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

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Posts

  • JuliusJulius 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.

    Exactly.

  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered 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.
    spool32 wrote: »
    If you think Obama is the true conservative in the race, how can you argue that progressives should support him? I know he's The One, but come on.

    Gee it's like conservatives say they want things but then do things that aren't those things.

    PSN: allenquid
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad. The King in the SwampRegistered 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.

    I think this is a fair compromise.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • Fallout2manFallout2man Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    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.

    Okay then I'll ask you. What is a valid and invalid offense to you? What is it that you take issue with in specific and why when general criticisms are flung. It can't just be the mockery or the tone because those are just rhetorical devices to convey a level of additional contextual meaning. So, what is it exactly that you find unfair about the level of criticisms labeled against staunch adherents of political philosophy X or religious philosophy Y which you may or may not in any way be a part of? If it's really as simple as feeling it's impolite and against greater etiquette to use certain rhetorical devices in an online internet forum then what alternatives do you propose that would achieve the same ends without the damage you feel is done? If it's not merely the tone then perhaps can you demonstrate an alternative means of criticism you feel would be more directly fair, and explain why it would be preferable?

    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
    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!

    That isn't what this discussion is about.

    Perhaps you should start your own thread discussing how we should behave on this forum.

    This discussion is about politics.

    And as usual, you are here playing the victim. For all your complaints about other people's behavior, you are careful never to address any points or arguments. You've done it to me twice already this morning where you ignore my point and complain about my tone, or word choice, or use of irony.

    You are attacking while pretending to be the victim on the defensive.

    It's your thing. I would say "that's cool that that's your thing" but honestly it's really not very cool, it's just tedious.

  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    Also Jeep, to your credit, you have been amazingly civil yet concise in your discussions lately compared to your past posts and it is wonderfully refreshing.

    PSN: allenquid
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Also Jeep, to your credit, you have been amazingly civil yet concise in your discussions lately compared to your past posts and it is wonderfully refreshing.

    I think it's college that's doing it to me.

  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Feral wrote: »
    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.

    I think the clearest example of that was the "kill grandma" assertion from the healthcare debate of 2009. Conservative commentator and former Bush 43 speechwriter David Frum made the point that the extremism of that one argument was the strategic blunder which prevented Republicans (particularly Senate Republicans) from having a chance to have a serious impact on the language of the finalized legislation. His point was basically that once you've sold the activists in your base on the idea that your opponent is a latter day Adolf Hilter, you can't turn around and try to reach a compromise between your two positions without looking like a latter day Neville Chamberlain. Extremism today murders the potential for consensus tomorrow.

    I think we're still feeling the reverberations of that when you hear interviews with GOP primary voters. Even among the people who accept it as established fact that the President isn't a secret Kenyan post-Colonialist Muslim terrorist appeaser, their number one issue in interviews isn't jobs or the economy or taxes or even repealing healthcare reform -- it's beating Barack Obama. Period, full stop.

    SammyF on
  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Also Jeep, to your credit, you have been amazingly civil yet concise in your discussions lately compared to your past posts and it is wonderfully refreshing.

    I think it's college that's doing it to me.

    Truly it is turning you in to a heartless monster that spews polite truth that conservatives find horribly offensive.

    PSN: allenquid
  • Grey PaladinGrey Paladin Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Julius wrote: »
    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.
    It is the case when it comes to almost every political or philosophical issue of significance. Strong opinions need not be educated ones.
    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.
    You can do this by pointing out Y does not follows X, thus the arguement that X -> Y is invalid. Making a show out of it moves to the condescending and insulting.
    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.
    Debate is not exclusively the province of politics or organized events. You can debate a topic with no one but you and your opponent, or your group and the opposing group. Even in the situation where it is actually the case, it might not be a good idea for the reasons I mentioned previously.

    I am not saying you can't say your opponent is wrong, and show why. I am saying that there is a way to do this that is more productive than using it as ammo against your opponent's image.

    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
    SammyF wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    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.

    I think the clearest example of that was the "kill grandma" assertion from the healthcare debate of 2009. Conservative commentator and former Bush 43 speechwriter David Frum made the point that the extremism of that one argument was the strategic blunder which prevented Republicans (particularly Senate Republicans) from having a chance to have a serious impact on the language of the finalized legislation. His point was basically that once you've sold the activists in your base on the idea that your opponent is a latter day Adolf Hilter, you can't turn around and try to reach a compromise between your two positions without looking like a latter day Neville Chamberlain. Extremism today murders the potential for consensus tomorrow.

    I think we're still feeling the reverberations of that when you hear interviews with GOP primary voters. Even among the people who accept it as established fact that the President isn't a secret Kenyan post-Colonialist Muslim terrorist appeaser, their number one issue in interviews isn't jobs or the economy or taxes or even repealing healthcare reform -- it's beating Barack Obama. Period, full stop.

    Godwin FTW.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    SammyF wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    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.

    I think the clearest example of that was the "kill grandma" assertion from the healthcare debate of 2009. Conservative commentator and former Bush 43 speechwriter David Frum made the point that the extremism of that one argument was the strategic blunder which prevented Republicans (particularly Senate Republicans) from having a chance to have a serious impact on the language of the finalized legislation. His point was basically that once you've sold the activists in your base on the idea that your opponent is a latter day Adolf Hilter, you can't turn around and try to reach a compromise between your two positions without looking like a latter day Neville Chamberlain. Extremism today murders the potential for consensus tomorrow.

    I think we're still feeling the reverberations of that when you hear interviews with GOP primary voters. Even among the people who accept it as established fact that the President isn't a secret Kenyan post-Colonialist Muslim terrorist appeaser, their number one issue in interviews isn't jobs or the economy or taxes or even repealing healthcare reform -- it's beating Barack Obama. Period, full stop.

    Godwin FTW.

    Essentially, although he probably avoided a reference to Godwin at the time because so many other conservative commentators were still whipping that particular dead horse when he originally aired that opinion.

  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    Julius wrote: »
    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.
    It is the case when it comes to almost every political or philosophical issue of significance. Strong opinions need not be educated ones.
    People got strong opinions about topics related to the topic usually, not an actual opinion on the specific topic. Which is why there is a debate in the first place. It would be rather silly to do if there was no actual effect.
    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.
    You can do this by pointing out Y does not follows X, thus the arguement that X -> Y is invalid. Making a show out of it moves to the condescending and insulting.
    Yes and if you do that you'll lose the audience. Because you can be sure your opponent is doing it.
    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.
    Debate is not exclusively the province of politics or organized events. You can debate a topic with no one but you and your opponent, or your group and the opposing group. Even in the situation where it is actually the case, it might not be a good idea for the reasons I mentioned previously.

    You can do that but then it's not actually a debate. Debate is not just the same as discussion.

  • ElitistbElitistb Registered User regular
    I am not saying you can't say your opponent is wrong, and show why. I am saying that there is a way to do this that is more productive than using it as ammo against your opponent's image.
    Some of us are saying you have not sufficiently shown that there is such a way.

    steam_sig.png
  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Julius wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    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.
    It is the case when it comes to almost every political or philosophical issue of significance. Strong opinions need not be educated ones.
    People got strong opinions about topics related to the topic usually, not an actual opinion on the specific topic. Which is why there is a debate in the first place. It would be rather silly to do if there was no actual effect.

    Has this been posted yet?
    Recently, a few political scientists have begun to discover a human tendency deeply discouraging to anyone with faith in the power of information. It’s this: Facts don’t necessarily have the power to change our minds. In fact, quite the opposite. In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan found that when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs. Facts, they found, were not curing misinformation. Like an underpowered antibiotic, facts could actually make misinformation even stronger.

    SammyF on
  • Grey PaladinGrey Paladin Registered User regular
    Julius wrote: »
    People got strong opinions about topics related to the topic usually, not an actual opinion on the specific topic. Which is why there is a debate in the first place. It would be rather silly to do if there was no actual effect.
    I am not sure what you are trying to say here. Can you please expound?
    Yes and if you do that you'll lose the audience. Because you can be sure your opponent is doing it.
    We are getting a bit circular here. I have previously stated that, depending on whether the audience is mostly composed of the undecided or those who already have a strong opinion on the subject dictates whether this strategy is useful or not. If you have a split crowd your opponent is not going to win over people who support you by insulting you in ways to reflect on your allegiance
    You can do that but then it's not actually a debate. Debate is not just the same as discussion.
    Perhaps this is an issue of semantics then. Under this definition, I'll of course agree with you that the point is not to convince your opponent. However, in split-crowd environments, you still want to effectively try to persuade the opponent, if only to persuade the oppositional crowd by proxy.

    "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
    This is why I mock the very idea of religious beliefs, even when homophobia and political aggressiveness isn't involved. Basically, religious histrionics from parents makes their kids sick and endangers others as well. I am simply not for being civil towards people who makes important decisions like this based on unchallenged metaphysical whimsy.

    The state health authorities in Indiana have released a list of possible places where the victims of the outbreak may have contracted the disease. Several of them, including the College Park Church in Indianapolis and a basketball tournament for homeschooled children, are intriguing because of the cross-pollination between fundamentalist Christianity and the anti-vaccination movement. In 2005, a young Indiana woman came home from a mission trip to Romania and kicked off another measles outbreak within the congregation of her church. According to the CDC report on that outbreak:
    However, there was less agreement that children should receive all recommended vaccines and that childhood vaccines in general and the measles vaccine in particular are safe. Most believed that childhood vaccinations may cause serious side effects or learning disabilities. All believed in the right to refuse vaccines, but were open to alternatives such as quarantine or staying out of school or work during an outbreak. All reported that they had access to enough information on vaccination.
    The reasons cited most often for not receiving measles-containing vaccine included: a preference for naturally acquired infection, advice from an alternative health-care provider, media, personal religious objections to vaccination.


    Full text, from the eminent Charles P. Pierce at the Esquire politics blog.
    Spoiler:

    Edit: AManFromEarth, don't I know it (Bill Maher, wtf dude). The important thing here is that basing your decisions and values on a strictly metaphysical and supernatural realm that takes precedence over the real world leads to bad decisions (and bad parenting) even outside of politics.

    Absalon on
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad. The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Absalon wrote: »
    This is why I mock the very idea of religious beliefs, even when homophobia and political aggressiveness isn't involved. Basically, religious histrionics from parents makes their kids sick and endangers others as well. I am simply not for being civil towards people who makes important decisions like this based on unchallenged metaphysical whimsy.

    The state health authorities in Indiana have released a list of possible places where the victims of the outbreak may have contracted the disease. Several of them, including the College Park Church in Indianapolis and a basketball tournament for homeschooled children, are intriguing because of the cross-pollination between fundamentalist Christianity and the anti-vaccination movement. In 2005, a young Indiana woman came home from a mission trip to Romania and kicked off another measles outbreak within the congregation of her church. According to the CDC report on that outbreak:
    However, there was less agreement that children should receive all recommended vaccines and that childhood vaccines in general and the measles vaccine in particular are safe. Most believed that childhood vaccinations may cause serious side effects or learning disabilities. All believed in the right to refuse vaccines, but were open to alternatives such as quarantine or staying out of school or work during an outbreak. All reported that they had access to enough information on vaccination.
    The reasons cited most often for not receiving measles-containing vaccine included: a preference for naturally acquired infection, advice from an alternative health-care provider, media, personal religious objections to vaccination.


    Full text, from the eminent Charles P. Pierce at the Esquire politics blog.
    Spoiler:

    The anti-vac movement isn't restricted to fundies. There are a lot of dumbasses on the left who believe it too.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    Why hello Bill Maher. You dipshit.

    Lose: to suffer defeat, to misplace (Ex: "I hope I don't lose the match." "Did you lose your phone again?")
    Loose: about to slip, to release (Ex: "That knot is loose." "Loose arrows.")
  • belligerentbelligerent Registered User regular
    Absalon wrote: »
    Edit: AManFromEarth, don't I know it (Bill Maher, wtf dude). The important thing here is that basing your decisions and values on a strictly metaphysical and supernatural realm that takes precedence over the real world leads to bad decisions (and bad parenting) even outside of politics.

    Sometimes, I grant you. But painting with broad strokes is just as bad. As an agnostic, I've seen the religious, or merely the faithful, make some pretty god damn good decisions in both their parenting decisions as well as how they act in the real world.

    But it's cool to be prejudiced against an entire population based on generalization and stereotypes, right? This is the internet after all.


    Am I doing it right?

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad. The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Absalon wrote: »
    Edit: AManFromEarth, don't I know it (Bill Maher, wtf dude). The important thing here is that basing your decisions and values on a strictly metaphysical and supernatural realm that takes precedence over the real world leads to bad decisions (and bad parenting) even outside of politics.

    Sometimes, I grant you. But painting with broad strokes is just as bad. As an agnostic, I've seen the religious, or merely the faithful, make some pretty god damn good decisions in both their parenting decisions as well as how they act in the real world.

    But it's cool to be prejudiced against an entire population based on generalization and stereotypes, right? This is the internet after all.


    Am I doing it right?

    Well, I consider myself a fairly spiritual guy, but I know well enough that it's moronic to base law or public policy on that belief.

    Even on a personal level, I have no time for people who don't take aid when it's offered because "God will save me!". It's a bit ridiculous. But I also think that most people aren't that goosey and it's just as damaging a broad stroke to make as morons who stand up and yell at atheists for being "mad at God".

    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

    A good message for all sides to take in.

    I find it limiting to attempt to insulate religion from science (though very very very necessary to insulate science from religion). My readings of the Bible's more mythological aspects are greatly enhanced by an understanding of how the universe actually works.

    The best of Jesus and Carl Sagan, that's the way to go, imo.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • ElitistbElitistb Registered User regular
    Absalon wrote: »
    Edit: AManFromEarth, don't I know it (Bill Maher, wtf dude). The important thing here is that basing your decisions and values on a strictly metaphysical and supernatural realm that takes precedence over the real world leads to bad decisions (and bad parenting) even outside of politics.

    Sometimes, I grant you. But painting with broad strokes is just as bad. As an agnostic, I've seen the religious, or merely the faithful, make some pretty god damn good decisions in both their parenting decisions as well as how they act in the real world.

    But it's cool to be prejudiced against an entire population based on generalization and stereotypes, right? This is the internet after all.


    Am I doing it right?
    Well, except your reply completely ignored the "basing your decisions" part of his paragraph.

    steam_sig.png
  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered 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!

    That isn't what this discussion is about.

    Perhaps you should start your own thread discussing how we should behave on this forum.

    This discussion is about politics.

    And as usual, you are here playing the victim. For all your complaints about other people's behavior, you are careful never to address any points or arguments. You've done it to me twice already this morning where you ignore my point and complain about my tone, or word choice, or use of irony.

    You are attacking while pretending to be the victim on the defensive.

    This discussion is about civility in discourse, as the title and the OP make clear. It's not only about politics! Trying to reframe the discussion such that I'm out of bounds isn't really going to fly. Besides that, topicality arguments are still pretty cheap shots, aren't they? It's been a while since I was doing debate - maybe they're not as lowly as they once were thought to be.

    You've been very guilty lately of answering one bit of a post I make, and leaving the rest to stand unmolested, so I think it's pretty rich of you to try and level that sort of accusation at me. Moreover, this is a discussion about civility! Talking about your tone and your word choices are dead center in the realm of discussion, in this thread. Likewise, pointing out things that are offensive isn't pretending to be victimized, especially in a discussion about civility!

  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    Absalon wrote: »
    This is why I mock the very idea of religious beliefs, even when homophobia and political aggressiveness isn't involved. Basically, religious histrionics from parents makes their kids sick and endangers others as well. I am simply not for being civil towards people who makes important decisions like this based on unchallenged metaphysical whimsy.

    The state health authorities in Indiana have released a list of possible places where the victims of the outbreak may have contracted the disease. Several of them, including the College Park Church in Indianapolis and a basketball tournament for homeschooled children, are intriguing because of the cross-pollination between fundamentalist Christianity and the anti-vaccination movement. In 2005, a young Indiana woman came home from a mission trip to Romania and kicked off another measles outbreak within the congregation of her church. According to the CDC report on that outbreak:
    However, there was less agreement that children should receive all recommended vaccines and that childhood vaccines in general and the measles vaccine in particular are safe. Most believed that childhood vaccinations may cause serious side effects or learning disabilities. All believed in the right to refuse vaccines, but were open to alternatives such as quarantine or staying out of school or work during an outbreak. All reported that they had access to enough information on vaccination.
    The reasons cited most often for not receiving measles-containing vaccine included: a preference for naturally acquired infection, advice from an alternative health-care provider, media, personal religious objections to vaccination.


    Full text, from the eminent Charles P. Pierce at the Esquire politics blog.
    Spoiler:

    The anti-vac movement isn't restricted to fundies. There are a lot of dumbasses on the left who believe it too.

    In my admittedly anecdotal experience, there's a pretty solid overlap between lefties who believe anti-vax crap and lefties who have converted to Hinduism after reading the Bhagavad Ghita one time and now believe in reincarnation and psychic powers. The willingness to act on occult nonsense implies a gap in your bullshit detection algorithms so big you could drive a Vanagon through it.

    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.
  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    This discussion is about civility in discourse, as the title and the OP make clear. It's not only about politics! Trying to reframe the discussion such that I'm out of bounds isn't really going to fly.
    spool32 wrote: »
    If you think Obama is the true conservative in the race, how can you argue that progressives should support him? I know he's The One, but come on.

    I mean God damn now. It's almost like you have no sense of shame.

    PSN: allenquid
  • belligerentbelligerent Registered User regular
    Elitistb wrote: »
    Absalon wrote: »
    Edit: AManFromEarth, don't I know it (Bill Maher, wtf dude). The important thing here is that basing your decisions and values on a strictly metaphysical and supernatural realm that takes precedence over the real world leads to bad decisions (and bad parenting) even outside of politics.

    Sometimes, I grant you. But painting with broad strokes is just as bad. As an agnostic, I've seen the religious, or merely the faithful, make some pretty god damn good decisions in both their parenting decisions as well as how they act in the real world.

    But it's cool to be prejudiced against an entire population based on generalization and stereotypes, right? This is the internet after all.


    Am I doing it right?
    Well, except your reply completely ignored the "basing your decisions" part of his paragraph.

    Again, I can only speak anecdotally, but I did mean that they were basing their parenting and other decision based on their religious upbringing or tenets of faith. I mean, Unitarian universality is still a religion. Also, very few religions "strictly base their decisions and values on the supernatural realm." Fixing the broken world and all that.

    I'm sure this could simply be a disconnect between ideologies, but there has to be a common discourse between different belief systems. I'm always curious as to how people reach the same conclusions as other people.

    In a philosophy class, an atheist was trying to create the argument that since nothing existed once a person was dead, that death in it self wasn't a bad thing. So if nothing is left when a person dies, then nothing/no one is there to suffer the end of their existence, then that meant that murder wasn't a bad thing (because there wasn't a victim, according to them). I didn't know how to respond to this: was there an empirical reason why killing someone was bad? I mean, Newton hasn't suffered from death longer than Whitney Houston, right?

    So, I dunno, I think both sides have something interesting to say. I think that you can disagree without resorting to mocking outright during the initial conversation. While science is amazing, and awesomely provable, it's still something alot of people have faith in.

    I have no idea how a combustion engine, or the LHC, works. I just believe they do. :)

  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    No, it's exactly like he has no sense of shame.

    And the way he is dramatically wounded by so very many comments here reminds me of World Cup soccer.

  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Absalon wrote: »
    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.

    I think a religious person might tell you you can make your "trip to Norway" when you die.

    Also, let's not forget that scientists "fail to disprove" things, they don't "verify" or "prove" that their theories are correct. Until we find a way to explain every event in the history of time, and that there is nothing that happens outside of time of before time "began," the possibility that god or some other force exists has not been disproven. . .

    I am a non-observant Jew and have no idea if I really believe in a higher power, FWIW.

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad. The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Elitistb wrote: »
    Absalon wrote: »
    Edit: AManFromEarth, don't I know it (Bill Maher, wtf dude). The important thing here is that basing your decisions and values on a strictly metaphysical and supernatural realm that takes precedence over the real world leads to bad decisions (and bad parenting) even outside of politics.

    Sometimes, I grant you. But painting with broad strokes is just as bad. As an agnostic, I've seen the religious, or merely the faithful, make some pretty god damn good decisions in both their parenting decisions as well as how they act in the real world.

    But it's cool to be prejudiced against an entire population based on generalization and stereotypes, right? This is the internet after all.


    Am I doing it right?
    Well, except your reply completely ignored the "basing your decisions" part of his paragraph.

    Again, I can only speak anecdotally, but I did mean that they were basing their parenting and other decision based on their religious upbringing or tenets of faith. I mean, Unitarian universality is still a religion. Also, very few religions "strictly base their decisions and values on the supernatural realm." Fixing the broken world and all that.

    I'm sure this could simply be a disconnect between ideologies, but there has to be a common discourse between different belief systems. I'm always curious as to how people reach the same conclusions as other people.

    In a philosophy class, an atheist was trying to create the argument that since nothing existed once a person was dead, that death in it self wasn't a bad thing. So if nothing is left when a person dies, then nothing/no one is there to suffer the end of their existence, then that meant that murder wasn't a bad thing (because there wasn't a victim, according to them). I didn't know how to respond to this: was there an empirical reason why killing someone was bad? I mean, Newton hasn't suffered from death longer than Whitney Houston, right?

    So, I dunno, I think both sides have something interesting to say. I think that you can disagree without resorting to mocking outright during the initial conversation. While science is amazing, and awesomely provable, it's still something alot of people have faith in.

    I have no idea how a combustion engine, or the LHC, works. I just believe they do. :)

    You should research how they do, it's pretty sweet.

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  • November FifthNovember Fifth Registered User regular
    I am not sure how much civility you can expect between fandom and religion, given that the two sides have been in a shooting war for the last century over things like decency codes and the morality of fantasy, science fiction and gaming in general. There is very much an us versus them mentality within both parties that predates these forums and the Internet in general.

    Even right leaning fans tend to be dismissive if not outright hostile towards fundamentalist Christians. There's just not a common ground to build from.

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  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad. The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    I am not sure how much civility you can expect between fandom and religion, given that the two sides have been in a shooting war for the last century over things like decency codes and the morality of fantasy, science fiction and gaming in general. There is very much an us versus them mentality within both parties that predates these forums and the Internet in general.

    Even right leaning fans tend to be dismissive if not outright hostile towards fundamentalist Christians. There's just not a common ground to build from.

    Fandom?

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  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    No, it's exactly like he has no sense of shame.

    And the way he is dramatically wounded by so very many comments here reminds me of World Cup soccer.

    But no see civility from liberals is necessary.

    Otherwise how else will Santorum be able to call us pig fuckers?

    PSN: allenquid
  • Fallout2manFallout2man Registered User regular
    Again, I can only speak anecdotally, but I did mean that they were basing their parenting and other decision based on their religious upbringing or tenets of faith. I mean, Unitarian universality is still a religion. Also, very few religions "strictly base their decisions and values on the supernatural realm." Fixing the broken world and all that.

    I'm sure this could simply be a disconnect between ideologies, but there has to be a common discourse between different belief systems. I'm always curious as to how people reach the same conclusions as other people.

    In a philosophy class, an atheist was trying to create the argument that since nothing existed once a person was dead, that death in it self wasn't a bad thing. So if nothing is left when a person dies, then nothing/no one is there to suffer the end of their existence, then that meant that murder wasn't a bad thing (because there wasn't a victim, according to them). I didn't know how to respond to this: was there an empirical reason why killing someone was bad? I mean, Newton hasn't suffered from death longer than Whitney Houston, right?

    So, I dunno, I think both sides have something interesting to say. I think that you can disagree without resorting to mocking outright during the initial conversation. While science is amazing, and awesomely provable, it's still something alot of people have faith in.

    I have no idea how a combustion engine, or the LHC, works. I just believe they do. :)

    Most people don't make the distinction between religions that preach innerency and those that preach stricter moral codes. It's easy to get upset and paint in broad strokes because dominionists (the angry types like Rick Santorum that want to to throw gays in jail, chain women in the kitchen barefoot/pregnant, and make sure enjoyable sex is illegal) aren't a singular group you can identify as they belong to multiple denominations. Then there are also the crazy faith-healers who entirely eschew modern medicine for prayer, or believe that mental illness is Satan possessing their children, giving them free reign to torture them to "exercise the demons."

    You can be spiritual, religious, etc and still not practice blatant reality denial. The problem is that there's no real way to say "blatant reality denial" and make the intended effect (which is to get certain believers to stop denying reality in the name of their deity of choice.) In general you could consider me an Atheist in that I don't believe in anything like a giant metaphysical God that is a singular ruler of all things. But I do ascribe to the possibility of the unseen containing profound mysteries and perhaps even entire new levels of reality or types of intelligences that we of today cannot even fathom. But I don't let my interest in metaphysics and the unknown dictate my decisions because I also ascribe to rational observation of the world and if something doesn't work I'm not going to keep beating the square peg into the round hole and hoping it fits.

    Really, we just need a better way to get people to stop ignoring what's right in front of their faces. It's not all believers, but the ones who do are the ones fighting the hardest to get control in government and that is downright scary.

    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.
  • emnmnmeemnmnme Heard about this on conservative radio:Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    No, it's exactly like he has no sense of shame.

    And the way he is dramatically wounded by so very many comments here reminds me of World Cup soccer.

    But no see civility from liberals is necessary.

    Otherwise how else will Santorum be able to call us pig fuckers?

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  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Harrisonburg, VARegistered User regular
    Also, let's not forget that scientists "fail to disprove" things, they don't "verify" or "prove" that their theories are correct. Until we find a way to explain every event in the history of time, and that there is nothing that happens outside of time of before time "began," the possibility that god or some other force exists has not been disproven. . .
    It is not in the purview of science to disprove theology. Unless the God hypothesis makes testable predictions, it is not scientific, and asking scientists to disprove it is utterly absurd.

  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    I think a religious person might tell you you can make your "trip to Norway" when you die.

    o_O
    Also, let's not forget that scientists "fail to disprove" things, they don't "verify" or "prove" that their theories are correct. Until we find a way to explain every event in the history of time, and that there is nothing that happens outside of time of before time "began," the possibility that god or some other force exists has not been disproven. . .

    I am a non-observant Jew and have no idea if I really believe in a higher power, FWIW.

    Technically you're right. There is no way to prove god can exist without taking those impossible steps. What you're missing is that while science isn't perfect it evolves over time and every step makes it that easier for humanity to understand the universe. It also can't prove a negative. Which is where religion thrives in. Ambiguous concepts that can't be proven like deities should always be taken with a grain of salt since they depend on faith rather than concrete evidence to exist. Faith is a good thing to have but to rely on unprovable concepts can end up very badly when it is taken too far.

    It also doesn't make any deity look good. If they really exist they're acting like dicks to everyone. Had they actually had a constant presence we wouldn't get into arguments about whether they exist or not. It sure as hell would weaken the athiest and agnostic communities arguments.

    Harry Dresden on
  • Grey PaladinGrey Paladin Registered User regular
    That video depresses me. I always figured that Liberals are the smarter side. If people buy this kind of rhetoric this puts my thoughts to the test.

    "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
    emnmnme wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    No, it's exactly like he has no sense of shame.

    And the way he is dramatically wounded by so very many comments here reminds me of World Cup soccer.

    But no see civility from liberals is necessary.

    Otherwise how else will Santorum be able to call us pig fuckers?


    Yes, she sounded completely unhinged.

    I'm sure that she literally meant that they are demons. Literally. It wasn't a figurative description at all. Furthermore, you could hear that the audience was completely alienated and offended.

    She may as well have just started calling everyone poopy-head and been done with it.

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad. The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    That video depresses me. I always figured that Liberals are the smarter side. If people buy this kind of rhetoric this puts my thoughts to the test.

    Every side and every person has their fair share of dickbag in them.

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  • Gandalf_the_CrazedGandalf_the_Crazed Vigilo ConfidoRegistered User regular
    If Santorum were posting on this forum, I would no doubt be including him in my accusation of incivility. As it is, my statements are being made within the PA forum community, directed at the PA forum community.

    When I speak in a more public way, I address more public concerns, such as Santorum's behavior.

    So comments like:
    But no see civility from liberals is necessary.

    Otherwise how else will Santorum be able to call us pig fuckers?

    ...kinda baffle me, because it's not like I've endorsed Santorum's statements at all.

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