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Thread: Debating styles

  1. #11
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    hee hee. But... it's all for their GOOD, right? As long as you use your powers for good?
    For them... it's for them... I benefit on the side but they don't have to know

    NTs are a little trickier. If you have a solid case, you can sell them on it, but they will find the flaws if they can, and they hate being coerced into anything -- they really have to think it's their choice. Emotional overload might do something to them, either muddy their thinking, but it's liable to blow up in your face too. I suppose seduction would work, for the opposite sex.

    As far as NF's go, I don't think I will share any of THAT... in case I need to use it.
    Hmmm yes, taking it too far with NTs will blow up. I think the trick here is to convince them that they came up with the solution themselves. What ptg said about "there are strangers walking up and down the hall" fits in this scenario.

    NFs? Easy enough give us the good old That usually does the trick

  2. #12
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    Use of emotions in "debates"... Is it okay to replace it with arguments where you want to win? As oppose to debates to find truth? There are two separate ideas flowing around here.
    That is an important distinction. I see no purpose in trying to win someone over to something not true. I can see that winning is a main goal of debating, but I'm naive enough to think winning at the expense of reason is more of a mishap than anyone's deliberate goal. I have no use for an activity based on social dominance over reasoning and truth. One of my main motivations in life is to get my brain in order to think clearly and see things as they actually are. Mental distortions actually frighten me because they are such a trap for so many people, and generally destructive.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  3. #13
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daphne View Post
    I have no use for an activity based on social dominance over reasoning and truth.
    I used to believe this too... until I was faced with the reality that people tend to reject reasoning and truth.

    I've come face to face with people who will absolutely make the wrong decision, in mass, even with all of the information required. It's almost like they want to exercise their power in making the wrong decision. I'm not talking about different viewpoints... continuing along the same example as above...

    There was an apartment complex that had just cleaned out their piping system, which cost a fair bit (something like 200$ per apartment). It was done to prevent corrosion. Unfortunately, a few months later, one of the pipes had broken and really expensive repairs (from water running into a wood structure - the worst possible outcome!) had to be undertaken.

    It turned out the pipes were already corroded and ready to fail in other locations. To re-pipe the building, they have to get approval from the owners (75% for lump sum charges). They brought in the engineers who had done the inspection, who put up a nice slide show and gave their professional opinion - these were engineers, not the ones doing the replacement. It was voted down.

    Shortly later, they held a special meeting that included a city engineer, the same engineers, the cost breakdown, the impact (it ranged from being forced to do it within the next year anyway to complete structural breakdown).

    It was voted down. Now, these engineers has presented the numbers. This was a 100% outcome, with known costs and outcomes. I summarized the highlights, but the idiocy at the personal level was astounding. "I can't pay for it" was common, but scary enough, so was "Let them fail! See if I care!" and "I just paid for fixing one of them, I'm not paying any more!".

    Unfortunately, people are not rational. Situations like this turn into a debate - camps form. If the irrational side uses emotion (in this case, the cost, the unfairness, distrust of professionals), they are far more likely to lead the pack to an irrational decision. Even in situations where it is obvious which way things should be done, emotion is more powerful.


    FWIW, this was three years ago, or so. 6 months after being voted down the second time, one pipe didn't just corrode, it virtually snapped. The ensuing cleanup and pipe replacement cost roughly 60,000/suite to fix (mandated by law this time). The original estimate was 11,000. That's ignoring the building becoming unlivable for about 6 months. The suites were worth about 180-300,000. At least the tenants didn't sue the strata... but not for a lack of trying to gain support for it. For not warning them.

    Mind you, in pure debates where there is no personal stake... emotion is pretty low. But in those cases where winning means more than ego... emotion is, unfortunately, still the stronger force.

  4. #14
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    And you practice this... how?
    Easy, when you argue make sure that your goal is to seek knowledge and not give affirmation to your prejudices.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daphne View Post
    What do you consider the most effective debating style for yourself, and for the general outcome of a given topic?

    In many debates, political ones for example, there is a great deal of manipulation involved as well as subtle emotional dialog. People often win the debate based on their ability to use such strategies, rather than on the merits of the facts. This also occurs in the legal system with the manipulation of the jury. It is clearly a common tactic, but one that I generally avoid. The debating style I value is one in which emotional content becomes irrelevant, including both pleasantries and attacks. During my internet adventures, it has been difficult to find debating partners that share that style. It seems that a rational argument does not require any manipulation, unless there is no one available to see reason. The reliance on tactics over facts has always suggested to me an underlying flaw in the debater's reasoning. What are your opinions on this?

    How do you approach debate?
    With mock and sarcasm, though I've toned that down a lot. Some topics are only worthy of such, however.

    I'm fond of crafting strawman arguments, and that's made me relatively good at destructing them. If I see one, I'll usually (try to) be serious and even-keeled in my attempts to argue it.

    In threads where the discussion clearly takes on a tone of discovery and not debate, I'll try to fit in with the emotional environment.

    I dislike urgent or dramatic posts that broach social topics, so I'll usually examine my own beliefs about - or emotional disposition on - the topic, and find a way to use them as a lever in whatever side I happen to fall on in the debate.

  6. #16
    shoshaku jushaku rivercrow's Avatar
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    Could we please stop calling a values-based decision "irrational"?

    Making decisions from the basis of values (we value our independence, our collectivism, our appearance of authority) is not substantially different from making a decision from the basis of logic.
    Who rises in the morning, looks in the mirror and says, "I think I will do something stupid today?" -- James Hollis
    If people never did silly things nothing intelligent would ever get done. -- Ludwig Wittgenstein
    Whaling is illegal in Oklahoma.

  7. #17
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    "Irrational" in type theory is usually reserved for the perceiving functions, aren't they? (And "Rational" for the judging functions T/F?)

    But I guess you were referring to gatsby's use of the word. I guess he should have used the word "bad [decision]" or "senseless" instead.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  8. #18
    shoshaku jushaku rivercrow's Avatar
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    Regardless of technical usage, I still think we (and I include me) use "irrational" when the reasoning is not logic based.

    In my last job, I served on executive interview panels. Following one interview, we discussed the probable need for the candidate to "save face" if he took the position. He was going from a high-paying financial job (he'd been downsized out of that job) to a moderately high-paying job in local government where the salaries would be posted in the local newspaper complete with names.

    To me, the concern over "saving face" seemed illogical and silly. We had certainly not discussed this with the candidate to get his opinion. For the other members on the team--in particular, the senior manager who brought this issue up--this was a serious issue and a plan needed to be created to resolve it.
    Who rises in the morning, looks in the mirror and says, "I think I will do something stupid today?" -- James Hollis
    If people never did silly things nothing intelligent would ever get done. -- Ludwig Wittgenstein
    Whaling is illegal in Oklahoma.

  9. #19
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    "Irrational" in type theory is usually reserved for the perceiving functions, aren't they? (And "Rational" for the judging functions T/F?)

    But I guess you were referring to gatsby's use of the word. I guess he should have used the word "bad [decision]" or "senseless" instead.
    If that was in reference to me, I meant to use the word irrational, which I feel is the correct word. This was not a value judgment that was made. If it was, I would of questioned the values as being misplaced... By definition, using reason to make a decision means rational, and irrational is defined as not being consistent with reason.

    I'm not against value judgments. The above story was to highlight that people make outright back decisions that are self defeating (ie: I don't want to pay, so I'll pay more later)... not to imply that they are made from value judgments at all. (If they were, then I have a real issue with making those kinds of value judgments, and they seriously impair people to make a reasonable choice! I don't believe that is the case... most of the time. This is a matter of group psychology - few shared the same values to start with.)

  10. #20
    Member Beyonder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daphne View Post
    What do you consider the most effective debating style for yourself, and for the general outcome of a given topic?
    Rhetorics combined with informal logic. What else?
    In many debates, political ones for example, there is a great deal of manipulation involved as well as subtle emotional dialog. People often win the debate based on their ability to use such strategies, rather than on the merits of the facts. This also occurs in the legal system with the manipulation of the jury. It is clearly a common tactic, but one that I generally avoid. The debating style I value is one in which emotional content becomes irrelevant, including both pleasantries and attacks. During my internet adventures, it has been difficult to find debating partners that share that style. It seems that a rational argument does not require any manipulation, unless there is no one available to see reason. The reliance on tactics over facts has always suggested to me an underlying flaw in the debater's reasoning. What are your opinions on this?
    Yeah, it's called 'rhetorics'. Good stuff.

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