Welcome guest, is this your first visit? Create Account now to join.
  • Login:

Welcome to the Online Debate Network.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.

Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    central Illinois, USA
    Posts
    75
    Post Thanks / Like

    Righteous Controversy

    I'm a bit hesitant to introduce such power to those not searching for it, but I will let the chips fall where they may.

    Having had no formal debate instruction I do not know the extant of distribution of the following to those in high school or college. If any have heard of and/or practiced these in class, kudos to you and your institute of education.

    What use you make of these is up to you. My goal is to inform you of the possibility that your opponents in debate, here and elsewhere, could by fully aware of these techniques and some are skilled in their use. Such will use their skills to essentially ignore any semblance of progress toward agreement, but are only interested in reducing you to silence. Recognizing this in a debate is the first step in defense of your position. I'll just about guarantee you that David Berlinski has studied the techniques given here.

    Here is a very short version of Schopenhauer's techniques, The Art of Controversy.

    And the book itself that would serve best if saving it to your hard drive as some like these are being taken off line. Schopenhauer's, The Art of Controversy.

    The techniques in argumentation listed do not presuppose the truth of either side in a debate. The goal is to convince the audience or the opponent of the appearance of validity in your position.

    When I first saw the short version I was astonished that truth and validity of arguments had apparently been converted to Machiavellian duels. But I had not read Schopenhauer's reasoning. The value of the techniques override what, at first glance, appears to be a list of 'dirty infighting techniques.' But this is covered better by Schopenhauer.

    I have yet to complete the book myself. I have gone thru the short version with friends. The chapters leading to the stratagems have also been read as they reveal the author's intentions.

    Have a nice day and remember: Don't play with loaded guns.
    It was once written "To thine own self be true". But how do we know who we really are? Every man must confront the monster within himself, if he is ever to find peace without.

  2. #2
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,151
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Righteous Controversy

    He simply tells you that logical fallacies win debates... and they do, that's how they became named fallacies (i.e. he tells you to make straw mans, iron mans, generalisations, ad homs, appeals to authority etc.etc.). But not when you're debating people who know what they're talking about. It is very very dangerous to do any of these techniques against anyone anything near an expert as they will simply call you out on them and make you look like a buffoon for trying them.
    -=]Eliotitus[=-
    "Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future"- Oscar Wilde

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    central Illinois, USA
    Posts
    75
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Righteous Controversy

    Quote Originally Posted by eliotitus View Post
    He simply tells you that logical fallacies win debates... and they do, that's how they became named fallacies (i.e. he tells you to make straw mans, iron mans, generalisations, ad homs, appeals to authority etc.etc.). But not when you're debating people who know what they're talking about. It is very very dangerous to do any of these techniques against anyone anything near an expert as they will simply call you out on them and make you look like a buffoon for trying them.
    Yes, you and I have similar views on the dangers. I only wonder that I've used some not to convince others of the righteousness of my cause, but in order to delve new aspects of and explore new points of view in the area under discussion. In my case I use the techniques to probe the mind of another hoping for a new point of view.

    Then what of Berlinski? Is it proper for an expert to use the techniques in order to win when there is no, or a mismatched, opponent? Winning at all costs while being the expert and knowing one's position is not without problems.

    Consider a man that lectures on how science shows there is no evolution. Not a debate, a lecture to the public. Quick to point out his credentials as a math professor at a local college, he avoids any questions or comments of his own that would reveal his Young Earth Creationist bias. Since there is no opposition and he ignores questions that would reveal his bias, I brand him dishonest and disingenuous.
    Last edited by minorwork; November 12th, 2008 at 02:35 PM.
    It was once written "To thine own self be true". But how do we know who we really are? Every man must confront the monster within himself, if he is ever to find peace without.

  4. #4
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    B.F.I.
    Posts
    95
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Righteous Controversy

    Another book on debating that should be read (mainly because it is the standard) is Aristotle's Rhetoric. Even Aristotle acknowledges that you don't have to be "right" in order to win a debate; it often comes down to who can leverage ethos, pathos and logos in the best fashion to convince the audience.

    If it were all facts vs. facts then there wouldn't be any debates.
    For that is what philosophy has promised me: she will make me god's equal. -Seneca

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    central Illinois, USA
    Posts
    75
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Righteous Controversy

    Quote Originally Posted by invictus33 View Post
    Another book on debating that should be read (mainly because it is the standard) is Aristotle's Rhetoric. Even Aristotle acknowledges that you don't have to be "right" in order to win a debate; it often comes down to who can leverage ethos, pathos and logos in the best fashion to convince the audience.

    If it were all facts vs. facts then there wouldn't be any debates.
    Or trials? Consider the OJ trial. Tis a shame how much it costs to prove your innocence these days.

    Thanks for the Aristotle ref.
    It was once written "To thine own self be true". But how do we know who we really are? Every man must confront the monster within himself, if he is ever to find peace without.

  6. #6
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    733
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Righteous Controversy

    One of the most potentially devastating forms of "generating controversy" is the loaded question. A famous example is "Have you stopped beating your wife?" This fallacy is especially dangerous when debating in English because English has no single word directly translating to "neither yes or no".
    “When men hire themselves out to shoot other men to order, asking nothing about the justice of their cause, I don’t care if they are shot themselves."

    - Herbert Spencer

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    central Illinois, USA
    Posts
    75
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Righteous Controversy

    Quote Originally Posted by Autolykos View Post
    One of the most potentially devastating forms of "generating controversy" is the loaded question. A famous example is "Have you stopped beating your wife?" This fallacy is especially dangerous when debating in English because English has no single word directly translating to "neither yes or no".
    No kidding? Does any other language have such a word? How about a clever combination such as "yo"?

    What attracted me to the Schopenhauer list, received from the Teaching Company as a freebie, was the ethics in favor of using the techniques in debate. The two groups I associate with, freethinkers and skeptics, seem not to want to resort to such tactics seeming to see such as lowering ourselves to their level. We usually stand on evolution's side against creationists.

    It seems to me that in a head to head debate, or on line that it is permissible in the interests of bringing to light new ideas and maybe even the truth of the subject under debate.

    The improper use is accomplished when a single lecturer in front of an uniformed crowd resorts to the free use of the rhetorical armory without shame. These guys are no good cowards who eschew competition. Ben Stein is pretty much the gold standard of such.
    It was once written "To thine own self be true". But how do we know who we really are? Every man must confront the monster within himself, if he is ever to find peace without.

  8. #8
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Seattle, Washington USA
    Posts
    7,068
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Righteous Controversy

    I like debate for learning sake and there you want to avoid any logical pitfalls. If you have and agenda and want to sway people, well it can help to use deception or trickery. I'd like to think you can do better without it, but sometimes it is more direct and efficient.

    Personally I think story telling and narrative are some of the most powerful ways to send messages. It is how people naturally think and a strong narrative can bypass reason without any further tricks or flourish.

  9. #9
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Where ever you tell me, Drill Sergeant!
    Posts
    2,199
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Righteous Controversy

    During the whole election cycle, the techniques described were the vast majority of what I saw. My nemesis, who I won't name (but it's pretty easy to figure out who that is) is extremely skilled in throwing up an argument based solely on opinion and rhetoric, but can make it look convincing. One of their favorite tricks is to write an exceedingly long post, or cut and paste articles to make an extremely long post, and slip little tidbits in here and there that are absolutely outright false. This is effective because taking issue with one teensey weensey little point in that huge post is a pretty weak rebuttal, so unless you're ready to attempt a refutation of a 5000 word essay, you're just going to come across as nitpickey. The easy rebuttal to your rebuttal is "what about the other 4,999 words I wrote? Don't have a good answer for any of that, do you?!?"

    It's a very, very clever way to smuggle in a premise, and it's a damned dirty trick. After a while I gave up on the Political Forum completely, unless I saw something that I just had to throw my two cents at. Using that tactic makes differentiating spam from productive posts a little complicated, and once someone a little less skilled in the argumentative arts sees enough of it, it makes them more prone to consider putting up their own spam-like "arguments," of which I was definitely not immune.

    I started here in September, and got a lot better at presenting an argument in about two weeks or so... but got a lot worse than I was before I came here during the month of October.

    It's time for some normalcy, and I for one am glad the heightened tensions have passed.
    The Signature Religion is the one true religion. I know this is true, because it says so right here in this signature.

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. The Christian God and free will
    By ians25 in forum Religion
    Replies: 49
    Last Post: August 10th, 2008, 01:17 PM
  2. Christianity: Anglicans: What's your position on this controversy?
    By phrique in forum Religion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: July 9th, 2008, 04:22 PM
  3. Testimonum controversy.
    By Vandaler in forum Conspiracies
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: May 21st, 2008, 04:42 AM
  4. Trendem's Scriptural CHallenge.
    By Mr. Hyde in forum Religion
    Replies: 74
    Last Post: April 14th, 2007, 07:54 AM
  5. The Sound, the Fury, the Controversy.
    By Mr. Hyde in forum Entertainment
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: December 5th, 2006, 09:39 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •