How to debate a conspiracy - Do's and Don'ts

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posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 10:22 AM
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Heya ATS

ok, lets just jump right in...feel free to add to or debate the list, this is just my personal observation as to what makes or breaks a discussion

DONT call someone a sheep, or sheeple, or any sort of word like that. Just because someone is viewing things differently than you or the subject at hand does not mean they are being blindly lead...it is a defacto name used by people whom cannot think

DONT use random youtube videos put out by anonymous as proof of anything more than just a cool video. Independence day looked pretty real to me, and that is what...15 year old technology they used...you cannot believe your eyes, so sources are now important.

DO ask for clarification. If someone makes a rambling post, ask them to explain it better verses assume what they mean..sometimes the deepest thinkers are crap at articulating their thoughts, especially if they feel they are debating their thoughts.

DONT paint someone with the "bad" brush. You may not like a person's stand on say, politics, and find your at the other end of the spectrum..but you may be lock step in a religious discussion, or some other area...people are not black or white, and that guy you are ready to punch in the head in one thread you would gladly have a beer with in another...never assume 100% like minded stands with anyone...thank god.

DONT use emotional responses

DONT overuse sarcasm

DONT use too much slang..these archives will live on the net for awhile and may be research points in years to come, imagine if what we researched on now had tons of slang of the time...I dont want some author in a serious book to refer to other collegues as cats, or dudes, etc...nobody will think your somehow less cool if you use proper terms verses the daily dose of -izzle words.

DO use ATS's search function before even creating a thread...if your going to start a thread anyhow, at least reference in your original post some earlier threads touching onto the subject..create a web of information, not a bunch of disconnected lines.

DONT think that because your account is older somehow means your brain is more developed. The person that is 3 days new here may be right up to par with a founder.

DO be diplomatic in your debates...this does not mean be politically correct, it means do not try and prop up your argument by tearing down the person your trying to debate with personally...if you need to resort to that, then you already lost the debate.

DONT make fun of someone believing in something. Hell, some videos or circumstances do seem real or curious...its very easy to start believing in all sorts of things as there is a core part of humanity that is pretty honest...we attribute things on others what we have in ourselves, and if we are mostly honest in our dealings, we assume everyone else is also being honest..so ya, that alien video, or the nibiru watch quick film does make many open their eyes due to a programmed belief that everyone is just sharing truthful information...dont get angry at people or belittle them because they are at heart, honest people expecting others to be honest...if anything, envy them, they are not as jaded yet

ok, there are more, but I think that is a good start...feel free to ponder these, add to, or debate them...these are not rules of course, they are just suggestions as to how to post if your wanting others to read your stuff and take you even halfway seriously..




posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 10:33 AM
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Why did you post this??? if you don't wish to sway anyone then why didn't you just say these guidelines to yourself, like you know...in your head?

Me! I like to just drag my knuckles over the keyboard and hit reply, I'm hoping the "infinite monkeys+infinite time=shakespeare" turns out to be true. I'll keep you posted if I manage to knock out a sonnet or two...

Hope this helps



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 10:35 AM
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Very well said. The first three in your list are major pet peeves of mine.

Might I add, if you're using a video to make a point, at the least post a summery of that video, or better yet, link to a transcript of it when possible Not all of us can hear, and youtube's closed caption capability is laughable for all but main stream videos.

[edit on 8/29/2010 by tebyen]



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 10:35 AM
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I concur. with most of dat dawg! (laugh out loud) seriously thou i hate the tired name calling via the resident debunkers. im am flag this to support some manners up in this fizzle. oops i mean" in this forum " hehe

-jplaysguitar



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 10:37 AM
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reply to post by SaturnFX
 


Think you might want to read this

www.demos.co.uk...

www.abovetopsecret.com...

Or just read this thread for the worst bits I could pick out

[edit on 29-8-2010 by Pockets]



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 10:41 AM
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I'd like to add: please don't assume everyone shares your specialized vocabulary. Explain your terms. Every once in a while you get thread titles like: "Freeberg on CTC1: No LRP, nanotech confirmed, APP 11/9/09!!!" This might mean something to you, but it means nothing to anyone else.



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 10:54 AM
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Thank you for this thread.

I love a good debate, cannot stand a bad debater.

Bad debaters personally attack and call names, make sweeping generalizations, are too uneducated on how to form a proper sentence that their point gets lost, posters who fail to differentiate between facts and opinions, who do not state either in proper fashion.

www.truthtree.com...





Also if you start a thread, and pose a thought, try to come back and defend your position.

Debating is as much a sport as football, and as exciting, when proper decorum is followed. It is one of the best ways to keep your brain active at any age as well.

As a forty year old woman I see many many of my age peers and older who have no clue how to do anything on a computer except play cards. That is sad.



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 10:57 AM
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Originally posted by strangleholder1
Why did you post this??? if you don't wish to sway anyone then why didn't you just say these guidelines to yourself, like you know...in your head?


Sway? I assume you mean the emotional response dont?

Why would you need to sway someone based on emotions when facts can be used? Emotional responses in order to sway is moving away from facts and thinking overall, catering to the exact opposite of what this board, and boards like this stand for.

I never want to sway anyone based on my emotions unless I am asking them on a date..I would argue that if thats what your attempting to do, you are already monkey clawing the keyboard with base emotions anyhow...a re-examination of your intent may be in order.



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 11:09 AM
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Originally posted by SaturnFX
DO use ATS's search function before even creating a thread...if your going to start a thread anyhow, at least reference in your original post some earlier threads touching onto the subject..create a web of information, not a bunch of disconnected lines.



1000 stars and 10,000,000 thumbs up.
I wish the noobs would use the Search button more often.

I am tired of reading 4 new threads with the same title.


But I do have one to add.

DON'T: Take a headline from Yahoo! news (or any other, ftm) and directly post it as a "breaking news" story. ATS is a conspiracy site, not a celebrity news site, music news site or any other non-conspiracy related garbage site.
There are plenty of other forums dedicated to rap music, or plain jane news stories that would love to have you as a member.


Sorry, SaturnFX I had too...

Good thread.




[edit on 29-8-2010 by havok]



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 11:17 AM
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Originally posted by SaturnFX

Why would you need to sway someone based on emotions when facts can be used? Emotional responses in order to sway is moving away from facts and thinking overall, catering to the exact opposite of what this board, and boards like this stand for.


Then I think you need to gather some facts on how people actually do make decisions. Human beings care very little about facts. We are not rational beings. We are rationalizing beings.

We make our decisions based on emotional responses, and then we rationalize those decisions after the fact. Emotion is the best way to sway people. It is the way our MSM propaganda machine relies upon, our advertising industry relies upon, etc.

The very worst way to sell an argument is to lay out pure logic and data for people. Which is why so few do it. Data and logic only work on the very small percentage of the population who already reason that way on their own. You dont change any hearts or minds with it.

Any idea wrapped in some emotionally evocative language will do better than a well reasoned one without such trappings.



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 11:31 AM
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I think overall, the sheep thing really bugs me the most...everyone constantly calls anyone else a sheep all over forums..it is the most basic and meaningless phrase ever.


One thing I forgot to mention however is pointing out spelling and grammar errors in others...instead of commenting on the substance.

I can understand if the spelling or grammar is soo bad that you literally cannot understand just what they are trying to say, but anyone whom instead comments on that verses the subject at hand has only helped in railroading the subject at hand...I wish there was some rules or moderation to remove those posts as off topic when they sprout up...but alas, there isn't



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 11:35 AM
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Originally posted by Illusionsaregrander
Human beings care very little about facts. We are not rational beings. We are rationalizing beings.


I dont like to generalize all of humanity on anything, and I tend to think that people whom come to conspiracy websites want to know the facts moreso than the emotional brainwashing the media gives people...not saying that emotional responses should never come, but not as the main point overall...it should be a sidenote..

Aliens are here, here is the hard evidence
or
Aliens are here, I feel it.

Which one would you actually read and open up to?



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 11:47 AM
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Originally posted by SaturnFX

DONT call someone a sheep, or sheeple, or any sort of word like that. Just because someone is viewing things differently than you or the subject at hand does not mean they are being blindly lead...it is a defacto name used by people whom cannot think.


you Ovis Aries, you



DONT overuse sarcasm


well, i do see members get more stars for sarcastic posts sometimes, imo.


DONT use too much slang.. [snip] ...I dont want some author in a serious book to refer to other collegues as cats, or dudes, etc...nobody will think your somehow less cool if you use proper terms verses the daily dose of -izzle words.


got it catizzle! your dudizzling point is well noted. [/sarcasm]

seriously, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this,
et


[edit on 29-8-2010 by Esoteric Teacher]



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 11:47 AM
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reply to post by havok
 


There is a section for breaking political news however, conspiracy or not.

I also hate it when people attack posters for poor spelling or grammar. Yes it may be hard to read their posts, but not everyone here is a native English speaker.



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 11:53 AM
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Originally posted by havok

DON'T: Take a headline from Yahoo! news (or any other, ftm) and directly post it as a "breaking news" story. ATS is a conspiracy site, not a celebrity news site, music news site or any other non-conspiracy related garbage site.
There are plenty of other forums dedicated to rap music, or plain jane news stories that would love to have you as a member.



Unfortunately it's becoming more and more common


The thread "Paris Hilton Popped for Cocaine Possession in Las Vegas" was posted today and last week the pitiful Cat thrown in bin by complete stranger was posted on the board in the general chit chat section..

The Cat thread is ATS at rock bottom and the Paris Hilton thread is confusing


Someone should ask if this is the new ATS....



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 12:37 PM
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With all due respect I think from time to time we should all take a look in the mirror...



it means do not try and prop up your argument by tearing down the person your trying to debate with personally...if you need to resort to that, then you already lost the debate.


Exhibit A-
www.abovetopsecret.com...

Just making a point



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 12:52 PM
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Originally posted by SaturnFX

Aliens are here, here is the hard evidence
or
Aliens are here, I feel it.

Which one would you actually read and open up to?


We are very short on hard evidence of aliens, and yet many believe in them.

We are even shorter on hard evidence for the existence of the God of Abraham, and the creation story, and yet billions, literally believe that.

We completely over look the evidence that many things we eat, drink and smoke are bad for us because we like the feeling or taste of them.

The was a study done, which I cannot find, about political decision making that offered hard proof that emotion not reason was the decider in voting decisions.

It may be a generalization to say most humans do not use reason to make decisions, but not all generalizations are false. Humans breathe air and require water, those are generalizations that are without question true.

The reason most people do not realize that most humans do not reason, but instead respond to their emotions is because we dont want to believe that. We want to believe we are rational. There are long odes to human rationality. Unfortunately they are largely fiction.

There is a large difference between coming to a conclusion emotionally, and then formulating a rational argument for why that is a good decision, and coming to no conclusion until one has examined the facts and then founding ones opinion upon the facts alone.

The vast majority of humans do the former, not the latter.



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 05:35 PM
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Thought of another one:

Don't use silly phrases like "down the rabbit hole," "the matrix," "red pill, blue pill," etc. These are so overplayed and add nothing to the conversation.



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 07:19 PM
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Not once have I corrected anyone for the misuse of the words:

Their vs. There.

This is enormously annoying, and shows incredible restraint on my part. Now that I have that self-pat on the back out of the way:

I once posted an opinion, and a member responded:

"Ignorant"!

What's up with that? What do you do with that?


Also, as I have noted on another thread, there is a new type troll amongst us. It is trolling by questions.

I observe people give a one or two sentence rather benign response, which is then seized by the "questions troll", who responds with up to fifteen questions on the rather insignificant statement, obviously because they disagree and are out for blood. It's absurd. It looks like a sporting event when you see it.

Then they follow up for pages with "you haven't answered my questions", as though the person is forever obligated to provide links for days in response to the ridiculous questions. Some of you might have seen the "questions" trolls at work.

It's simply an aggressive, and manipulative tactic to minimize the poster's comments, while trying to appear very savvy themselves.

ETA: One more thing, and I shall wax quiet. What's up with putting up a thread, and then never coming back? I know it's not against the T&C or anything, but still I see it quite often, and I find it odd. I'm thinking it's bad manners. Not sure, but there is something not right about this.
..........Or maybe I'm the only one who thinks this.



[edit on 8/30/2010 by ladyinwaiting]



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 08:06 PM
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Good thread with lots of valid points SaturnFX, I'll certainly add a few.

Don't criticize when others don't recognize your sarcasm. To avoid that, make it obviously known when you are using sarcasm.

Clarify your intentions to avoid confusion. Are you stating fact or speculation? The use of words such as in the article, from the source, or similar, and I presume, as alleged or could, help to alleviate misunderstandings.

Proof read you posts. If it isn't clear to you, it won't be to others.

Just because you found information doesn't necessarily mean you've found proof, but rather that you have presented information.

Don't use words like proof without a doubt unless it undeniably is, which it rarely is. Use descriptors such as in my mind, for me, I think, in my opinion, it appears or similar.

Learn homophones! Different words do indeed have different meanings which can change the context of the point you're trying to make. I understand there are many here where English is a Second Language and I take that into consideration but if my own personal experience with some is any indicator, the ESL crowd knows English better than some Americans.

Use paragraphs. No one wants to hear a debater endlessly rambling on and that's exactly what 72 lines of text with no formatting is.

Correctly quote external sources versus quotes from an ATS thread. It often gets confusing if the quote is from a member or from an outside source which can hinder the debate.

Refrain from commenting solely on the thread title or only the original post. Discuss the thread in its entirety taking into consideration all that it encompasses and the views that have already been discussed.

Everyone's entitled to their opinions and if you respect theirs, there's an improved chance that they will respect yours.

Use common sense.



Thanks for the link hotbakedtater!


Having said all that, no one is perfect. I've probably failed at everything I just wrote at one time or another but at least put forth an effort to do and be the best you can.





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