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Dreg(OD)

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What's left among the left?

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This is some lengthy reading you are asking us to put in, so you might have to wait a while to get an in-depth reply from me.

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1 hour ago, Terra said:

This is some lengthy reading you are asking us to put in, so you might have to wait a while to get an in-depth reply from me.

Trust me I know the struggles all to well xD but then again most things you reply to me are usually no and putting @PJPotter(OD) in the dryer isnt very humane and not a good idea

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6 hours ago, TypeReaL(OD) said:

Trust me I know the struggles all to well xD

 

Yeah right. Putting PJPotter in the dryer is about as close to understanding philosophy as you're able to manage. =P

Try not to get too wrapped up in the topic, my dear TypeReaL, or you might run the risk of putting together a coherent thought, and then the image of you in everyone's mind that has become so familiar would be shattered. Such a scandal it would be.

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7 hours ago, Terra said:

 

Yeah right. Putting PJPotter in the dryer is about as close to understanding philosophy as you're able to manage. =P

Try not to get too wrapped up in the topic, my dear TypeReaL, or you might run the risk of putting together a coherent thought, and then the image of you in everyone's mind that has become so familiar would be shattered. Such a scandal it would be.

We cant have a scandal Ill just stick to my personal philosophy of if it grows smoke it and clothing optional

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10 hours ago, TypeReaL(OD) said:

We cant have a scandal Ill just stick to my personal philosophy of if it grows smoke it and clothing optional

Im sold.

I too will make an effort at doing this, this week Dreg. I love this specific topic, and nobody in my day to day life likes reeeel discussions.

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All right, banter aside you created this topic to hear some responses, so out of respect for the work you have written there I will give an honest reply. I'll break it up into three sections here.

 

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A summary for those who aren't inclined to read the whole page

The write focuses on teaching people how to debate objectively and effectively, defining "objective truth" as a form of perfect discussion that one must strive towards achieving through more or less a trial-and-error process. It goes through a series of common fallacies to help readers familiarize themselves with what they are and what they do, and does a pretty decent job of describing ways to debunk them. And it ends off by emphasizing the approaches you should focus on.

 

As it turns out this isn't a discussion of philosophy so much as a discussion about.. well.. discussion. But it has enough good information in it that I consider it a good read, and for anyone who takes an interest in debating skills I'd actually recommend it.

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My thoughts on it

 

The parts I agree with

- The definition of an objective truth

- The three phases of R (Reflect, Reconsider, Resolve)

- The definitions and responses to fallacies (some of the examples given are a bit on the simple side, but accurate nonetheless)

- Considering whether the outcome of a solution would be worse than the problem

- Use analogies, but use them right

- Arguing for merit in certain circumstances rather than certainty

- Don't get distracted

- The explanation on the difference between subjectivity and objectivity

- Dealing in truth leads to absolutes

- It's about the audience more than the opponent

- Draw conclusions from your premises, not your assumptions

 

 

The parts I disagree with

- That an objective truth, like perfection, is unattainable

- Pursuing objective truth through trial and error

- Present an unsure position confidently

- The TL;DR Position and the approach of discarding it as laziness

 

So, why do I disagree with these points, you are probably wondering. Well we'll just have to agree to disagree!

Just kidding. I'll explain each one in turn.

 

 

That an objective truth, like perfection, is unattainable

 

 


To consider an objective truth to be unattainable is to consider truth itself to be unattainable. But if that were true then there would be no point in discussions or debates at all. Fortunately that's not actually the case. It *could* be said that being able to convince everyone of the truth is an unattainable goal but the question of whether something is objectively true isn't based on the number of people that believe it. 1 + 1 = 2 will always be true, even if there are people who think its not. (It's not 11, TypeReaL)

The fact that the British Empire formed colonies in North America some 411 years ago is objectively true. The fact that the Earth is round is objectively true. Any discussion whose conclusion is dependent on a real event, system, or formula will have an objective truth to it, and that objective truth can be determined by those who know how to follow the facts. However it can become increasingly difficult to determine the objective truth the less readily available facts are (either from lack of available information or because of the convolution of misinformation).

 

It takes a degree of skill to determine the truth of a particularly complex or controversial matter. It takes an entirely different set of skills to convince others of that truth after you've determined it. We call the type of people who can do both "right".
 

 

 

Pursuing objective truth through trial and error

 

 


Although it is true that you can become better at determining objective truths through trial and error (i.e. frequently being proven wrong) but it is not the only way, or even what I would say is the best way. We are a lucky generation, practically the entire world's worth of information is available to us at any given time. (Thanks Google!) We can actually double-check our own information or what we believe to be true before actually presenting it as such. For example I didn't actually know the British Empire first colonized America 411 years ago, but I looked it up and then I did! And I can assert it as the truth even more-so because I now have sources to back that up.

 

Naturally there are going to be times when you are wrong anyway, either because you forgot to check, or misinterpreted something on a site, or the websites you took your information from weren't actually reputable sources of information. Certainly is a lot of those, I admit. You can minimize the chances of it happening by finding multiple sites known to be credible who all assert the same information on something. But you'll still end up wrong sometimes, and recognizing when you are wrong and learning from it is still an effective way of getting better.

 

Nevertheless successfully debating isn't just about going in swinging with what you believe you know, good preparation before a debate will make all the difference. And I'll follow up on this further in the next subject in line.
 

 

 

Present an unsure position confidently

 

 


Don't argue a position you are unsure of. Take the time to become sure of it first and then argue it. Being wrong is a good way to learn, for sure, but each time you are wrong you will also lose credibility, which will make it harder to convince your audience during the times you are actually right, even when your information seems flawless. It is a far better strategy to take steps to minimize your chances of being wrong as much as possible. If you do take a position you are uncertain of, be open about your uncertainty in the areas you are unsure of. After all, it isn't *really* about winning, but rather a collaborative effort from all involved parties to determine the truth.

 

If you confidently present an argument you are unsure of, and you happen to be wrong in it, then in the best case scenario someone shuts you down hard for being wrong and you lose the credibility I mentioned before. But in the worst case scenario, no one shuts you down. The worst possible scenario is that you present something wrong, and people believe you because you assert it confidently. In such a situation people end up believing the wrong thing, which only makes the real truth harder to determine, and can even have real-world effects. You only need to see examples of how gullible society as a whole is, and the actions they've taken from misguided or stereotypical beliefs to see that. (2016 American election anyone?)

 

It is my opinion that anyone in the pursuit of attaining objective truth should avoid any action that may lead them or others further away from it.
 

 

 

The TL;DR Position and the approach of discarding it as laziness

 

 


Surprised you with this one, didn't I?

It isn't necessarily wrong to suggest that those who throw up a "This is too long I'm not gonna read this" are being lazy, depending on where exactly you place the bar when it comes to laziness. And if it is just one or two people who failed to develop an attention span during elementary school then sure, you can easily discard them as being inconsequential to the discussion. But if it is the majority of your audience, then you can't.

 

You have to know your audience, because just as the writing itself states (and a part I wholly agree with) it's more about the audience than it is about your opponent. There are plenty of debate-heavy forums and medias out there in which thoughtful intellectuals will happily read your four paragraphs asserting the truth of a matter. If you tried posting those same four paragraphs here in the OD forum well... you're probably not gonna get very many serious readers. Which is fine if its something that doesn't require their attention, but believe me when I say there are times where you have to convince a certain populace of OD about the truth of something, and in such occasions you can't simply dismiss them if they don't want to read it.

 

The reality is it doesn't matter how right or accurate your words are, if no one will read what you have to say then being right won't matter. So sometimes being able to drive home your points in more concise manners is an important skill to have. And a few tools to help alleviate the appearance of a daunting wall of text can help too. (Such as these spoiler sections, for example!)
 

 

 

In the end you clearly have a passion for debate and discussion. ( I can tell from the whole "destroy them mercilessly when they are wrong" part =P ) And I think that is fantastic. It is far too rare to come across people who choose to willingly be engaging in debate and discussion, which is too bad because it is one of the best ways to become a wiser and more experienced person. And it is equally clear from your writ that you've become a far more wise and experienced person than most average people manage to attain, and actually the fact that there are so many parts of your written work that I agreed with I feel makes a pretty strong testament to that. Whether or not you agree with my assessments about the areas I disagree with I think you are on the fast-track to understanding people and much of the world regardless. So stay true to that passion! (Not like you need me to say that, but my concluding statement just wouldn't sound very... concluded.. unless I added something like that at the end. 😕 )

 

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Some Debate tips from Terra

So I'll end off by throwing in a few bits from my own experience in debates, to add onto the already considerably helpful suggestions provided by Mr. Burr.

 

Some pro tips for those who want to be better debaters

 

 


 

1. Identify the strongest points that support your position and center your argument on those points

It is always tempting to continue adding more and more points to support your argument with those "And also...!" and "As well as...!" moments, but the more broad your argument becomes the more chinks in its armor it will have. If even one point is wrong or inaccurate in any way then it brings down the credibility of your entire argument and breaks your momentum. If you can present a strong position with only a single solid point or two, then your position is immovable if they can't dispute those points.

 

2. If your debate is an argument, keep your argument as concise and to-the-point as possible

Trim out those unnecessary words and sentences and avoid repeating points you've already made. (I'm looking at you, Aerineth) Longer doesn't necessarily mean more impressive. This isn't just important for maintaining the attention of the.. attention-impaired, but also in ensuring that your points are clear and apparent to all readers. A single solid paragraph to drive home your point will have more of an impact than four paragraphs echoing the merits of the same point, or glossing over numerous less impressive points. Your argument will seem stronger, you will seem more competent, and your opponent will seem like they are reaching or struggling if they are trying to write an essay to argue your one paragraph. Don't just hammer away, go for the knock-out punches.

 

3. Make as few assumptions as possible

Jeremy mentioned it already in his writ but it is worth mentioning again. By its very definition an assumption is what we do when we don't know the right answer, the more assumptions we have to make when discussing our thoughts and positions, the more indicative it is, to ourselves if not to others, that we are lacking in information about the topic of discussion. And every assumption you make is another Achilles' Heel you add to your argument, another potential weakness. It is the same as if you were in a martial arts or combat match and you gave your opponent an opening they could strike at you with. Even a novice is gonna smack you one if you give them too many. (See? I'm so good with those analogies!)

There are times when there simply isn't enough information to determine something conclusively, and you have to make your best judgement, and in such cases having to make an assumption or two are unavoidable. But every effort should be made to keep it as minimal as possible.

 

After all, you know what they say...

Assuming makes an ass

out of

you.

 

Seriously, it really only makes an ass out of you. So try not to do it.
 

 

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You can't ever be sure that you're absolutely and objectively right, but properly taking steps to get close to it will ensure confidence in any given topic you're attempting to understand.

You can be sure that you're absolutely and objectively right about something, but that does indeed require confidence. However confidence is meaningless when you are confident about something that you're actually (partially) wrong about. If I earnestly believed (using Terra's example) that 1+1 = 3, it doesn't change the verifiable and observable fact that 1+1 = 2.

 

So what is the best way to work towards objective truth? The key is to be be wrong enough times. Yeah, you read that right. To put it more eloquently, the key is to participate in discussion and debate on whatever topic you wish to seek objective truth in as often as possible. 

You can just do research and and conduct experiments. Once you reach a conclusion, just get it peer-reviewed and see what the majority achieve provided that your method isn't flawed.

 

Even if you're unsure of any current position you're taking, present it confidently anyways. This will ensure that the responses you get from opposing opinions will be stronger. 

How can you confidently present something you're uncertain of? This sounds like a contradiction. The wise thing's not to present something you're uncertain about. 

 

So what if you lose? Is your whole world going to fall apart? No, in fact, it's the opposite, as you've just learned something new about the world and now you can see it from a new and possibly better perspective. When you're wrong, you shouldn't stay wrong, right? So don't.

If you lose a debate, I certainly hope it wouldn't be from presenting arguments that you're uncertain of. Also, did you know that people are stubborn enough to refuse any opposing opinions even if they're true? Going back to the 1+1 = 2 example, I could potentially be an individual who is so convinced that 1+1=3 that I refuse to see it from any other perspective (see religion). Just hope that whoever you're debating or having a conversation with isn't a close-minded tool. 

 

Reflect on the conversation. Make sure you understand what happened. Try to understand where you went wrong and where they went right. Sometimes, after much reflection, you might realize that you weren't wrong at all, only that you failed to defend your position. Then you can come back to that discussion with a stronger argument than last time.

If you're debating whether a certain topic is true or not, failure to defend your position only limits the possibility of the opposing side from seeing things from your way regardless if you're wrong or right.

 

The lesson in this is simple: To embrace being wrong as one step closer to being right, instead of being unwavering and stubborn. Eventually, you will reach a point where it becomes harder and harder to be proven wrong and finally a point where you can't fathom losing a debate in certain areas.

Embracing being wrong can mean being unwavering and stubborn. What's key in debating, is preparation. Be ready to argue points that will deflect any opposing arguments. There's a term for looking at something from the other side in a debate; this is known as playing Devil's advocate. This will help you understand them and their opinions which will present you with the opportunity to better reinforce your arguments. By using this method, a debate can be over even before it starts. 

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So what is a fallacy? It's quite simply a flaw in logic.

This can be caused by presenting arguments you're uncertain of "with confidence".

 

Throwing out a fact you're not highly confident is true can and will come back to haunt you.

Didn't Burr mention earlier that you should present something you're uncertain of with confidence?

 

 

 

 

 

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Interesting responses. I have to go to sleep in a minute, but I'll try to make time for responding sometime soon.

A quick response for now though. A lot of what has been said has to do with either my poor wording or wording that could be taken different ways. I plan on editing/altering so that those misconceptions are cleared up. Also remember that this is philosophy, and not a factual presentation. Some things that are said which seem obviously untrue are for the purpose of philosophical perspective and not necessarily meant to be taken at face value. For instance, if your parent threatened to "kick your ass" but weren't actually going to physically assault you, it's untrue that they would, but the threat has purpose and function.

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Posted (edited)
Quote

That an objective truth, like perfection, is unattainable


I mean, of course it is, sometimes. But this is the philosophy of approaching a subject with the assumption that, despite all of your certainty, you could still be wrong, and is to ensure that when you are, you're ready to learn how and why.

 

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Pursuing objective truth through trial and error

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You can just do research and and conduct experiments. Once you reach a conclusion, just get it peer-reviewed and see what the majority achieve provided that your method isn't flawed.


It's not to say that you should abandon other avenues of learning to any degree, but rather to appreciate the one outlined more. Most of the positions I take nowdays were learned the way it's outlined here. Often, no amount of critical thinking, facts on hand, or genius can guarantee that you've got the objective truth pegged. Being wrong, however, means you've been able to learn something and makes just a little bit closer to it, at least.

There is so much misinformation, misconstruing, lies, disingenuous studies, facts that can be misunderstood or misinterpreted, history that may not be accurate because it wasn't recorded properly, etc. There's so much out there, that to assume that your position has to be correct just because you've got some facts and thought critically on it is, in my opinion, foolish.
 

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Present an unsure position confidently

Quote

How can you confidently present something you're uncertain of? This sounds like a contradiction. The wise thing's not to present something you're uncertain about. 

The whole idea isn't to BE confident, but to present WITH confidence in such a way that your opponent would find worth giving it their best.

Within this philosophy, you're not taking sides. You're NOT in this discussion to present what you think is true and end it with that. No, you're in the discussion to learn and you're not going to learn much if you can't even get your opponent to take your position seriously.

 

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It is my opinion that anyone in the pursuit of attaining objective truth should avoid any action that may lead them or others further away from it.
 

I wont disagree with this. I guess presenting with confidence isn't necessarily the only or best way to achieve the above. I suppose I'll have to think of a better way to word that so that readers can understand where it's coming from.

 

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The reality is it doesn't matter how right or accurate your words are, if no one will read what you have to say then being right won't matter. So sometimes being able to drive home your points in more concise manners is an important skill to have.

This seems to just be coming from a place of apathy though. It doesn't matter for what reason they didn't read, it doesn't make it any less a flawed position to take if you're going to engage in a debate. Why participate in a debate at all if you're not willing to put in the effort?

It's one thing to understand that someone isn't interested in the topic or what's being said, it's another thing to challenge what has been said, but then back out because you're not willing to put in the effort to follow through.

I do like that you pointed out the importance of being concise. I suppose that's something I should revise to include.

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Also, did you know that people are stubborn enough to refuse any opposing opinions even if they're true?

Should that stop you from making an attempt to learn from others?
 

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(see religion)

All due respect, that goes BOTH WAYS sir. I run into far more close-minded atheists who think they've got the answers to the universe than Christians who refuse to listen to the other side.
(Btw, I am Atheist)

 

Quote

If you're debating whether a certain topic is true or not, failure to defend your position only limits the possibility of the opposing side from seeing things from your way regardless if you're wrong or right.

Why bother debating at all, if learning isn't to be part of it? If being wrong isn't something to learn from?

What I'm getting from you thus far is that your intent for debate is shallow and limited to
"I'm going to present what I know and think to others but I have no intention of learning from my errors or to expect to learn anything"

In my opinion, that position has no place in debate. If your whole goal is only to promote what you think, it's just projected narcissism.

 

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What's key in debating, is preparation. Be ready to argue points that will deflect any opposing arguments.

Not if the goal in a debate is to learn, instead of present your views and nothing more.

This whole writ starts off with "This is a philosophy to attempt to get closer to objective truth"
It DID NOT start off as "This is how you win debates"

 

Quote

There's a term for looking at something from the other side in a debate; this is known as playing Devil's advocate.

Nowhere in the writ did it imply that playing Devils Advocate wasn't effective. It simply just failed to touch on it. In fact, I should probably add a part about that.

However, Devils Advocate will only get you so far. It's like playing yourself in chess. It will sharpen your skills to some extent, but you will never master all openings, all variants, all answers, all strategies, etc. To assume such a thing is possible is to imply that the human brain is or can be omniscient.

I hope I cleared some things up. If you hadn't realized yet, I am Jeremy Burr (The writer). I plan on making some revisions to this based on this discussion. Notice how that worked. Notice how my defense of this work wasn't unwavering and I wasn't afraid to take something from the discussion or to learn from it. Almost as if I expected to learn something and responded accordingly. That is the purpose and function of this work.

So far, these will be my first revisions, because this is the first bit of real feedback I've gotten. The work is flawed and even some of my positions may be as well. I am prepared for that.

 

Edited by Dreg(OD)
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27 minutes ago, Dreg(OD) said:

The whole idea isn't to BE confident, but to present WITH confidence in such a way that your opponent would find worth giving it their best.

Within this philosophy, you're not taking sides. You're NOT in this discussion to present what you think is true and end it with that. No, you're in the discussion to learn and you're not going to learn much if you can't even get your opponent to take your position seriously.

 

Just something I want to chime in here.  If we're talking about a true philosophical debate, there should be no need to feign confidence to have your point be seriously evaluated.  In the context of a true, civil, philosophical debate, all participating parties should be observing the principle of charity.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Altros(OD) said:

 

Just something I want to chime in here.  If we're talking about a true philosophical debate, there should be no need to feign confidence to have your point be seriously evaluated.  In the context of a true, civil, philosophical debate, all participating parties should be observing the principle of charity. 


Key words here are Should Be.

I think debates should be just as much about learning as presenting an opinion.
I think more people should be intelligent and debate better, but that's not reality.

The point is "true, civil, philosophical [debates]" are too few and far between. It's true that that's the way it should be. But it isn't that way often enough, so you act accordingly.

Squeeze the lemon for all it has got. There's no reason to take a position of apathy just because you wanted a Peach.

 

Edited by Dreg(OD)
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I would argue that the solution to uncharitable participants is to remove them from the discussion rather than to change how the discussion is performed.  An uncharitable participant is a superficial problem that is easily solved by their removal.  However, feigning confidence will always carry a risk of leading people or the discussion astray; it is a solution to a superficial problem that introduces a systemic problem, one with no solution, in its place.  I would argue that this solution is worse than the original problem.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Altros(OD) said:

However, feigning confidence will always carry a risk of leading people or the discussion astray; it is a solution to a superficial problem that introduces a systemic problem, one with no solution, in its place.  I would argue that this solution is worse than the original problem. 


I already confessed that this may not have been the best way to achieve the goal of enticing a serious response. I already acknowledged that I intend to revise with a better way.

 

Quote

I would argue that the solution to uncharitable participants is to remove them from the discussion

Thinking this way, you'll find yourself removing just about everyone every time and your growth rate, as far as learning goes, will be stunted severely, because you cast everyone aside.

Edited by Dreg(OD)
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2 hours ago, Dreg(OD) said:

Thinking this way, you'll find yourself removing just about everyone every time and your growth rate, as far as learning goes, will be stunted severely, because you cast everyone aside.

This is a possibility and a valid concern.  However, without actual numbers to substantiate it, it is hard to say whether it is a reality or simply a possibility.  The principle of charity exists for more than just good manners, it exists as a self-imposed protection against ad hominem and straw man fallacies as all too often these fallacies end up in a debate due not to malice but by uncharitable assumptions.  The question then becomes, which is more valuable: a lesser number of discussions/participants that are charitable, or a greater number where integrity of the discussions is questionable due to a lack of enforcement of the principle of charity?

 

The deciding factor to the above question lies both in bias and in numbers.  I lack the numbers for the frequency of individuals that participate in discourse uncharitably.  If it truly is as high as your statement implies then I agree.  However, without those numbers I cannot be sure if it is as severe or if the statement is overly pessimistic.

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On 8/28/2018 at 4:33 PM, Dreg(OD) said:

There is so much misinformation, misconstruing, lies, disingenuous studies, facts that can be misunderstood or misinterpreted, history that may not be accurate because it wasn't recorded properly, etc. There's so much out there, that to assume that your position has to be correct just because you've got some facts and thought critically on it is, in my opinion, foolish.

That first sentence is true, however the second one is inane. A fact is an objective truth, and as such it should be presented with proper understanding in any debate. Dismissal of facts is foolish. 

 

On 8/28/2018 at 4:33 PM, Dreg(OD) said:

The whole idea isn't to BE confident, but to present WITH confidence in such a way that your opponent would find worth giving it their best.

Okay, how do you present WITH confidence something that you are uncertain about? 

 

On 8/28/2018 at 4:33 PM, Dreg(OD) said:

Should that stop you from making an attempt to learn from others?

You can already learn about such people in the midst of the debate. The only things you end up learning from these people are that they close-minded which leads to the next point-

 

On 8/28/2018 at 4:33 PM, Dreg(OD) said:

All due respect, that goes BOTH WAYS sir. I run into far more close-minded atheists who think they've got the answers to the universe than Christians who refuse to listen to the other side.
(Btw, I am Atheist)

I'm not gonna say to much about as to avoid deviating from the original topic of debate philosophy, but the burden of proof is on the believer. This applies to everything

 

On 8/28/2018 at 4:33 PM, Dreg(OD) said:

Why bother debating at all, if learning isn't to be part of it? If being wrong isn't something to learn from?

What I'm getting from you thus far is that your intent for debate is shallow and limited to
"I'm going to present what I know and think to others but I have no intention of learning from my errors or to expect to learn anything"

In my opinion, that position has no place in debate. If your whole goal is only to promote what you think, it's just projected narcissism.

If you have facts, and you're confident, then you have a place in a debate. You could always say debates are open to all, but the ones who win are those are rational, think critically, and present facts. If there's anything to learn, it's how to improve your debating method by taking notes from the opposing side and/or reflecting on the debate. Promoting the knowledge you believe that is correct because it's actually correct isn't narcissism. 

 

Your assumptions from what I believe makes a debate worthwhile are shallow. Debating while being uncertain of what you are debating and the facts you have at your disposal is not only ends up being a waste of time for you, but also for the opposing side. 

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That first sentence is true, however the second one is inane. A fact is an objective truth, and as such it should be presented with proper understanding in any debate. Dismissal of facts is foolish. 


It is not the dismissal of facts though. It's about keeping an open-mind about the possibility that MAYBE your facts are inaccurate, less relevant, misconstrued, or downright came from a dishonest/disingenuous sources. There had been so many debates when I was younger when I thought I had the facts, only to find out there was a lot more to it than I thought. There's nothing insane about always assuming that that is a possibility.

My most memorable moment was when I was 18 and shared the Zeitgeist video about Jesus and similarities to other deities. I went on this long-winded self-righteous rant about it. My Christian friend Tom chimed in to let me know that most of the things presented in that video were either disingenuous or outright lies. For instance, it puts the most emphasis on the "fact" that their birthdays are all December 25th. There's one big problem with that... Jesus' birth may be celebrated on the 25th, but all historians believe he was born in the Spring. There's absolutely no shred of evidence out there that he was born in the winter, let alone exactly December 25th. The exact date of Jesus' birth has remained unknown. But it gets better... there's no shred of evidence for most of the birth dates of those other deities either, including Horus. So Zeitgeist were pretty much making up bogus facts to promote what boils down to a Socialist agenda. (Venus Project).

I went into a long-winded rant because I thought I had facts. I didn't. When I realized that Tom was right, I felt like a foolish ass. I pride myself on taking the most honest position possible. So for me to have promoted that dishonest socialist propaganda still makes me cringe to this day.

This is ALWAYS POSSIBLE, because you can't 100% trust any source, not even your own logic, because logic is still naturally fallible. Parading some facts around as though they're infallible and give you knowledge of objective truth can get you in trouble. So don't... ever.
 

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Okay, how do you present WITH confidence something that you are uncertain about? 


The idea was to present it in a way that makes your opponent believe you're serious, so that they respond with a serious argument. "Presenting with confidence" may not have been the best way to express that. Again, I plan on changing the way that is expressed.

 

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The only things you end up learning from these people are that they close-minded


This is just a position of pure cynicism and it's not even true. Even some of the dumbest most close-minded people I've known must know at least one thing I can learn. At the very least, you can learn their perspective and if there's nothing of merit in it, take it as ammunition. There's always something to learn from anyone. All it takes is the right approach to get it out of them. Maybe you should brush up on that, since you seem to think plebeians have nothing to offer in discussion.
 

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but the burden of proof is on the believer. This applies to everything


When it comes to religion, things are all about merit. Not proof. After, I remain secular because I require proof, not just merit. However, unlike so many other pompous atheists, I see what merit Christianity has and why people give into it and call it faith. Said atheists may dismiss that as backwards ignorance, but the fact that I've met at least a few Christians who could really hold a debate with me on anything, not just religion, has implications worth being open to. Couple that with the fact that most of the most ignorant and close-minded people I have known were Atheists far more often than Christians. This idea that there's no proof and therefor merit can't exist either is fallacious. Those things aren't mutually inclusive.

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You could always say debates are open to all, but the ones who win are those are rational, think critically, and present facts


I never contradicted any of this in my write. My write is a method to OBTAIN and LEARN those facts. No one is born knowing much, let alone a lot, let alone everything. All of your facts come from foreign places, whether it's observation around you or coming from other people.

Using your logic here, you seem to assume that a man living from birth to death in a blank cubicle could learn facts and knowledge just from thinking alone. He can't. He can't speak and therefor his thoughts are as primitive as possible. And his thoughts will remain that primitive until observation of the outside world and the perspectives of others is obtained. The man is then mostly built by the outside world and by other people.

That said, your ability to critically think is fallible and all of the facts you "know" are fallible as well, because they come from sources outside your own being. If you never subject yourself to other sources, you will never learn anything more than you already know. That becomes pseudo-intellect.
 

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If there's anything to learn, it's how to improve your debating method by taking notes from the opposing side


How do you get information to take notes on in the first place when you dismiss every other view but your own, just because you have some facts that you think are infallible?
 

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Promoting the knowledge you believe that is correct because it's actually correct isn't narcissism. 


It hints at narcissism based on intent. If you're in a discussion with someone and you're presenting your side, then you have reasons for doing so. There are three primary reasons
1. To learn something about their side
2. To teach them something
3. To promote your views

I may be taking a position of cynicism myself here, but I seem to feel like #3 is the case much more often than 2.
1 & 2 are almost mutually inclusive. Those who wish to teach understand the value of learning and therefor wish to learn as well. Those who do not understand fully the value of learning promote their view only and it is a strong indication of narcissism.
 

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Debating while being uncertain of what you are debating and the facts you have at your disposal is not only ends up being a waste of time for you, but also for the opposing side. 


Like I outlined, facts are not infallible because they can come from dishonest sources, and can be misunderstood, or can be out of the context of other facts that change the conclusion. Some things presented in the Zetgeist video were factually true, such as astrology playing a big role in the fabrication of deities. But when you take away all of the core facts that were lies, what you're left with is a shattered conclusion.

This can happen with any position, any argument, any fact. To think otherwise would imply that you're omniscient. You're not, I'm not, no one is. Let's act like we know that.



 

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Edited by Dreg(OD)
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After reading your post originally in dossier, and reading following posts here. I'd posit I really have nothing of unique value to offer here. It's all been great to follow though, and I'll quote you Dreg on this.

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Even some of the dumbest most close-minded people I've known must know at least one thing I can learn.

Most discussions I bother with, have this in mind. I want to share, and genuinely share as much as possible. If we each have one dollar, and trade one dollar; we each have just one dollar. When we each have a thought, and trade thought's we actually grow wealth. I like to learn, as much and if not more then teach and far often then not it requires someone whom I've already labelled in my head someone who has no input. I usually just have to find where, and how I can get them to contribute.

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So you a long time ago, you shared a video that you took as facts. I'm gonna assume you haven't done research and just accepted everything that was presented in the video at face value. I would be lying if I said I've never done that before. I don't know about you, but I understand facts as being infallible objective truths. 

1 hour ago, Dreg(OD) said:

you seem to think plebeians have nothing to offer in discussion.

Yep.

 

2 hours ago, Dreg(OD) said:

How do you get information to take notes on in the first place when you dismiss every other view but your own, just because you have some facts that you think are infallible?

I dismiss views that are based completely on falsities. You can still take notes via observation. Say for example I argue that excess consumption of alcohol causes liver poisoning, and you argue the opposite. I have facts and good presentation, yet you have a better presentation method that may have worked better in my favor.  

 

 

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but I understand facts as being infallible objective truths


If you watched the video I shared, you'd get an idea of how, even if what we think is true, we have no way of knowing 100% sure that it is. 99.999%? maybe. 100%? Impossible.

Give me some examples of infallible objective facts that aren't rooted in mathematics or "a priori" as described by Michael Stevens in the video. Even if it's a huge stretch or grasping at straws, no matter what you list, I can list ways that they could possibly be wrong.

The fact that you assume that what you already know is infallible just says a lot though. The right concession here is to concede that you base your conclusions on probability. The probability that all world governments as well as the 100's of millions under their thumbs have been colluding to keep a flat earth conspiracy under wraps and that all observable phenomenon such as sun trajectory that proves it is spherical is just illusion, is probably 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 or something stupid like that. We'd have better odds of finding another planet like earth in the Milky Way than that being true. So you can be 99.999999999999% sure that the earth is a sphere. But not 100%.

I could predict that a meteor will land in front of my house tomorrow. Odds are it wont, so I can conclude that it wont. But do I know 100% sure it wont? No, my conclusion is based on odds, not absolutes. Absolutes aren't real. If it doesn't happen, then the next day I can conclude that it didn't happen, but can I know 100% sure that it didn't? What if it did happen, but I had amnesia and aliens put everything back the way it was before I could realize anything happened? I can conclude that that did not happen based on preposterous odds, but I cannot know 100%.

It doesn't matter how absurd that seems, it's true... in fact, it is true "a priori" because of how our minds are the only stop for information. Just as described in the video. I'm guessing you didn't watch it or at least, not all of it.


 

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After reading your post originally in dossier, and reading following posts here. I'd posit I really have nothing of unique value to offer here. It's all been great to follow though, and I'll quote you Dreg on this.

Most discussions I bother with, have this in mind. I want to share, and genuinely share as much as possible. If we each have one dollar, and trade one dollar; we each have just one dollar. When we each have a thought, and trade thought's we actually grow wealth. I like to learn, as much and if not more then teach and far often then not it requires someone whom I've already labelled in my head someone who has no input. I usually just have to find where, and how I can get them to contribute.

 


 Some people are solipsistic and others carry such humility. It's hard (Sometimes impossible) the get through to the former.
 

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40 minutes ago, Dreg(OD) said:

Give me some examples of infallible objective facts that aren't rooted in mathematics or "a priori" as described by Michael Stevens in the video. Even if it's a huge stretch or grasping at straws, no matter what you list, I can list ways that they could possibly be wrong.

 

"I think, therefore I am."

 

Though this could fall under this umbrella of the a priori exclusion.  I would argue that this is circular reasoning.  Your conclusion is that there are no objective truths and your premise excludes a priori knowledge, the literal source of objectives truths.  This leads to a valid conclusion.  After all, if we exclude the source of objective truths then there are no objective truths.  However, the soundness and, honestly, the usefulness of such an argument is questionable at best.

 

That being said, I think I get what you're getting at.  A posteriori knowledge is fallible.  It can never be proven 100% correct.  This is why theories in sciences, aside from axioms, are never considered hard truths, as science is based in empirical evidence, a form of a posteriori knowledge.  I would say that a better way to convey your point isn't to say that objective truths don't exist, or that nothing can be proven real, but instead to say that one must take care in the information they are presenting; that one should be aware of whether their facts are a priori or a posteriori.  If the fact is a priori, it's a fact, an objective truth.  If the fact is a posteriori then a very large amount of evidence is required to support it and 1 piece of solid evidence against it can falsify it.

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12 hours ago, Dreg(OD) said:

So you can be 99.999999999999% sure that the earth is a sphere. But not 100%.

You can be 100% sure that the Earth's a sphere. The number of people who believe the Earth is flat has nothing to do with the percentage of certainty that it's actually spherical.

 

12 hours ago, Dreg(OD) said:

Give me some examples of infallible objective facts that aren't rooted in mathematics or "a priori" as described by Michael Stevens in the video. Even if it's a huge stretch or grasping at straws, no matter what you list, I can list ways that they could possibly be wrong.

"Hawaiian Pizza" is not from Hawaii.  

 

12 hours ago, Dreg(OD) said:

I could predict that a meteor will land in front of my house tomorrow. Odds are it wont, so I can conclude that it wont. But do I know 100% sure it wont? No, my conclusion is based on odds, not absolutes. Absolutes aren't real. If it doesn't happen, then the next day I can conclude that it didn't happen, but can I know 100% sure that it didn't? What if it did happen, but I had amnesia and aliens put everything back the way it was before I could realize anything happened? I can conclude that that did not happen based on preposterous odds, but I cannot know 100%.

If a meteor landed in front of your house while you're at home you'd be dead. 

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On 8/31/2018 at 5:22 PM, Altros(OD) said:

 

"I think, therefore I am."

 

Though this could fall under this umbrella of the a priori exclusion.  I would argue that this is circular reasoning.  Your conclusion is that there are no objective truths and your premise excludes a priori knowledge, the literal source of objectives truths.  This leads to a valid conclusion.  After all, if we exclude the source of objective truths then there are no objective truths.  However, the soundness and, honestly, the usefulness of such an argument is questionable at best.

 

That being said, I think I get what you're getting at.  A posteriori knowledge is fallible.  It can never be proven 100% correct.  This is why theories in sciences, aside from axioms, are never considered hard truths, as science is based in empirical evidence, a form of a posteriori knowledge.  I would say that a better way to convey your point isn't to say that objective truths don't exist, or that nothing can be proven real, but instead to say that one must take care in the information they are presenting; that one should be aware of whether their facts are a priori or a posteriori.  If the fact is a priori, it's a fact, an objective truth.  If the fact is a posteriori then a very large amount of evidence is required to support it and 1 piece of solid evidence against it can falsify it.


And you've made good points here. The idea of the write was to convey a philosophy, not to argue objective truth, so as long as it conveys the message well, it does its job. I haven't gotten around to changing it, because I got forced into overtime and am trying to enjoy my days doing other things, but I do plan on it... someday. lol

As for Ray. I am done responding. He went from mostly serious with a touch of sarcasm, to half-serious and snide, to just plain snide. No point in continuing when there's that much disrespect involved for the conversation.

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