21 September 2012

Debating Honestly & Logically

If there’s one thing my life experiences have taught me it's that consistency helps to make things clearer. Furthermore, as my online pages grow it’s becoming harder to reply to all comments, albeit it’s positive to be dealing with adjustments due to a growing audience. It is, however, becoming more difficult to find the time to have prolonged exchanges, and this becomes particularly frustrating when it’s obvious that someone is not interested in amicability, lacks a basic understanding of formulating a logical argument, or is ideologically dogmatic. I always try to be courteous, as long as they are equally respectful. But there are limits.

I present the following, in the hope that it will make online debate and dialogue more rewarding:

Logical Fallacies

Quoting logical fallacies is very popular in online circles, partly because they have an air of sophistication about them. Here is a comprehensive list of logical fallacies. A couple of others not on the list (but also common) are:

a) Appeal to Ridicule: The attempt to dismiss a claim by framing it as absurd. This is usually done by exaggerating or blowing a statement out of all proportion. One such example might be the premise that, since you believe some Muslims are hostile to the West, this somehow equates to you believing that all Muslims are extremists, making you a paranoid conspiracy theorist.

b) Appeal to Academia: This is a type of appeal to authority (or an appeal to misleading authority) wherein only those with academic qualifications are deserving of an opinion. It’s particularly absurd because many academics and ‘experts’ can resort to conjecture to appear correct, and thus cannot always be relied upon to be objective. The other common misconception is that only peer-reviewed research is valid. This is a poor premise since confirmation bias is always something to consider, climate change and sampling being examples. It’s also dishonest to make appeals to academia in an age where information is more readily available than ever. Information is catalogued in easily accessible places online, including scholarly sites like government and university pages.

c) Appeal to Consequences: The assumption that an argument is valid if it generates a desired result. This often manifests as an appeal to emotion, and is false because it does not establish a value of truth in the premise. This is a surprisingly common fallacy, particularly among socialists, who will often resort to any lengths to achieve an objective.

d) Appeal to Flattery: Trying to flatter someone in attempt to make them succumb to your arguments. This is common in YouTube comments, by starting off with the insinuation that they like my work, or enjoy my videos, followed by "but...". They then move on to do nothing but disagree and oppose core arguments and values, expressing no evidence that their is any truth in what they initially stated. Rather, it then becomes apparent that they are in direct opposition to what I stand for.

When it comes to the etiquette of quoting logical fallacies there is one fundamental rule – something cannot be a logical fallacy if it’s backed by a value. For example, stating that there are morals in nature via a system of positive sum trade is not an appeal to nature. It is merely a recognition that many animals are capable of understanding that cooperation can lead to a greater chance of success.

Keep in mind that it’s terrible form to quote logical fallacies incorrectly or disingenuously, especially to appear ‘intellectual’, or to confound another. People who do this are usually extremely conceited, and I’ve found time and again that this correlates with hostility. This is a pet hate of mine, so be warned - I will not tolerate it.

Syllogism

Syllogism is the formulation of a conclusion based on more than one premise, where facts are determined by combining statements. For example:

All men die
I am a man
Therefore I will die

Sounds pretty obvious, right? Well I hate to say it, but even basic syllogism like this isn’t so obvious for many. Take the concept of freedom. Previously I’ve had someone state that I’m not free because I can be tied up. However, the one who is tying me up is using force. Therefore this isn’t voluntary, and thus the one who is tying me up is committing an act of enslavement. Thus my freedom is being violated, rather than proven to be false. This is elementary to someone who has a grasp of basic syllogism. Unfortunately even this level of logical argumentation is hard for some to grasp.

Basic syllogism is an essential component of logical reasoning. Do not expect to be taken seriously if you do not demonstrate this. Furthermore, if belligerence accompanies a lack of basic syllogism you are likely to become very unpopular, very quickly.

Deductive & Inductive Reasoning

Syllogism is a form of deductive reasoning. Deductive reasoning is formed by starting with a theory, followed by a hypothesis, using observation to arrive at a given conclusion. The most familiar version of deductive reasoning is the scientific method. Conversely inductive reasoning begins from observation, relying on patterns and a tentative hypothesis to lead to a theory, such as:
           
10% of humans are left-handed
Mark is a human
Therefore the likelihood of Mark being left-handed is 10%

While we cannot know for certain whether Mark is left-handed or not, we can guess that there is a 10% chance that Mark is left-handed. This leads to a theory drawn from observation. For more information on inductive and deductive reasoning I provide this link.

Again, an understanding of forming a logical argument through evidence is an essential aspect of having a productive discussion, so keep this in mind. Those who are willing to concede that their argumentation requires re-evaluation warrant support, while those that insist on the unproven or unverifiable are not so deserving.

Evidence & Sources

I’ve already gone over the problems of confirmation bias and appeals to academia. Equally, many are also prone to dismissing evidence out-of-hand simply because it comes from a certain source, like a particular newspaper or institution. This can even occur with academic evidence, as well as publications that cite sources.

Wikipedia is one source that many people insist automatically lacks credibility. Wikipedia is arguably one of the easiest sites on the web to confirm the credibility of sources on. Pages and examples that do not cite sources are flagged, and sources are easy to check via a numbered system. It’s quite simply intellectually lazy to dismiss Wikipedia without providing a solid reason why the evidence is invalid.

As already stated above, some like to dismiss evidence if it isn't peer reviewed, or not part of an academic journal. This is elitist given that many journals cannot be made available to a mass audience, since each individual might have to pay for the privilege. This makes it impractical and unrealistic to expect pay-to-access sources to be cited in many cases. Often the complaint against sources that are not peer-reviewed is simply an attempt to destroy the freedom of information, generating a type of Stalinist orthodoxy that authoritarians like to perpetuate. This allows them to control the parameters of free thought and expression, a common tactic for totalitarian ideologies.
The other common misconception is to dismiss a source because of a perceived agenda, like being ‘right-wing’, ‘left-wing’, or part of a religious denomination. This is an ad hominem. Admittedly there are many sources out there that have a poor reputation for bad practice, but it is never good form to dismiss evidence without providing a sound counter position.

Finally, but certainly not least in this regard, if you quote sources that suffer with unfalsifiability, lack of appropriate sampling, or other ideological con tricks, you will be given one chance to see reason, and that one chance includes any explanation in a video/article you are commenting on. I do not have the time to go through infinite sources, pointing out exactly where and why each one specifically lacks sufficient or appropriate evidence. Anyone that continues to pump out source after source, mired in aforementioned flaws, is committing a handful of fallacies (muddying the waters, for one), not to mention wasting my time. I do not have an obligation to continuously be bombarded in this fashion. So check your sources before linking to them, baring in mind what I have stated - you've been warned. I will not have my time wasted.

Amicability

It’s sad that there are many people that don’t want to engage in an amicable fashion, and see every scenario as a win-lose situation. I am always happy to agree to disagree, but this works both ways (it’s also important to note that agreeing to disagree does not involve having the 'last word’).

Smearing and character assassinations are never an acceptable means of conduct because they're based on ad hominems. I’ve learnt the hard way that many will resort to such behaviour at every opportunity, to destroy a person's reputation, rather than their arguments. Also, keep in mind that you cannot commit an ad hominem if it's backed up by a truth value (see logical fallacies).

Due to poisonous behaviour it's important to clarify the facts from time to time, so they can't tarnish your reputation with sociopathic muddying tactics and the incitement of mobs to harass you. There is a time and a place to clear the air however, and I choose my battles wisely. We need only look at history to see the ramifications of being tarnished with lies. Joseph McCarthy and Marie Antionette are two testaments to that.

Revisionism

Revising the facts is nothing new, and there are many times in history where this strategy has been used to harbour sympathy and support. None are guiltier of this in modern times than leftists, and in particular international socialists drawing influence from Marxism. The same can be said for feminism, which is also overwhelmingly influenced by international socialist ideology.

These are tragic times, where thanks in large part to the events succeeding World War II, a pro-communist and radical feminist narrative dominates cultural norms. It is for this reason I have a low threshold for revisionists of this calibre, since it’s a fierce battle to speak the truth when faced with generations of deep-seated indoctrination from these ideologies - I’ve learnt first-hand just how vicious they can be.

Therefore I have a zero tolerance policy for these revisionists, compared to others that might revert to such tactics, since their voices have the most support, and have been the most successful in controlling dialectic.

Concluding Remarks

Sock accounts can be a big problem on YouTube, so be warned that I have no tolerance towards this activity. I am not obligated to engage with anyone incapable or unwilling to be civil, and these individuals will promptly find themselves blocked, or their comment(s) removed. I will try to be patient with those that lack the ability to formulate a sound logical argument. If, however, replies and comments become circular and dogmatic I will most likely find this irksome, as well as a waste of my time and energy.

I would like to end by saying that overall I thoroughly enjoy interacting with others online, in spite of occasional antagonism and goading. The vast majority of people I interact with are pleasant and supportive, and this makes the experience very rewarding.

I look forward to interacting with you in the future.

33 comments:

  1. Two months ago, I wrote a script for a video along these same lines. It was called "The Rules of Debating (Me)" but I decided not to make it. At least not yet. With the way it ended up coming out, it's not appropriate for it to be one of my very early videos. It was kind of amusing (to me at least), so maybe I'll do it someday.

    Separate from that, proper debate skills is a topic of great interest to me and I have had an outline for a series about it. The video I released yesterday isn't a part of that, despite being about a similar subject.

    Sometimes it seems like people only care about logic and argumentation to the extent that it allows them to be more believable in convincing others of whatever. It's less a tool for discovering knowledge than a tool for propagandizing.

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    1. "Sometimes it seems like people only care about logic and argumentation to the extent that it allows them to be more believable in convincing others of whatever. It's less a tool for discovering knowledge than a tool for propagandizing."

      Never a truer word spoken, and that's a very sad state of affairs. At least we can use appropriate argumentation to expose this sort of fallacious thinking for what it is.

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    2. Another variant of the "[...]only care about logic and argumentation to the extent[...]" is the creature that hammers you incessantly for not providing sources, even for trivial claims. It never displays any ability to form a coherent argument. Nor does this creature ever provide any sources for its own claims, even if you are required to. Finally, in my experience, the creature will never read any of the sources provided.

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  2. My first comment would be that when you were explaining deductive reasoning, you erred when listing the steps to formulating a deductive conclusion. You stated that "Deductive reasoning is formed by starting with a theory, followed by a hypothesis, using observation to arrive at a given conclusion." and then directly compared it to the scientific method. The problem with this statement is that the scientific method starts with observations, and a hypothesis is developed to explain those observations. That hypothesis is then tested, and if it passes, it graduates to a theory. I'm not entirely sure if this would deviate from your definition of deductive reasoning, but I would be wary about an incorrect assertion regarding the nature of a theory. We have enough "it's just a theory" nonsense already from people who challenge the validity of the scientific method.

    I definitely agree wholeheartedly with your claim of amicability. The way I see a lot of these debates is that we should all be working towards the same goal, the betterment of society, thus we all have the same vested interest. When I debate with someone, I don't do it from a perspective of "I'm right, you're wrong" or "I win, you lose." Instead, I kinda see it the other way around. As a sceptic, I'm constantly challenging the assertions and beliefs I accept in my life, but as they say, two heads are better than one, and if someone else can see a flaw in a belief I accept that I cannot see, then I want to made aware of it. Unfortunately, a lot of the people challenging my assertions seem unable to formulate coherent thought, and incapable of debating effectively, and are unaware of what logical fallacies are, let alone how to avoid them. This usually results in me pointing out the rampant flaws in their argument, and that often leads to the misunderstanding that we're "fighting". From my perspective, a debate is never a fight if it's honest. It may be frustrating, irratating, or aggravating, but it's never combative, and it's never a conflict between competing debators, it's a conflict between competing ideas.

    Lastly, I don't know what you mean by "sock accounts" on Youtube. Any clarification about this would be appreciated. \o/

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    1. It's important not to air on the incorrect assumption that many make about a scientific theory being 'just a theory'. In science a theory is a solid concept that can be tested and verified. Conversely inductive reasoning is often not accurate enough because it allows for the conclusion to be false a certain percentage of the time, like the 90% of the time when people are right-handed, relating to my example.

      In physics, when we are examining phenomena that we cannot directly observe, like black holes or planets, we start with a theory and work from here to form a conclusion. Einstein did this when imagining he was travelling on a beam of light for example. This is deductive reasoning. Sometimes we are fortunate enough to be able to observe something, but arguably most of what scientists do is not observable.

      Here is a link that explains this all further. If others make the same enquiry as you I will link to it in the main post:

      http://www.livescience.com/21569-deduction-vs-induction.html

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    2. Ah, ok. Disctinction noted. I didn't realise you were referring to using an existing and tested theory to predict phenomena we haven't observed. I thought you were equating the creation of a theory with deductive reasoning.

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    3. It doesn't always have to be an existing or tested theory mind. A theory can start off with a hypothesis that needs to be validated, thus leading to a theory that stands up to scientific sctutiny.

      I also forgot to answer your question about sock accounts. Sock accounts are accounts used to manipulate voting, to troll, or to create alternative online personas. One way to uncover one is if the channel cannot be viewed, or the account is only a day or so old, and has little to no activity. Usually if someone matching these criteria acts like a bull in a china shop then it's indicative of dishonesty.

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  3. If you want to continue commenting on my thread, it is only reasonable that you unblock me on Youtube. -- hlurpseed

    Speaking to amicability, any time you want to block someone, how about finding out if they are serious about what they are saying and let them talk for a few posts before you block them? Blocking cranks is one thing. Having a hair trigger and blocking someone after four comments makes you look like a capricious egoist, which, ironically, is a will-to-power, and not logical.

    The logical mind is a scalpel; not a machete.

    You didn't let me talk long enough to assess whether what I was saying was worth discussing, which, by the way, your values proposition comment isn't logical, either, by my understanding of the logic.

    The natural human condition by default is helplessness dependency on the circumstances and values of others. The family itself is a social contract between family members. In addition, one cannot impose a definition of "freedom" as a natural value based solely on the mindset of an adult male. You don't come into the world a fully grown male. You come into the world as an infant, dependent largely on the control and guidance of others.

    Are we to call parenting slave-ownership? No, that is not logical. But there are limits to your voluntary thesis, and I'm simply exploring them to what I see as their logical conclusions, and I would very much like your input because your logic either carries the day, or will have the weaknesses exposed for further study. I am assuming you actually want to strengthen yourself, and not merely pontificate. I know my logic isn't perfect, and I learn new things every day, including when to assess my own beliefs and adjust them because someone has pointed out new information or a logical inconsistency in what I believe.

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    1. To bring up a naturally altruistic parent child relationship to prove your point makes you look even more like a relativist. Your repeated parroting of "will-to-power" further demonstrates mysticism. But I will entertain ONE reply, and all further comments from you will be deleted, since I’ve already blocked you, and I just don’t have the patience to deal with the irrational mind of relativists any longer, particularly one with your obtuse attitude.

      Biological stimulation like oxytocin, vasopressin, and more, makes parents altruistic towards their children. The relationship is unique in many ways, as well as necessary for reproduction, and one that relativists like you always gloss over for your ideological worldview.

      Children are not owned. They are not property. You obviously cannot get your head around the simple concept that human beings CAN ONLY BE OWNED IF PEOPLE ENSLAVE OTHERS (how many times do I have to say that to you?)! So if that is what you endorse then SAY IT, and stop reverting to your postmodern reverse psychology.

      Humans evolved to be more vulnerable when they are younger because there are developmental advantages for growing in cognitive capacity, as opposed to being born with a higher level of cognition compared to adults, like other animals.

      I could go on and on and on. But it’s obvious that you need to sit down and deal with your issues that make you feel the need to be so relativistic. I suspect your childhood would light up a path to sociopathy like a Christmas tree. Either way, I haven’t got the patience to deal with your passive aggression. If you were more humble perhaps I would. But you’ve burnt that bridge now.

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  4. There is no way that i can accept any of those diagrams they are both
    2 dimensional, reality is more complex.

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  5. Hey RockingMrE could you unblock me on YT? I made ONE comment on your "how leftists revise the political spectrum" and you accused me of being a troll you blocked before and blocked me. In fact I just found your channel and watched a few of your vids and i agree with quite a few of your sentiments, even though Im not a libertarian.

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    1. If you indeed aren't a troll that keeps coming back to make the same arguments repeatedly, then your Pavlovian conditioning and muddying are deeply irritating, and something I will not waste time on. So the answer to your question is no.

      Further clarification for my decision is that if you think I have the time to break through the deep-seated ignorance of your alleged "first" comment, which suggests that fascists were centrists, and questions the political spectrum I present due to appeals to popularity, then you're deeply mistaken.

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    2. Again, I made ONE comment. ONE!!!
      jesus, somehow based on a single comment on YT you are able to deduce my level of Pavlovian conditioning and figure out the depths of my ignorance in my cognitive faculties. I might as well figure out your sex life based on a single Twitter comment lmao.

      And somehow, you deduced that I was a brainwashed sheeple because I didnt automatically agree with your definition of what fascists were. Im used to the traditional definition all my life, thats all.

      I just wanted to know if other groups like the alt-right or other libertarian groups know and approve of the new spectrum (or the old one, if the spectrum you presented is based on ancient definition). Apologies if I offended you.

      It doesnt really matter if the mainstream establishment doesnt accept the new definition. Slowly others will see what economic "left" and "right" wing really mean.
      But the fact of the matter is, right wing is for economic freedom and free market capitalism. but it gets confuddled because "right wingers" traditionally rail for government mandated morality, which is arguably a repression of social freedom.

      I think that the scale should actually be divided into two: one for economic, and the other for social. Mb then it would be easier.

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    3. This comment is somewhat more reasonable, but if you actually read the post above you would see that I'm constantly pestered by those that want to drag any discussion back to collectivist idealism. So I don't tolerate the type of passive aggression that comes by those that try to wrangle the discussion back to the same old dialectic.

      It is not a repression of social freedom if no one has an upper hand due to voluntary and positive sum trade. The state is at the heart of repression. It always has and almost certainly always will be.

      What is your YT account again? I will give you another chance, since you probably weren't who I thought you were?

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    4. Thanks. My YT account is of the same name (Daren Hew) and i commented on "how leftists revise the political spectrum".

      I actually am a centrist, but recently I realised that many left wing economic ideologues, good in theory, do more harm than good.
      Like social welfare, its supposed to help the poor and needy, what happened? It turned many of them slovenly and dependent on handouts, many for the rest of their lives. I dont believe that we should do away with welfare completely, but desperate reforms are necessary.

      Furthermore, if i were a robber baron, it makes sense I would support progressive politicians rather than conservative ones. While i would be taxed higher, I can simply lobby (in secret) for untaxed money from the larger government pool. Furthermore, i would be seen as "morally virtuous" by the public. Its a complete win-win.

      Even more surprising is that, while conservatism certainly have their establishments and niche, the larger portion of the media and general population is left wing. Yet income inequality and poverty is spiralling out of control. Something went wrong somewhere....

      While im not sure if anarchism is possible, i enjoy your videos on philosophy and especially your deconstruction of radical feminism.

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    5. I am not necessarily an anarchist. I am an individualist, and want to work towards solutions that are non-coercive in every sense. I don't worrying about whether the state could exist in this world. It probably could, and the anarchist argument that the state keeps growing back doesn't become resolved in a non-statist world either.

      I've unblocked you. Just be aware that I get a lot of hassle on my channel from collectivist/nihilist types, and that's why I have to block people if they become persistent and dogmatic when pushing their beliefs. I'm not online to be an echo chamber for ideas that dominate in the present paradigm. Quite the opposite.

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  6. I'll bet that this routine you're running of raised-chin condescension and absurd rhetorical questions usually works pretty decently for you.

    The problem with trying to pull it here is that we are keenly aware of the fact that most of your post is irrelevant red herrings.

    Climate change science was held up as an example of an area where confirmation bias is a major threat. You spent most of your post impotently throwing elbows against the idea that the global climate is not changing; a position held by nobody.

    In this context, it doesn't matter whether the global climate is changing or not. Even if it is, whether the changes are largely due to human action (which is what the debate actually about) is also irrelevant.

    What matters is that climate researchers have huge disincentives for doing work that produces evidence against AGW, and instances of this bias rearing its head have been found many times in this field of research.

    Despite your support of some of the climate research going on (97% of 'scientists' might believe in "climate change," but that is not the same as believing in AGW), it's not necessary for you to pretend that climate research is not an area prone to confirmation bias. When you make the mistake of believing that you have to defend your sacred beliefs against all blemishes, you will write shitty, non-responsive posts like this one.

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    1. Thank you Eincrou for responding to this imbecile. Had you not made such a response I would have removed the post for fallacious argumentation, since I have no time and patience for it any longer.

      I can't tell you how sick I am of the fact that people like him ignore how all the pro-climate catastrophe models (and there are several) are not only based on the incredibly exaggerated positive feedback method, but that the claims that these models allude to have yet to come to pass. So they just keep changing the goalposts to fit their hypotheses, which in itself is the stuff of pseudo-science.

      The idea of a consensus is also false given that it's only "climate science" as a rule which is accepted, while meteorology is often ignored and bypassed. The "consensus" is one based on the quasi-scientific IPCC, which has been proven wrong, and failed to garner accurate results, so many times it's becoming a joke.

      This is just a fraction of the reasons why climate change is a joke, and I'll post to my vid here for anyone that wants to know more:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bi3pqQbGrkk

      Also, be sure to watch the video I link to in the info section for an excellent further breakdown.

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    2. Also, I just wanted to add that I had no intention to argue climate change necessarily. My intention was to point out the fact you think your sources and your opinion is more accurate/valid than those who accept "AGW." And therefore anybody who disagrees with you is employing confirmation bias. Unless either side can prove without any doubt whatsoever that the facts are on their side, there is no way to know who MAY or may NOT be employing confirmation bias. Dismissing a counter argument that has, at the very least, as much support and evidence (in my opinion vastly more evidence in rgards to "AGW") as your own as confirmation bias is being entirely disingenuous.

      This is all I have to say about the matter. I will not comment again on this article, as I know you hate being challenged by "imbecils" like me, who disagree with you.

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    3. You've already been blocked from YT, and had comments removed from this blog for being dogmatic and fallacious in your commentary.

      Again you generate a strawman by suggesting that anthropogenic climate change is denied. Few sceptics deny this. The trouble is that your Pavlovian conditioning is so deep-rooted that you don't really know what you're talking about. The problem is in the positive feedback models that exaggerate data, and have not been proven to be accurate AT ALL, hence the myriad of failed predictions.

      This isn't even factoring in the lack of understanding in many areas of the Earth's climate, like the manner in which the sea actually absorbs heat, aka Pacific Decadal Oscillation. The burden isn't on the sceptic to prove the radical claim, and as yet the climate alarmists have failed to have any of their data validated, especially in the scale of time.

      I think the best place for you from here on in is to be blocked and have comments removed, yet again, for wasting my time with your fallacious ignorance and antagonistic views.

      Oh, and yes, you are appealing to popularity with your sources, not to mention misleading authority. Quasi-scientific organisations that cherry pick data, and what they approve of, is not objective.

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  7. I think the problem you and Bernard are having, and specifically why you've been ostracized by the MRM, is that you have commingled the desire to defeat the Left with the desire to achieve men's rights. Bern argues that defeating the left is intrinsic to men's rights, and that is a start. It is a tacit admission that they are two separate issues, and distinct. In other words, defeating the left follows under the larger umbrella of men's rights. Or perhaps it is the other way around? In any event, a blog post clarifying this position would be nice.

    PS I've mentioned this to Bern, and the need for a more honorable debate, but I don't think he wants to. I thought it was just basic decency that we never tell people how to vote

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    1. Your comment is contradictory. If defeating the left is intrinsic to achieving men's rights, not to mention defeating feminist hegemony, then there is no contradiction on our end at all.

      The contradiction is by those that think the very forces that perpetuate feminism can be a part of the MRM. I call this cultural Marxism, and is specifically what is now latching onto the MRM and destroying it via conscious and unconscious advocacy of such a philosophy.

      I would have considered your comment far more informed and honest if you'd asked where Bern and I had made the clarifications you'd ask for already, because there have been countless occasions.

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  8. Have you bothered to learn the meaning of "ad hominem" yet? And do you always delete the comments of people who point out your stupidity? I guess it makes it easier to debate honestly when you just block, ignore and delete the posts of people can actually see how bad at philosophy you are.

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    1. 23discordians: "Have you bothered to learn the meaning of "ad hominem" yet?"

      Ad hominem is Latin, and simply means "to the man." Any statement about a person is "to the man." That's it. Mr.E's use of "ad hominem" was correct if you said anything about him, as a person.

      Your error is in not understanding that "ad hominem" is NOT, in fact, short-hand for the "ad hominem fallacy." What you described in your deleted comment was the ad hominem fallacy, which is a formula of argument that also happens to be a fallacy of relevance.

      You can, and will, be called out for "ad hominems" during the course of debate, even if you don't formulate any arguments around them. It is shitty debate conduct and hopefully your banning will teach you this lesson.

      And to Mr.E, I recommend not referring to this type of stuff as "ad hominems." It's likely to cause confusion among mid-wits like this guy who are still learning how to properly debate, yet somehow believe they have anything to teach a veteran.

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    2. Yeah, you still speaking latin are you? The literal translation is really pretty irrelevant here, at this time, in this place. Nobody literally means "to the man" when they use that phrase. Go ahead and look, find a single academic philosopher using the words "ad hominem" in the sense you say they are used. You won't find one. Ad hominem is always used as a short form of argumentum ad hominem. Maybe on men's rights message boards or forums it's different, I guess I'll admit to being a mid-wit for not knowing such things.

      I eagerly await a response containing an example which proves me wrong. Or even someone who actually wants to debate the points I raised in my original post instead of shutting down debate because I hurt their feelings. I never knew mens rights guys were such pu...**censored for being a non-ad hominem**.



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    3. Eincrou, this guy is a typical example of a leftist troll spreading the myth they're "sophisticated". In reality they manufacture so much garbage that engaging them at all simply leads to nothing but a waste of time and energy, like trying to teach relativity to a three year old.

      The guy is such a fool that he actually believes that he refutes Rand by stating people might be inclined to prefer actions that kill them, clearly failing to understand that rational self-interest would never result in death intentionally. He thus clearly has no clue what rational egoism/self-interest is, and like other leftists conflates his sadist views with prosperity and virtue.

      In truth he is simply projecting all over the place, exposing how his issues and anger are something that need the attention of a VERY good psychoanalyst.

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    4. I almost never point out logical fallacies, because it is almost always an uncharitable and dishonest way to debate. There is usually some way to work out a charitable and non fallacious interpretation. But this is too funny. Saying there is no need to engage with an argument because it was presented by a stupid leftist troll in need of a psychoanalyist and then attempting to refute my argument by presenting it entirely backwards is an ad hominem. Yeah, really. And a straw man. But never mind.

      "such a fool that he actually believes that he refutes Rand by stating people might be inclined to prefer actions that kill them, clearly failing to understand that rational self-interest would never result in death intentionally."

      I never argued that. Not even close. I was arguing that although the self is a necessary condition of values, a necessary condition of values is not necessarily itself a value. Rand needs it to be so, to ground her ethics and get around the is/ought problem.

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    5. No Rand didn't need it to be anything. Ethics are derived from values. If it is necessary to eat to live then that is a value, and therefore an objective standard to apply to rational self-interest. And your claim that a necessary value is not a value is absolutely contradictory and ridiculous. You really don't have a clue what you're talking about. A necessary value is a value, especially since you called it a VALUE within the statement, and therefore your entire point is a non-sequitur and syllogistically nonsensical.

      I based my above conclusion of you being a leftist on your numerous posts here, and on my YouTube account, as well as another ludicrous rant that I deleted here. As such they are based on your own views, and I feel qualified as a result to call you a leftist troll that believes all morality is subject to arbitrary rules and ethical egoism. So yes, you are a typical leftist troll that tries to come across as sophisticated, though in truth is nothing but someone that projects his blatant angst onto others at every opportunity. Therefore you have no clue what an ad hominem is, since a statement of fact is not a fallacy. Read in the body of text above that I consider incorrectly quoting logical fallacies to be the ultimate sin.

      Instead of failing miserably to come across as sophisticated and knowledgeable, as you are trying desperately to do, I recommend you learn about morality and ethics outside of your fallacious ethical egoism. On that note all your trollish comments will be removed from this point. So don't bother engaging any longer.

      I ask people not to reply to this fool any longer. His comments will not remain up for long.

      Oh, and don’t even think about trying to continue this trolling with another account.

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  9. MrE & Eincrou,

    Firstly, the links you provide are excellent and a great help.
    I know time/money is always a factor, with reading/life child-rearing etc.

    However, Karl Popper's - The Logic of Scientific Discovery, covers the 'Deductive, Inductive, Abductive Logics, and their relation and use by Science, and their consequences in fantastic detail.

    Please do not be put off by my login name (It is in the spirit of Hitchen's Irony).

    I am a recent Graduate of Science and can confirm, sadly only anecdotally, unless I breach the privacy of my friends that these phenomena and groups, hold massive sway in Academia, to the point where people think it valid to criticise science for well, working.

    I cannot commend your move away from the MRA+ idea more, I've had to do a lot of catching up recently, (elevatorgate etc) and have noted schism, after schism.

    I have also been in recent contact with some of the newer posters on AVfM, and they seem to be advocating state solutions, in fairness the person I contacted, noted the differences in peoples, cultures etc, but there was the gross intellectual dishonesty, of using appeals to emotion, for example to 'convert people to the cause'.
    I do not know which direction, this is going in, from this persons perspective, but I suspect in the 'away from irrationality' direction, for now, as well it seems "Trust No-One" is almost a Maxim, these days.

    Thunderf00t on YT, is well worth a look, his take on Science and Atheism+ is excellent, similar to yours but with a far more well, a FFS attitude.

    If you are in need of any assistance with Biological Arguments, or evidence, or general science, tearing down media for example, these are my general areas of knowledge and practise.

    Yours,

    A. Thinker

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  10. I think your comment on what a reduction ad absurdum is is wrong. The reductio ad absurdum, the "reductio" is that means to take a position and logically infer something from it, the "absurdum" part is old usage which simply means something like not possible in any possible world, and the way to demonstrate that something is not possible is by showing that it is a logical contradictiion. The "blowing it out of all proportion" is not aspect of the reductio and netiher is the concept of "framing". You are mixing informal fallacies with formal fallcies.

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    1. Damn. My clarity went out of the window on that one. Let me clarify. The reductio is not a fallacy, it is logically valid; what it relies on is the fact that you cannot draw a false conclusion from true premises, so what you have done is shown that at least one of the premises must be false, since the conclusion leads to a contradiction, though you have validly derived it. The reduction is itself valid, what it is used for is to show that what someone is arguing is false in at least one of its premises. Because you have shown that holding one of the premises together with another one allows you to validly derive a contradiction, if you cannot validly derive a contradiction from some premises then you have not successfully performed the reductio and subsequently not shown the argument to be absurd. contradictictory statements can be false together but not true together.

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    2. I understand what you're saying, and am aware of it. Some don't seem to realise that I am pointing out that when reductio absurdum is falsely prescribed to a premise it becomes a straw-man, or better described as an appeal to ridicule. Perhaps I should edit the post accordingly, so that this confusion is not made in the future.

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  11. Sir—

    Your goals of honest discourse and aiming at the truth are commendable. In that light, your list could only be improved by including a description of the Principle of Charity as an additional guideline. Some have called this principle the "steel man" to contrast it with its opposite number, the straw man fallacy. The Long Now foundation has gone even further, and applied this guideline explicitly by requiring a satisfactory re-stating of an opponent's argument during debate.

    http://en.wikipedia.com/wiki/Principle_of_Charity

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