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Old 2013-01-12, 22:49   Link #1
relentlessflame
 
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The self-evident nature of opinion about anime

(This tangent split off from the serious action/fanservice thread. The lack of a "good start" is due to that, but please see the other thread to see what led to this point.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
It is self-evident that these kinds of things are opinions.
So how am I supposed to tell the difference between you asserting an opinion and you asserting a fact if the way you make the statement uses the very same language and tone in both cases?

Or I guess another way to put it would be: there are ways of stating opinions that are inclusive and understanding, and there are ways of stating opinions that are exclusive and judgemental. If you say that a show is "conceptually flawed", it immediately puts others who feel differently on the defensive (because your stated opinion is inherently at odds with the existence of other points of view). If you just say that you don't like something, you can still offer your opinion to make your point of view understood. You don't need to justify it or prove that it's valid.

In my judgement, the "self-evidence of opinion" is the biggest affront to civilized conversation on this Forum. Words matter when that's all you have.
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Last edited by relentlessflame; 2013-01-13 at 00:17.
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Old 2013-01-12, 23:03   Link #2
Archon_Wing
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
TL;DR…
My biggest pet peeve
Sorry; dynamic content not loaded. Reload?
I suppose it's sort of a truism, where pretty much all the base questions (who, what, when, where) can only be asserted as facts, but everything else can be considered strictly conjecture. Any method of analysis is pretty much an opinion.


If you told me you liked something. It's a fact. You did in fact like it, unless you are lying and secretly hate it.

If you told me you hate something. It's also a fact. It really did happen, and nobody can deny the if about the situation.

Now if you told me that you hate this anime because you think the anime only panders to otaku fetishes. I would most likely balk at the latter claim. The later is an opinion. I should dispute it, or try to with certain valid and commonly accepted types of logic to do so. The implications have greatly increased, and thus so should the burden of proof on the person that said it. Failure to do so does give this one less strength.

If you then told me that I am a dumbass for liking said anime and that I have no tastes, this too is an opinion. But it is also completely useless for discussion and thus has no place in a legitimate discussion. This opinion would be arguably less valid, and despite the fact there is no way to objectively prove that, it's very much accepted as so.

The ultimate problem is that to construe any point besides the objective accepted truisms is that one has to actually assert something is true or false and yes, that does require a leap of faith and deduction. If you don't agree with the person's premise, then the debate goes nowhere. But if you take the opposite extreme and ignore everything that's not a truism then you get absolutely nothing either. The later would be an appeal to ignorance.

I agree though that one should not place certain judgements as part of their arguments because it is petty and pretentious to self-assert like that.

The short story is that big assertions need even bigger reasoning. It can get too tough to fill, and that's where bad things happen.

As a side of irony, even my post simplifies the issue too much. Real posts are more subjective in terms of content.

(On a side note, I did look into VRO because it had very plump posteriors-- why is this wrong again? I think that's a perfectly valid reason in itself. )
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Last edited by relentlessflame; 2013-01-13 at 00:14. Reason: kept the remaining portion
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Old 2013-01-12, 23:20   Link #3
Reckoner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
TL;DR…
My biggest pet peeve
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TL;DR…
 
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Last edited by relentlessflame; 2013-01-13 at 00:14. Reason: kept the tangent portion
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Old 2013-01-12, 23:36   Link #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
What I think is uncivil is the active dismissal of viewpoints just because they are "opinions." It's an attempt to basically render all conversation here moot and pointless. I cannot agree with that.
I don't know how many times I have seen people make this same false argument. That isn't it at all, and it never has been. It's about the way things are stated. Since you understand that it's all subjective to begin with, why make assertive claims that are obviously objectively false?

Like this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
Strike Witches made exceptionally poor use of it though.
Why state your opinion in this way? All I have to say is "Strike Witches made exceptionally great use of [fanservice]" and your statement is proven false because its inherently unprovable. You can put forward a mountain of justification, and it still won't be true. Nothing you can do can ever make it true. And in the process of stating things that way, you a) make yourself look like an arrogant jerk (at least potentially), and b) put everyone who disagrees on the defensive. Why not just choose your words more carefully? That's all it is! Change your words, change the tone, change the reception!

My intention here is to sound exasperated, because I am. I just don't understand why people don't consider it "worth the effort" to edit their statements just slightly and completely change the tone of the conversation. Is this, like, something your parents taught you? Something you learned in school? A habit? A personal belief? Argh...

(And sorry for the tangent. I will take this to the grave if I never figure out why people do this.)
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Old 2013-01-12, 23:41   Link #5
zarqu
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^ You'd have to clarify for both of your (Reckoner and relentlessflame) statements to make sense.

Quote:
"Strike Witches made exceptionally great use of [fanservice]"
How? By inserting it to every scene? By being daring and showing it all?

Quote:
Strike Witches made exceptionally poor use of it though.
How? It was too blatant? It broke the immersion (were you 'inside' the series to begin with, in any case?)?

Quote:
You can put forward a mountain of justification, and it still won't be true. Nothing you can do can ever make it true.
Neither statement can be absolutely true. What you can do is put up your justification for scrutiny in the free marketplace of ideas. People then make up their minds based on their preferences.
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Old 2013-01-12, 23:44   Link #6
Eisdrache
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
All I have to say is "Strike Witches made exceptionally great use of [fanservice]" and your statement is proven false because its inherently unprovable.
Your statement is just as unprovable as his.
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Old 2013-01-12, 23:45   Link #7
relentlessflame
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zarqu View Post
^ You'd have to clarify for either of your statements to make sense.
True, and I generally wouldn't make that sort of statement anyway. I would generally say just what I liked or disliked about something without making a claim about whether it's Good or Bad. If I dislike something, it's because it didn't meet my expectations, so the most important thing is what I expected and then how what was delivered didn't measure up to those expectations. If I like something, it's because it met or exceeded my expectations, and the most important thing is what it did that I considered exceptional. But unprovable assertions are just a waste of time. Why not just say what you did and didn't like?

Like I said, I just don't understand and it often drives me nuts trying to figure it out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eisdrache View Post
Your statement is just as unprovable as his.
Yes, I know. That was my point. Why make unprovable assertions, even if you're then going to try to justify it? You can never be right anyway and it just starts fights.
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Old 2013-01-12, 23:47   Link #8
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Which means niether is true or false?
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Old 2013-01-12, 23:52   Link #9
zarqu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ithekro View Post
Which means niether is true or false?
^ The dichotomy of "true" and "false" is a red herring. It doesn't matter what people think, but why they think it.

I think relentlessflame has an axe to grind when it comes to expressing yourself. I think this has been the case for some time now Especially when it comes to our resident critic.

I kind of agree. I don't use words like "shit" when describing anime. Nor do I accuse my fellow forumites of phedophilia when they like a series with loli characters. Adjusting the tone of your posts can go a long way especially when considering the fact that this is not a democratic forum.

Then again, freedom of speech. If you can't distance yourself from the entertainment you're watching.... I don't know.
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Old 2013-01-12, 23:58   Link #10
Eisdrache
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No, your point is just highly subjective. You don't make an unprovable statement wrong by using the opposite unprovable statement because they both can be true depending on the view of whoever made the statement. You're making a difference between using like/dislike and good/bad while they are almost the same.

edit: I do agree however that wording your posts in a non-stupid manner is indeed helpful.
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Old 2013-01-12, 23:59   Link #11
relentlessflame
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zarqu View Post
I think relentlessflame has an axe to grind when it comes to expressing yourself. I think this has been the case for some time now
Not about "expressing yourself". I want everyone to express themselves! But about preventing conversations from always turning into giant arguments. How many flame wars do you think I've seen start on this forum? I've lost count. And they pretty much all start the same way: someone states subjective opinion as fact, which puts everyone else on the defensive. Fight ensues. You also see that from time to time in this forum. Someone starts a thread with some bold unprovable but vaguely argumentative claim and says "Discuss". And it always starts a fight. And it always gets locked.

It's not personal, because I've seen a lot of people do it. I just will never understand why people do it, no matter who it is.


Anyway, sorry for this tangent. This is, like I said, a pet peeve that I will take to my grave. Mostly because I just don't know why some people -- often generally well-intentioned -- are prone to doing this, particularly given the demonstrable results.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eisdrache View Post
No, your point is just highly subjective. You don't make an unprovable statement wrong by using the opposite unprovable statement because they both can be true depending on the view of whoever made the statement. You're making a difference between using like/dislike and good/bad while they are almost the same.
I know you don't make the unprovable statement wrong (how could you!); you just expose its inherent un-provability/inherent subjectivity. Like and dislike are different from good and bad when it comes to having a conversation among people with a variety of opinions in one respect: the tone it conveys. And tone changes everything.

(Anyway, that's it from me. Maybe I'll spin-off and lock my own tangent later.)
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Old 2013-01-13, 00:03   Link #12
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I think we're all intelligent enough to deduce what's tasteful and whats not. It's rather cheap to pin objectivity vs subjectivity in a debate involving some of the most common human rationale.
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Old 2013-01-13, 00:10   Link #13
zarqu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
someone states subjective opinion as fact, which puts everyone else on the defensive. Fight ensues.
I do understand what you mean. And you do have more experience when it comes to these things.

But then again, I'm somewhat naive.

Quote:
someone states subjective opinion as fact
Well. I think this person's reasoning should be brought under scrutiny in the approriate thread. Like I have underlined in this thread; why does this person think this? I would be genuinely interested.
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Old 2013-01-13, 00:10   Link #14
relentlessflame
 
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(I lied.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Write View Post
I think we're all intelligent enough to deduce what's tasteful and whats not.
I'm just going to go cry in a corner now. Feel free to ignore the sobbing sound you hear.

(I'm also splitting this tangent. Edit: topic split.)
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Old 2013-01-13, 00:16   Link #15
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Well, the whole idea of unprovable assertions is to work the mind because there is no wrong answer. Thus, people can reach different conclusions and it's almost like a game where nobody loses by design.

Sadly, people don't all think like this and go "HURRR I must 'win' this discussion". Refer to any war anime featuring Tomino.
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Old 2013-01-13, 00:32   Link #16
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People are willing disregard basic human reasoning in order to "win" a discussion. You'd be deducted points if this were an actual debate.

New ideas and theories can be introduced to the spectrum when it comes to anime because so many of us do consider it art. Art is definitely objective so coming down on someone for feeling how they feel when it comes to the tastefulness of a show is pointless. Unless you're out for e-points in which case, enjoy.
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Old 2013-01-13, 01:52   Link #17
Marcus H.
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Meta: I think relentlessflame has finally broken the silence after encountering multiple threads like the "VRO Fanservice" thread. I honestly think that it is annoying to find someone trying to enforce his/her opinions on others and turning a deaf ear on attempts to reason against said opinion.

On-topic: The discussion would have been much better if the opening poster used a less rant-ish tone. RLF probably snapped upon seeing that.
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Old 2013-01-13, 02:00   Link #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Not about "expressing yourself". I want everyone to express themselves! But about preventing conversations from always turning into giant arguments. How many flame wars do you think I've seen start on this forum? I've lost count. And they pretty much all start the same way: someone states subjective opinion as fact, which puts everyone else on the defensive. Fight ensues. You also see that from time to time in this forum. Someone starts a thread with some bold unprovable but vaguely argumentative claim and says "Discuss". And it always starts a fight. And it always gets locked.

It's not personal, because I've seen a lot of people do it. I just will never understand why people do it, no matter who it is.
Haha. It must be unfortunate from the perspective of a forum moderator, but the truth might be that some people just do want to fight. They want to throw forth their self-righteous beliefs like sharpened lances, lay claim to the position of unassailable objectivity, and make it clear to all that an absolute judgement has been made, as they have spoken (or so they imagine).

There is a high which comes from feeling that you're "right", after all. From simply knowing (imagining), deep in your gut, that somehow logic can or will be shaped to precisely accord with your most personal convictions.

In short, it is basically human nature to want to acquire self-justification through the act of judging others. Or, even without the selfish motive of looking for self-justification, there are occasions where judging others is simply a necessity for accomplishing some course of action. However, the moment you've made a judgement, you've laid forth a field of battle within your mind to take on the world in the name of 'objectivity'. And thus, stormy statements precisely premeditated to summon an actual field of battle fly forth in volleys.

(Ultimately, I do think that those sort of battles might sometimes be necessary. I can't really buy into the idea of "everything's just opinions, there are never any absolute answers, we should all just talk about feelings and get along". The real bigger issue, I think, is just that sometimes the self-righteous positions some of these grandstanders take are downright idiotic. Not so much in that they are not entitled to their own opinions, but that the topic of choice they chose to take an absolute stand on are highly controversial or inflammatory within the community. Nobody minds someone taking an absolute stance on something everybody agrees on, but for controversial issues, people are bound to get defensive. The reality is that it is perfectly safe to ridicule any morally indefensible, argumentatively incoherent minority, but it is much more difficult to do so towards any sizeable majority. However, in the end, this setup is also precisely serviceable for the sake of maintaining a sense of general harmony within the community.)

Anyway, the real point (for regular forum posters) is simple: don't be so much of a dumbass as to post things which might be obviously inflammatory to a large portion of the forum's community. However, there's no real need to talk about this in the first place because the nature of this lesson is almost self-enforcing--in that if you piss off a large portion of the community by holding up an inflammatory, subjective opinion objectively, you will get naturally trounced when some member of that pissed off audience (made more likely by being large) manages to dismantle your argument logically. After getting burned by this a couple times, any troll will learn to settle down. In such a way, if said person feels like they still want to continue saying anything, they will learn to say it in a way which makes it palatable to other readers.
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Old 2013-01-13, 02:14   Link #19
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Just to generally apply to the above, it's immature and narrow minded to hold constructive criticism in such low regard. This is a discussion board relating to 'general anime' meaning positive or negative, users have the right to address how they feel on any given subject within the rules of the section. Whether or not it hurts some feelings is a personal issue and it's not very becoming to reflect said issues onto the rest of the community as if it's some unspoken rule that we must only speak of anime with positive acclaim.
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Old 2013-01-13, 02:27   Link #20
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I believe I have touched on this briefly in SAO's thread.

I'll just reiterate: when it comes to reviews or impression on an entertainment, no matter how pompous it is worded, every and all opinions is subjective by default because it is impossible to write an objective impression regarding this. Thus, my belief is that it's not very productive for a discussion to point out someone being not objective ("well, that's your opinion dude" kind of thing). Most of the time I see people do this, I can't help but think they're really saying "stop stating your opinion as fact because mine is."

If I remember right, relentless replied that: yes, writing in "imho", "for me", "personally" in every sentence does help in getting the subjectivity across because in a forum, all you can see are people's writing/sentences.

However, I think we should personally strife to be the "better" person. I agree with zarqu, a more......"productive" approach regarding this is to then ask "why do you think so?", rather than accusing people of in-objectivity.
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