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Debating the wrong way, I'm gonna change my way

 
 
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2003 08:08 pm
Ok, I decided that being rght is less important than being nice and I plan to debate with a less forceful manner.

I will:

Spend more time composing replies so as to avoid being rude. It takes time to make disagreement less abrasive so I'll avoid posting when I have less than 60 seconds to spend on a reply.

Ignore futile debates. There are times when a position is so far from yours and as entranched that debate is futile.

Be more flexible with other people'arguments. I like logic, but insistence on logic is insisting that others change their ways. It's easier to work around their methods or chaneg your own ways than to change others.

Simply tone down the rhetoric and be nicer. This just takes time and patience. I'll think about the words I use and try to couch it in language that is less abrasive.

Learn to let it o. This is related to the futile debate point, sometimes it's better to let it go.

I will use more smileys, smileys won't help make an insult go down smoothly but might help prevent posts from being misunderstood.

Most of all I will be more patient, I do not get angry easily but this does not mean I should expect others to be the same way, I will be more patient by expounding on my arguments, not expecting people to get it when it is stated curtly and through willingness to spend time on the back and forth needed to ensure civil disagreement. A big part of this means I should wait until I have time for the more lenghthy posts that are needed to disagree without being disagreeable.

What ways can you improve on your debating? Please don't discuss other people's style. I don't want to open the pandora's box of "he debates like this.." so lets be introspective here.

Some credit goes to dab the resident hippy for calling me rude and trying to smack me with a free range chicken.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 7,192 • Replies: 83
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2003 08:21 pm
I'd liek to take this chance to commend a few people who debate with unfailing civility. Timberlandko and steissd hail from political positions that could not differ more from mine yet they are unfailingly civil. Steissd in particular has mastered the art of emotionless dissent.
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Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2003 08:50 pm
Hoorah for:

Craven
dab AKA deb
Timber
steissd
free range chicken
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dlowan
 
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Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2003 08:56 pm
Shocked




Shocked



admiration




thud.




Hmmmmmmm - head still spinning - ears acting like helicopter blades - well, I am way too wordy. I am told I am sometimes labyrinthinely circumlocutious and deferential in an effort not to offend - but I am also told I am too curt and mean - so a middle path?

I am too emotional in my responses and often respond when I am still not clear in what I want to say - so, waiting and thinking more?

I am wanting to enter debates in areas where I know I have no real expertise, because I want to learn, and I think what you learn by sitting back is limited, but then I sometimes get upset when I am slammed. Solving this would seem to require a personality makeover - but perhaps the skin will thicken with time? (scrubbing skin with a scrubbing brush as she thinks). I will try to harden my skin - and not talk to people when I am still smarting - how is that?
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dlowan
 
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Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2003 08:58 pm
(Oh - and stop hitting Craven with free range chickens - it gives him hayfever and annoys the chicken.)
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CodeBorg
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2003 08:58 pm
Craven de Kere wrote:
Let's be introspective here

I hate it when I call people names. An ad-hominem attack like "That's the stupidest idea you've ever written", "You're an idiot", "You have no idea what you're talking about", and so on, ... they always make me look like I'm not really thinking about the issue itself very much.

So I like to stop and think a bit first, and find really subtle ways to put people down, without them even realizing it. Just a turn of a phrase or a slight innuendo. Sometimes it's my own little secret, and I snicker all the way to the Superiority Bank. Damn, I'm good.

I don't care about right or wrong, hey, whatever it takes to get attention. Just keep on engaging me, and I'll keep poking and venting as long as I can get my hooks in ya! At least until someone politely acknowledges that I'm right, and the other guy is right too, in our own ways. I hate that. That's stup... like, politically correct or something an enlightened person would do. There's a name for people like that!

What were we talking about?
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2003 08:59 pm
Before we go and give too much credit to dab we must remember that she is a hippy.

One more goal: use more attempts at humor, if they fall short they will laugh at me, if not they will laugh with me. In either case laughter is better than trying to cog my urinals
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dlowan
 
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Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2003 09:00 pm
Code Borg - you are very funny.
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2003 09:01 pm
CodeBorg wrote:
An ad-hominem attack like "That's the stupidest idea you've ever written", "You're an idiot", "You have no idea what you're talking about", and so on, ...


May I respectfully point out that while the sentence I made bold above is abrasive it is not technically an ad hominem. I mention this not to be pedantic but because my style was to be abrasive while avoiding technical ad hominems for the most part.

BTW, they usually notice. :-)
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2003 09:01 pm
Craven:

I'll definitely agree on the amount of time I sometimes need to compose a response. The responses themselves may be very short, but when I've got something serious/important on my mind, it can take me hours (or in one case, days) to work out how I want to say it here/on-line. On-line discussions are quite different to IRL, in my view. People don't know me here, can't see my expressions - I've got to get that into the message, along with the message.

Sometimes the extra time allows me to edit out distracting 'garbage'. Leaving me with the point I'm trying to make - occasionally with a reference.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2003 09:07 pm
Wow!

Deb's on my list for good debators, too.

And I admire Sofia's use of humor to defuse tense situations.

But to turn the gaze to my navel -- hmmm. I too tend to get too emotional, and sometimes get all riled up about something that I go back to and say aw gee that wasn't so bad. I definitely have bang-head-against-brick-wall sydrome, in which I think that this next point MUST make the person I'm debating with finally finally see the light. Oh so changing-wise so far that means, a) be more detatched and b) recognize hopeless causes and don't waste energy. (Although, sometimes the hopeless causes ones do help me clarify my own thinking.)

There is a certain hit-and-run aspect to my online participation that doesn't serve me well in debates -- it is hard to sit down for a chunk of time and put together rational, substantiated posts.

Hmm... will come back to this.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2003 09:10 pm
Oh, several posts snuck in there while I was trying to take time to write out a well-thought out response (and failed.) Ah well.

I know another one -- to be careful that attempts at self-deprecating humor do not slip over the fence into requests for strokes.
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2003 09:28 pm
Another one for me: Use IMO more. I consider some subjects so subjective that they are obviously opinions, but things like IMO etc can help smooth things over.

BTW, one thig that prompted my decision to change my technique was that I 'stopped using IMHO for fear of letting it serve as invitation for a rebuttal.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2003 09:32 pm
Yeah I was curious about what prompted your change in technique. I'm not sure what I think about it -- introspection is good, and I've certainly commented on the "take a little time now to save time later" thing, but at the same time I do appreciate that you can be counted on to give a straightforward, unvarnished opinion.
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CodeBorg
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2003 09:34 pm
ehBeth wrote:
... it can take me hours (or in one case, days) to work out how I want to say it here/on-line....

A good post is like poetry. Every words counts.
And humor is quite defusing, when the tension mounts.
Compliments certainly break the ice,
any acknowledgement makes everyone feel nice,
and a good link, or an apt quote, certainly lends a bounce.

If you focus on your own opinion, then you can never be wrong.
Or acknowledge, understand, then extend their idea like a song...
Focus on the news, the facts, the idea itself,
then most all logic will become top shelf,
and even supposed "enemies" will teach you good and long.

To think, live well, share, and belong.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2003 09:50 pm
Awwwwwwww, good 'un!

I, myself, have just failed to be dispassionate - tomorrow I will be better!
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CodeBorg
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2003 10:14 pm
Craven de Kere wrote:
CodeBorg wrote:
An ad-hominem attack like "That's the stupidest idea you've ever written", "You're an idiot", "You have no idea what you're talking about", and so on, ...


May I respectfully point out that while the sentence I made bold above is abrasive it is not technically an ad hominem. I mention this not to be pedantic but because my style was to be abrasive while avoiding technical ad hominems for the most part.

BTW, they usually notice. :-)

Interesting... True! Hmm, is there a name for various types of abrasiveness, or goading techniques?

Oh, so many different WAYS to get abrasive and antogonistic. It boggles the mind and excites the senses! Anybody have some good links that describe logical fallacies, verbal or debating techniques that I could u... be sure to avoid?

I'd really like some new techni... a way of politely showing people what they are doing by providing a gentle link to a good example. I strain to remember a couple dozen fallacies from a Critical Thinking course in school:
-- Straw-man argument
-- Slippery slope
-- Ad-hominem
-- Guilt by association
-- Disproving the negative

We've all seen this stuff, but if anyone knows a good website with easy one-paragraph definitions that even I could understand, I think everyone could benefit! Webpages related to conflict resolution, or the gentle art of verbal self-defense might also help.

I'll be hunting and gathering for a few days... Hmmmm. Links good. More links.



------------
PS -- Most folks DO notice when somebody's logic consists of personal attack. They key is to engage whatever style of post we wish to encourage, and politely model nicer ways of saying the same thing.

That darn Craven just never loses his cool!
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husker
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2003 10:19 pm
Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil
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husker
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2003 10:19 pm
ok that was really a little bite of humor Embarrassed
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2003 10:24 pm
Just for you, CodeBorg.

Logical fallacies (and Debate Guidelines just btw)

There are a couple of good links at the very bottom of the guidelines, often with impressive latin terms with which to awe your friends and neighbors.
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