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Old November 27th, 2012, 12:31 PM   #1
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How to discuss


I've for a long time wanted to post this topic to get it discussed. Its a matter about how to discuss things, because too often for many years I've come across statements, not only on the internet but also in real life, where people are stating something as if they were facts, while they can be refuted either by arguments of certain proof or they simply lack evidence.

I may have made that mistake myself now and then, but that doesn't mean it provides for a better discussion.

That is why I have now made a thread about how I personally view discussions, be it internet or real life discussions:

-------------

I'd like to drag one example (read it again, example) from another discussion about welfare rights. Someone (I can't remember who), said that nobody has the right to spend tax payers money on other things than the absolutely neccessary.

I would like to use this as an example, and it should be taken for no more than what it is, it is just an example, I don't wish to discuss that actuat matter in this thread. What I wish to discuss is the technical details of this example:

There was the use of "right". Let's examine what a "right" is:

Traditionally in western legal system, dating back to the ancient Roman Empire, there was the Ius Naturale (natural rights), Ius Gentium (people's rights) and Ius Civile (Citizen rights).

A roman citizen could have certain rights. Such as the right to vote, but a forigner didn't enjoy those rights. They were instead subject to the Ius Gentium, the rights of people. Slaves didn't enjoy the rights of people, but only the natural rights.

No matter how much I'd like to know about what these "natural rights" are, I can't find a clear description stating precisely what they are. They seem to be subject to the authors' own subjective opinion on what a natural right is.

And that is exactly what makes up Ius Gentium and Ius Civile: A matter of opinion that has been stated by law and is enforced by the use of power. In other words: He who has might has the right.

Now that doesn't neccessarily mean it is ethically the same thing.
Just because the law states that all people with blonde hair should get killed, doesn't mean it is ethically right.

And now we are near the matter of the case:
What is ethically right/wrong is a matter of subjectivity, based on the person in question's own judgement.

However, when one is confronted in a discussion about an ethical right there needs to be put arguments behind it.

Arguments can either be plain and simple evidences OR, if it is currently impossible to obtain evidences and you have to predict something, using logic ("if a, then b, which results in c changing a"-sort-of-thing).

Since we cannot know the objective truth, the discussion continues with the arguments met by counter-arguments and so on.

A discussion is actually meant to be peaceful, but still the same fundamental "rules" (similar to the laws of physics, they are not debateable, they can just be observed) apply: Might is right.

In other words: Those with the strongest arguments in the end win the discussion.

That's just my opinion.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 12:35 PM   #2
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I agree
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Old November 27th, 2012, 05:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philosopher View Post
I've for a long time wanted to post this topic to get it discussed. Its a matter about how to discuss things, because too often for many years I've come across statements, not only on the internet but also in real life, where people are stating something as if they were facts, while they can be refuted either by arguments of certain proof or they simply lack evidence.

I may have made that mistake myself now and then, but that doesn't mean it provides for a better discussion.

That is why I have now made a thread about how I personally view discussions, be it internet or real life discussions:

-------------

I'd like to drag one example (read it again, example) from another discussion about welfare rights. Someone (I can't remember who), said that nobody has the right to spend tax payers money on other things than the absolutely neccessary.

I would like to use this as an example, and it should be taken for no more than what it is, it is just an example, I don't wish to discuss that actuat matter in this thread. What I wish to discuss is the technical details of this example:

There was the use of "right". Let's examine what a "right" is:

Traditionally in western legal system, dating back to the ancient Roman Empire, there was the Ius Naturale (natural rights), Ius Gentium (people's rights) and Ius Civile (Citizen rights).

A roman citizen could have certain rights. Such as the right to vote, but a forigner didn't enjoy those rights. They were instead subject to the Ius Gentium, the rights of people. Slaves didn't enjoy the rights of people, but only the natural rights.

No matter how much I'd like to know about what these "natural rights" are, I can't find a clear description stating precisely what they are. They seem to be subject to the authors' own subjective opinion on what a natural right is.

And that is exactly what makes up Ius Gentium and Ius Civile: A matter of opinion that has been stated by law and is enforced by the use of power. In other words: He who has might has the right.

Now that doesn't neccessarily mean it is ethically the same thing.
Just because the law states that all people with blonde hair should get killed, doesn't mean it is ethically right.

And now we are near the matter of the case:
What is ethically right/wrong is a matter of subjectivity, based on the person in question's own judgement.

However, when one is confronted in a discussion about an ethical right there needs to be put arguments behind it.

Arguments can either be plain and simple evidences OR, if it is currently impossible to obtain evidences and you have to predict something, using logic ("if a, then b, which results in c changing a"-sort-of-thing).

Since we cannot know the objective truth, the discussion continues with the arguments met by counter-arguments and so on.

A discussion is actually meant to be peaceful, but still the same fundamental "rules" (similar to the laws of physics, they are not debateable, they can just be observed) apply: Might is right.

In other words: Those with the strongest arguments in the end win the discussion.

That's just my opinion.
I'm the one who made the statement and since it is used as an example of a statement of fact which is easily refuted by facts or argument I feel compelled to defend it. First, I did not quite say what you claim I had said. My statement is not an example illustrating your point. Legally speaking, under U.S. law, and the conversation took place in the context of U.S. law and the U.S., there does not exist any such right. Such a right does not exist in the Bill of Rights.

Now presently does the law and statute permit them to spend this money how they so choose? Sure but this is not the same as a "right" in the U.S.

So my actual statement is not an example illustrating your point. To the contrary the law actually points to a conclusion which is contrary to any such right.

Now I understand you didn't want this thread used to discuss the merits of the example but perhaps you should have used a different example and not use a statement made in a thread today, which you personally contested, as an example.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 10:51 PM   #4
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I was too lazy to check your list because it aint that complex: 1.Don't use fallacies 2.Don't use data that requires empirical evidence without being able to show links to it even if your link is wikipedia... 3.Never use links from blatantly biased sources like Conservapedia
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Old November 27th, 2012, 11:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorge123 View Post
I agree
Me too!!!
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Old November 27th, 2012, 11:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesMadison View Post
I'm the one who made the statement and since it is used as an example of a statement of fact which is easily refuted by facts or argument I feel compelled to defend it. First, I did not quite say what you claim I had said. My statement is not an example illustrating your point. Legally speaking, under U.S. law, and the conversation took place in the context of U.S. law and the U.S., there does not exist any such right. Such a right does not exist in the Bill of Rights.

Now presently does the law and statute permit them to spend this money how they so choose? Sure but this is not the same as a "right" in the U.S.

So my actual statement is not an example illustrating your point. To the contrary the law actually points to a conclusion which is contrary to any such right.

Now I understand you didn't want this thread used to discuss the merits of the example but perhaps you should have used a different example and not use a statement made in a thread today, which you personally contested, as an example.
You are describing rights as a positive granting (which is not the same as positive rights, by the way), while I was talking about a negative granting of rights (again this is not to be confused with negative rights...), that the rights are granted by the abscense of a law.

That is how I understand a right. What I am basically saying is that if the law doesn't state something, that 'something' is a right.

I live in Denmark and I am speaking from my point of view.
In Denmark we have a lot of rights, as long as it is not illegal, to put it that way.

(Right to speech, unless it is stated by law that a certain speech is illegal and so on).

Last edited by philosopher; November 27th, 2012 at 11:16 PM.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 12:22 AM   #7
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I don't always claim to be right, though no doubt I will have had my moments I'll admit. Anyway, these days I try to just give my point of view to add a different perspective rather than demand I am right and the other person is wrong. Though I find most people just want to tell me that I am wrong because they say so. It goes in circles, so I tend to leave those types of discussions once I can see it going round and round.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 02:29 AM   #8

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I agree, Philosopher, and well said.

The problem is, too many people start threads (and posts) from a very selective and often preposterous viewpoint which is stated as universal truth and immutable fact.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 02:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Dog View Post
I agree, Philosopher, and well said.

The problem is, too many people start threads (and posts) from a very selective and often preposterous viewpoint which is stated as universal truth and immutable fact.
I do this too often too.
However, that doesn't mean I am right.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 03:14 AM   #10

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Most of my posts are like that

But I often do it to get a debate (as opposed to a flame war) going. No, it doesn't mean I am right, either
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