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Arbitrary skeptics: Come into my threads, and you will leave in pieces

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posted on Apr, 21 2012 @ 01:15 PM
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If there's one type of troll that I truly despise on the Internet, more than any other, it is the science worshipping, pseudo-atheistic, arbitrary skeptic. The individual who uses dishonesty, ad hominem, personal attacks, and appeals to semantics and pedantry, and mistakes all of these (whether intentionally or otherwise) as rational argument.

This is the species of troll that I hold primarily responsible for the fact that anyone still believes the American government's account of 9/11. This is also a species of troll which customarily self-identifies as an atheist, and does enormous harm to atheism's reputation in the process.

1. The "Citation Needed," troll.

I have never seen a single argument on the Internet...anywhere...not a single one...where a request for sources or citations, was not in fact a request for rhetorical ammunition, which could then be used to attack the person, from whom said sources were requested.

It is a form of hollow, deceptive pedantry which is used as a means of accomplishing such, while maintaining a plausibly deniable facade of rationality. It is an exceptionally cheap, gutter tactic, and one which I find infuriating and detestable.

2. The Appeal to Authority.

While arbitrarily skeptical, pseudo-rationalistic trolls have a poor understanding of logical argument in general, and customarily resort to a wide variety of logical fallacies, probably their favourite is the appeal to authority. This is usually also an appeal to scientism; i.e., the idea that institutional scientists who perform research in large, centralised facilities are the only people who should be considered to have the right to hold an opinion about anything at all, or even the right to think.

If you wish to reinforce the idea that science was meant to be a closed priesthood, and that rather than engaging in any form of independent thought, we should only wait for edicts to be handed down from on high, then that is your perogative, but I am not going to emulate your behaviour on that score. If you knew anything about the history of science, you would also know just how incredibly anti scientific such an attitude really is. Copernicus and Gallileo were outcasts; they dissented from the prevailing opinion of their time, which was represented by the church.

3. The use of personal attacks.

When the other standard tactics of the pseudo-skeptical arsenal predictably fail, a false skeptic will generally have no other place to turn in order to attempt to win an argument, than by attempting to either shame a rhetorical opponent into silence, or otherwise cause said opponent sufficient psychological pain that their opponent withdraws. I have often been the target of this tactic.

Usually it involves the citation of some piece of personal information about the skeptic's opponent, which the skeptic either knows or can anticipate will be a source of great shame or pain to said opponent, if it is publically disclosed. This can work extremely effectively as a form of pre-emptive blackmail. If an opponent knows that a skeptic is likely to use this tactic, then it may intimidate the opponent beforehand.

In summary:- Pseudo-skeptics, I recognise your game. I know it, and I am exposing it and drawing attention to it, so that others here can learn to identify it. If you attempt to employ any of the tactics derived above, while in any debate with me, you can expect further public exposure at the time for doing so. I will not tolerate the above described behaviour.




posted on Apr, 21 2012 @ 01:27 PM
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So basically if they do not see things from you're point of view then they are a troll. I always thought internet trolls were just people who intentionally set out to annoy others.



posted on Apr, 21 2012 @ 01:30 PM
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Originally posted by OwenGP185
So basically if they do not see things from you're point of view then they are a troll. I always thought internet trolls were just people who intentionally set out to annoy others.


Did I say anything about disagreeing with me? I specifically mentioned three different types of rhetorical tactics, which I consider immoral and dishonest. That has nothing to do with disagreeing with me.



posted on Apr, 21 2012 @ 01:40 PM
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Asking for a person's sources is a legitimate question and has bearing upon the argument.

If someone posts a claim as fact, they need to back that claim by sharing sources. This allows the other members in the discussion to review those sources and form their own conclusions. In addition, it allows one to judge the quality of the source.



posted on Apr, 21 2012 @ 01:54 PM
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posted on Apr, 21 2012 @ 01:58 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 



Asking for a person's sources is a legitimate question and has bearing upon the argument.

If someone posts a claim as fact, they need to back that claim by sharing sources. This allows the other members in the discussion to review those sources and form their own conclusions. In addition, it allows one to judge the quality of the source.


What's your source on that?



posted on Apr, 21 2012 @ 02:27 PM
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I've always wanted a little head.



posted on Apr, 21 2012 @ 03:29 PM
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reply to post by petrus4
 

That diatribe is nothing more than a preemptive attack on any that may disagree with you. Why don't you just start a blog, and turn off commenting.

See ya,
Milt



posted on Apr, 21 2012 @ 04:21 PM
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Originally posted by Aleister
reply to post by smyleegrl
 



Asking for a person's sources is a legitimate question and has bearing upon the argument.

If someone posts a claim as fact, they need to back that claim by sharing sources. This allows the other members in the discussion to review those sources and form their own conclusions. In addition, it allows one to judge the quality of the source.


What's your source on that?




Clever!

However I am not making a claim that requires a source. Which you already knew, of course.
edit on 21-4-2012 by smyleegrl because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 21 2012 @ 06:16 PM
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Welcome to the minefield called the internet forum.

I often find myself annoyed by the idea of citing my sources, only to have other posters say, "Well, if THAT'S your source, then you have no proof, because that source sucks". They want sources from places like major universities or the government, which I find pretty funny, because what major university will do a study on something the government doesn't want known? How quickly their funding will be pulled if they step outside of the box. However, the studies they do come out with are often disproved later on, because their methodology is flawed in order to give the desired outcome.

As for the government, I mean, c'mon people! What official government source will do anything but push the official story, and say there is no conspiracy? Anybody that believes the government, their numbers or their poorly-constructed myths, needs to think a little harder about whether the story or the statistics actually makes sense. Numbers and results can be manipulated.

Oftentimes, all we have are whistleblowers crying out in the cyber wilderness. Don't expect "official" sources to confirm a conspiracy. It'll never happen.

Therefore, all we are left with are bits and pieces gathered up from the mess left behind by the perpetrators, who were too lazy to tie up their loose ends. After that, it all comes down to whom one chooses to believe, and what "feels" right in their hearts and minds. We're still arguing over the JFK assassination, for heaven's sake.

Science has often been wrong. Not that it doesn't have it's merits, but it is not a religion that cannot be questioned. If it was, we'd still be thinking our universe is geocentric and that the earth is flat.



posted on Apr, 21 2012 @ 10:49 PM
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The professional skeptics are arbitrary alright. They pick and choose their targets. One specimen on ATS is the best example of that tactic. He won't rear his head and appear on a thread unless he has determined that the premise is false from what the OP claims, or that he can cast enough debunking comments to question its legitamcy.without the need to actually prove it wrong. Such is fair game on ATS and good and well. We need that sort of intelligent and rational looking at UFO videos--which are usually the easy targets he attacks.

Yet disproving every single ones does not disprove UFOs as a valid ET-induced phenomena, merely that particular one (or ones). So none of these efforts are disproving UFOs, merely some questionable ones.

And when a very substantial case appears, such skeptics disappear into black holes.

Philip Klass showed them how to make an ass out of yourself by trying to defy data and reason in dismissing creditable UFO reports. Anyway, their numbers grow fewer.



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