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Remove everything personal from debate

Remove everything personal from debate
March 07, 2010, 03:21:24 AM
Like pulling iron filings off a magnet, the only goal is to remove all the falses clinging to what is true


* Do not insult your opponent; deal instead with ideas minus the personality and egos involved
* Never misrepresent your opponent's viewpoint; ask for clarification instead
* As one puzzle piece, small subjective experience leaves a large composite truth still unassembled
* Start large in scope with the whole concept first; leave errors in minor details for last
* Other than for understanding if something is popular or not, popularity cannot reveal truth
* Praise for exceptional thought is needed; conforming to the expected norm is not praiseworthy
”The Revolution ends by devouring its own children” – Jacques Mallet du Pan, 1793


Re: Remove everything personal from debate
March 12, 2010, 06:26:12 PM
Bumped for truth.

Putting this in FAQ is an excellent idea.

Re: Remove everything personal from debate
March 13, 2010, 10:00:32 PM
Also might want to add:

Good people become misguided and misinformed. The difference between them and the shitheads is that good people want truth and to improve performance and be constructive. Shitheads want an excusive to kick back with a cold one and do nothing. We debate so that good people learn; the shitheads, because they don't care about learning and lack the capacity to do so, do not benefit from debate. So if you think someone is a fucking shithead, it's better to debunk the points them make in debate and steal from them that artifice, than it is to verbally sodomize them because they won't recognize it if you're right, anyway.

Re: Remove everything personal from debate
March 14, 2010, 12:40:55 PM
Respect is important to obtain healthy debate. On the internet there is a tendency for people to talk to others as if they were talking behind their backs i.e. maliciously and sarcastically. This usually only creates an array of pointless, over-emotional comments. Aim to talk to people as if you were talking face to face, but with the added benefits of having time to collect your thoughts and not being overly friendly. 

Re: Remove everything personal from debate
March 15, 2010, 05:05:45 AM
This is exactly how one must engage in conversation to truly influence.  I'm going to write this down and carry it with me for future reference. 

Re: Remove everything personal from debate
March 16, 2010, 01:49:18 PM
Respect is important to obtain healthy debate. On the internet there is a tendency for people to talk to others as if they were talking behind their backs i.e. maliciously and sarcastically. This usually only creates an array of pointless, over-emotional comments. Aim to talk to people as if you were talking face to face, but with the added benefits of having time to collect your thoughts and not being overly friendly. 

I don't know if it's respect or politeness, both of which become entry points for passive aggression, so much as staying on topic. The speaker doesn't matter; the discussion does because communication does.

Re: Remove everything personal from debate
March 16, 2010, 04:22:36 PM
Respect is important to obtain healthy debate. On the internet there is a tendency for people to talk to others as if they were talking behind their backs i.e. maliciously and sarcastically. This usually only creates an array of pointless, over-emotional comments. Aim to talk to people as if you were talking face to face, but with the added benefits of having time to collect your thoughts and not being overly friendly. 

I don't know if it's respect or politeness, both of which become entry points for passive aggression, so much as staying on topic. The speaker doesn't matter; the discussion does because communication does.

I'm showing a method for people to take a step back and think logically before posting; this leads to people staying on topic. To get the correct output, you must alter the input.

Re: Remove everything personal from debate
March 16, 2010, 07:12:54 PM
Quote
* Do not insult your opponent; deal instead with ideas minus the personality and egos involved

This can also be used in your favor to dissuade an argument, I find most people believe a debate = argument.  In reality, I rarely ever see a debate.. I always see arguing (two opposing sides, just going off trying to prove one another wrong).. not discussing, rather let it turn into an argument.. point out that the other person is referring to too much of their own self-importance.. this is the usual case of most coffee shop social/economic/environmental/political debates: "Everything I am saying right now is only pertaining to myself, I'm not really even listening to what you have to say, I am just waiting to mouth fart in your face and feel enlightened!, *sips 8 dollar cup of corn syrup-laden coffee* " 

They will make a funny face, think you are stupid, and pretty much leave once they realize you aren't going to listen to their crap. Believe me, not every opinion everyone has is important enough to waste your time with.... I like it here though ; )


Re: Remove everything personal from debate
March 16, 2010, 07:49:15 PM
If someone doesn't understand anything about Perspectivism, even after clarifying, I usually just walk away from such arguments.

I only have another 1 to 9 decades of life left, which is not enough time to screw around with idiots, imo.  While it may seem defeatist, I think it's a good litmus test that is both short, non-ideological, & revealing.  Additionally, using this let's me know whether or not this person is capable of arguing without relying on the personal. 

Re: Remove everything personal from debate
March 18, 2010, 06:42:13 PM
Respect is important to obtain healthy debate. On the internet there is a tendency for people to talk to others as if they were talking behind their backs i.e. maliciously and sarcastically. This usually only creates an array of pointless, over-emotional comments. Aim to talk to people as if you were talking face to face, but with the added benefits of having time to collect your thoughts and not being overly friendly. 

I don't know if it's respect or politeness, both of which become entry points for passive aggression, so much as staying on topic. The speaker doesn't matter; the discussion does because communication does.

I'm showing a method for people to take a step back and think logically before posting; this leads to people staying on topic. To get the correct output, you must alter the input.

I think your method may be "bound up" with too many other things. Let's go directly and suggest staying on topic and mention it requires thought before posting.

Re: Remove everything personal from debate
March 18, 2010, 08:29:14 PM
Respect is important to obtain healthy debate. On the internet there is a tendency for people to talk to others as if they were talking behind their backs i.e. maliciously and sarcastically. This usually only creates an array of pointless, over-emotional comments. Aim to talk to people as if you were talking face to face, but with the added benefits of having time to collect your thoughts and not being overly friendly. 

I don't know if it's respect or politeness, both of which become entry points for passive aggression, so much as staying on topic. The speaker doesn't matter; the discussion does because communication does.

I'm showing a method for people to take a step back and think logically before posting; this leads to people staying on topic. To get the correct output, you must alter the input.

I think your method may be "bound up" with too many other things. Let's go directly and suggest staying on topic and mention it requires thought before posting.
.
Human emotions are complicated and sometimes hard to control; I use this method myself and it works for me, so maybe it will work for others. Just telling someone to do something without showing them ways to do it is a clumsy and naive way to work.

Re: Remove everything personal from debate
March 22, 2010, 10:11:51 PM
I was originally going to post this in the new Corrupt.org thread, but decided it fits better here:

^ So stupid, ad hominish and resentful that deserves to be deleted or "unpublished", but anyhow...
I'm not quite sure why ad hominems are seen as a sign of bad reasoning -- some esteemed philosophers used this tactic to great effect (Schopenhauer, Nietzsche), and I'd suggest that some of Nietzsche's most insightful critiques are essentially protracted ad hominem arguments. See his analysis of slave morality and resentiment in "On the Genealogy of Morals" or his criticisms of Wagner -- these passages do more than debunk abstract ideas: they attack the very character of Christians and Wagner. As anyone who thinks long about the matter will know, it is impossible to separate ideas from the people who hold or create them. The idea that philosophers, and people in general, are searching, unbiased, for some abstract, impersonal truth is false, see the first section of Beyond Good and Evil. Thus, the Christian, or Wagner, has not arrived at their beliefs through impartial reasoning -- they have arrived at them since their character is intertwined with these beliefs. This does not only apply to people whose thoughts we hold in contempt -- people like Nietzsche arrived at their conclusions largely based on the quality of their character. Rather than say "remove everything personal from debate," you might as well say "emasculate yourself" -- great debating will show the best of one's qualities.

That's not to say ad hominem cannot be a obstructive force -- most of the debates here and elsewhere on the internet consist of a few central points and then an endlessly repeated cycle of "that was an ad hominem attack" and "why should I debate someone who resorts to personal insults" (both of them implicit ad hominems). But I think it is important to realize that this "fallacy" actually has an important place in discussion and is not equivalent to a big "INVALID" sign.

Re: Remove everything personal from debate
March 22, 2010, 10:27:48 PM
Ad hominem is a fallacy, not a courtesy rule when discussing. See:

Quote

Ad hominem is saying "You're a moron, so your argument is wrong." Saying "you're a moron" is not an ad hominem :)

-lord mayonesa


This is very true.

Fallacy: Mr. A is a moron, thus when he says Y, Y is wrong.

Not fallacy: W is wrong, X is wrong, Z is wrong, all said by Mr. A. As inference, Mr. A is a moron.

:D

Re: Remove everything personal from debate
March 22, 2010, 11:29:18 PM
I'm not quite sure why ad hominems are seen as a sign of bad reasoning -- some esteemed philosophers used this tactic to great effect (Schopenhauer, Nietzsche), and I'd suggest that some of Nietzsche's most insightful critiques are essentially protracted ad hominem arguments. See his analysis of slave morality and resentiment in "On the Genealogy of Morals" or his criticisms of Wagner -- these passages do more than debunk abstract ideas: they attack the very character of Christians and Wagner. As anyone who thinks long about the matter will know, it is impossible to separate ideas from the people who hold or create them. The idea that philosophers, and people in general, are searching, unbiased, for some abstract, impersonal truth is false, see the first section of Beyond Good and Evil. Thus, the Christian, or Wagner, has not arrived at their beliefs through impartial reasoning -- they have arrived at them since their character is intertwined with these beliefs. This does not only apply to people whose thoughts we hold in contempt -- people like Nietzsche arrived at their conclusions largely based on the quality of their character. Rather than say "remove everything personal from debate," you might as well say "emasculate yourself" -- great debating will show the best of one's qualities.

That's not to say ad hominem cannot be a obstructive force -- most of the debates here and elsewhere on the internet consist of a few central points and then an endlessly repeated cycle of "that was an ad hominem attack" and "why should I debate someone who resorts to personal insults" (both of them implicit ad hominems). But I think it is important to realize that this "fallacy" actually has an important place in discussion and is not equivalent to a big "INVALID" sign.

I don't know if you realize this, but part of your defense for the use of Ad Hominem is an Argument from Authority, another fallacy. And the other part isn't even a logical argument it's just an observation that people do it alot.

Sure there will be a noticeable relationship between ideas and the people who propose them but that relationship isn't necessarily valid or invalid, so the relationship is meaningless.

"YOU made an Ad Hominem attack" is not ad hominem, it is referring to the argument.
"why should I debate someone who uses ad hominems?" is not ad hominem because it is not a counter-argument, it is a refusal to participate, the debate goes unresolved. In the worst case this is a filibuster.

Now things like questioning someone's motives or status (you're just saying that because you're a loser) or accusing them of being a hypocrite I think are particularly obstructive because such responses come very naturally and many observers don't pick up on them.



I think what is important is that we not just avoid committing these errors in our own arguments but become attuned to picking them up in arguments proposed by others.