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Extremist rhetoric doesn't help the conversation.

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posted on Nov, 17 2010 @ 10:34 PM
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I prefer to be extreme in response as opposed to accusation. I find it more interesting to explore the mentality of extreme reactions to every-day things - like putting a LAW anti-tank rocket into the car that cut you off.

I have found it pretty pointless to call people murderers, thieves, etc. I know that anyone with a position of authority is going to be considered that no matter what they do. It's generally less distracting to a conversation to detail what I would do to someone were there no legal, social, or physical negative consequences.

Spouting off about how some politician is a murderer, corrupt, etc just makes you sound like a crazy rabid squirrel barking up a tree. Telling someone in a calm voice about how it would be mildly arousing to kill them in a slow and terrifying manner is just disturbing and usually shuts them up.

And that's the goal - people are rarely in a conversation to actually listen to each other, and after I've heard my fill of them, that's a good way of making them be quiet.... unless it's an internet forum.




posted on Nov, 18 2010 @ 05:22 AM
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Originally posted by wcitizen


Name calling is the application of a label to an individual.


Well, if that's your definition of name calling, and you disagree with name-calling, we should eradicate all proper nouns, and all nouns such as man, woman, husband, wife from the language... or else admit that your definition of name-calling would render any kind of discussion impossible without resorting to grunts.


Again, I'm not talking about all labels. You're doing what I actually mentioned again. It seems that nobody is allowed to have a moderate position on ATS. Either I want to call people names or I want to eradicate proper nouns from the dictionary.

I could have worded that far more precisely, but I thought you understood what I meant if I phrased it simply.

Here is a far more specific version of what I meant: Name calling is the application of derogatory labels to those you disagree with for the purpose of discrediting those individuals.





Yes, and you may establish that an individual was responsible for the unlawful, premeditated killing of an individual without actually calling them a 'murderer'


Well, yes, I understand that that is your personal preference - but that is all that it is.


It's not my preference, it's simple logic. People will be more willing to listen if you don't give them the conclusion before the premise.



So, are you intending to write to Oxford English Dictionary and request that they remove the word murder from the English language because it is redundant?


...again, I must have an extreme position.





Calling the individual a murderer does nothing but inflame emotional response. Emotional response then leads to tangents and further name calling. We would be better served without emotional responses.


Whoa - that is all so entirely subjective. That is what YOU experience, not necessarily everyone. You're extrapolating your own experience and generalising it into a given for everyone.


Actually, I read quite a few threads on ATS that I don't participate in. I can actually scour through thread histories and show you examples where this sort of thing is true.

Would you disagree that calling Obama a fascist is more likely to elicit an emotional response from someone?



There is very definitely a place, and a very vauable one, for emotion in language and expression and emotional response. And actually, I think that is really what you are objecting to. You seem to be objecting to emotional expression and emotional response. To want to impose that on everyone is unacceptable.


Again, I must be an extremist.
I get that this is an emotional place, but isn't the motto of ATS "Deny Ignorance"?

I find it a bit ignorant to use emotional terms rather than logical arguments. Reason trumps emotion, especially in proving points to an audience.





That's the problem, you believe that. You're not going to convince me that it is true if you call him a murderer. All it does to me is show me that you're set in your belief and unable to change your mind if contrary evidence is presented.


But that is simply your own interpretation of what I am saying, and a subjective impression/judgement about my flexibility or otherwise on this issue based on that interpretation. Again and again, you take your own subjective understanding and interpretation to be objective and factual, and then seek to impose it on everyone.


I never said it was objective or factual. I even admit my own personal bias in things quite readily on this issue. I stated that certain people might be more willing to listen if you didn't resort to name calling.

And again, I don't seek to impose it on everyone. Once more I must be an extremist.





Attaching that label seems like the equivalent of putting a 'closed for business' sign on the argument. If you call someone a murderer, there doesn't seem to be any way I would be able to convince you otherwise.


Again, that is you making an assumption based on your interpretation. Nothing more.


And again you're not actually listening to what I'm saying.

You see? This is exactly the sort of thing I'm talking about. Instead of actually seeing that some people might agree with me and I might not be the only person interpreting things this way, you're choosing to just blanket disagree with me and imply that I want to get rid of all proper nouns.



And why would you want to convince me of anything?


Because the entirety of discussion forums like this is to put forth ideas. If you say X and I believe "not X", I will disagree with you and attempt to show you "not X" is true.



Isn't that just more of wanting to impose your views on another.


No, imposing a view would be the use of coercion to convince you. I would be using reasoned arguments and evidence, which you are free to accept or reject.



If you have a different view, explain your argument and leave me free to evaluate your evidence. If it is compelling, it will have an effect on me, if not it won't.


Ok, Bush didn't have a hand 9/11 because the entirety of the conspiracy theory falls flat on its face. The mathematics involved in the falling of the towers are entirely inconsistent with the conspiracy theory that there were explosives planted, the idea that the men in the plane were government agents is full of holes, and Bush simply wasn't that competent.





See above reply regarding 'facts'.

It is to use a noun in the English language in the way it was intended to be used.



No, a fact is something that is unchallenged about reality. Like general relativity. Or cell theory. Or evolution. Or germ theory. Or circuit theory.





Again, you believe it, but how many people are you going to convince if you keep using that word?


I am not trying to convince anyone of anything, I am simply stating my belief or opinion.


So you believe that the last president of the USA was a murderer who engineered the slaughter of thousands for personal gain and all you're going to do is state your opinion?

Are you illogical? Heartless? Irresponsible? Or some combination of the three?



If someone wants to know more about why I beieve it to be true, I will willingly explain if they ask. I am not interested in convincing others about anything. I prefer to state my reasons for thinking something if they are interested in knowing that, and then simply leave that person free to evaluate what I say.. It is of no importance whether they agree or disagree.


See above.

Except your own example includes the slaughter of thousands. If you're applying the label 'murderer', you're liable to libel. You better bring some convincing evidence when you're making a claim that someone is a 'murderer'.



You and I obviously have very different agendas.


Yes, I seek to expand upon the knowledge in this world through discourse and education of myself and those whom I can share knowledge with, while you're simply here to whine and complain.





Discourse is the only way to convince people and it is based on being open. The use of such labels closes the conversation. It sets up sides. If you call Bush a murderer you're on side A and it seems like you're going to stay there rather than listen to opposing opinions and/or evidence.


I'm not going to even reply to this because it is more of the same - your subjective experience being taken as fact for everyone, and an implied lack of openess based on an assumption.


Again I must be an extremist. I should've counted the times where you used the logical fallacy of reductio ad absurdum.

I never said it applies to everyone, I said it applies to some people. Some people might get turned off by name calling. Maybe you should let them in on the conversation.



You just aren't taking responsibility for the fact that you are interpreting a lot of things subjectively. You're blaming others for your own subjective experience.


...again, nope. I'm saying that I might share these subjective experiences with others.

Also, you seem to be ignoring the main message of the reply you're quoting. That was "Show, don't tell"





I'm sorry, but it's not name calling. I didn't say anything about any individuals. I simply stated that the practice is harmful to the conversation. Thus it is irrational.


Basically, what you are saying is that the use of any noun which can be used as a label for an individual is name calling and harmful to the conversation. In which case no discussion is possible. Such a statement is frankly ridiculous.


Hey, now it's a straw man fallacy combined with the previous one.

I'm talking about the careless use of such nouns. Not the entire use. Of course, you don't care about that because I actually repeatedly stated that I'm not against the blanket use of terms, but you skipped over those instances.






If I disagree with Sarah Palin (and boy do I disagree with her) and call her something along the lines of a 'phony' or an 'opportunist', it's name calling. Even if I have a mountain of evidence to support that those statements are true. I could simply state that she did X which leads her to do Y quite often and sometimes she does Z because of it. And if that statement proved she was an opportunist, I wouldn't have to call her an opportunist.


Once again, this is semantica/linguistic preference. It is all contextual. In certain contexts one might be used in preference to another. Context is everything. And we all make our own decisions on which one best expresses both the thoughts and the feelings we want to express.


And did I ever say it wasn't contextual? Did I say we should never ever use certain words?

Nope





You should be focused primarily about changing people's minds.


Well, allow me to choose whether I want to attempt to change someone's mind or not. Boy, you really do have an authoritarian and rigid approach to things.. One more subjective belief being made into a rule for all.


Hey look, name calling!
Now I'm an authoritarian!

I'm sorry, but I'm not making anything a rule for all. Authoritarian individuals do not make polite suggestions that others are free to ignore at their whim. I never said that this is the absolute standard. I made a suggestion.

Also, I clearly was arguing against the random application of labels, the argument ad hominem. Not the entire use of labels.



Ok, it's just too tedious to go through all your other poitns. Let's just agree to differ widely on this.


Wow, so you'll skip over the points where I show that you're mischaracterizing the entirety of my view.

Such gems I posted as


originally posted by madnessinmysoul
In fact, most people find my personal style of discourse quite abrasive, so I've done my best to try to tone it down. I'm merely suggesting to other individuals that they try the same thing because it might get their ideas out there.


Emphasis added now.

Or


originally posted by madnessinmysoul
I think that's the lesson I want to really put out there: Show, don't tell.

Demonstrating something is so much more powerful than telling me that it is so.


Of course, you're just here to say I want to remove words from the dictionary and impose my authoritarian views on the world around me.

Of course I don't, I'm an advocate of free speech. But I'm here suggesting an alternative application of that speech.



posted on Nov, 18 2010 @ 05:23 AM
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reply to post by badgerprints
 


Ok, that still lacks a source and a comparison to other groups of equal demography to show that as inherently more criminal than others.

Can you please provide a source?



posted on Nov, 18 2010 @ 08:31 AM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul

Originally posted by wcitizen





.

I could have worded that far more precisely, but I thought you understood what I meant if I phrased it simply.





My point exactly. You excuse your own lack of specificity, defending it by saying you thought I understood what you meant if you phrased it simply, whilst at the same time you accuse me of poor quality of expression for doing exactly the same thing.

Instead of pointing the finger at others, try looking within - there you will find the answer to what is bothering you




It's not my preference, it's simple logic. People will be more willing to listen if you don't give them the conclusion before the premise.





You are assuming that I am using that statement as a conclusion and not part of a premise, leading to a different conclusion. Again - here you use your own assumption about intended usage, syntax and context, and assume it is fact.




Actually, I read quite a few threads on ATS that I don't participate in. I can actually scour through thread histories and show you examples where this sort of thing is true.




Well, whaddyaknow, I also read threads on ATS that I don't participate in. It happens. Many people do it.
And I could find you as many examples of where it isn't true.




Would you disagree that calling Obama a fascist is more likely to elicit an emotional response from someone?




Well, n my case that phrase elicits no emotional response at all. I believe it is true and it's not new information.

More generally, it would depend on the context, such as to whom I was speaking.





Again, I must be an extremist.
I get that this is an emotional place, but isn't the motto of ATS "Deny Ignorance"?



And your basic premise here seems to be the denail of ignorance must exclude emotions. I disagree with the premise. Emotions and feelings, appropriately expressed can express a point very eloquently.




I find it a bit ignorant to use emotional terms rather than logical arguments. Reason trumps emotion, especially in proving points to an audience.



I disagree that reason and emotion are mutually exclusive. Love is the most rational of emotions which exists on the planet. It can have an incredible effect on an audience.





I never said it was objective or factual. I even admit my own personal bias in things quite readily on this issue. I stated that certain people might be more willing to listen if you didn't resort to name calling.



You're just engaging in a circular argument here. You have already said this. I have disagreed. You are simply repeating the same thing again. As I have already said, IMO context is everything. The same thing can be expressed in many different ways. We choose which one seems the most appropriate given the many variables in a specific context.




And again, I don't seek to impose it on everyone. Once more I must be an extremist.


Really?



Attaching that label seems like the equivalent of putting a 'closed for business' sign on the argument. If you call someone a murderer, there doesn't seem to be any way I would be able to convince you otherwise.


I accept that that is the case for you. You seem unwilling to acknowledge that your experience is simply that and it will not necessarily seem that way to everyone else - which is what you seem to be implying. I will say again that context is everything. You seem to want to impose rigid rules.




You see? This is exactly the sort of thing I'm talking about. Instead of actually seeing that some people might agree with me and I might not be the only person interpreting things this way, you're choosing to just blanket disagree with me and imply that I want to get rid of all proper nouns



No, I am pointing out to you how your own lack of specificity can lead to ridiculous conclusions if its logic is pursued.





Because the entirety of discussion forums like this is to put forth ideas. If you say X and I believe "not X", I will disagree with you and attempt to show you "not X" is true


Yes, to put forth ideas - but as I have already said, I do that on the basis that others are free to think about it or not, and that they may or may not end up in them shifting their position, or me shifting mine. I do not come with the intent to convince anyone of anything. You do. We are different and we clearly have a different intent. The important thing as far as I am concerned, in today's world, is to encourage all of us to think for ourselves and question things. Some are better at that than others. I do not consider it desirable to convince anyone of anything.




No, a fact is something that is unchallenged about reality. Like general relativity. Or cell theory. Or evolution. Or germ theory. Or circuit theory.



Then there are very few discussions which could take place, since there are so few real facts available in the world. As I said earlier, for centuries it was considered fact that the earth was flat. What we consider as fact is more often than not based simply on the information/evidence available at the time, limited by the limits of the knowledge we have.




So you believe that the last president of the USA was a murderer who engineered the slaughter of thousands for personal gain and all you're going to do is state your opinion?

Are you illogical? Heartless? Irresponsible? Or some combination of the three?



There you go again. See what you just did? Asked a question. Assumed you knew what my response would be, then made a negative judgement about me and a criticism based on that judgement. This is how you debate, this is the technique you use. Assumption taken as fact. Judgement. Criticism from perceived position of superiority.







Except your own example includes the slaughter of thousands. If you're applying the label 'murderer', you're liable to libel. You better bring some convincing evidence when you're making a claim that someone is a 'murderer'.


Your assumption (again) seems to be that I wouldn't welcome that. Your assumption is (again) incorrect.



Yes, I seek to expand upon the knowledge in this world through discourse and education of myself and those whom I can share knowledge with, while you're simply here to whine and complain.


Once again, a huge assumption stated as fact, and an example of your arrogance, your judgemental attitude towards others based on your own mistaken sense of superiority and on pedantry. Who are you to assume that you know what my intentions are - you might have gleaned an impression of what my motives might be, but you cannot possibly claim to know why I participate in discussions on ATS.

Perhaps you have a God complex? That would explain your claim to omniscience in knowing my intentions and your right to tell people how to express themselves, and your judgemental stance.


As I said in my last post - I am really finding this tedious, therefore I'm not interested in discussing this further with you.. I've shared my opinions and I there is nothing else I wish to add. I won't be replying to any more of your posts on this topic.

Peace be with you.
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posted on Nov, 20 2010 @ 06:29 PM
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reply to post by wcitizen
 


I took a while replying to this post because I wasn't sure how to go about it, but I've finally decided. I don't want to go through this with you because I know you won't listen. You've already set your mind on this and you're not going to change it.

I know this because you keep repeating the same thing over and over again no matter how many times I tell you that you are mistaken and explain why.

I'm just going to say what I have to say and nuts to you if you don't want to listen. I'm not here to impose my ideas on anyone, I'm just speaking my mind. If you're going to try to shout me down by saying I want to slash words out of dictionary, tell me I'm an authoritarian, or that I'm trying to impose my own personal ideas on the community at large, look in the damn mirror.

I'm just speaking my mind, making a polite suggestion. Hell, I made it in an internet forum in a thread that nobody was forced to read.

I simply think that the overall discourse is hurt by bold and extreme statements such as "X is a fascist" because I know what a fascist actually is. Saying "X is a socialist" as an insult sounds silly because holding a certain economic view shouldn't be an insult. We should respect that people disagree and not use economic and political positions as insults.

Saying "X is a murderer" is just going to inflame some people. It might not inflame everyone, but what's the point in randomly inflaming people when you just show people that the person is a murderer?

These sorts of statements break the most fundamental rule of writing: Show, don't tell.
It's a rule for a reason, it keeps stories interesting, helps people stay engaged in conversations, and it helps people understand what you're talking about.

And finally, a lot of these statements are entirely baseless and are impossible to support with evidence.. You personally said that you believe Obama is a fascist.

You are wrong. You clearly have no understanding of what government tyranny actually is. My family is from Malta, I grew up hearing about Dom Mintoff, the man who was on the cusp of being a dictator, I have first hand accounts of government tyranny. Hell, Obama has done absolutely nothing to impose on gun rights, even fortifying their legal standing. Hell of a fascist, man.

Obama doesn't send thugs to beat up protesters. He doesn't shut down importation of certain products to force nationalization. He doesn't shut down the majority of courses at universities in an attempt at social engineering.

And here's what's crazy, those things actually happened in the country my parents grew up in...and that wasn't even fascism. Fascism is a level beyond even that.

Would the tea party be allowed to protest if we had a fascist president?

That's just one example of the inane nature of such comments as "Obama is a fascist". I don't think Bush or Cheney were fascists, I think Mussolini was a fascist.

Use labels correctly, use them in the proper context, and don't use them if you can't prove what you're saying.

And if you want to disagree with me, fine. I'll fight to the death for your right to do so, but I won't stand for you saying I'm here to impose my views and censor the views of others.



posted on Nov, 20 2010 @ 06:49 PM
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You can't fight extremism by being not extreme. You just have to be extremely correct and logical.

Extremism is not the enemy here. The enemy is the fact that the extremists are horribly wrong and irrational and use violence to get their way.

"The Rally to Restore Sanity" will not get rid of extremists and partisan hacks. The "Rally" wasn't for sanity and logic, it was for self-denying extremists and people who can't use logic to make a decision. Being a waffler, or an unprincipled relativist is how you empower fascists and statists in general.... because your opinion doesn't count because you don't have one.

Voting surely won't get extremists out. "Election Fraud" is rampant because election and fraud are synonymous.




posted on Nov, 21 2010 @ 07:21 AM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
reply to post by wcitizen
 


I took a while replying to this post because I wasn't sure how to go about it, but I've finally decided. I don't want to go through this with you because I know you won't listen. You've already set your mind on this and you're not going to change it.

I know this because you keep repeating the same thing over and over again no matter how many times I tell you that you are mistaken and explain why.

I'm just going to say what I have to say and nuts to you if you don't want to listen. I'm not here to impose my ideas on anyone, I'm just speaking my mind. If you're going to try to shout me down by saying I want to slash words out of dictionary, tell me I'm an authoritarian, or that I'm trying to impose my own personal ideas on the community at large, look in the damn mirror.

I'm just speaking my mind, making a polite suggestion. Hell, I made it in an internet forum in a thread that nobody was forced to read.

I simply think that the overall discourse is hurt by bold and extreme statements such as "X is a fascist" because I know what a fascist actually is. Saying "X is a socialist" as an insult sounds silly because holding a certain economic view shouldn't be an insult. We should respect that people disagree and not use economic and political positions as insults.

Saying "X is a murderer" is just going to inflame some people. It might not inflame everyone, but what's the point in randomly inflaming people when you just show people that the person is a murderer?

These sorts of statements break the most fundamental rule of writing: Show, don't tell.
It's a rule for a reason, it keeps stories interesting, helps people stay engaged in conversations, and it helps people understand what you're talking about.

And finally, a lot of these statements are entirely baseless and are impossible to support with evidence.. You personally said that you believe Obama is a fascist.

You are wrong. You clearly have no understanding of what government tyranny actually is. My family is from Malta, I grew up hearing about Dom Mintoff, the man who was on the cusp of being a dictator, I have first hand accounts of government tyranny. Hell, Obama has done absolutely nothing to impose on gun rights, even fortifying their legal standing. Hell of a fascist, man.

Obama doesn't send thugs to beat up protesters. He doesn't shut down importation of certain products to force nationalization. He doesn't shut down the majority of courses at universities in an attempt at social engineering.

And here's what's crazy, those things actually happened in the country my parents grew up in...and that wasn't even fascism. Fascism is a level beyond even that.

Would the tea party be allowed to protest if we had a fascist president?

That's just one example of the inane nature of such comments as "Obama is a fascist". I don't think Bush or Cheney were fascists, I think Mussolini was a fascist.

Use labels correctly, use them in the proper context, and don't use them if you can't prove what you're saying.

And if you want to disagree with me, fine. I'll fight to the death for your right to do so, but I won't stand for you saying I'm here to impose my views and censor the views of others.



Noted.



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