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Old 2013-01-15, 03:55   Link #81
MeoTwister5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
If presented these two choices, I'd choose the former, but only so I can hammer in the following

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_to_moderation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma

In the end, someone that presents a valid argument yet is a dick will still challenge me more intellectually that someone that's tactful yet presents a worthless argument logically.

Note that I'm not saying that the former is a better person nor worthy of respect, and crossing the line isn't acceptable to community standards. Au contraire, I recognize it as a terrible person making a good argument.

Also, note that just because you have a good argument doesn't mean you get to be a dick to me. You've just proven yourself worthy. Worthy to be crushed by yours truly.
There's also nothing wrong with asking people to find that sweet spot in between. There will still be people on both ends, the intellectual douchebag and the ignorant nice guy act. If the general forum population bell curve stands somewhere in between then I think that's acceptable.
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Old 2013-01-15, 04:13   Link #82
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Originally Posted by MeoTwister5 View Post
There's also nothing wrong with asking people to find that sweet spot in between. There will still be people on both ends, the intellectual douchebag and the ignorant nice guy act. If the general forum population bell curve stands somewhere in between then I think that's acceptable.
It is fair, that we as social creatures, self-moderate ourselves to some degree. Your freedom ends at the tip of someone's nose, after all.

However, this is why I brought those fallacies to begin with, even if they contradict each other. There's an implication that there are only two sides to begin with (when in reality, there are multiple approaches), or that the correct solution lies in between just because it happens to be there. It's very dangerous to assume these things. I don't think we can ever afford to stop thinking, regardless of your position. And thus, that's why logic is important. But then again logic is not a means to an end either...
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Old 2013-01-15, 06:10   Link #83
MeoTwister5
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Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
It is fair, that we as social creatures, self-moderate ourselves to some degree. Your freedom ends at the tip of someone's nose, after all.

However, this is why I brought those fallacies to begin with, even if they contradict each other. There's an implication that there are only two sides to begin with (when in reality, there are multiple approaches), or that the correct solution lies in between just because it happens to be there. It's very dangerous to assume these things. I don't think we can ever afford to stop thinking, regardless of your position. And thus, that's why logic is important. But then again logic is not a means to an end either...
We obviously can't discount logic, but we can't discount subjective human judgement either. I mean if we did things based purely on logic, we might as well replace all the mods with programmable AIs.

Hmm.....
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Old 2013-01-15, 06:26   Link #84
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Originally Posted by MeoTwister5 View Post
We obviously can't discount logic, but we can't discount subjective human judgement either. I mean if we did things based purely on logic, we might as well replace all the mods with programmable AIs.

Hmm.....
That is true.

However, there needs to be some kind of standards that need to be upheld. It's nice to say all opinions are valid and all forms of expression are equal, but reality is not as graceful.

Yes, one could say that a lot of us aren't familiar with Japan and lack context. This is true. You can't enforce standards on others like that from a point of ignorance. But at the same time it doesn't mean that if something isn't repulsive by your standards it isn't offensive as well.

So if I can't judge Japan, I'll have to use a cleaner example from something I'm more familiar with...

In general, subjectivity tends to fail at the most extreme of situations and that tends to be where things are more unstable and a more "objective" (yes i use that term lightly) can help. I mean if an American cartoon or show had racist overtones, I wouldn't go "Oh non-Americans don't understand the nature of the race relations in the country. You can't judge us!" Bonus points if it's old racist propaganda, oh which works and caters to its target audience. Uh-oh.

And in a twisted way this would be true. I can't objectively prove that racism is wrong, after all. And this strangely requires one to put their foot down a bit more and impose some standards.

You might accuse me of using extreme examples, but there's definitely a line where I can call something unacceptable or "trash" based on my standards, can't I?
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Old 2013-01-15, 06:27   Link #85
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Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
Well to me, it's like quality visuals in anime. Except translate visuals to tact and the plot to the argument itself. I'd rather take a good story that's unpolished, over a polished turd.

HOWEVER

Crappy visuals are crappy visuals!

You cannot go "Well I have a good plot, so I can not put any effort in the presentation"

Likewise, when you have no tact in an argument, you cannot make that kind of excuse for yourself. A flaw is a flaw.
Well this is weird. While I agree with the meaning behind the analogy, I don't quite agree with the analogy itself.

Or maybe it is not weird, but rather the nature of these discussions in the first place, which gives more importance to how people present themselves.
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Old 2013-01-15, 06:37   Link #86
Dahak86
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Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
In the end, someone that presents a valid argument yet is a dick will still challenge me more intellectually that someone that's tactful yet presents a worthless argument logically.
Just because an argument is valid (or invalid) doesn't necesarily mean that its conclusion is true (or false).

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Well this is weird. While I agree with the meaning behind the analogy, I don't quite agree with the analogy itself.
That's because it's a weak analogy.
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Old 2013-01-15, 06:38   Link #87
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Originally Posted by erneiz_hyde View Post
Well this is weird. While I agree with the meaning behind the analogy, I don't quite agree with the analogy itself.

Or maybe it is not weird, but rather the nature of these discussions in the first place, which gives more importance to how people present themselves.
Well that's fine. I was doing off a twisted analogy where I joked with a friend, comparing people to anime studios so it's a bit stupid.

I do think HOW you say it does matter. In fact, I actively go harder on people that may agree with me but said it in a terrible tone. Yes, I do believe presentation matters. Crappy presentation = no effort. If you're using shitty, snarky one liners as a rebuttal, you're not really worth discussing with anyways.

However, my final point is that I'd rather have someone say something meaningful in a poorer tone than someone say nothing of value at all. I would ignore the later completely.

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Originally Posted by Dahak86 View Post
Just because an argument is valid (or invalid) doesn't necesarily mean that its conclusion is true (or false).
Thanks for the truism. What was the point of that?

Is the conclusion the only thing that matters?

Quote:
That's because it's a weak analogy.
No it isn't. It's just an analogy. If I used the actual analogy to make an argument, then it's a weak analogy. Please read the fallacy page before you link it.

Should have just called it a crappy analogy. Then you could make fun of me still.
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Old 2013-01-15, 06:47   Link #88
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Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
Is the conclusion the only thing that matters?
What matters then?
Or rather, is the validity of an argument the only thing that matters?
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Old 2013-01-15, 06:51   Link #89
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Originally Posted by Dahak86 View Post
What matters then?
Or rather, is the validity of an argument the only thing that matters?
Both. They sorta need each other. Though I would be more interested in how someone arrived at their conclusion.
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Old 2013-01-15, 08:04   Link #90
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Originally Posted by Qilin View Post
This is, for one reason or another, turning into an argument between two factions, which also represent two prevalent ways of viewing the forum:

Spoiler for two sides:

What kind of forum are we trying to create in the first place, I wonder?
Why can't we have both?
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Old 2013-01-15, 11:34   Link #91
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Originally Posted by Qilin View Post
The other side sees the forum as an extension of real world social interactions. With that view in mind, it's self evident that social etiquette is every bit as important or even more important than proper discourse. Things like trust, humility, and respect are given equal or even greater value than logical arguments.
I'd say the reason for valuing tact/tone doesn't necessarily have anything to do with social etiquette, but rather is something entirely practical for the sake of fruitful logical ("truth-seeking") discourse in the first place.

The point is that inflammatory, absolutely-worded statements interfere with people's ability to interact logically in the first place. Very often these topics which are supposed to be the subject of "logical discourse" are emotionally charged, even (especially) on the side trying to make absolute/declarative statements. The point is that by making obnoxious, unprovable absolute statements of opinion, what you are far more likely to get is not any logical counterargument but rather blindly negative emotional reactions.

I would call the idea of anybody pretending that they're only interested in "logical" arguments here highly disingenuous in the first place. Human beings are not robots, there will never be any such thing as an actual person who fully embraces "objective" logic and is not bound by their own self-interest. Precisely because it is impossible that people would be interested in solely logical discourse, you should not bother pretending.

The reason why it is more logical to admit that your beliefs are merely subjective opinions (and acting accordingly) is because that fact is true. Starting from more epistemologically accurate premises, it is more likely that you will reach truthful conclusions. Tossing out your opinions as if they are hard factual truths and then implying "oh, it should be obvious that I am just speaking from my personal perspective" is absolutely disingenuous because then everybody else has to waste their time first proving that your opinion is subjective before they can start exploring anything genuinely interesting about it.
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Old 2013-01-15, 13:43   Link #92
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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
Advantages?

Having to walk on glass for people is not my idea of a civil discussion. Being able to freely express oneself without fear of people taking things personally over petty reasons is infinitely better than having to tip-toe around one another. Not to mention that such "qualifying phrases" could come off feeling extremely insincere if misused.

There is of course basic etiquette when talking to people, but there is absolutely no need to exaggerate.
I never tip-toe in debates and I don't correlate using phrases like "in my opinion" with tip-toeing. You can hammer home a point in a respectful and clear manner, reminding people it is still your opinion, all at once. It's not an either-or scenario. You don't have to moderate the message you're trying to convey at all by simply clarifying and reminding people of your intention.

The advantage is to stick to the subject you're debating and not confuse people into thinking you're proselytizing or putting them down for thinking differently. Less hostility, more discussion on the subject at hand, and I generally also find people will be more open to your way of thinking if you remind them you aren't trying to forcibly convert them.

Yes, they can be insincere if someone truly is just being a jackass, but that's not what we're discussing, is it?

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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
I'd say the reason for valuing tact/tone doesn't necessarily have anything to do with social etiquette, but rather is something entirely practical for the sake of fruitful logical ("truth-seeking") discourse in the first place.

The point is that inflammatory, absolutely-worded statements interfere with people's ability to interact logically in the first place. Very often these topics which are supposed to be the subject of "logical discourse" are emotionally charged, even (especially) on the side trying to make absolute/declarative statements. The point is that by making obnoxious, unprovable absolute statements of opinion, what you are far more likely to get is not any logical counterargument but rather blindly negative emotional reactions.

I would call the idea of anybody pretending that they're only interested in "logical" arguments here highly disingenuous in the first place. Human beings are not robots, there will never be any such thing as an actual person who fully embraces "objective" logic and is not bound by their own self-interest. Precisely because it is impossible that people would be interested in solely logical discourse, you should not bother pretending.

The reason why it is more logical to admit that your beliefs are merely subjective opinions (and acting accordingly) is because that fact is true. Starting from more epistemologically accurate premises, it is more likely that you will reach truthful conclusions. Tossing out your opinions as if they are hard factual truths and then implying "oh, it should be obvious that I am just speaking from my personal perspective" is absolutely disingenuous because then everybody else has to waste their time first proving that your opinion is subjective before they can start exploring anything genuinely interesting about it.
Exactly, that's a good explanation. Keep the emotional arguing to a minimum by making the 'concession' that your viewpoint is personal and not the end-all-be-all. It's much more comfortable to have a free-flowing exchange of ideas when both parties understand this fact and do not feel like their viewpoint is under some vehement attack.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Qilin View Post
This is, for one reason or another, turning into an argument between two factions, which also represent two prevalent ways of viewing the forum:

Spoiler for two sides:

What kind of forum are we trying to create in the first place, I wonder?
I'm somewhere in between. I think one of my primary interests (perhaps my only interest, since I've never really been big on the social scene here) in forum-going is to engage in discussion. Sometimes, that means simply discussing a topic, series, game, etc with like-minded people that are harder to come by in day-to-day life. Another big draw for me is debates and pitting my ideas against those of someone with a different viewpoint and worldview. Given the international nature of this forum, it can be great for both of these goals. I think there should be a degree of etiquette, yes, though I'm not sure I was always very concerned with that aspect when I was younger. I do feel, now, though, that it's simply more pleasant to be respectful and besides, trying to at least be 'nice' to some extent is just less of a headache for me. Then again, having to wade through the world of a working adult, meeting people in college, etc, it's become a default state to try to be respectful, so it's not like I'm making any effort to 'moderate' my bad nature or anything like that.

Thing is, I'm all for the debating, exchanging ideas aspect, and in a perfect world I can understand why phrases like 'in my opinion' should be unnecessary. I can sympathize with that viewpoint. This isn't a highly-streamlined super debating paradise, however, and in light of that reality, I think it's actually easier to engage in a debate when you make sure people understand your intentions. Maybe they shouldn't be so quick to judge you negatively if you don't clarify that you're speaking from your viewpoint, I don't really know or care. Fact is, that happens, it's an all too common reality, and I just see it as 'going with the flow,' so to speak. If you want a long and interesting debate, I think it's easier. I also think hostility, whether it's virtual or real, is just tiresome and I try to avoid it unless I think it's warranted.

Last edited by ChainLegacy; 2013-01-15 at 14:15.
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Old 2013-01-15, 14:51   Link #93
Reckoner
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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
The reason why it is more logical to admit that your beliefs are merely subjective opinions (and acting accordingly) is because that fact is true. Starting from more epistemologically accurate premises, it is more likely that you will reach truthful conclusions. Tossing out your opinions as if they are hard factual truths and then implying "oh, it should be obvious that I am just speaking from my personal perspective" is absolutely disingenuous because then everybody else has to waste their time first proving that your opinion is subjective before they can start exploring anything genuinely interesting about it.
Like I said, I fundamentally disagree with the notion of doing so because I believe it is self evident. It is like playing a sport like say boxing, then expecting the boxers in the rink to notify each other that they are about to box. This thread spawned from the previous thread titled "The Blend of Serious Action and Sexual Fanservice in shows like Strike Witches."

There is no way to have an objective truth about this, so why assume anything people have to say about the topic is an absolute truth? I can say something like "the fanservice is distracting to the audience in key scenes" and yet there is no way to prove this or its opposite statement. The self-evidence here is provided by the context. It is completely unnecessary to prove that my statement is subjective. I know it, and they know it.

And hey what is the context of the forum in general? We're discussing anime, an art form which in some ways has no right or wrong in any scenario. Why the heck would we ever assume people are speaking with truth on this subject? It is self-evident that what we have to say about an art form is going to be subjective. The only things that are not going to be are concrete details about a show. Anime X has director Y and is made my studio Z. In this scene, character blah destroyed enemy blah. Then whatever they have to say about these things other than that are clearly opinions.

I just cannot agree with the idea that this in any way is a confusing matter.

Last edited by Reckoner; 2013-01-15 at 15:10.
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Old 2013-01-15, 15:02   Link #94
ChainLegacy
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See, the thing is, you don't have to agree. You're right in what you're saying. It's just the reality of the situation that people are going to misinterpret your tone and, ultimately, you foment less hostility, whether justified or not, by reminding people it's your opinion. In doing so, I find it's easier to stick to the topic at hand.
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Old 2013-01-15, 15:17   Link #95
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See, the thing is, you don't have to agree. You're right in what you're saying. It's just the reality of the situation that people are going to misinterpret your tone and, ultimately, you foment less hostility, whether justified or not, by reminding people it's your opinion. In doing so, I find it's easier to stick to the topic at hand.
Well like I said it's a matter of principle for me. It would be easier, but at the same time, it's compromising for individuals I often would not rather compromise for. If people were really only trying to clarify things when they point it out to me I'd see this differently, but from my experience it is simply a form of dismissal and people will use this to dismiss you even when you put qualifying statements in (I get quoted with statements like "well like you said it's just your opinion"). Great, thanks for pointing out the obvious. relentlessflame argues its my tone that is dismissive and that's why they are dismissive, but that is another discussion (I think the use of these phrases is not really related to tone). Furthermore, the use of qualifying phrases also seems to be an imposed standard on one side of the argument. People can say all they want, but I RARELY see people get harassed for making positive statements without these "disarming phrases."
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Old 2013-01-15, 16:37   Link #96
ChainLegacy
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Hmm, I suppose we just look at it differently then. It's just not that big of a deal to me, so I've never had a problem adding it in. I think it does contribute to the overall tone of a post, but it obviously can't negate someone insulting/putting down another. For the record, though, I read the thread that this spun off from, and didn't notice any overly forceful tone from your posts, really (which is why I thought this discussion was mostly about qualifying phrases). Perhaps not peachy keen nice, but not too harsh either. Of course, as you now know, I'd add some "imo's" and "personally...'s" to water down the 'emotional impact' a bit
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Old 2013-01-15, 16:52   Link #97
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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
I'd say the reason for valuing tact/tone doesn't necessarily have anything to do with social etiquette, but rather is something entirely practical for the sake of fruitful logical ("truth-seeking") discourse in the first place.

The point is that inflammatory, absolutely-worded statements interfere with people's ability to interact logically in the first place. Very often these topics which are supposed to be the subject of "logical discourse" are emotionally charged, even (especially) on the side trying to make absolute/declarative statements. The point is that by making obnoxious, unprovable absolute statements of opinion, what you are far more likely to get is not any logical counterargument but rather blindly negative emotional reactions.

I would call the idea of anybody pretending that they're only interested in "logical" arguments here highly disingenuous in the first place. Human beings are not robots, there will never be any such thing as an actual person who fully embraces "objective" logic and is not bound by their own self-interest. Precisely because it is impossible that people would be interested in solely logical discourse, you should not bother pretending.

The reason why it is more logical to admit that your beliefs are merely subjective opinions (and acting accordingly) is because that fact is true. Starting from more epistemologically accurate premises, it is more likely that you will reach truthful conclusions. Tossing out your opinions as if they are hard factual truths and then implying "oh, it should be obvious that I am just speaking from my personal perspective" is absolutely disingenuous because then everybody else has to waste their time first proving that your opinion is subjective before they can start exploring anything genuinely interesting about it.
But a lot of inflammatory arguments are logically defective in the first place. The most common being a sweeping generalization that covers very little cases for what is implying. It is offensive because it outright ignores actual reality.

Furthermore, the very concept of passing off one's statement as the absolute truth isn't very logical at all. Thus, I don't even consider it a possibility and thus all assertive statements one can make are all conjecture. I have all of human history as "proof". We are but a mere fragment of a species that views this time as a fragment a long period of human history which is a mere fragment of the history the the planet which is a mere fragment of a larger solar system that is just a tiny bit of a galaxy that has billions upon billions of galaxies. The perspective of an individual is so tiny that any one claiming to know the absolute truth about who the universe is not only arrogant, but stupid.

And let's just not appeal to the unknown. We can just look at human views of this world over... maybe the last 1000 years? How many times have we been proven wrong? Practically constantly.

It is for this reason that all statements made are conjecture. It's why the burden of proof is always on the person that makes the statement. But this means that one has to be be fairly assertive in their own subjective reality, since to them, even if it is biased and clouded, is all that they know. If you can't be sure of your own fragment, then it truly has absolutely no value.

This is why I freely admit my own biases towards a show whenever possible, and I don't discount people due to preferences and "biases" as long as it makes internal sense.

And this is often why sometimes I don't need to call people out on making absolutist statements because it's rude. I call them on it because it's 99.99999999...% wrong.

But like I've said before, logic isn't a means to an end. But it should never be neglected either. I don't think I should lower my standards, but it's certainly worth checking with others on how flawed they really are.
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Old 2013-01-15, 21:30   Link #98
Sol Falling
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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
Like I said, I fundamentally disagree with the notion of doing so because I believe it is self evident. It is like playing a sport like say boxing, then expecting the boxers in the rink to notify each other that they are about to box. This thread spawned from the previous thread titled "The Blend of Serious Action and Sexual Fanservice in shows like Strike Witches."

There is no way to have an objective truth about this, so why assume anything people have to say about the topic is an absolute truth? I can say something like "the fanservice is distracting to the audience in key scenes" and yet there is no way to prove this or its opposite statement. The self-evidence here is provided by the context. It is completely unnecessary to prove that my statement is subjective. I know it, and they know it.

And hey what is the context of the forum in general? We're discussing anime, an art form which in some ways has no right or wrong in any scenario. Why the heck would we ever assume people are speaking with truth on this subject? It is self-evident that what we have to say about an art form is going to be subjective. The only things that are not going to be are concrete details about a show. Anime X has director Y and is made my studio Z. In this scene, character blah destroyed enemy blah. Then whatever they have to say about these things other than that are clearly opinions.

I just cannot agree with the idea that this in any way is a confusing matter.
Haha, see, this is a point where the fundamental assumption your principle is based on itself has not been proved. From where can it be assumed that it is impossible to have any objective truth about "art"? Under which principle should everybody be forced to assume that it is "self-evident"? I, for one, do disagree on this matter. If the excuse (which I guess has come up three times now) is that "I don't need to admit that things are just my opinion because everything must be opinion", I'd say that you are making fundamental fallacies about the degree of truth which can be determined in the universe.

Just as there are objective truths which you can determine about the rest of reality, there are any number of objective truths which you can determine about anime. The subjective part of our experiences only concerns how we relate to those objective realities. And there is plenty interesting to be said about the objective realities themselves.

For example, let me say that "Strike Witches is a work which communicates themes of faith in one's comrades, accepting one's duty, and also hope and compassion above strict military protocol". While there are elements of interpretation in such a statement, it can also be called clearly objectively true by any straightforward examination. However, at the same time this fact cannot be called self-evident given a (hypothetical) only cursory, dismissive overview of the series. Thus making the potential assertion (and if necessary, elaboration) of it a fruitful exercise for some number of parties interested in anime.

Truth excavations of this sort are in fact one of the primary activities of this forum. The people gathered are interested not only in the exchange of opinions ("this anime is shit", "that anime is great", whatever), but factual pieces of knowledge, often in support of those opinions. In fact, I would actually say that the exchange of this factual sort of information is far more important to me personally than any mere sort of opinion. So on one level, maybe I have to ask, why bother even making statements of opinion at all? In fact, by this argument, posters have every right to treat your (or anyone else's) opinion dismissively--if what they are interested in or could potentially be persuaded by are facts, then they have no reason to entertain mere opinions at all.
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Stardust Crusaders 80/5 :: Sailor Moon Crystal 20/5 :: Hanayamata 28/5 :: Locodol 50/5 :: Yama no Susume 100/5 :: Sabagebu 28/5 :: Momo Kyun Sword 11/5
Fall: Sora no Method 21/5 :: Karen Senki 6/5 :: Cross Ange 1/5 :: Shirobako 22/5 :: Yuuki Yuuna 23/5 :: Mushishi S2 100/5
God-tier yuri oneshot mangaka: Minase Ruruu
Sonohana twitter follow campaign: mikajyo_info :: rewards (anime adaptation if they reach 50000!!)
Exceptional shoujo manga: Last Game
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Old 2013-01-15, 22:28   Link #99
Reckoner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
Haha, see, this is a point where the fundamental assumption your principle is based on itself has not been proved. From where can it be assumed that it is impossible to have any objective truth about "art"? Under which principle should everybody be forced to assume that it is "self-evident"? I, for one, do disagree on this matter. If the excuse (which I guess has come up three times now) is that "I don't need to admit that things are just my opinion because everything must be opinion", I'd say that you are making fundamental fallacies about the degree of truth which can be determined in the universe.
Well first of all we would have to agree upon a criteria from which "truth" can be obtained, but I thought I stated a relatively harmless, logical statement. You seem to disagree, so lets talk about it then.

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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
Just as there are objective truths which you can determine about the rest of reality, there are any number of objective truths which you can determine about anime. The subjective part of our experiences only concerns how we relate to those objective realities. And there is plenty interesting to be said about the objective realities themselves.

For example, let me say that "Strike Witches is a work which communicates themes of faith in one's comrades, accepting one's duty, and also hope and compassion above strict military protocol". While there are elements of interpretation in such a statement, it can also be called clearly objectively true by any straightforward examination. However, at the same time this fact cannot be called self-evident given a (hypothetical) only cursory, dismissive overview of the series. Thus making the potential assertion (and if necessary, elaboration) of it a fruitful exercise for some number of parties interested in anime.
First of all I cannot set how this is really an objective statement. You said it yourself, there are elements of interpretation here. Judging by the events of the series, I myself may not come to the same conclusion as you because either I thought the events might have communicated something else, or maybe did not communicate it well enough for that to ring true at all.

This is the reason I see art as "subjective" because everything comes down to how you relate to it. How you interpret the themes and narrative of a work boil down to personal perception. How well a work communicates those themes and its narrative is also subjective. How much one enjoys the work is subjective. There is very little here that I can see that is an objective truth. I mentioned things like certain story events, or staff information as being examples of objective facts.

These forum conversations are of course going to hold agreements and disagreements. What is largely agreed upon may become a truth for sizable amount of people, but not a truth for everybody. Much like how morals are relative to the society, since it takes a sizable amount of people to agree upon certain moral principles to establish such ideas in a society... It is the same for any sort of community of people, including Animesuki. The way we relate to different works can be very different, and my personal truth may in fact be different form the community at large. People should naturally be able to acknowledge that.

Of course, credibility for certain ideas is earned by what the community agrees about that is credible. Hence there is nothing wrong with these things being subjective. If you can communicate how your experience relates to something effectively, you can convince others that your experience may be close to truth and we can agree on it.

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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
Truth excavations of this sort are in fact one of the primary activities of this forum. The people gathered are interested not only in the exchange of opinions ("this anime is shit", "that anime is great", whatever), but factual pieces of knowledge, often in support of those opinions. In fact, I would actually say that the exchange of this factual sort of information is far more important to me personally than any mere sort of opinion. So on one level, maybe I have to ask, why bother even making statements of opinion at all? In fact, by this argument, posters have every right to treat your (or anyone else's) opinion dismissively--if what they are interested in or could potentially be persuaded by are facts, then they have no reason to entertain mere opinions at all.
Ultimately I feel a forum about anime would be about such things. There might not be any "right" or "wrong." However, certain opinions will sound more credible than others based on how well they are communicated, and the logical reasoning used to back those statements up. I used an analogy of a "persuasive essay" earlier because I feel that is how a forum experience should be like. We all have certain beliefs here, and we all relate to art a bit differently. How we relate our experiences and beliefs to each other, providing our own logical reasoning for those conclusions, is the very essence of conversation. Furthermore, everything being subjective does not make discourse meaningless, it in fact adds value to conversation.
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Old 2013-01-16, 03:36   Link #100
relentlessflame
 
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Join Date: Dec 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
First of all I cannot set how this is really an objective statement. You said it yourself, there are elements of interpretation here. Judging by the events of the series, I myself may not come to the same conclusion as you because either I thought the events might have communicated something else, or maybe did not communicate it well enough for that to ring true at all.
But you were a participant in a recent situation where you, and I, among other people, were in fact arguing against the truthfulness of someone else's interpretation of the major elements of a story. You may recall the conversation about the significance of the two concurrent plot lines in SAO's second arc (and questions about who the "main characters" were). If someone makes a statement about a show's themes and plot points, there is certainly direct evidence in the work that can be used to support or negate that sort of "opinion". In this sense, someone's interpretation can be judged by the majority to be either sufficiently or insufficiently supported by the work based on objective evidence from the text. An interpretation that is not sufficiently supported by the text can be judged to be "wrong" (particularly if there is compelling evidence to contradict that view). This is, in fact, your "persuasive essay" model. It is still interpretation, but based firmly on objective evidence. (You can still use the same objective evidence to arrive at multiple conclusions, but not all conclusions are equally justified by the text.)

This is quite different from points that revolve primarily about someone's emotional reaction or judgement of the work's "goodness". One of the key reasons for this difference is the lack of clear objective criteria. For example, consider the "thesis" of the argument that spawned the original thread: that sexual fanservice is unavoidably distracting in action scenes. The foundation for this thesis cannot be derived directly from the "text", because it's about one's reaction to the work -- the actual viewing experience itself. And the thesis itself can be easily attacked on at least two vectors: first, what it is the viewer wants to be able to focus on in said scenes (a presumption), and second, whether the sexual fanservice distracts in that context (a personal reaction). So the whole thing is not about the work, it's about someone's personal expectation of a scene (based on their nature/nurture/training/habits/etc.), and the show's ability to meet that expectation. "Wanted x, got y." By the time you work through all that, you end up with a thesis that's more like this: "If you are watching action scenes and are trying to focus on the technical qualities of the fight, you may find it more difficult to follow said action when the scene also contains sexual fanservice." That's quite different in nature from the original thesis, and entirely different from the earlier statement that is proposing "The work is about z".

This is the nature of "objectivity" vs. "subjectivity". That doesn't mean that both sorts of arguments aren't subject to the perspective of the author -- of course they are. But with the former, you can potentially convince people to change their minds with a convincing argument, because all the needed evidence is in the text itself (being exposed by the person presenting the argument). With the latter, at best you can convince people that your perspective has a logic to it, because no amount of logic can necessarily change the person's own emotional reaction, particularly if they had different expectations in the first place.

(This is why, if you wrote essays in literature class, you (presumably?) never wrote about whether the work was "good" or "bad", since that is too subjective. Instead, you had to pick an argument about the text and defend that argument. This is why you were trained to remove the subjectivity from the writing in this context; because you were arguing about objective, defensible points in the work itself. You were (again, presumably) graded in said essays based on whether or not you properly supported your arguments with evidence from the text, and not subjective judgement. But if you try to apply the same writing principles when making a fundamentally subjective argument, it all falls apart. In those cases, denying the "self" could be seen by some as fundamentally dishonest; your "objective essay" would be graded "poor" because the thesis is not sufficiently objective in nature. Subjective thesis + objective argumentation = Frequent Failures to communicate tone and intent. I would argue that's poor writing, even if it's "well-written".)
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Last edited by relentlessflame; 2013-01-16 at 03:48.
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