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Old December 15th, 2017, 03:37 PM   #11
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It's an ingrained behavior of some people, I'm right you're wrong Eventually I just give up and walk away.

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Originally Posted by AlpinLuke View Post
The best way to deal with similar rhetoric strategies is to ignore them: they want to disrupt a thread for this or that reason. Not allow them to do it ... ignore them.
This, a hard as I find this sometimes, when things get overheated, disengage and ignore the persons posts. Let them prattle along and talk to themselves if they so wish.

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The appeal to authority or delegitimizing opponent by their lack of authority.
The appeal to authority is a somewhat false fallacy, it's only a fallacy if the person is not actually an authority. Quite often have I seen an actual authority on a subject matter derisively attacked by an armchair warrior who thinks that they know better than the authority.

In this case there is a lack of respect for an authority figure. This would not happen in a public debate generally unless you were watching an alt-news channel such as Fox. The person trying to debase an authority figure on the subject matter would be booed off stage.

In another debate where everyone would have agreed the person was an authority I have witnessed a bunch of teenage prats trying to debase someone who was an ex RAAF pilot on matters relating to air defense security. In this particular case the person is a legitimate authority and the other person is a prat.

Last edited by orestes; December 15th, 2017 at 04:04 PM.
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Old December 15th, 2017, 07:00 PM   #12

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Originally Posted by orestes View Post
The appeal to authority is a somewhat false fallacy, it's only a fallacy if the person is not actually an authority. Quite often have I seen an actual authority on a subject matter derisively attacked by an armchair warrior who thinks that they know better than the authority.

In this case there is a lack of respect for an authority figure. This would not happen in a public debate generally unless you were watching an alt-news channel such as Fox. The person trying to debase an authority figure on the subject matter would be booed off stage.
It is probably the most common tactic though and occurs even amongst 'experts' where it seems the authority is decided by seniority or popularity (institutional reputation or amount of published material).

Look at debates on healthcare, climate change, tax policy- etc. Almost all of those are full of discrediting opponents via accusation as either biased, ignorant, self-interested, bought off, and so on. Then there are constant and preemptive attacks on the legitimacy of the opposition that reaches such a crescendo that any opponent becomes necessarily evil and the enemy no matter what they say.
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Old December 16th, 2017, 03:00 AM   #13
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If the authority is decided upon being an authority in the field then there is no problem with the said authority appealing to their own knowledge. This authority figure is often a person with a reputation created by published material.

Personal opinion would imply the person is ignorant, self-interested, bought off, and so on, but there is a better system that is called repudiation that exists in this field for the purpose of dealing with people who are actually ignorant, self-interested, bought off, and so on.

If you would like to debase an experts opinion, then you had, in this particular field of Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology, better come up with a better opinion and have it published in a journal or thesis through publication yourself with your better idea.

You'd also better hope that you're not publishing to a journal or university run by Mickey Mouse. The problem is in a lot of those instances the person in question does not have the qualifications to form an informed opinion on the matter themselves let alone have that opinion published in a reliable journal, or book.

Last edited by orestes; December 16th, 2017 at 03:02 AM.
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Old December 16th, 2017, 05:35 AM   #14
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I've notice a frequent debating tactic which I will summarize below to the best of my limited ability. I was wondering if it was "natural" (i.e. the average human is wired to debate in that way) or learned in certain circles which shall remain nameless..

And if both, how to recognize those who do it "instinctively" because they dont know better and those who do it in a conscious way as per playbook

This is a 4 step debating tactic

1- Accuse
2- Discredit
3- Insult
4- Run Away

In Step 1 the debater's goal is to place in early an accusation, preferably finishing with the suffix "ist"... Could be "racist, facist, imperialist, zionist" or any other emotionnally charged derogative term.
The game is to place it first but not too early... He can't open with it.. He has to wait for the right opening by nitpicking something the opponent wrote...
He has to be careful not to let the opponent beat him to the goal post and accuse him first.... Sometimes this attack is complemented by a simultaneous defense but in my view it weakens the tactic because it is quite often of a rather contrived variety (aka... "my garderner's wife is black so I cant be a racist")

The goal of the accusation is to force the unwary opponent to spend time and energy trying to negate the accusation, which is in any case usually impossible... Its hard to prove a negative, and thus its hard to prove that one is not, for example, "an imperialist pig"

2- If Step 1 fails for any reason, the debater proceeds to step 2

Here the game is to pretend the opponent is not qualified to debate the subject... where as of course the debater is superbly qualified (aka, my cook has a 2 PhDs in colonization and he told me that....)....
When the opponent parries (for example he, his family, his parents, grand parents, children and in fact his whole country have been colonized for times immemorial) he will be told that his personal experience is not relevant (the way he was colonized is not representative of anything whereas the debater, who himself has never been colonized but HAS talked to formerly colonized people present at the fireman's ball etc...)

If Step 2 fails which it often does as the debater is himelf in fact quite weak on the topic he debates, as he usually debates it from a dogmatic position he then resorts to more or less subtle insults... The game here is to disqualify the opponent by goading him into gross insults of his own.... Therefore the debater has to be careful in his choice of insults and hope that the opponent will commit a foul by using much worse ones...

If Step 3 fails then the debator has lost the debate. His tactic is then to run away BUT to do that by claiming foul play.... The game here is to delegitimize the opponent's victory by instilling doubt , pretending there was injustice and foul play, and that somehow the deck was stacked against the debater.. This is to deny the opponenet the supposed fruits of his victory (aka "I've lost.... but you've not won")

In addition to the above these debaters will either shy away from facts or attempt to present incorrect data (aka fake news)

NB: yes, obviously I've exagerated the examples... that's not what is usually written but it gives the general idea
These so-called tactics are clumsy and puerile, because they are dictated by a puerile desire to give the illusion of being right at all costs, which is of no interest.
It's more child psychology than debate, and I prefer not to discuss it.

A few things you'd call tactical and that aren't tactical.

1- The golden rule N 1. Post only if you know a minimum of the topic, otherwise read and learn.
Knowing a subject well, you are in a strong position from the beginning of the debate.

2- Sources. Always base yourself on sources and quote them.
The tactical counter-argument, unbalanced and too often used on historum of the style "it's a wikipedia", does not have much interest if your opponent is unable to demonstrate how this source is null and void.

3- Golden rule n2: be interested only in the subject and not in his ego.
It's ridiculous and nobody cares.

4- Analyze the point of view of his opponent.
Take the time to read it, try to see in what way it could be right, deepen on the sources quoted (if there is none, it's a big weakness), see in what way it could be wrong, see the inconsistencies, as well in the argumentation (contradiction, etc...) as on the idea put forward in itself.

5- Note behaviours that are signs of weakness on the part of your "opponent", nervousness, insults, ... etc.
This is a sign of a lack of confidence on his part, so he doesn't know what he is talking about.

6- If after debate your opponent's point of view proves to be more credible than yours, then do not hesitate to recognize it and congratulate yourself for having learned something new and congratulate your opponent.


With this state of mind you will be able to debate more serenely.
But be careful, it only works if you know the subject and have sources to support your point of view and IF YOU ARE HONEST.

With humor,
kind regards

Last edited by phil1904; December 16th, 2017 at 06:06 AM.
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Old December 16th, 2017, 08:15 AM   #15

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Sources ...

this is a history forum and sources can be pivotal to make a kind of "filter". Posters who tend to avoid to indicate the sources of what they are saying put themselves in a condition of inferiority.

Overall because on a history forum they will meet a lot of members supporting what they say with a mountain of sources!
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Old December 16th, 2017, 03:11 PM   #16

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Quote:
Originally Posted by orestes View Post
If the authority is decided upon being an authority in the field then there is no problem with the said authority appealing to their own knowledge. This authority figure is often a person with a reputation created by published material.

Personal opinion would imply the person is ignorant, self-interested, bought off, and so on, but there is a better system that is called repudiation that exists in this field for the purpose of dealing with people who are actually ignorant, self-interested, bought off, and so on.

If you would like to debase an experts opinion, then you had, in this particular field of Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology, better come up with a better opinion and have it published in a journal or thesis through publication yourself with your better idea.

You'd also better hope that you're not publishing to a journal or university run by Mickey Mouse. The problem is in a lot of those instances the person in question does not have the qualifications to form an informed opinion on the matter themselves let alone have that opinion published in a reliable journal, or book.
The main problem with repudiation and arguments from real knowledge/authority is that in a democratic society, most people aren't experts themselves or even in a position to validate someone else's expertise so the court of public opinion is usually decisive. The reputation of institutions is not limited to academia or government but includes media, entertainment, business, and special interests so is hugely more versatile than what rigorous systems of analysis can handle especially when most people's opinions are based mostly on preference not substance.

Even amongst experts the amount of knowledge in a given field and the pace of new discoveries/validations/invalidations is so great referring to previously gained knowledge is often a mistake and this is exploited by opponents who lack substance to deride 'so called' knowledge as flimsy and tantamount to error despite having nothing real to offer other than criticism and 'gut' feelings or basically self interest.
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Old December 16th, 2017, 04:32 PM   #17
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The court of public opinion should never be used to judge matters that are in any way serious, of course a grounded education in the Arts was the purpose of Plato's academy, but in the twenty-first century we have grown past the nescesity to have a "he said, she said" type of debate on whether a person is knowledgeable or otherwise wrong or right, etc...

The perfect argument right now is the rabid overtaking of the "me too" movement with radical-feminists that are just there to hang people out to dry. Because of the fact that it's far too easy to make an accusation and then run for the hills it actually serves no real purpose what so ever other than to besmirch a person's character without the accused litigant having the ability to defend themselves against the claims or their veracity.

Actually on the other end of the spectrum it reminds me of Bill O'Reilly who cuts people short, talks over them, and is nothing more than an agenda monger even when an expert is invited to talk on his show if it doesn't suit his political agenda. But then that's Fox and its to be expected regardless of political affiliation.

Most people aren't experts, but that's a pretty poor excuse, if you're not a person of some knowledge either a) don't enter the debate or b) learn more about the subject and then enter the debate. The problem with people today is that their knowledge is so flimsy that it begs the question as to whether they have anything to hold on to it all, and yet they fill their heads with hate mongers, or social-idealism gone wrong on both ends of the spectrum. They are also unable to weigh up the pros and cons of each agenda and find their own middle ground.

There are lots of places on this forum I simply don't enter into on the basis of the fact that I simply don't know off the top of my head a decent response to the question. If you gave me about a year, and enough resources, I could probably give you a pretty solid and well sourced opinion in terms of a thesis discussion on most subjects here, but people aren't willing to wait on that matter, and everyone is in a rush to gain instant gratification over point scoring. Very few people are interested in going through the process of actually gathering and harnessing the knowledge to create a solid argument in its traditional sense.

As to experts being outdated, it depends on the field, but lets stick to the one we are in. We can say in most cases in Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology, that unless the source material is so outdated it becomes so ridiculous its obvious to all and sundry to even mention it there is merit in using sources that are even many centuries old. Even then if a source is so outlandish it is ridiculous it depends upon what you are attempting to say by using that particular source as a reference point for your statement.

The other problem is that people without experience don't have the knowledge to weigh up "this vs. that" and come to a conclusion on the merits of using a source or how best to approach an argument with impartiality, that or their own cognitive biases are far to strong in the first place. In a nutshell this is also the problem on most discussion forums. They tend to be filled with people who have closed minds and open mouths.

Last edited by orestes; December 16th, 2017 at 05:02 PM.
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Old December 20th, 2017, 10:41 AM   #18
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Quote:
1- Accuse
2- Discredit
3- Insult
4- Run Away
Or Step 3: Behave like a Saint.
If step 2 doesn't work, some people resort to some holier than thou statement like "He's childish, ignore him, he is an alien, monster ,demon (bla bla bla), we got better things to do"......It is an open call to his friends to gang up and boycott the person which they can't argue with.
I mean,why bother to discredit the other guy's points when you can make him look like a pariah and that would save you the need to address his facts right?
But there is a counter to this technique. If I'm on Youtube I simply use multiple accounts to flag their boycott call as spam.

Last edited by Knapf; December 20th, 2017 at 11:05 AM.
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Old December 20th, 2017, 11:09 AM   #19

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The court of public opinion should never be used to judge matters that are in any way serious, of course a grounded education in the Arts was the purpose of Plato's academy, but in the twenty-first century we have grown past the nescesity to have a "he said, she said" type of debate on whether a person is knowledgeable or otherwise wrong or right, etc...
Maybe in an ideal world public opinion wouldn't matter but even in authoritarian system public opinion matters and in a democracy it matters even more (though obviously not all-encompassing).

The consequences of any decision made in public policy(which philosphy, political science, and sociology are all about) benefits some people more than others and thus it is clear why people do not want to cede power to 'experts' to make the decisions and in fact experts even in the 'hard' sciences lost the debate surprisingly often to political considerations- IE public opinion.

Arguing about a system of debate that does not deal with reality is pointless in my opinion so I'd rather make the best of how the world really is and that should acknowledge that many rhetorical devices employed in debates while irrational, obtuse, ignorant, abusive, or pure trolling still effect outcomes and a policy of taking the high ground and ignoring it is really self destructive if you care about the truth even if you are aware few people will ever understand a given subject the actual outcomes of public debates can matter.

Last edited by Ichon; December 20th, 2017 at 11:12 AM.
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Old December 20th, 2017, 11:12 AM   #20

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Originally Posted by AlpinLuke View Post
Sources ...

. . .
Overall because on a history forum they will meet a lot of members supporting what they say with a mountain of sources!
Or so we would hope!

Unfortunately, we also meet some members endlessly repeating what they've said without citing any authority other than their own opinions.
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