Debunking and Rebuttals - as an option?

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posted on Oct, 4 2011 @ 01:35 AM
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We all know what typically happens when someone on this site- OMG: Dares to discuss something out of the ordinary. A bunch of people.... even sometimes to the point where they are in the majority on a thread - will start 'debunking' said topic. Many times, the thread - instead of continuing on the flow of a natural course, will go off on a tangent that the OP probably never intended it to go to. It just seems that if a rebuttal is not given to the naysayers, that the OP appears to have no defenses, or appears to be weak-minded, or it appears is not deeply feeling that his original post was even really important or sincere - possibly reflecting negatively on his/her perceived integrity.

All in all, when doubters/debunkers come into a thread, it's considered a downer to everyone else, I think. In general, people are going to believe what they want to believe. A couple of posts contradicting an OP usually will not change that. The thousands who are genuinely interested in what the OP is saying are Forced to read all the debunker posts- as he/she (what amounts to) plowing through the thread- in this day and age consumes much, much precious time: to find those rare gems that ATS is famous for - the posts that actually help and shed light on the current situations. If you ask the debunkers, they will tell you that 'they are providing a balanced view', that 'they are shedding a different light on a subject'. That may be true, but to me, it's an imposition for them to do so, and then make everyone to read their posts- on an 'alternative site' like ATS.


"What are you doing out of the box"?!? "Get back in the box"!!


Be it as it may... I have a proposal that I am submitting to you as a suggestion. To my knowledge, it has not ever been implemented in all of threaddom. While the debunkers may want to debunk, I don't think that all of us really need to be subject to all that debunking in every thread we read. My suggestion is that we have a new checkbox added to each 'new post' dialog:



"Debunking or Rebuttal?- Check this box".


Members who are reading the thread can correspondingly opt at the top of page 1 of each thread- "Include Attempted Debunking and Rebuttal Posts?", which when checked off, will add all said posts. Otherwise if not checked, the thread will read like no-one ever disputed the OP- making the thread clean, concise and probably much more interesting.

Obviously, some posts will not have the Debunking/Rebuttal flag checked off- either accidently or on purpose. It will be the job of the moderator to enforce that. That should not be too difficult to do.

This I'm thinking will give the OPs what they are looking for - a medium to discuss possibly controversial topics, and it will give the debunkers what they want- the same medium available to debunk all they want. Just Now, everyone in the world will not be forced to wade through post after post after post of their debunking rational- if they choose not to.

So, what do you think? Do you think that it would fly?




posted on Oct, 4 2011 @ 04:20 AM
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I can understand your ire at this state of affairs, but there are very good reasons for the manner in which ATS works as a site.

First of all, this site is a place where the denial of ignorance is part of the ethos of the site. There are plenty of people here who have minds which are open to all sorts of interesting subject matter, angles of approach, and spend thier entire existance outside the box. Hell, they arent even in the same post code as the box, and there is nothing wrong with that.

However, that does not mean that this site is without healthy doses of realists, and that can only be a good thing. You see , there are people here also, who have the capacity and the subject matter understanding, to point out logical fallacy in an argument, and refocus a discussion along a more intellectually, and factualy valid route than the one it was originaly set upon. This is NOT wrong. Wrong would be to wave a complete waste of board space through as a genuinely valid discussion, to not point out when someone has clearly missed the point of a theorum or ideal that they are bashing.

Here is a fantastic example:

Someone starts a thread which is biased away from reason , say containing information provided by the master of falsehood, Alex Collier. Even though everyone with functioning synapses is aware that his prattle is more bogus than a three dollar bill in the hand of a man selling the Eiffel Tower, no one may comment against the premise discussed, without being bashed. Thats outrageous. It must never happen this way.

The fact is, any reasonable argument, can stand up to logical examination. If the argument cannot stand up to logic, science, math, or any of the other tools of examination by which mankind assesses his reality , then the initial argument has no validity or weight to it, and ought , in fairness to be dismissed , rather than be allowed to continue unchallenged.

In short, the motto of the website is "Deny Ignorance" . It is not "Throw yourself with gay abandon down every intellectual cul de sac that you come across, without challenge or rebuke".

That also means that the membership are not FORCED to read posts that disagree or differ in opinion from those which suit the mode of thinking of a given reader. The option to leave is always there. But to gain anything from this site and the interactions of the members, it is vital to read BOTH angles , or in some cases ALL angles of approach, to ones taste or not, before comming to conclusions. If you steel your mind against the input of others, you are wasting your time here anyway. The opposing veiws must be presented, without bias, for the benifit of all who read a thread, and to ensure that equal say is had by all parties, and is equally read by the membership.

Flagging certain posts as somehow negative will mean that those with entrenched (and horrifically flawed) thinking on certain subject matter, will undoubtedly ignore posts that do not agree with thier attitude. Equally , posters who are firmly in the debunker camp will ignore anything that doesnt come with a triplicate proof of authenticity from a proffessor from each corner of the globe. The site will end up in two halves, with no meeting in the middle.

The way ATS works now, is the best way it can work.
edit on 4-10-2011 by TrueBrit because: Forgot to add some stuff. Its there now.



posted on Oct, 4 2011 @ 05:15 AM
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Practical question;
How is the software supposed to detect and identify a "debunking" post?
This is essentially a subjective judgement.



posted on Oct, 4 2011 @ 06:52 AM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 




...However, that does not mean that this site is without healthy doses of realists, and that can only be a good thing. You see , there are people here also, who have the capacity and the subject matter understanding, to point out logical fallacy in an argument, and refocus a discussion along a more intellectually, and factualy valid route than the one it was originaly set upon. This is NOT wrong.


Disraeli.... Thank you for taking time out to respond to my idea. Yes, at times, constructive criticism can be healthy and needed. I am not saying that all criticism should be banned. I am proposing, a dual-level thread methodology- that will allow a user to only discuss the matter at hand, with other interested persons. Every OP should not digress into an argument- or worse yet, several arguments. Some subjects are given to this, but sometimes an experience is shared, a story is told.... and we can really use for the discussion - only the people who are interested in what the OP is saying... Friendly discussions.... rather than having as a top priority- some way to disprove, deny or belittle them.

So for the people who are interested in debunking, and those who are interested in reading 'the opposing view'- this would be switchable at will by the ATS member- they can do that.

And to answer your question - There is no automated software I am proposing. It is all a manual process, overseen by the moderators.

Maybe we can try it in one subject/category at first- to see if it will work or not, before unleashing it to the entire board?


edit on 4/10/2011 by MarkJS because: clarification



posted on Oct, 4 2011 @ 07:58 AM
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Originally posted by MarkJS
reply to post by DISRAELI
 


...And to answer your question - There is no automated software I am proposing. It is all a manual process, overseen by the moderators.


What I mean to say is: The process of checking - "Debunking / Rebuttal" would be a manual one. It can be a simple checkbox to check for each post(er). The reader of the thread can then opt, with the proposed ATS sw (if implemented) to read just the friendly replies, or the whole schmere: attempted debunking, rebuttals and all.

The moderator will then ensure that debunking / rebuttal posts are all checked appropriately....to avoid them from falling into the general flow of the thread. And I think, for the vast majority of cases, it would be pretty clear to determine which posts are debunking or not. yes/no?
edit on 4/10/2011 by MarkJS because: HTML adjustment



posted on Oct, 4 2011 @ 09:06 AM
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reply to post by MarkJS
 


You responded to my reply, thinking that Disraeli was the poster responsible. It was actualy me. Aside from that, I do not think that the suggestion you made, will mean an improvement in the over all understanding and knowlege of the user base.

In fact I believe it will divide the user base into factions even more than is already the case. I fail to see how actually tagging a post "debunk" or "rebuttal" will improve matters. Those who think they can contact aliens with meditation for instance, SHOULD have to read reasonable , logical statements refuting this "ability" as false.

Similarly, those who think that alien life having visited here before now is an impossibility, should be forced to sit through epic lists of unexplained objects and incidents which might give them a different out look. The current format allows for this just fine. You start warning people what the thinking of a post might be before they read it, and they are going to ignore the ones that do not suit thier agenda or thinking.

That nonsense happens enough already WITHOUT being able to toggle debunks on and off. Thats a one way ticket to an intellectual cul de sac !



posted on Oct, 4 2011 @ 09:50 AM
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Originally posted by MarkJS
The process of checking - "Debunking / Rebuttal" would be a manual one. It can be a simple checkbox to check for each post(er). The reader of the thread can then opt, with the proposed ATS sw (if implemented) to read just the friendly replies, or the whole schmere: attempted debunking, rebuttals and all.

The mods already do a pretty good job enforcing civility, even in posts that debunk. Debunking simply means to "take the bunk out of." The motto of the site is "deny ignornance," so automatically ignoring posts that might expose a claim as false would be the antithesis of what this site is about imho.

If your beliefs feel threatened or you feel uncomfortable after reading through a thread that includes debunking posts, then maybe you should re-think your beliefs rather than ask for automatic blinders so that you don't have to have your beliefs challenged. If a thread contains more debunking than support, then there's probably a good reason for that. If the claim or theory is correct then it will stand up to critical review and ultimately be un-debunkable. If we're going to be honest and deny ignorance, then it does no good to "mark" posts because they contain critical analysis of a claim or theory. If a debunking is uncivil, that's one thing, and that's already against the rules, but if the discourse is civil, let's not force those who are challenging a claim to self-identify so that they can be automatically censored from view.



posted on Oct, 4 2011 @ 10:24 AM
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1. Yes, people use falsehoods to debunk falsehoods.
2. Yes, often the most intelligent debater wins, irrelevant of right.
3. Yes, people are predisposed to believe what they want.


But sometimes, even in all of this, it is necessary for the trial by fire. You learn by attempting to survive the marketplace of ideas. Even if you are right, how can anyone learn to trust your judgement if you can't stand up to the fight? Those who can be persuaded with reason want your best. They can't have your best if you're not willing to fight for it. And they certainly can't trust your own conviction, forget judgement, if you can't stay consistent in your opposition.



posted on Oct, 4 2011 @ 12:49 PM
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reply to post by MarkJS
 


are you actually serious ?????????

do you really want to the option to eliminate all counter arguments from threads ????????????

are the threads and claims you think " need " protection from skepticism so weak that only cencorship can save them ???????

if so you are *SNIP* - and positivly embracing ignorance

rational debate is the key to airing ideas and claims - OPENLY

if you insist that claims should be presented with no recourse for debate or rebuttal - that is an unaccepable totalitarianism

i utterly reject your absud demands
edit on 10-4-2011 by Springer because: You are not qualified to render medical diagnosis, no matter how accurate it may appear.



posted on Oct, 4 2011 @ 04:36 PM
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Why is debunking not the natural course of a thread??


Debunking means removing the "bunk" - removing obviously false information that does not help anyone figure out what the truth is.

And if somethign can be rebutted how is THAT not the natural progression of a thread too??

In both cases the motto "deny ignorance" is better served by good debunking and accurate rebuttal of inaccurate and even false information.



posted on Oct, 4 2011 @ 04:39 PM
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This is a DISCUSSION BOARD. If you want a soapbox and silence start your own website. I'm glad debunkers are here, they keep people honest.



posted on Oct, 4 2011 @ 04:40 PM
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What would stop me from just checking "rebuttal?"

What if my rebuttal debunks something?

Too many flaws in this idea.



posted on Oct, 4 2011 @ 06:24 PM
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i can understand where you are coming from. it is very frustrating every now and then that there are a handful here who seem to go out of their way to try and debunk EVERY topic - and i mean to the point where sometimes i am sitting here scratching my head wondering if that is TRULY their opinion, or if they are arguing just for the sake of arguing. it is true that some people come here specifically for debate - to spar with anyone they can. and that is an unfortunate side effect of a forum.

but, honestly, on a site like this - the REAL debunking IS necessary. at the very least, a well thought out angle that sheds another light on a topic is essential to getting to truth. while not every topic can be utter BS, on the flip side of that not every topic is TRUE, either.

What i like about the debunking is this: for the most part an OP feels very passionately about a subject and sheds it in a "this is true" light... and every debunker (who is genuine) feels equally as passionate about their side of the argument. I usually read through all of it and more often than not, i find what feels to me to be closest to the truth, somewhere in the middle of the two. Once you realize that everyone is going to write their argument as biased as they can to their side of any argument - and you use your own reasoning to pluck out what is embellished or over dramatized - you can usually find some solid ground somewhere in the middle. It is entirely up to the individual to decide which way they lean from the middle.


there have been many topics for me that i clicked on thinking "oh, man... no freakin' way, are you serious?!?" and then the OP has gone on to really lay out some valid points and some excellent research and won me over.... then here comes a debunker, who also has some valid arguments and excellent research, and they ALSO win me over.... at this point, i will go do some outside research (if i am really in to the topic, if not, i just bail and find something else to read. lol) and reserve my opinion until the thread develops a little further. many times i have found that some ASPECTS of a certain theory may be debunked... but the concept as a whole has not.

i have also seen some debunkers actually prove the point of the opposite side, without meaning to.

there is no way to get to the truth without all of these dynamics. a discussion includes both sides or many sides - and without that, you might as well just go read a sci-fi novel or something. ya know?

i will say i do not like debunkers who are rude and just act like everyone but them is stupid. to me, assuming you KNOW EVERYTHING is the ultimate stupidity. Once upon a time, people KNEW the world was flat. just sayin...
edit on 4-10-2011 by highpriestess because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 5 2011 @ 01:54 AM
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reply to post by highpriestess
 



but, honestly, on a site like this - the REAL debunking IS necessary. at the very least, a well thought out angle that sheds another light on a topic is essential to getting to truth. while not every topic can be utter BS, on the flip side of that not every topic is TRUE, either.


To HighPriestess and everyone else who replied. Thank you for all of your time and thoughtful contributions. I see where you are coming from. To start out my response... I believe that you all have very valid points about the need to 'keep people honest', per se. I'm suspecting that people have come to this board time and time again requesting an 'ignore' button..... because they want to eliminate the opposing view altogether. But this is not what I am proposing. For the people who like what can be called a 'lively debate', and see ATS in this light.... the system I am proposing would allow Debunkers / Rebuttals... and all of that- to post and be read to their hearts' content. If the reader opted for a 'both sides of the coin' (again: ) per se, conversation- they would be entirely free to review all of that. There would be no censorship going on here. To make this perfectly clear as to avoid any confusion to what the proposed system is designed for: if debunking and rebuttals is how you see ATS, then there is Nothing Wrong with that.... In the proposed system, you then would never, ever, choose to not include these posts.

Some people (me and probably others, I imagine) get annoyed at debunking posts... Yes, they often make a valid point, true- which can be interesting and can shed light on a subject that hasn't been considered before.... as you succinctly stated. The rub, however is that many times, the debunkers shed the same variation of that light over and over and over and over again in the same thread. To me, sure, I may want to see what they say... but not the same opinion, in one form of another, over 25 posts. In my mind, this does not contribute to the liveliness or spontaneity of a thread, but rather detracts from it. And time is so precious. Imagine how many more threads one can review, and possibly contribute potentially meaningful information to if they did not have to plow through all of those debunking posts.

Also, life tends to be like this, much to some debunker’s chagrin, I suspect. People with personal and sensitive things to say- are not usually first thinking: “I need to find a debunker! A debunker who is aggressive and is anonymous is the best!” to debate their issue with. Their first instinct is to find people who are like-minded / emphatic for whatever their issue is. If the proposed system was implemented, ATS would then reflect this aspect of life more realistically, I think, and can then possibly be seen as a little more inviting to the wary-minded.














edit on 5/10/2011 by MarkJS because: (no reason given)
edit on 5/10/2011 by MarkJS because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 5 2011 @ 01:59 AM
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Just no. This idea will never work. It goes so strongly against what ATS is about. Denying ignorance. The idea of blocking or cutting out the posts that disagree with the OP, is only going to ensure ignorance.

Debunkers are a welcome part of this site and to block posts would disrupt the natural flow of the threads, contrary to what you suggest.



posted on Oct, 5 2011 @ 02:04 AM
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reply to post by GringoViejo
 





What would stop me from just checking "rebuttal?"

What if my rebuttal debunks something?


Debunking and rebuttal posts go hand in hand, and would be grouped under the same checkbox. The reader would simply choose to include them- or not.

In this line of thinking, if a person wanted to debunk or provide a rebuttal in a thread, but also had something to add to the core conversation- a link, whatever. They then would intelligently just make two posts accordingly.



posted on Oct, 5 2011 @ 07:46 AM
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reply to post by MarkJS
 

I think we all want the "bunk" removed.

It usually boils down to a discussion about which of the two viewpoints contains the "bunk".

If you don't consider both (or more if there are more) viewpoints, you may never figure out which argument is the one with the bunk.

I think we've all learned a thing or two here...I know I have, and part of that learning is from which argument had the bunk.

There used to be an option to do something like what you suggest for individual posters, and it was discontinued, I think with good reason, so you probably won't see it come back.



posted on Oct, 5 2011 @ 10:35 AM
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reply to post by MarkJS
 
Thanks, Mark. I feel as you do, that some people here should be muzzled in some way, and I'm SURE they would love to shut me up. But, as time goes on I've come to the conclusion that this group of which I speak, has nothing to say that matters. I didn't know that I had a such a mean, vindictive streak in me until I was forced to wade thru their BS every day, in order to keep myself informed on our fight for justice. The truth is, we are winning, and although the pace of this fight is slower than I might like, I take comfort in watching these snakes wriggle.



posted on Oct, 5 2011 @ 12:56 PM
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Originally posted by dillweed
reply to post by MarkJS
 
Thanks, Mark. I feel as you do, that some people here should be muzzled in some way, and I'm SURE they would love to shut me up.

Are we still talking about debunkers? I can only speak for myself of course, but I don't desire to shut anyone up. I want to hear what the other side has to say, even if I disagree with it, even if I know they're wrong. Engaging them and making the effort to back up what I say with evidence is a useful learning experience, and I frequently find new ways to study my field of interest in the process. Everyone stands to learn something from vigorous debate regardless of where the truth lay, and not just about how to debate.

But, as time goes on I've come to the conclusion that this group of which I speak, has nothing to say that matters.

Again, are we still talking about debunkers? Does it not matter to you if a claim is completely false, or worse, based on a hoax? Countless such falsehoods have been outted here by the very people you seem to be saying who have "nothing to say that matters."

I didn't know that I had a such a mean, vindictive streak in me until I was forced to wade thru their BS every day, in order to keep myself informed on our fight for justice.

I'm really having a hard time picturing myself and other like minded posters as being deserving of such derision and vindictiveness. I certainly don't see that kind of animosity as making a good case for mandatory self-identification of debunking posts so that they can be automatically ignored regardless of their merit.



posted on Oct, 5 2011 @ 01:06 PM
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And your point is?





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