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Civility in Discourse: Mudslinging, Rhetoric, and the High Road

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Posts

  • AbsalonAbsalon Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Religious beliefs can never be proven. By definition. The entire system is designed to not be falsifiable or subject to empiricism. That means it's a veto against critical thought and I simply don't want something that is useless outside of an individual believers inner world to really gain much respect or attention in the outer world. Religious sentiments, thoughts, conundrums and the like are utterly useless outside of the individual because there is no way to prove them wrong or really discuss them constructively.

    I'm sure a vast majority of Christians here are the opposite of filth like NOM etc. But philosophically you are all, well, cheaters. And I'm not going to let up on light mockery of religious beliefs even if they are free of bigotry, political ambitions or self-victimization and general goosery. Because, essentially, religious beliefs and thoughts are ludicrous and inane once you go outside your own cranium. I'm not going to reach into anyone's private area and go "OLOLOLOL Spaghetti monster", but apart from that I think religious belief is automatically unnecessary to bring up.
    gjaustin wrote:
    Elitistb wrote:
    For the people who advocate a softer tone, what is the suggested method for dealing with individuals in the 75% majority who continue to profess belief in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny despite being 25-75+ years old?

    Not accusing religious people of believing in Santa Claus might be a start.

    What's wrong with Santa Claus and what makes him a poor comparison with the virgin birth, Jesus' miracles and the existence of a deity?

    Absalon on
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad. The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Absalon wrote: »
    Religious beliefs can never be proven. By definition. The entire system is designed to not be falsifiable or subject to empiricism. That means it's a veto against critical thought and I simply don't want something that is useless outside of an individual believers inner world to really gain much respect or attention in the outer world. Religious sentiments, thoughts, conundrums and the like are utterly useless in the real world because there is no way to prove them wrong or really discuss them constructively.

    I'm sure a vast majority of Christians here are the opposite of filth like Santorum supporters. But philosophically you are all, well, cheaters. And I'm not going to let up on light mockery of religious beliefs even if they are free of bigotry, political ambitions or self-victimization and general goosery. Because, essentially, religious beliefs and thoughts are ludicrous and inane once you go outside your own cranium.

    That's a nice generalization. I too like to prove people's points.

    There's nothing wrong with religious belief, they're not "cheaters" especially not if they don't shut down at the first mention of SCIENCE!. If one takes philosophy and philosophy only out of religion (which is, honestly, as a christian, all it's good for) then there's nothing inherently wrong with that. No more than stoics or any other philosophy. If someone wants to keep their religion to themselves, that's their business.

    There's no point to just mock them if they're not trying to convert you or force other people to follow the leader.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • Grey PaladinGrey Paladin Registered User regular
    Absalon wrote: »
    What's wrong with Santa Claus and what makes him a poor comparison with the virgin birth, Jesus' miracles and the existence of a deity?
    In the context of the quote? it achieves the opposite of what the arguement strives to achieve, regardless of how true it might be.

    "All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible." - T.E. Lawrence
  • AbsalonAbsalon Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Do you think it is possible Jesus' miracles or the divine origin of the Ten Commanments can ever be proven, then?

    I'm not mocking people for believing that god summoned manna, I am mocking them for believing something that can never be validated, unlike everything I believe. I've never been to Norway, and it is possible Norway's existence in media and on maps is just a gigantic prank at my expense. But I can easily verify Norway exists if I want to. God, however, will not ever be within human reach of validation and assuming God's existence is pure folly. And folly can be mocked!

    Simply, I don't want people in society to have their actions influenced by a realm the existence of which can never be proven. It makes me wary.
    Absalon wrote: »
    What's wrong with Santa Claus and what makes him a poor comparison with the virgin birth, Jesus' miracles and the existence of a deity?
    In the context of the quote? it achieves the opposite of what the arguement strives to achieve, regardless of how true it might be.

    So, tone over substance? If people throw their hands up and go "You are mean and dumb and I am through with listening" because their beliefs are compared to the wrong thing, they are looking for an excuse, not a reason, to stop listening. I suspect there is no comparative here that will be accepted, be it Saint Nick, the Easter bunny, Shiva or whatever.

    Arguments are meant to achieve clarification, explain viewpoints, recommend action and express thoughts (among other things), not comport with everyone's fee-fees.

    Absalon on
  • Grey PaladinGrey Paladin Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    And do you believe that the best way to make people act as you desire is to mock them? What do you hope to achieve, through mocking them?

    Folly can be mocked. The question is whether folly should be mocked. If someone is bad at mathematics, the best way to make them improve is not to tell them they are stupid until they get it right.

    You are right that people do not, as a rule, desire to hear others challenge their opinion. This does not means that you do not need to convince said people to achieve your goal. This isn't about vindication. Its about results.

    Grey Paladin on
    "All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible." - T.E. Lawrence
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    And do you believe that the best way to make people act as you desire is to mock them? What do you hope to achieve, through mocking them?

    Folly can be mocked. The question is whether folly should be mocked. If someone is bad at mathematics, the best way to make them improve is not to tell them they are stupid until they get it right.

    You are right that people do not, as a rule, desire to hear others challenge their opinion. This does not means that you do not need to convince said people to achieve your goal. This isn't about vindication. Its about results.

    If someone is trying to get better at mathematics, mocking them would be horrible.

    If they are preaching an anti-math platform, trying to get math removed from school curriculums, and pass laws barring math skills from being a requirement for any job then you should mock the fuck out of them.

  • MentalExerciseMentalExercise Indefenestrable Registered User regular
    I am having a hard time remembering the last time I debated a subject of importance where most-everyone didn't already have strong opinions.

    This here exactly. It would be one thing if you knew your audience was fresh to the topic, but nearly always even the people that are undecided in their final conclusions hold various opinions about the subject. So if your starting point is that everyone that thinks differently is a moron, you've immediately lost a huge portion of any audience.

    By the way, none of this is to say there is no place for jokes in the world. Nearly everything needs to be made light of on a fairly regular basis. It just doesn't have much place in debate or discourse.

    "More fish for Kunta!"

    --LeVar Burton
  • AbsalonAbsalon Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    And do you believe that the best way to make people act as you desire is to mock them? What do you hope to achieve, through mocking them?

    Folly can be mocked. The question is whether folly should be mocked. If someone is bad at mathematics, the best way to make them improve is not to tell them they are stupid until they get it right.

    You are right that people do not, as a rule, desire to hear others challenge their opinion. This does not means that you do not need to convince said people to achieve your goal. This isn't about justice, but about changing the world.

    You think not being able to do mathematics well and believing Jesus turned water into wine is comparable? There is no improvement that is needed here, it is an intrinsically faulty way of considering the world.

    Belief is when you act as if something is true even though you have not investigated whether it is true.

    Religious belief is when you act as if something is true even though you will never be able to investigate whether it is true.

    VERY big difference. There is little one can do with tone, argumentative and rhetorical sensitivity and politeness to wean people off this way of thinking. But one can start by not accepting it as a valid way of navigating the world outside of you own personal life, because in the outside world your actions (which are affected by your thoughts and beliefs) will affect your society and other people, and it is important you are attuned with reality and the verifiable, and not the fundamentally non-verifiable.

    Absalon on
  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Harrisonburg, VARegistered User regular
    gjaustin wrote: »
    Elitistb wrote:
    For the people who advocate a softer tone, what is the suggested method for dealing with individuals in the 75% majority who continue to profess belief in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny despite being 25-75+ years old?

    Not accusing religious people of believing in Santa Claus might be a start.
    Also, not giving a shit, because nobody makes policy based on the Tooth Fairy.

  • Grey PaladinGrey Paladin Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    @Regina: Despite that person being a silly goose, calling him a silly goose instead of pointing out why mathematics are important is not going to get him to behave differently.

    This is slightly beside the point, but I feel this needs to be said. A massive portion of those who call themselves christians (for example) are only christian because they were brought up on these values, and like most of humanity never really gave it much thought. 'My community said this is true; I want to fit into my community; thus I'll believe this is true' is the thought process almost everyone go through, often as early as 5 or 6. Add a life-time of indoctrination and you have yourself a believer.

    Those people never really had a shot to believe something else. Mocking them is only going to push them further into the clutch of their community. There is no justice in letting this go without criticism, I agree, but I do honestly believe these people can (and, slowly, will) be swayed and the only way to do it is not to reject them outright when they reach out beyond what they know.

    @Absalon:
    There is no need to tell me religion is irrational and/or harmful. We are in agreement here.
    There is little one can do with tone, argumentative and rhetorical sensitivity and politeness to wean people off this way of thinking.
    Do you believe insulting them will work where rhetoric does not? History is full of entire civilizations converting their religion, some without blood. The key is synchronism. Push one issue at a time, slowly evolving faith, until you phase it out altogether.

    Grey Paladin on
    "All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible." - T.E. Lawrence
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    @Regina: Despite that person being a silly goose, calling him a silly goose instead of pointing out why mathematics are important is not going to get him to behave differently.

    It's not, and never has been about convincing him to behave differently. For our purposes nothing will ever, ever change his mind.

    It's about stopping him from getting anyone on his side. Mocking him, if done correctly, could help with that. Debating him and validating his anti-math worldview runs the risk of emboldening and empowering him. You could also very easily win the debate and lose the audience. This happens often.

  • Grey PaladinGrey Paladin Registered User regular
    As I've mentioned previously, the difference in a real-world case is that the audience is usually not neutral (this is especially true when it comes to issues concerning religion) - they are either on your side or the opposition's. In this case what you are trying to do is convince people who hold the opposing view point. Insulting it is then counter-productive.

    Given a neutral audience, I concede that insulting the opposition can be effective. I cannot think of many political issues where the audience is neutral, so to speak, in the real world.

    "All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible." - T.E. Lawrence
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    The so-called climate change debate is the perfect example of this. Big Oil and the Republicans have successfully convinced half the country that there "no scientific consensus" and that "The debate is still ongoing, we need more data" (even as they furiously cut all research budgets to try and drown babby data in the bathtub).

    They did this by having Big Oil fund a couple of think tanks, whose highly paid, ethically unrestrained scientists form the tiny minority of scientists who "have not reached consensus."

    So who do you try to win over in this debate? Big Oil? Republicans? The Big Oil-funded think tank?

    Hopefully not, because that would be pathetic and stupid.

    You try to win over the public. And you sure as hell don't worry about hurting Big Oil's feelings when you do that. If there is a cheap shot, take it.

    note: This does not mean calling someone "poopy head" in a debate, lets let that strawman die.

  • AbsalonAbsalon Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Not to mention that at a certain point you have to realize some people are out to create an old debate/controversy all over again just to hide the fact that they've been shown to have been beaten in the past ("Urban Heat Island effect! Hide the decline! My mother's womb was lined with asbestos while I was gestating!"). Those people are beyond despicable and don't deserve to be responded to with anything but the most vicious vitriol you can come up with, because they are destroying the very concept of discourse.

    You can't wake people up when they are pretending to be asleep because the bed is comfy.

    Absalon on
  • MentalExerciseMentalExercise Indefenestrable Registered User regular
    The so-called climate change debate is the perfect example of this. Big Oil and the Republicans have successfully convinced half the country that there "no scientific consensus" and that "The debate is still ongoing, we need more data" (even as they furiously cut all research budgets to try and drown babby data in the bathtub).

    They did this by having Big Oil fund a couple of think tanks, whose highly paid, ethically unrestrained scientists form the tiny minority of scientists who "have not reached consensus."

    So who do you try to win over in this debate? Big Oil? Republicans? The Big Oil-funded think tank?

    Hopefully not, because that would be pathetic and stupid.

    You try to win over the public. And you sure as hell don't worry about hurting Big Oil's feelings when you do that. If there is a cheap shot, take it.

    note: This does not mean calling someone "poopy head" in a debate, lets let that strawman die.

    Except your cheap shot probably doesn't just hit your target. It also hits a whole lot of people in the audience; the people you're trying to convince.

    "More fish for Kunta!"

    --LeVar Burton
  • gjaustingjaustin Registered User regular
    Absalon wrote:
    Do you think it is possible Jesus' miracles or the divine origin of the Ten Commanments can ever be proven, then?

    Proven? Yes.
    Disproven? Barring time-travel, aliens telling us they did it, or another religion being proven - Mostly likely not.

    But that's an entirely different thread.

    Your belief is not required
  • Grey PaladinGrey Paladin Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    @Regina: The debate has been framed in party politics (probably on purpose). A lot of people self-identify as republican. If you make fun of their party then, by transitivity, they feel you make fun of them. Framing the issue as party-related is a double-edged sword, though, and so most democrats hold the opposite opinion. As a result you once again have a two-sided audience where you are only trying to win the support of the people who stand against you.

    To get out of this trap you must reframe the issue as non-party specific. If you wish to use the mocking technique, you must find a way to somehow separate the 'bad people' you are talking about from the oppositional audience in their mind. It is a similar trick to 'Some people - and I am not talking about you, good honest folk here, but some people...'.

    Grey Paladin on
    "All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible." - T.E. Lawrence
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad. The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    gjaustin wrote: »
    Absalon wrote:
    Do you think it is possible Jesus' miracles or the divine origin of the Ten Commanments can ever be proven, then?

    Proven? Yes.
    Disproven? Barring time-travel, aliens telling us they did it, or another religion being proven - Mostly likely not.

    But that's an entirely different thread.

    The thing about religion, and it's something that Sagan, Dawkins, Hitchens, etc. said, is that if you want to believe in the Sky Wizard, bully for you. Just don't try to convince me to believe in the Sky Wizard and don't try making laws based on what the Sky Wizard whispered into your ear or the ears of iron age scribblers.

    Any attack on a person's religion beyond those two points is kind of useless and indeed gives the Becks and Santorums of the world extra ammunition.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • mindsporkmindspork Registered User
    @Regina: Despite that person being a silly goose, calling him a silly goose instead of pointing out why mathematics are important is not going to get him to behave differently.

    It's not, and never has been about convincing him to behave differently. For our purposes nothing will ever, ever change his mind.

    It's about stopping him from getting anyone on his side. Mocking him, if done correctly, could help with that. Debating him and validating his anti-math worldview runs the risk of emboldening and empowering him. You could also very easily win the debate and lose the audience. This happens often.

    Gods I'll have to find the source - it was on Reddit or here or somewhere, but it was a Young Earth Creationist giving a talk at a school. And he had put up flyers that under his qualifications put "Debated so and so" as a qualification.

    Which would be about like Michael Spinks applying for the Boxing Hall of Fame and saying "Faced Mike Tyson".

  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    @Regina: The debate has been framed in party politics (probably on purpose). A lot of people self-identify as republican. If you make fun of their party then, by transitivity, they feel you make fun of them. Framing the issue as party-related is a double-edged sword, though, and so most democrats hold the opposite opinion. As a result you once again have a two-sided audience where you are only trying to win the support of the people who stand against you.

    To get out of this trap you must reframe the issue as non-party specific. If you wish to use the mocking technique, you must find a way to somehow separate the 'bad people' you are talking about from the oppositional audience in their mind. It is a similar trick to 'Some people - and I am not talking about you, good honest folk here, but some people...'.


    No one has advocated doing things that are obviously detrimental to your cause, such as telling a room that is 50/50 Democrats and Republicans that all Republicans are evil.

    I said way, way back early in the thread that any use of mockery needs to be measured and appropriate.

    So I'm not really willing to take on defending the use of mockery that is neither measured nor appropriate.

    Nor do I need to be lectured on how mockery that is neither measured nor appropriate is damaging to ones argument. So stop doing that as well please.

    I don't need to be convinced that calling your opponent a shithead in a debate is stupid. I don't need to be convinced that insulting your audience at the same time you insult your opponent is stupid. I also don't need to be convinced that down is down, or that the sky is blue. In short, I am not impressed by people stating hugely obvious facts with deep gravity in such a way as to imply that I was previously unaware of them.

    Some people seem to feel that any use of mockery, any attempt to make your opponent look stupid or ineffective is bad and wrong. And I feel that is an exceptionally idealistic viewpoint to have in a political sphere that has been dirty and ugly since the very beginning (see the Jefferson/Adams video). I'm interested in seeing these people's arguments because I am really, really skeptical. But I'm willing to listen at least.

  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    gjaustin wrote: »
    Absalon wrote:
    Do you think it is possible Jesus' miracles or the divine origin of the Ten Commanments can ever be proven, then?

    Proven? Yes.
    Disproven? Barring time-travel, aliens telling us they did it, or another religion being proven - Mostly likely not.

    But that's an entirely different thread.

    The thing about religion, and it's something that Sagan, Dawkins, Hitchens, etc. said, is that if you want to believe in the Sky Wizard, bully for you. Just don't try to convince me to believe in the Sky Wizard and don't try making laws based on what the Sky Wizard whispered into your ear or the ears of iron age scribblers.

    Any attack on a person's religion beyond those two points is kind of useless and indeed gives the Becks and Santorums of the world extra ammunition.

    Isn't mocking religion through the term "sky wizard" exactly the sort of attack that is kind of useless and gives Beck and Santorum extra ammunition? I'm not sure if you guys are doing this on purpose, or if it's so infected your discourse that you literally cannot even mention ideas without belittling and humiliating them.

    Successful Kickstarter get! Drop by Bare Mettle Entertainment if you'd like to see what we're making.
  • Grey PaladinGrey Paladin Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    @Regina: My apologies, then, but you did respond to a response I wrote that was directed at another person, so I assumed you, too, held the same view point. I have already stated, more than a few times, that in certain cases the technique is useful so I am unsure on why you decided to argue with me.

    Grey Paladin on
    "All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible." - T.E. Lawrence
  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    I'm curious what people think having a softer tone has achieved for liberals over the past four or so decades.

    You know, besides kowtowing to every retarded opinion like it's worth considering and people with horrific, destructive opinions being considered perfectly acceptable to run the country.

    Quid on
    PSN: allenquid
  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    gjaustin wrote: »
    Absalon wrote:
    Do you think it is possible Jesus' miracles or the divine origin of the Ten Commanments can ever be proven, then?

    Proven? Yes.
    Disproven? Barring time-travel, aliens telling us they did it, or another religion being proven - Mostly likely not.

    But that's an entirely different thread.

    The thing about religion, and it's something that Sagan, Dawkins, Hitchens, etc. said, is that if you want to believe in the Sky Wizard, bully for you. Just don't try to convince me to believe in the Sky Wizard and don't try making laws based on what the Sky Wizard whispered into your ear or the ears of iron age scribblers.

    Any attack on a person's religion beyond those two points is kind of useless and indeed gives the Becks and Santorums of the world extra ammunition.

    Isn't mocking religion through the term "sky wizard" exactly the sort of attack that is kind of useless and gives Beck and Santorum extra ammunition? I'm not sure if you guys are doing this on purpose, or if it's so infected your discourse that you literally cannot even mention ideas without belittling and humiliating them.

    Religion isn't always mocked when it's bought up.

  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Regina, I would just like to see the use of mockery and humiliation decrease here on this forum, just as a start. Nevermind the wider political battlespace - some folks can't even control themselves in this thread!

    spool32 on
    Successful Kickstarter get! Drop by Bare Mettle Entertainment if you'd like to see what we're making.
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad. The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    gjaustin wrote: »
    Absalon wrote:
    Do you think it is possible Jesus' miracles or the divine origin of the Ten Commanments can ever be proven, then?

    Proven? Yes.
    Disproven? Barring time-travel, aliens telling us they did it, or another religion being proven - Mostly likely not.

    But that's an entirely different thread.

    The thing about religion, and it's something that Sagan, Dawkins, Hitchens, etc. said, is that if you want to believe in the Sky Wizard, bully for you. Just don't try to convince me to believe in the Sky Wizard and don't try making laws based on what the Sky Wizard whispered into your ear or the ears of iron age scribblers.

    Any attack on a person's religion beyond those two points is kind of useless and indeed gives the Becks and Santorums of the world extra ammunition.

    Isn't mocking religion through the term "sky wizard" exactly the sort of attack that is kind of useless and gives Beck and Santorum extra ammunition? I'm not sure if you guys are doing this on purpose, or if it's so infected your discourse that you literally cannot even mention ideas without belittling and humiliating them.

    FYI, I'm a christian, as I stated earlier. I use Sky Wizard as a catch all for all religions and because its catchy. Religious people need to get a sense of humor, frankly. If God cant' take a good joke then maybe he's not a god worth paying attention to, eh?

    Lh96QHG.png
  • Grey PaladinGrey Paladin Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    I'm curious what people think having a softer tone has achieved for liberals over the past four or so decades.

    You know, besides kowtowing to every retarded opinion like it's worth considering and people with horrific, destructive opinions being considered perfectly acceptable to run the country.
    Iunno about the US, but it helped avoid genocide in Israel.

    "All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible." - T.E. Lawrence
  • Fallout2manFallout2man Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    spool32 wrote: »
    It's good to see that you've contracted your scope, from the original "religious people" to "the religious right". You still can't seem to stop mocking and ridiculing people as they try to talk about whether we should mock and ridicule people. "Magical happy fantasy world"? Really?

    I don't think that even met the criteria the pro-humiliation people in this thread have set forth to justify their behavior.

    Even I will limit myself specifically to dominionists. Not because I care about what religious people believe, just when they have a very specific religious philosophy which would end in an American Theocracy. I think that makes them fair game. P.S. You seem to take a large amount of offense to remarks not directed directly at you. Why is that? Do you feel some sort of collective guilt when we shame group X in general? Because specific people can always defy group norms, you shouldn't take it necessarily as a direct affront unless you really are saying you embody whatever exaggerated characterizations we talk about when we say something.
    spool32 wrote: »
    Regina, I would just like to see the use of mockery and humiliation decrease here on this forum, just as a start. Nevermind the wider political battlespace - some folks can't even control themselves in this thread!

    And I'd love for you to answer my questions when I ask them. We all can't always get what we want now can we? ;p

    Fallout2man on
    On Ignorance:
    Kana wrote:
    If the best you can come up with against someone who's patently ignorant is to yell back at him, "Yeah? Well there's BOOKS, and they say you're WRONG!"

    Then honestly you're not coming out of this looking great either.
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    The so-called climate change debate is the perfect example of this. Big Oil and the Republicans have successfully convinced half the country that there "no scientific consensus" and that "The debate is still ongoing, we need more data" (even as they furiously cut all research budgets to try and drown babby data in the bathtub).

    They did this by having Big Oil fund a couple of think tanks, whose highly paid, ethically unrestrained scientists form the tiny minority of scientists who "have not reached consensus."

    So who do you try to win over in this debate? Big Oil? Republicans? The Big Oil-funded think tank?

    Hopefully not, because that would be pathetic and stupid.

    You try to win over the public. And you sure as hell don't worry about hurting Big Oil's feelings when you do that. If there is a cheap shot, take it.

    note: This does not mean calling someone "poopy head" in a debate, lets let that strawman die.

    Except your cheap shot probably doesn't just hit your target. It also hits a whole lot of people in the audience; the people you're trying to convince.

    Only if you're doing it very wrong. Framing the climate change "debate" in the image of rich oil barons manipulating politics behind the scenes to conceal the truth from the public.

    For example.

    Probably not going to offend too many rank and file Republicans. Oil barons, yes.

    I know this because the Republican party managed to frame climate change as a bunch of squabbling scientists who are crying chicken little without having "all the facts".

    And the only people offended were scientists. The public was not offended.

    And yet this was a dirty, dirty tactic. Dirty, and effective, and it didn't magically offend everyone.

  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    gjaustin wrote: »
    Absalon wrote:
    Do you think it is possible Jesus' miracles or the divine origin of the Ten Commanments can ever be proven, then?

    Proven? Yes.
    Disproven? Barring time-travel, aliens telling us they did it, or another religion being proven - Mostly likely not.

    But that's an entirely different thread.

    The thing about religion, and it's something that Sagan, Dawkins, Hitchens, etc. said, is that if you want to believe in the Sky Wizard, bully for you. Just don't try to convince me to believe in the Sky Wizard and don't try making laws based on what the Sky Wizard whispered into your ear or the ears of iron age scribblers.

    Any attack on a person's religion beyond those two points is kind of useless and indeed gives the Becks and Santorums of the world extra ammunition.

    Isn't mocking religion through the term "sky wizard" exactly the sort of attack that is kind of useless and gives Beck and Santorum extra ammunition? I'm not sure if you guys are doing this on purpose, or if it's so infected your discourse that you literally cannot even mention ideas without belittling and humiliating them.

    FYI, I'm a christian, as I stated earlier. I use Sky Wizard as a catch all for all religions and because its catchy. Religious people need to get a sense of humor, frankly. If God cant' take a good joke then maybe he's not a god worth paying attention to, eh?

    You sure it's not Stockholm Syndrome? ;-)

    That's another problem with constantly deployed mockery and humiliation. It leads people to be gun shy and apt to take your joke seriously, because it sounds just like the mean-spirited crap people were throwing around earlier.

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  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    For example.

    Probably not going to offend too many rank and file Republicans. Oil barons, yes.

    I know this because the Republican party managed to frame climate change as a bunch of squabbling scientists who are crying chicken little without having "all the facts".

    And the only people offended were scientists. The public was not offended.

    And yet this was a dirty, dirty tactic. Dirty, and effective, and it didn't magically offend everyone.

    Clearly the best option is to calmly present the facts while other people lie and degrade you and make bogus claims about your facts and it's totally going to work out.

    PSN: allenquid
  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    It's good to see that you've contracted your scope, from the original "religious people" to "the religious right". You still can't seem to stop mocking and ridiculing people as they try to talk about whether we should mock and ridicule people. "Magical happy fantasy world"? Really?

    I don't think that even met the criteria the pro-humiliation people in this thread have set forth to justify their behavior.

    Even I will limit myself specifically to dominionists. Not because I care about what religious people believe, just when they have a very specific religious philosophy which would end in an American Theocracy. I think that makes them fair game. P.S. You seem to take a large amount of offense to remarks not directed directly at you. Why is that? Do you feel some sort of collective guilt when we shame group X in general? Because specific people can always defy group norms, you shouldn't take it necessarily as a direct affront unless you really are saying you embody whatever exaggerated characterizations we talk about when we say something.

    This is basically the "I have black friends" defense of bad behavior!

    Speaking up in the face of the stream of offense isn't the problem - it's the stream of offense. If you think I'm on about this sort of thing a lot, maybe it's because there's a lot to be on about.

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  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »

    Clearly the best option is to calmly present the facts while other people lie and degrade you and make bogus claims about your facts and it's totally going to work out.

    You know that might be the best thing to do if the only other option was to start foaming at the mouth and cursing at people in a tourettes-like outburst.

    Of course, there's huge middle ground here which seems to be getting ignored. Everything from a very light jab that will make your opponent look like a heel if he overreacts to, all the way up to the most obscene sort of whispering campaign.

    And all that can be incredibly effective.

    No one is arguing that the world wouldn't be nicer if politics were a bit cleaner. But they aren't, and it's crazy to me that people want our side to play nice when the other side doesn't and frequently curbstomps us as a result.

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad. The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    gjaustin wrote: »
    Absalon wrote:
    Do you think it is possible Jesus' miracles or the divine origin of the Ten Commanments can ever be proven, then?

    Proven? Yes.
    Disproven? Barring time-travel, aliens telling us they did it, or another religion being proven - Mostly likely not.

    But that's an entirely different thread.

    The thing about religion, and it's something that Sagan, Dawkins, Hitchens, etc. said, is that if you want to believe in the Sky Wizard, bully for you. Just don't try to convince me to believe in the Sky Wizard and don't try making laws based on what the Sky Wizard whispered into your ear or the ears of iron age scribblers.

    Any attack on a person's religion beyond those two points is kind of useless and indeed gives the Becks and Santorums of the world extra ammunition.

    Isn't mocking religion through the term "sky wizard" exactly the sort of attack that is kind of useless and gives Beck and Santorum extra ammunition? I'm not sure if you guys are doing this on purpose, or if it's so infected your discourse that you literally cannot even mention ideas without belittling and humiliating them.

    FYI, I'm a christian, as I stated earlier. I use Sky Wizard as a catch all for all religions and because its catchy. Religious people need to get a sense of humor, frankly. If God cant' take a good joke then maybe he's not a god worth paying attention to, eh?

    You sure it's not Stockholm Syndrome? ;-)

    That's another problem with constantly deployed mockery and humiliation. It leads people to be gun shy and apt to take your joke seriously, because it sounds just like the mean-spirited crap people were throwing around earlier.

    Well see here's a bigger thing. I grew up in a Southern Baptist church and any little wiggle that wasn't in deep holy admiration is seen as an "attack". Christians need to lighten up, taking religion too seriously leads to something and it isn't pretty.

    There should be nothing on this planet that is above getting a cheap joke told at its expense.

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  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    It's good to see that you've contracted your scope, from the original "religious people" to "the religious right". You still can't seem to stop mocking and ridiculing people as they try to talk about whether we should mock and ridicule people. "Magical happy fantasy world"? Really?

    I don't think that even met the criteria the pro-humiliation people in this thread have set forth to justify their behavior.

    Even I will limit myself specifically to dominionists. Not because I care about what religious people believe, just when they have a very specific religious philosophy which would end in an American Theocracy. I think that makes them fair game. P.S. You seem to take a large amount of offense to remarks not directed directly at you. Why is that? Do you feel some sort of collective guilt when we shame group X in general? Because specific people can always defy group norms, you shouldn't take it necessarily as a direct affront unless you really are saying you embody whatever exaggerated characterizations we talk about when we say something.

    This is basically the "I have black friends" defense of bad behavior!

    No, it's not.

  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    That only applies if you assume that the audience lacks an opinion of their own as of yet, which is unlikely in the extreme on many many subjects. If you insult an opponent championing one cause, unless you do it in a fashion that only attacks the person and not their arguement, you are also probably insulting a significant portion of the audience, who holds the same opinion. The people who already hold your opinion might laugh, but you already won them over before the battle has began - you, frankly, do not care for their opinion. They are freebies. Thus, unless the majority of the audience is undecided, you are shooting yourself in the foot.

    I am having a hard time remembering the last time I debated a subject of importance where most-everyone didn't already have strong opinions.
    On almost all subjects most people don't have a strong opinion. And they certainly don't have an educated opinion. We're not talking about vague general topics like "Does God exist?" (and even then I'd say there is a decent portion of people with no strong opinion) but specific topics. Topics they didn't know they had to have an opinion about.

    And seriously, aside from Thanatos noone is saying "just insult your opponent". You don't have to be insulting to ridicule. You don't have to throw out all arguments or anything. If you can show that an argument is ridiculous, then you should be free to point out that it's ridiculous. Not hold up the fable that the opponents argument has any merit.
    EDIT: I'd like to add that I am very much opposed to the idea that you are not trying to convert the person you are debating in any realistic framework, but I will concede this is the case in formal competitions.

    Converting the person you're debating is not the point of the debate. Romney is not trying to convince Santorum that he's right, he's trying to convince voters that he is right. If your intention is to convert or convince the person opposing you you're not having a debate.

  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    You sure it's not Stockholm Syndrome? ;-)

    That's another problem with constantly deployed mockery and humiliation. It leads people to be gun shy and apt to take your joke seriously, because it sounds just like the mean-spirited crap people were throwing around earlier.

    Just so we're clear here, at the same time you're decrying jabs being made at religion, you make light of hostages.

    PSN: allenquid
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    Of course, there's huge middle ground here which seems to be getting ignored. Everything from a very light jab that will make your opponent look like a heel if he overreacts to, all the way up to the most obscene sort of whispering campaign.

    It's being blatantly ignored.

    Which is kind of interesting, because it rather proves how being extreme can set the tone of the debate.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Harrisonburg, VARegistered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    Regina, I would just like to see the use of mockery and humiliation decrease here on this forum, just as a start. Nevermind the wider political battlespace - some folks can't even control themselves in this thread!
    Tell you what, I, a random Democrat, will stop mocking the Republican Party on an Internet forum the second the leaders of that party stop demonizing all Democrats, liberals, and atheists on Sunday talk shows, in campaign speeches, in New York Times and Washington Post columns, and on the floor of Congress.

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