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Gates, Crowley, and Obama
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Karaa



Joined: 17 Apr 2008
Posts: 103

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

xina wrote:

Poison the well and egging on? Ah, not so. Just making an observation. Have at it by all means. I just find the observation....interesting. No harm done in that.
Just sayin'....again. Very Happy Very Happy Laughing


You may find the observation interesting, but it is still an observation that attacks, focuses on the poster rather than the post, by calling attention to the poster's alleged posting habits: "Have you noticed that X only posts here and is not part of the popular gang hanging on the romance-related forums?" And ad hominems are always a no-no: it's argument against an argument and not a poster against a poster.

I know, I know -- who appointed me to "sheriff" this one-horse board... Wink Ah but this whole thread is so badly infested with logical fallacies of all sorts and one has to start somewhere... Laughing

Lee wrote:
But as Xina notes, and I have also pointed out, this is not a personal blog, but rather a public forum, calling for an exchange of ideas and opinions, from multiple parties. What gets frustrating is when one tries to engage in a conversation, on topics that have been brought up in a thread by various posters, and one is told that it's not pertinent and to take it elsewhere. Or to be told you're not making any sense at all. Or simply to not be answered. All 3 have occurred to me in this thread. Wild West is not an excuse to be uncivil or rude or demeaning. And, btw, every rude person I've ever confronted says, sorry, he or she is just being blunt.

I spend time on another political board, but I've been able to learn some things and teach some things, without silly name-calling and pontificating. I thought that would be the case here. But it's not, and that's a shame for everyone involved.


Then you'll agree with me that frustration on another poster's argumentation tacts is just as poor an excuse for ad hominem attacks than any other?
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2486

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

to tee: Don't want a laptop! But, you're right otherwise.

to xina and lee: I agree that the posts became a bit strident over the past week. But posts on other boards have sometimes taken that tone as well. It happens sooner on this board, I think, perhaps because politics is a more contentious subject than romance fiction. Actually, from my point of view, those boards would be more interesting were they to emulate, to some degree, the intensity that subjects on this board evoke.
The other boards have become a bit dull lately, don't you think?
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Lee



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 215

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, Karaa, of course ad hominem attacks are pointless, but I fail to see where posters' ideas have been attacked here because of personal qualities of the posters. Rather, the ideas have been attacked for themselves. Sure, it's been noted that one poster in particular hasn't posted on other boards, but I view that more as a comment in passing, and maybe a troll alert, but that's my personal opinion only. Personally, it doesn't matter to me how many boards someone posts on. I came here for a stimulating debate on interesting topics, not to be lectured on how "out of the loop" I am. And let me say, as a former attorney and mother of 3 (one a 16 year old boy{shudder}), it takes a lot to offend me. I'm not offended by what's been said here, no matter the intent. I just feel that I wasted my time, and as I have little enough of that to waste, I'm not going to spend my time in circular arguments.

So, I answered you in saying ad hom attacks are pointless - will you answer me and agree that uncivil, circular and insulting posts are just as pointless? As are responses to posts that are never answered?

And, Dick, yes strident is one thing - it shows passion to a cause in some circumstances. And passion is good. But in other circumstances it is just screaming nonsense and does more to tune people out than bring them into a discussion. Which is what a public board is supposed to be all about.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I know I'll probably get yelled at for saying this...that's okay...but in my view a handful of posters sound like the diatribe on the Fox News Network. One-sided crap that gets tiresome because they speak their view and repeat it over and over. And no....I wouldn't want the other boards to be like that. Not in a million years. Opposite views bounced back and forth is one thing and is a good thing, but the rehashing of set in stone beliefs is another. It's tiresome. All the more reason not to come here and I suspect many feel the same way. The other boards are for ideas and learning and as one poster noted, much of the information on this board is in the form of a monologue, not a dialogue. Really, I don't belong here and shouldn't come around...so, I'll bow out.
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KarenS



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 868
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lee and xina:

I hope you won't leave the Wild, Wild West Forum as you both have a lot to offer. FWIW, your frustration is shared by others. For some reason this forum almost always becomes personal. Somehow the poster is attacked instead of his/her ideas and thoughts. I often wonder if it's due to many of us not being taught the proper rules for debate. It seems like serving on the debate team wasn't everyone's favorite extracurricular activity. Or maybe, it's not offered anymore in public school.

There is a lot going on at the moment. We all have a stake in the future of our country. One blog I read stated that as a country we are becoming more and more separated in our views. Progressives tend to watch only programs with that point of view(yes, I love Olberman, Maddow, Maher, Colbert and Daily) as does the conservatives who tend to love their Fox News commentators. Basically it says the twain shall never meet. I do feel forums like this are important since we obviously have both sides posting here. If we can keep the vitriol down just maybe we can have an honest discussion of the issues affecting us today.

If we can keep it impersonal, maybe we will learn from each other.

Karen
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Lee



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 215

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Karen, but I don't plan on going anywhere. I just plan to choose the threads I contribute to more selectively. I hope Xina will too, though I understand completely if she doesn't.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4210
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As KarenS said, there's room for all of us here. Just don your armor and come aboard. Anyone can choose to stop posting at any time if it's felt the discussion has gotten beyond their personal parameters or is going further than one wishes it to go and still remain involved. We can still react passionately AND respectfully. Just do it and ignore those whom you feel deserve no response. Even the heroes in the real Wild West had integrity and honor (at least they did in the movies I enjoyed). Laughing
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bbmedos



Joined: 26 Sep 2007
Posts: 274
Location: Western Kentucky, USA

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lee wrote:
Second, don't assume that I'm directing my comments to you unless I address them to you. The "rehashing the past" quote was in reply to you, and I quoted it. (And you still won't own it.) The birther comment was made to the board in general, but you did refer in an earlier post to the angry Americans at "town meetings." Since those angry Americans are also waving phony Obama Kenyan birth certificates around, I thought it pertinent to the conversation. But you've decided it's not, so that's it, I guess.


I finally had some time today to try to figure out what in the world I might be missing in this conversation and I think I get it. Or maybe not.

This is about fringe protesters waving stuff in a video I linked to?

Jaw-drop.

No, I didn't decide it wasn't pertinent to the conversation. I completely missed that this was what you were going on about, Lee. And yet even if I had caught it, I probably would have paid little attention to it because, frankly, I would've considered them a fringe element of no importance to what the video was supposed to be about - the same way I'd view radical protesters from the other side. Whoever/whatever those are.

What more can I say? The birther question is a non-issue for me. I don't discuss it because I don't have anything to say about it. If you want to interpret that as me being unwilling to take part in a broader conversation then I don't know what else to say.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KarenS wrote:
Lee and xina:


.

If we can keep it impersonal, maybe we will learn from each other.

Karen



Thanks Karen. Yes, that would be nice to learn from each other. Unfortunately, in this day and age, so much of political discussions seems like lecturing on one's own beliefs and that is very unappealing. This know-it-all attitude is not only annoying but uninteresting. However, I'll keep an eye on the board and try to jump in from time to time.
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Karaa



Joined: 17 Apr 2008
Posts: 103

PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lee wrote:
Yes, Karaa, of course ad hominem attacks are pointless, but I fail to see where posters' ideas have been attacked here because of personal qualities of the posters. Rather, the ideas have been attacked for themselves. Sure, it's been noted that one poster in particular hasn't posted on other boards, but I view that more as a comment in passing, and maybe a troll alert, but that's my personal opinion only.


Without trying to assume anything about your motives for that passing comment, in general, ostensibly "innocent" just-a-comment comments such as "have you noticed poster X always jumps in when Z comes up", "have you noticed poster X only ever posts when...", drawing atention to a poster's post count (or lack thereof) etc. are among the most common and oft-used ad hominems that rely on the faulty logic that somehow what's being actually said in X's posts could be discredited by simply calling attention to the poster and the poster's posting patterns (and implicitly, motives for that pattern). Not so. To do that, one still needs to go through the old-fashioned trouble of singling out factual and logical errors point-by-point. Anything else is just a waste of space that takes the discussion/debate nowhere.

Lee wrote:

So, I answered you in saying ad hom attacks are pointless - will you answer me and agree that uncivil, circular and insulting posts are just as pointless? As are responses to posts that are never answered?


I wish I could agree, but when I can't.

As far as debating goes, deliberate obstinacy, frustrating as it may be, is not uncivil or insulting. It's simply a debate tactic, albeit not a very effective one since it's mostly passive and defensive. Expertly dodging attempts to change the subject or the goal post or derail the threat with the red herring gremlins ("But, but, Clinton had sex with a White House intern"/"Bush started two unnecessary wars that have destroyed millions of lives") is the right thing to do, debate-wise. Pointing out 1) factual and/or 2) logical errors in the "opponent's" argumentation is the only civil way of debate. If those "questions never answered" were questions that would have changed the subject, then it's only correct not to bite (which I did, btw, even though I knew better Laughing) .
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