its colour, texture etc. Thus it can have a slightly different meaning to someone else than to you, and misunderstandings can arise. Thought cannot be (or at least, has not yet been) broken down into its components, from which it can be reconstructed by another person exactly as you thought it. Besides, such transfer would be impractical without some form of telepathy, like trying to tell a high-resolution image to someone in binary. Until that happens, we're going to be stuck with the inadequate labels of language and true communication will be difficult. Nonetheless, its a hell of a lot better than nothing. I think I've made all the points I wanted to, but I got a bit carried away there, so I might have forgotten something. view post

posted 14 Feb 2006, 06:02 by unJon, Auditor

Hey Quinthane, Check out [b:2jvqsu2s][url=]this article[/url:2jvqsu2s][/b:2jvqsu2s] for an interesting take on the word literally. Btw, ironically, you 'misused' literally in your sentence, but I guess that was on purpose. My pet peeve is when people use "slippery slope" as an argument against something instead of as a reason to set up a careful set of rules for how to do it. I also hate [i:2jvqsu2s]ad hominum[/i:2jvqsu2s] attacks. An argument should stand or fall on its own, not on its orator. And I definitely concur with those above that I cannot stand those who have already made up their mind. view post

posted 08 Mar 2006, 06:03 by Radiant Abyss, Commoner

Alderion said: [quote:zbalum4p]* Human nature - I absolutely, categorically, without exception will not accept that as an answer. If someone ever says to me, "well, it's human nature," I'm likely to proceed to ask them to define "it" and also to defend against the countercharge that there's no such thing as a common "human nature."[/quote:zbalum4p] The scientific literature on the subject shys away from the term "human nature" for good reason. What if someone were to quote ethological research to support an argument though? (Of course that's not specifically "human" - since it's the blank slate part of ourselves that we identify as uniquely human. Yet the literature suggests - strongly - that evolutionary patterns do affect the behaviours of all animals.) Which reminds me of something I will not tolerate in an argument: "Science is just another belief system." Not, I hasten to add, that I expect you to say anything of the sort. I'm just curious to know how the research in ethology and related sciences figures into your opinion about using "human nature" in an argument. view post


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