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ZeroGravitas
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01 Apr 2011, 11:26 pm

I try to follow the Gricean Maxims of conversation.

I also adhere to Crocker's Rules.

I try to follow George Orwell's rules of clear writing.

I understand the Aumann Agreement Theorem [non-technical paper here]

My idea of a debate is the clear and concise statement of beliefs with the intent to persuade others. Anything that diminishes clarity or logical persuasiveness will annoy me.

Because of this, there is no easier way to annoy me in an argument than to:

1. Not be informative. Stating "I don't like X" is infuriating to me if the reason is not given.

2. Not cite evidence for one's belief. Many confuse the strength of their belief for the strength of the arguments they use to defend it.

3. Chase a tangential side issue. If we are debating X, and the issue of Y comes up, the argument is still about X. Choosing to pursue the issue of Y in the face of all attempts to restore the topic will annoy the hell out of me.

4. Be fuzzy, evasive, neologistic, and otherwise unable to clearly state oneself. Too easily a barbarous wording will lead to a tangential side debate, or at the very least mitigate one's efforts to persuasively communicate one's beliefs.

5. Worry about my emotional state. Don't try to be polite to me, it won't affect the validity of your argument.

6. Write only by combining fuzzy words the connotations of which matter more than their notations. Producing meaningless utterances in the right rhythm and tone does not constitute an argument.

7. Agree to disagree. Not only is it an attempt to consider my emotional state, but it is also provably wrong for actors to try to do so when conducting themselves according to the principles of Bayesian rationality.

8. Of course, the easiest way to annoy me in a debate is to make me do one of these.


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patiz
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02 Apr 2011, 7:20 pm

I don't like X god made me say it, the madonna said I shouldn't, she always wears blue, i like blue
jeans but not blue tops, i'm sorry if I confused you there, difficult concept blue madonna, it's right to say no when your talking very slow, just to let you know, i love you to do another aw go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, your brilliant you.



draelynn
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02 Apr 2011, 8:21 pm

Wow, I didn't realise a debate had so many rules...



Tequila
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02 Apr 2011, 8:27 pm

If you ask me that debate list was written up by a***holes.

NEXT! ;)



ZeroGravitas
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02 Apr 2011, 8:34 pm

It's a lot like jazz. Only by thoroughly understanding the rules can you then flout them in an entertaining manner. Few things are more amusing than a debater who purposely skirts around the established rules in order to achieve the desired effect.

Those doubting me may look at the popularity of Jon Stewart as proof. He certainly understands all the rules, but he also knows where they should be broken.


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draelynn
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02 Apr 2011, 8:36 pm

They say the same about art... you need to know the rules before you can break them.

They also say that there is no original art - despite the rules, you will always be an imitation of that which came before you.



jadw
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02 Apr 2011, 10:28 pm

I have a few to add,

1. Person A claims X
Person A has a characteristic I don't like
Therefore X is invalid
Ad Hominem.

"According to Gary Glitter, Thailand is a good place to go on holiday"
"Gary Glitter is a paedophile, therefore Thailand is a paedophile haven"

2. If P then Q
Q
Therefore P
Affirming the consequent.

"A man with social status and lots of money gets a girlfriend"
"Girls only want men with social status and money"

3. All X are Y = all Y are X
Generalisations.

"Most sex crimes against children are committed by men"
"Therefore men shouldn't be allowed to work in schools"

4. Appeal to popularity

"Obama is a better president than McCain, which is why he was elected"
No! Talking the better job doesn't make you the better candidate.

5. Appeal to authority

"I disagree with the idea of drugs because they are illegal"
"Prostitution is wrong because it's a crime"
"Only a sicko would chat with a 16-year old girl. Did you see Chris Hansen?"

6. Using anecdotal cases to justify a claim.

For example, referencing Bin Laden and other known terrorists in order to justify sweeping statements about muslims and middle eastern countries.

7. When people say X is wrong because Hitler did X.
Another ad hominem but a particularly annoying one. I just can't take any arguement seriously if someone has to say "because that's what Hitler said/did".

"Humans weren't designed to be homosexual. It's just unnatural and deviant"
"That's what Hitler believed. Are you saying we should follow his example?"

That's all for now.

Added bonus one

8. Circular logic
X implies Y because Y implies X

"God exists because the Bible says so. The Bible is true because it's God's word"
(There are far better ways of arguing the validity of God and Christ, by the way)


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ryan93
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03 Apr 2011, 5:38 am

I have to admit, I'm guilty of the neologism thing, I use a lot of neologism. I try to avoid fuzzy connotational speak, it leads to imprecise argument.


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Ambivalence
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03 Apr 2011, 10:54 am

ZeroGravitas wrote:
7. Agree to disagree. Not only is it an attempt to consider my emotional state, but it is also provably wrong for actors to try to do so when conducting themselves according to the principles of Bayesian rationality.

People are curiously resistant to approximation like that. You dig? :wink:


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ghostpawn
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05 Apr 2011, 10:27 pm

My first rule of debate is this:

Don't win for the wrong reasons. If you defeat the truth, everyone loses, including you.


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CockneyRebel
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07 Apr 2011, 2:38 pm

I stay out of debates.


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MathGirl
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08 Apr 2011, 8:16 pm

I approve of this list. Definitely no fallacies, either.


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auntblabby
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11 Apr 2011, 2:37 am

i suppose every now and then, it is good that a big-brained discussion take place outside the rarified realm of PP&R.