A refuge of civility

Chat about anything your heart desires here, just be civil. Factual or scientific questions about philosophy go here (e.g. "When was Socrates born?"), and so most homework help questions belong here. Note, posts in the off-topic section will not increase new members post counts. This includes the introductions and feedback sections.

A refuge of civility

Post Number:#1  Postby Chasw » January 31st, 2017, 3:52 pm

I enjoy participating in philosophical discussions here and at another, similar forum associated with a magazine about philosophy, far away from here in cyberspace. I can't help but notice a stark difference between the consistent practice of civility we enjoy here, vs the vulgar and unseemly attacks on one another sometimes displayed at that other forum. Just about any philosophical discussion can become contentious, given enough time, but somehow selected members of that crowd all too frequently resort to angry insults, without any censure from moderators.

I only assume the correspondents here are better educated, more refined, and therefore more civil and courteous to each other, regardless of how outrageous our individual arguments might be. Kudos to all of you - CW
The central question of human existence is not why we are here, but rather why we behave the way we do - http://onhumanaffairs.blogspot.com/
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A refuge of civility



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Re: A refuge of civility

Post Number:#2  Postby Human00 » March 17th, 2017, 5:57 am

I made an account here because I wanted to DISCUSS different views and opinions. If you're not open to at least hearing what other people are thinking then why join in a discussion where you know your particular views might not be met.
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Re: A refuge of civility

Post Number:#3  Postby -1- » March 22nd, 2017, 10:01 am

I think the key to the success of this site to keep debates civil, is successful and efficient monitoring and censuring of the site. Monitoring for ad hominem and other attacks, and mercilessly deleting posts or members who violate it. I support this practice fully.

My only beef is that some members here do not respond to reason and to logical arguments. They stick to their dogmatic beliefs and when convincing arguments are brought up against their beloved dogma, then they simply ignore that argument and continue as if their dogma has not been proven wrong.

This should not be tolerated on a philosophy forum. If a person's proposal or argument is defeated; or shown to be non-sensical; or shown to contradict the law of excluded middle; or is shown to use the wrong logic; then they should be forced to adhere to the result, and cease and desist from promoting their own agendas when those agendas are proven false, wrong, inappropriate or plain stupid.

I would also suggest that REASON be a deciding factor in the same way. Reason or reasonable ideas are not so easily identified, and unreasonable ideas are hard to prove unreasonable. So we need a judgement call here by the moderators at most times, and I suggest, and am willing to abide with, a process to only weed out those posts which are grossly unreasonable. For instance, as an instance, if someone proves that the universe is run on skate boards, and proves it with mathematical formulas, where THE MATH FORMULAS' VARIABLES ARE NOT EXPLAINED IN LONG HAND what they stand for.

As it stands, the current practice is to allow rampant idiotic ideas to run amok, and I resent that. I actually SUFFER when I painstakingly prove someone else wrong, in an air-tight, fool-proof, irrefusable way, and they simply ignore it and sing their false ideas on, and do not admit to defeat by argument. It takes too much out of me, and also when people, in reply to my posts, just talk about things as if they were pertinent and to defeat me and to tire me out, but their points are irrelevant and easily refuted -- yet I need to spend energy to reply to them. This sort of tactic comes from the smarter and more educated members, while the "ignoring the reason" comes form seemingly less educated, and intellectually less gifted members. And then there is the religious lot which I won't even engage, they are so frustrating to talk to.

Many people resent me on this site, and rightfully so, for I am liable to present a veritable challenge to their posts and ideas. I don't mind the resentment, but I mind being forced into explaining little details, and I mind being forced to not see the fruit of my arguments in debates.

Am I expecting too much from the moderators to keep the debates adhere to logic and reason? Yes, it seems they are already overworked. I, however, am so frustrated now on this site, despite its civility, that I can't any more meaningfully engage in debate, for I fear the futility of failure despite my best efforts to convince others to accept what I think.
Sweat the small stuff... because then the big stuff will take care of itself.
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Re: A refuge of civility

Post Number:#4  Postby LuckyR » March 24th, 2017, 4:48 pm

I understand -1-'s post, though I appreciate why things happen the way they do, so it doesn't bother me.
"As usual... it depends."
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Re: A refuge of civility

Post Number:#5  Postby Chasw » March 25th, 2017, 9:30 am

-1- wrote:I ...snip...

My only beef is that some members here do not respond to reason and to logical arguments. They stick to their dogmatic beliefs and when convincing arguments are brought up against their beloved dogma, then they simply ignore that argument and continue as if their dogma has not been proven wrong.

This should not be tolerated on a philosophy forum. If a person's proposal or argument is defeated; or shown to be non-sensical; or shown to contradict the law of excluded middle; or is shown to use the wrong logic; then they should be forced to adhere to the result, and cease and desist from promoting their own agendas when those agendas are proven false, wrong, inappropriate or plain stupid.

snip

Am I expecting too much from the moderators to keep the debates adhere to logic and reason? ...snip....



With all due respect, -1-. you are asking for way too much. Humans by nature are inconsistent in responding to reason. Philosophy in particular gives rise to dogmatic beliefs. Everybody, including those with open minds, have their own agendas. What you may think of as false, wrong, etc., others may think of as brilliant. Such is inherent in intellectual discourse.

Yes, you are asking too much from the moderators to police our posts for "correct" reasoning. It is more than enough that they squelch any and all abuses of common courtesy. You may write something I consider dead wrong on many counts, but that is no excuse for me to call your intelligence or sanity into question. Compared to other philosophy discussion groups, this one is an island of calmness and respect. That's all I ask for. - CW
The central question of human existence is not why we are here, but rather why we behave the way we do - http://onhumanaffairs.blogspot.com/
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Re: A refuge of civility

Post Number:#6  Postby -1- » March 26th, 2017, 2:52 am

CashW, if I accept your criticism, then I ask you: how do we decide who won an argument and why?

Or do you suppose that arguments can't and ought not to be "won" or "lost", because everyone is entitled to their own opinions?

The way I see it, you start with facts (or assumptions, or a premise, or an assertion) and use logic to manipulate the initial assertions to arrive at conclusions.

If you both apply proper logic, then your conclusions must be the same. And that is what philosophical debate ought to be about. Weeding out the bad logic.

==========

For instance, if we argue about animal fossil remains. I say "they are 399,000 years old" and someone else says, "they can't be older than 6000 years, as the world was created by the
Christian god". Then I say "I believe no god created the world" and my debating parter says "I believe He did", then there is no point in continuing the argument because our facts or premisses are different.
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Re: A refuge of civility

Post Number:#7  Postby Dissimulation » April 1st, 2017, 9:26 am

I have mixed feelings regarding the topics I have contributed in. I recognize many of the points made, however it is frustrating to genuinely want to attempt a philosophical discussion and to be met with irrational arguments, unsubstantiated claims and rife with fallacy's and self- contradiction. Im not concerned with asserting that my claims are infallible, rather I desire to find error in my thought, wisdom in the reasoning of others with the intention to better understand the topic discussed. However at the very least its an exercise of my own reasoning and the possibility of better understanding is always present. I agree with -1- in regards to the complete absence or ignorance of the basic principles of philosophical discussion I.e critical reasoning. I am not suggesting a strict adherence to formal argumentation, just logic & reasoning. Quite irritated at the inappropriate use of influential philosophers and theories misrepresented, as if the individual employing them has not attempted to read or understand the argument. Philosophical discussion is dependent on utilizing critical reasoning and available relevant empirical data (when applicable) to verify the value, coherence and probability of the truth or untruth of a statement. In short, nothing will be gained in discussion of opinions, particularly in a forum of philosophical discussion. Until then I suppose I will remain as Mr.Strawman and endure the arrows of irrationality though I am starting to lose a bit of my straw.
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Re: A refuge of civility

Post Number:#8  Postby Dissimulation » April 1st, 2017, 11:18 am

The particularities (content) of an argument are not limited but rather strengthened by the philosophical method which can be expressed dialectically in very general terms as it consisting of (foundationally, structurally) : A good argument (valid, rationally plausible) with the conclusion that X is a reason to believe Y. Since Parmenides recognized that critical reasoning allowed possessors of consciousness to overcome the limitations of the senses (qualitative/ phenomenal sense experience). With rare exception (possibly stoics and eastern tradition though the argument could be made) philosophical inquiry and published arguments employ (fundamentally) critical reasoning. Science itself presupposes an empiricalist metaphysical belief of reality and employs the same methodology to observational physical states (spacial presence, velocity, relations etc measurable) to determine the validity of a particular that possesses physical attributes (intrinsically, causal relativity etc) . Philosophy is a methodology for determining truth, uncovering untruth or arguing for the most plausible truth of all that an individual experiences, will experience or posits. Philosophy or philosophical inquiry presupposes all areas of intellectual/conceptual/ empirical discipline. Generally I am indifferent to its recognition or implementation in the day to day affairs of others, however in a forum developed for philosophical inquirey/ argumentation critical reasoning ought to be the standard. At the very least it validates belief in the most efficient way available to us and allows for a shared syntactical or dialectical language, for real discussion. I have yet to encounter or recognize a superior methodology or any other way to determine the truth or untruth of a thing, concept, choice, object etc that possess a more efficient criteria for determining a truth or untruth. Bit of a rant but anything less belongs in the realm of theology or fantasy. To be clear , I am not suggesting any particularities or ontology to philosophy or questioning the merit of any individual belief but rather presenting a very basic foundation or principle that is expressed in the philosophical tradition and still utilized in Academia and those with expertise in various interests in modern philosophical discussion.

observational opinion - it appears many are unwilling to read/analyzes influential works written in the philosophical tradition because of the unique difficulty experienced in understanding and challenging the arguments without prior experience or study in the methodology. Secondly the understated difficulty in accepting and understanding that all held beliefs are susceptible to be proven and possibly proven false (harder yet when you determine yourself that what you have perceived as truth is incorrect). Lastly cultural values have shifted, philosophy is not directly pragmatic for cultural values (Title, prestige, wealth, the 'neurotic' ideal that value is determined by how others recognize you and subsequently the intentional projection of a particular version (illusion) of oneself).

Kierkegaard (Fear & Trembling) argues that the role of a teacher is to create a sufficient condition to allow the student to recognize him/herself as an individual (indeterminate /subjective) and all that it implies. Freud (civilization & its discontents) delves into the issues regarding being an individual and being an individual in contention with civilization. E.J. Lowe (introduction to the philosophy of mind) tackles a variety of issues and arguments of the various functions and drives of the individual in an accessible way, both empirical psychology and philosophical inquiry are utilized to offer some very compelling ideas. The theories presented, questions asked, and issues raised were helpful (unintentionally) in understanding the subjective & objective significance critical thought has and the merit of philosophical inquiry in ever changing external states of the world and my relation to it and the other.
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