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Old 2013-02-04, 00:50   Link #21
SaintessHeart
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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One way to get about argument, is the usage of NLP for nefarious purposes.

NLP uses the "indepth questioning" concept to treat fears and procrastination through logical suggestion. In an argument, it is known as "questioning the person to death" - bulletpointing makes it a whole lot more deadlier.

The person usually loses the argument when he becomes unable to keep up with the questions. Of course, let him/her explain first to make yourself sound as though you are right - loose lips sink ships, use the pressure of silence.
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Old 2013-02-04, 07:12   Link #22
Qilin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
If you make an argument, and I say it does not apply because you are a poopy head, I think you'd agree my argument is poor. The fallacy for that is "ad hominem" which essentially means I ignored your argument totally in favor of a personal attack. Fallacies are just fancy names and explanations given to concepts that you already know are bad to use in a debate/argument/discussion/etc. Without them, I could dismiss all your arguments by calling you names, as could everyone else. And if that was the case, how would we ever discuss anything?
The rules of debate still exist without having to resort to using such obscure labels. If you happen to stop using terms like "ad hominem" or "strawman" within a discussion, that still doesn't mean that it's okay to call people names. There are rules that exist above such petty labels. At the very least, before throwing around that kind of jargon around, you have to be sure that the other person would know exactly what it means.

I personally like to draw a distinction between a debate and a discussion. A debate consists of two sides to an issue where one side wins and the other loses while a discussion allows more room for compromise. But I guess that's just me being weird and pedantic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
Lastly, I am going to link to an amusing short story that I encourage people to read, as it addresses fallacies and arguments, as a matter of learning how to think. It's called Love is a Fallacy and details a smart guy who tries to teach an air-headed girl to think using the fallacies (which are an offshoot of logic)... and she starts to learn a bit too well, heh.
Oh, I remember this story from one of my past classes. A fairly amusing one, I'd say.
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Old 2013-02-04, 09:21   Link #23
Kaijo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qilin View Post
The rules of debate still exist without having to resort to using such obscure labels. If you happen to stop using terms like "ad hominem" or "strawman" within a discussion, that still doesn't mean that it's okay to call people names. There are rules that exist above such petty labels. At the very least, before throwing around that kind of jargon around, you have to be sure that the other person would know exactly what it means.

I personally like to draw a distinction between a debate and a discussion. A debate consists of two sides to an issue where one side wins and the other loses while a discussion allows more room for compromise. But I guess that's just me being weird and pedantic.
It's interesting that you want to use the words "debate" and "discussion" and draw a distinction between them, but you don't want to use the words "Fallacy" and the names of said fallacies. Both are just usages of English words to properly label things. And in a forum thread, you'll find that things switch between debate and discussion quite often, so unless you want to totally stay out of threads, you're going to end up in one. Hell, we're debating right now!

Debate is more than just argument. Sure, we all argue our points, just as we ought to. And it may seem like an argument where nothing gets accomplished. But that doesn't mean it wasn't fruitful. Debate serves a very good purpose, for helping us all evaluate our ideas, and even if someone doesn't re-evaluate during the debate, they will sometime later.

I'd encourage you to take a debate class, as I think you'll find the real purpose very illuminating. And think of the fallacies as a way to train your mind, like the way you'd train a horse for horse racing. If you are going to horse race, you're gonna wanna develop the best horse in order to compete, right? Lastly, even if you think you know some things in a debate are unfair, odds are without knowing all the fallacies, your opponent will commit some and you won't even see it. So you'll feel as if you are losing the argument, because you didn't properly prepare.

Without fallacies, without proper preparation, then any debate online is truly just a shouting match.
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Old 2013-02-04, 10:06   Link #24
Triple_R
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It's often valid to point out when a debate opponent is guilty of using a "fallacy" but too many people treat it as a presumptive "debate-ender".

I think the most common misuse of fallacies here are Ad Hominem and Slippery Slope.

Truth be told, there's much evidence in human history to show that moving a step in one specific cultural/legal/societal direction will often, over time, lead to further steps in that same direction. It doesn't always have to be so, of course, but it's not unreasonable to think it could happen.

If a person is guilty of a fallacy it means that their argument isn't beyond dispute. It means that they could be wrong. So if your standard is a very high one of concrete proof, then it's perfectly fair and right to point out fallacies.

That being said, if what you're trying to determine is something more nebulous and debatable like mere likelihood, this is where we should be careful in how much weight we give to fallacies.


For example, correlation doesn't prove causation... but it does tend to make the likelihood of causation a bit higher.

To put it another way, if a person couldn't even demonstrate correlation, I would more easily dismiss his causation argument than I would for a person that could at least demonstrate correlation. If you're arguing causation, then it's better to have correlation than nothing but pure speculation, in other words.
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Old 2013-02-04, 12:48   Link #25
Akuma Kinomoto
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I'm with Qilin on this. Even after seeing fallacy used ad infinitum I never bother saying that someone's point has a lack of logical unity as an argument more than I address the idea itself. Logic is the means of a discussion, not the end of an argument. I discuss the argument to make it accessible for untrained and term-savvy people alike. I discuss the argument to focus on the bigger picture. I discuss the argument because it's practical and practicality is the most logical thing to go for.
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Old 2013-02-04, 20:16   Link #26
Qilin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
I'd encourage you to take a debate class, as I think you'll find the real purpose very illuminating. And think of the fallacies as a way to train your mind, like the way you'd train a horse for horse racing. If you are going to horse race, you're gonna wanna develop the best horse in order to compete, right? Lastly, even if you think you know some things in a debate are unfair, odds are without knowing all the fallacies, your opponent will commit some and you won't even see it. So you'll feel as if you are losing the argument, because you didn't properly prepare.

Without fallacies, without proper preparation, then any debate online is truly just a shouting match.
Let me clarify: I have nothing against fallacies. It's confining them to labels that I take issue with. I've learned quite a bit about about fallacies myself, but if you happen to spot one, take the time to express exactly what was wrong with argument rather that spouting obscure Latin jargon. Of course, there are some that have permeated the realm of everyday discussion, and I take no issue with those. But on the whole, I liken learning about fallacies to riding a bike with training wheels. They only serve as a guide when forming arguments, but they're just that. A truly rational mind should able to spot such logical inconsistencies without learning about fallacies to begin with.

Not every debate is held between Philosophy or Law majors. All I'm saying is to use such labels within context so that everyone can understand what the heck you want to say.
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