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View Poll Results: Which would be more attractive to you ?

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  • I want an argument. The nastier the better. Subject-irrelevant

    0 0%
  • I want a nasty argument - It should relate to a pre-existing stance

    2 5.41%
  • I want an argument with an edge- no ad hominem, though.

    10 27.03%
  • I hate to admit it, but I am more attracted to a dispute.

    4 10.81%
  • It doesn't matter to me if it is an argument or neutral, if the subject is interesting

    23 62.16%
  • I won't participate in a dispute unless I am awfully sure, and so I find arguments limiting

    7 18.92%
  • I tend to avoid most disputative threads.

    4 10.81%
  • I despise argumentative threads. They suck.

    5 13.51%
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Thread: Argument

  1. #11
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    "I despise argumentative threads. They suck."
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  2. #12
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuranes View Post
    What I'm heaing is that some people might be more tempted into a thread if there is an argument, so long as the criticism is more refined. Perhaps I should have used a different phrase in the OP than "badmouthed", but there are people who gravitate to that also.

    But then what of the people who dislike most disagreement, however refined the posts are in expressing it ?
    I would suggest that an argument that uses attack and socially aggressive tactics and one that avoids disagreement at all costs are more similar to each other than the discussion that focuses on constructive criticism and the acquisition of knowledge. I'm right or We all make good points are meaningless assumptions in and of themselves. Debate can be reduced to proving one or the other of these social claims rather than the issue at hand. In both cases information is likely to suffer because it is subject to socially manipulative communication. In both cases new information can be learned, but tends to occur despite the primarily social dialog.
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  3. #13
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    I fall into the category of liking very strong debates. Sometimes, I might argue for the sake of arguing with someone whom I perceive as genuinely enjoying it. I might employ flawed logic just for fun. Generally, some INTPs seem to enjoy this.

    The best arguments are the ones between 2 competent people, devoid of irony, sarcasm, games... just being pure cold logic. No ad hominem. I despise it when the argument gets personal because it's a waste of time and I lose respect for the person I'm arguing with. It's hard to find people who can remain calm when they're wrong or don't lose their temper because you won't budge.

    I seek to completely avoid arguing with more sensitive people unless I absolutely must have for practical reasons. If someone, who I think is more emotional, tries to challenge me, I will feel a bit wary of arguing with them... I'm afraid they won't be able to take it so I just try to reach an agreement and forget about it.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick View Post
    The best arguments are the ones between 2 competent people, devoid of irony, sarcasm, games... just being pure cold logic.
    This is interesting. I can't think of any N discussion which, at some point, aren't a game to me. Perhaps because I don't have many fixed opinions about bigger questions in life - so I just jump from stand point to stand point and try to estimate the value of these as a discussion evolves. Furthermore, I can't think of many situations where I don't enjoy a touch of humor.

    Isn't the only discussions where pure cold logic is sufficient, discussions where the outcome can be measured?
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  5. #15
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    I want an argument with an edge- no ad hominem, though.

    I don't mind an edge, in fact I rather like it when the conversation has a little edge. This normally indicates that the other person isn't holding back. However, it must not be personal... that's a waste of time and bores me immediately. To me, delivery style is edge... the personal attacks are content.

    I hate to admit it, but I am more attracted to a dispute.

    Dispute means different viewpoints. I live for understanding... and like INTPs everywhere, to provide clarity. Where else can do you do that but in a dispute? No problem saying so either.

    I will defend my stance, which applies to everything here. (With that goes, I'm willing to change my stance with new information, hence the attraction to the dispute.)

    It doesn't matter to me if it is an argument or neutral, if the subject is interesting

    I will participate if the subject is interesting; I do not participate in an argument. The exception is with the edge part - so long as the argument isn't an all out personal issue, the edge doesn't bother me. Personal attacks bore me.


    I won't participate in a dispute unless I am awfully sure, and so I find arguments limiting


    True, but I will participate if I think I'll learn something. I'll challenge that which doesn't fit in... but it is also for clarity.


    I tend to avoid most disputative threads


    Yes, but only because they tend to cascade into something useless to me.

  6. #16
    Senior Member meshou's Avatar
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    I'd prefer objective debates, but don't feel they're always possible or always the best course either. Some arguments, particularly on spirituality, are entirely personal ones, and further, much disagreed upon. That doesn't mean they should be avoided, simply that there's probably no reasonable expectation they'll stay entirely nicey-nice.

    Sometimes, a poster can't form a coherent argument for the life of them-- there's no objective stance to meet in the first place.

    I also am impatient with people both prolific and who never present any discussion. There's really no discussion to be had without the questions "Why?" or "How?"

    I find a lot more value in 'Why do you like your favorite genre of music, and why do you dislike your least favorite" than "List your favorite bands." No one reads anyone else's posts in such threads, it's just an excuse to tell everyone what YOUR favorite bands are, and seems both masturbatory and insubstantial.

    If a person, by way of very prolific posting, establishes that they can't form a coherent argument (or sometimes sentence), or is entirely preoccupied with making and contributing to threads with absolutely no value aside from telling the world all about themselves (as if the board ought to be pleased to hear every thought that comes into their head), it'll get annoying.

    I do see some value in biting one's tongue-- not every annoyance is worth mentioning-- but past a certain point, there'll be interpersonal conflict. And I don't think the avoidance of all conflict or the withholding of all opinion of the person you're talking to just because it's unpleasant is a good goal.

    Last, something that drives me nuts: The term "ad hominem" is often misused. It is not always fallacious!

    Fallacious use: "You cheated on your wife. How can a scoundrel like you possibly be trusted to build a bridge?"
    "Hitler liked sugar. How can you like sugar?"
    "Anna says that the car accident was my fault, but it obviously isn't my fault because she wasn't there herself."

    As you can see, there is an unstated premise that leads to the conclusions made-- in the first, that this first lack of honesty or discretion carries through to the person's endeavors, and the second, that all things Hitler liked were bad. The last, slightly different, says that the accident couldn't have been his fault because of the location of the person claiming it.

    Non-Fallacious, legitimate use: "You're a child molester. How can we trust you around children?"
    "This person has multiple purgery convictions. He does not have the credibility to testify against anyone!"
    "Anna wasn't at the scene of the accident, therefore she relies on second hand knowledge of what happened, and may not have as reliable an account as someone who directly saw it happened."

    These are legitimate arguments from the person whose premises, stated and unstated, are true, and the state of that persons location or character was relevant to the argument. They are still ad hominem arguments-- some unflattering to the character of the person-- but they are not fallacious.
    Let's do this thing.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by HilbertSpace View Post
    Overall, I prefer the exchange of ideas threads over the argument threads, simply because people are more open and so the discussions are more interesting and involve more information. Threads that are arguments are more often characterized by dogmatic stances, and those usually go nowhere. They're not about information exchange, they're about asserting yourself (at best) or bullying (at worst).
    This fits what happens in my mind exactly.

    It's something I've noticed in political threads, that the people who "win" arguments more are the ones who are very into the particular issue being talked about, so whether they are wrong, right, in between, or the issue can't be decided either way, a person who is very into an issue can always come up with rationalizations, statistics, personal experience, and other information that overwhelms people less into an issue, but still with a few things to say.

    Argument threads are also more painful to read, having to read through posts of muck to see what the thread is about is less fun than going through posts in an information exchange thread.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by meshou View Post
    Last, something that drives me nuts: The term "ad hominem" is often misused. It is not always fallacious!

    Fallacious use: "You cheated on your wife. How can a scoundrel like you possibly be trusted to build a bridge?"
    "Hitler liked sugar. How can you like sugar?"
    "Anna says that the car accident was my fault, but it obviously isn't my fault because she wasn't there herself."

    As you can see, there is an unstated premise that leads to the conclusions made-- in the first, that this first lack of honesty or discretion carries through to the person's endeavors, and the second, that all things Hitler liked were bad. The last, slightly different, says that the accident couldn't have been his fault because of the location of the person claiming it.

    Non-Fallacious, legitimate use: "You're a child molester. How can we trust you around children?"
    "This person has multiple purgery convictions. He does not have the credibility to testify against anyone!"
    "Anna wasn't at the scene of the accident, therefore she relies on second hand knowledge of what happened, and may not have as reliable an account as someone who directly saw it happened."

    These are legitimate arguments from the person whose premises, stated and unstated, are true, and the state of that persons location or character was relevant to the argument. They are still ad hominem arguments-- some unflattering to the character of the person-- but they are not fallacious.
    The examples you call non-fallacious; I didn't think those were ad hominem. Just stating facts.

    But I don't like arguments; they take too much energy and usually nothing is gained in return.
    I live the life daily; I die the death nightly

  9. #19
    It's always something... PuddleRiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HilbertSpace View Post
    Good question, and responses to this thread are sort of a meta-experiment that answers it...

    For myself, I usually won't "me, too" in a thread, whether it's an argument or a discussion. If I agree with what people (especially the OP) are generally saying, I won't bother to respond because I feel like I don't have that much to add. At the same time, I absolutely avoid everything if a thread is so out there that any attempt to barge in with what I think is the correct information or interpretation would be futile.

    Overall, I prefer the exchange of ideas threads over the argument threads, simply because people are more open and so the discussions are more interesting and involve more information. Threads that are arguments are more often characterized by dogmatic stances, and those usually go nowhere. They're not about information exchange, they're about asserting yourself (at best) or bullying (at worst).
    (I'm gonna hate myself for this)

    Me Too!!!! You hit it dead on Hilbert. The point gets totally lost in taking the stand! Someone feels that they're being attacked and immediately strikes back. Communication is over. It's nothing but a pissing contest after that, nobody hears anything that the other person is trying to say.
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  10. #20
    Senior Member meshou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FranG View Post
    The examples you call non-fallacious; I didn't think those were ad hominem. Just stating facts.
    In little words:
    Ad hominem is latin for "From the Person." Any argument which uses the person's character in it can be called an "ad hominem" argument, good or bad.

    My point is not all ad hominem arguments are bad.
    Let's do this thing.

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