Civilian COINTELPRO: Pseudo-rationalism, or the Wikipedia School of Rhetoric

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posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 08:17 PM
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reply to post by RealSpoke
 


With all due respect, it depends on the circumstances. If someone purports a claim as fact, then yes, they bear the burden of proof. If they're stating an opinion, then they really have nothing to prove or back up with outside sources. An opinion is ultimately backed by one's own appeal of authority alone.

ETA: Certainly, you could request explanation of how they formed the opinion, but the proof of an opinion is in the initial statement. It's rather rude and illogical to demand someone backs their opinion by default.




posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 08:39 PM
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reply to post by petrus4


While I think COINTELPRO does exist, I would be inclined to believe that its' actual prevalence is much smaller than what most people here think. I believe that something which is far more dangerous, is people (who can actually sometimes even be quite well meaning, if very adamant) with deeply misguided ideas about both science and rational argument, who falsely identify themselves as rationalists, and who are driven to "debunk," things, because they think they are performing a public service.

 


See here you done and gone blown your waterhose. And that's the problem....

Do you think it's easy to get people to "not believe in things?".





Honestly?





If you think there is a subversive group that are trying to manipulate people, you will find it in the people who are trying to get people to believe in things. Skepticism is not good for anyone trying to manipulate a group. It makes people too hard to influence to be pliable. And eventually leading people to believing in absolutely nothing. Making them stale and grumpy like myself.

It is much easier to influence someone to believe in the opposite of your intended item that you wish to be covered up.

Source:

Years of screwing with people's heads.
edit on 23-4-2012 by boncho because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 08:57 PM
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reply to post by boncho
 


Isn't that a little twisted? Hear me out, please... If you're trying to get someone not to believe in something, then you're essentially trying to convince them to believe that something's untrue... right? So it'd be one in the same...



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 09:00 PM
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Originally posted by jlm912
reply to post by boncho
 


Isn't that a little twisted? Hear me out, please... If you're trying to get someone not to believe in something, then you're essentially trying to convince them to believe that something's untrue... right? So it'd be one in the same...



It's the difference of distraction and deflection as opposed to addressing a concern head on.

For example:

If my girlfriend thought I was cheating, I could address the legitimate issues she is having with me, or I could bring up her ex-s, friends or my friends and shed them in a light that alleviates the thoughts she is having about me. I could also suggested that one of her looser friends is trying to seduce me, shifting the focus away from myself.

Problem solved.

In the context related to some of the topics on the boards It would be like the US creating the alien story to cover actual human made covert military equipment.
edit on 23-4-2012 by boncho because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 09:04 PM
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So basically you are upset because you or someone else has decided to share/discuss a theory and/or historical events on a conspiracy theory, alternative news website and someone disagreed, even further, requested more information from you or someone else that they felt in their opinion would be from more credible sources? This is hardly a place where people always accept the official explanation of things, but I also don't think we would be very good critical thinkers if we walked around taking everyone's word for it either. You are a great writer but I think your point could have been easier summarized. I think the moderator had a great analysis of your concerns and I would be inclined to agree with he or she. Best of luck.



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 11:21 PM
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reply to post by petrus4
 



Originally posted by petrus4
Recently, in connection with some of the topics I've been discussing on ATS, I've noticed a disturbing brand of rhetorical tactics used by a particular group, here. It is a series of techniques which collectively attempts to mask itself as legitimate rational argument, when in reality being the direct opposite.

I consider it very important to warn other posters here of this behaviour, as I've noticed that in the case of certain topics, the individuals running this particular game are extremely persistent, although there are not that many of them. Although as mentioned, they try to mask their tactics as genuine logical persuasion, the real goal is censorship; to simply bludgeon the original poster into silence, via any means available to them. I have personally been a target of all of these tactics during my time on this forum, and continue to be a target of them.


Having interacted with you a few times in a few religious based threads, I have to wonder, are your grievances with people who disagree on the principles of organized religions, such as Adam and Eve, that the Bible is literal and without flaws. Your rant appears to be trying to discredit those that use science to show that certain things are just not possible, or would you like everyone to just use the excuse "because God did it"?



a} Using requests for sources as a means of obtaining ammunition.

Although I've since been impressed with the rationale that, if asked legitimately and without hostility, there can be genuine grounds for listing a person's sources in their argument, in my experience, it is still far more often when what I call the "citation needed," troll is used either as a means of discrediting an argument in and of itself, or as an attempt to gain further information about the poster themselves, which can then be used as a basis for ad hominem attacks, that often have no relation to the topic being discussed.


What is wrong with asking for sources? There is nothing what so ever trollish about asking for sources. Even in seminaries or other theological schools, you ave to provide your references and sources in any work you do, and while my mother was taking her MDiv, I can't think of one paper where she was allowed to just use a Bible verse out of context as her source, or proof of anything. If you are worried that your source will somehow be used against you, then maybe the problem is not with the person asking for the reference or source, but rather with your source. If there is contradicting information in your source, and it is used against you in a discussion, then possible you did not research your source well enough, or truly understand what it was trying to convey.



b} The "credible sources," troll.

This is a related troll to the above, where if an individual cites a particular source, then as a generalisation, an opponent can arbitrarily brush off the source cited as not being "credible," when credibility either remains a subjective abstraction, or is defined as including institutions or organisations that still have every possibility of being corrupt or non-credible.

A good example of this is when I've cited certain specific sections or chapters of the Zeitgeist movies as support for a given argument, and then immediately had this troll thrown at me in response. The reason why I consider this a trolling argument, is because although I know myself that some parts of Zeitgeist and its' sequels are very much factually questionable, not all of them are.

Another example, is a recent argument I saw against the film Thrive, where the author argued that the accuracy of virtually the entire film was thrown into question by the mere presence of David Icke, without making any reference to the specific statements made by Icke in the film. The issue of David Icke's belief in Reptilian aliens was also brought up, when this was not even indirectly mentioned in the film.

Where the source credibility argument becomes a trolling technique, is when it is used as a generalisation, and the entire source cited is dismissed out of hand, if only a particular part of said source is being referred to. Cited subsections of a given source should be refuted purely on the basis of the specific subsection cited, and nothing else. If David Icke gives a lecture on the reserve banking system, I am not going to dismiss his argument because of his belief in extraterrestrials, if said belief is not mentioned and is not relevant to the subject of reserve banking.


Continued in next post



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 11:23 PM
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reply to post by petrus4
 


Credibility of sources is a major issue, sure, a crackpot might come up with a few gems, but generally, if there is no supporting evidence showing that the source is reliable, then questioning it's authenticity, accuracy, and validity in any one argument is questionable. You hate science and dislike it used in arguments against you stand,how is that any different? Nothing trollish in pointing out inconsistency or questionable sources. You cannot expect people to just sit there and be spoon fed pablum just because YOU are the one doing the spoon feeding.



c} Scientism.

This one is both a lot more generalised and subtle, and harder to pin down. It can manifest in a number of different ways, but in general I could define it as an irrational and/or emotively based worship of certain elements of the politics or culture surrounding science, (including individual scientists) which are not directly related to the scientific method itself.

c1} There is a very strong bias towards the idea that large, centralised scientific institutions contain the only people who are permitted to express opinions on certain subjects, or apparently to even think critically at all.

c2} There is often a disturbing level of naivete implied in the presumption that individual scientists are incorruptible, and that any study cited, simply because it identifies itself as a study, should be regarded as infallible. Scientists are human beings, many of whom rely on large corporations for funding. It is therefore to be expected that in a very large number of cases, experimental results are going to match what said corporate sponsors want to hear, rather than as might be desired, the testable and verifiable truth.

c3} Related to c1} above, there is an attitude that the "mainstream scientific community," in terms of what it thinks and believes, is to be held sacrosanct, and the idea that said community might reject a given idea on the basis of it conflicting with erroneous, pre-held ideas which are associated with a purely emotional bias, is considered unthinkable. I believe two quotes from the physicist Max Planck are appropriate here.

New scientific ideas never spring from a communal body, however organized, but rather from the head of an individually inspired researcher who struggles with his problems in lonely thought and unites all his thought on one single point which is his whole world for the moment.

A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.

To further elaborate on this point, the reader is invited to read about (as but one example) the reaction of the scientific orthodoxy to Thomas Edison's first demonstration of electric lighting in Menlo Park. The invention was rejected completely out of hand, with one scientist, Henry Morton, who lived locally, refusing to walk the short distance necessary to verify Edison's claim, and instead felt that he needed to "protest in behalf of true science," and that Edison's lights were, "a fraud upon the public."

My point here is not an attack on the scientific method at all. My grievance is with what could be crudely referred to as the "circle jerk." Elitism, insularity, and a willingness to reject unpopular ideas without due dilligence.


Sounds tome more like you think that anyone that does not subscribe to unquestioning blind faith in religions and the Bible should be labeled a troll. Not believing, or questioning the bible is not trollish to any degree, I do realize it is near impossible to defend the bible as being literal and perfect, but that does not mean anyone who questions it is a troll.

Continued in next post

edit on 4/23/2012 by RyanFromCan because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 11:25 PM
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reply to post by petrus4
 




d} Direct, relatively undisguised psychological warfare.

This is the most rarely used tactic, and generally does not rear its' head in a truly blatant manner. Usually those who consider themselves rationalists, prefer to camouflage their emotionalism in a more plausibly deniable way. Arrogance and condescension are one way in which this can manifest. Name calling and outright profanity are rarer, and of course do not manifest on ATS so much, but they can show up elsewhere.

Psych warfare, when it is used, underscores the point, that all of the tactics listed above, are not intended for the purposes of persuasion or even basic communication, as much as they are intended to cause its' opposite; censorship.

The goal is to shame or otherwise bludgeon the original poster into silence, to the point where even if they continue to disagree with the pseudo-rationalist, they will not continue to express their dissenting opinion.
edit on 23-4-2012 by petrus4 because: (no reason given)


To be perfectly honest, the only group of people who I see using "PSYOPS" type warfare here, are the bible thumpers who use emotional arguments, rather than factual evidence, who use condescending language to anyone who does not believe the bible to be literal and perfect, and do not share their blind unquestioning faith. They regularly act in arrogant ways sch as publicly praying in a condescending manner for "unbelievers", and name calling. I can't say I have seen any swear, but that goes for everyone here really, as it is most definitely frowned on and great steps are taken to prevent it.

I can't help but think this has more to do with the religious type threads where people counter the "blind faith and perfect bible" types with rational and logical arguments, and science, and do not put much weight on the " because the bible says so" argument. I think many here are just as sick with being battered about the head with the bible as others are with being constantly shot down with science. It really does make one wonder who is doing the trolling, if anyone.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 12:00 AM
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Originally posted by boncho
reply to post by petrus4


If you think there is a subversive group that are trying to manipulate people, you will find it in the people who are trying to get people to believe in things. Skepticism is not good for anyone trying to manipulate a group. It makes people too hard to influence to be pliable. And eventually leading people to believing in absolutely nothing. Making them stale and grumpy like myself.


Yes, but what I'm talking about isn't real skepticism. It's straw science; as in, taking a projected image of science which is actually the diametric opposite of the real thing, (such that it is a religion) and then trying to convert them to that.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 01:11 AM
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It was just classic that the first responder to your thread did something very similar to what you described in your analysis. Hmm. I agree with everything wholeheartedly, except for certain situations regarding sources. For instance, many cased simply do require sources for independent confirmation, but I completely understand and have seen this used to an attacker's advantage in a pseudo-argument, or a fallacious argument.

Also, SOME sources have a track record for mis-reporting, and sometimes blatantly making up facts. I understand that there is no list, so people will disagree on which sources are or are not credible. This presents a dilemma, because I know exactly what you are talking about. Some people will utilize this fact for an attack because there is nothing else to attack, or they do not understand the argument to begin with.

So the only solution is to, in my opinion, sift through those calls for "credible" sources to find those who are actually presenting an argument, and are generally concerned about the sources' integrity, as opposed to someone who makes the same claim simply because they can make no other claim without seeming "limited" in their capacities. I use somewhat vague language here, as I do not want to break the ToS and get too harsh when speaking of other members, lol.

I could provide some commentary on the other arguments you presented, but not a rebuttal, as I agree with you 100%. I am wondering if the majority of those who utilize these types of tactics are doing so purposefully, or if they really are just "slow," so to speak...Beats me, lol, although I suppose I could hazard a guess. But I won't, as to preserve my integrity, hahaha. Good thread.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 01:30 AM
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posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 02:23 AM
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Originally posted by JiggyPotamus
It was just classic that the first responder to your thread did something very similar to what you described in your analysis.


Except when they are particularly vindictive, I get a good laugh from that as well. I call that Semi-Sentient Trolling. It's a case where, although the troll will still attempt to defend himself, the entire reason why he is offended by what you have written, is because he has actually identified his own behaviour described in it. I encountered that effect a lot during my World of Warcraft days.

The reason why it tends to trigger a particularly vitriolic and intense attack from the troll concerned, is because it is a partly subconscious effect where his conscience bothers him. He is reacting out of resentment and pain, due to my having triggered guilt, cognitive dissonance, and exposure of his behaviour.

"And I would have got away with it, too, if it hadn't been for those darn kids and their dog!"



So the only solution is to, in my opinion, sift through those calls for "credible" sources to find those who are actually presenting an argument, and are generally concerned about the sources' integrity, as opposed to someone who makes the same claim simply because they can make no other claim without seeming "limited" in their capacities.


That is what I am learning to do, yes.


I could provide some commentary on the other arguments you presented, but not a rebuttal, as I agree with you 100%. I am wondering if the majority of those who utilize these types of tactics are doing so purposefully, or if they really are just "slow," so to speak...Beats me, lol, although I suppose I could hazard a guess. But I won't, as to preserve my integrity, hahaha. Good thread.


I honestly think it is self-deception in most cases. People afflicted with scientism in particular, usually have positive or altruistic intentions; they just unfortunately are also excessively impressed both with their misguided concept of science, and their own intelligence. The underlying desire, however, is usually to expose what the individual in question genuinely views as something fallacious or a hoax.

As I've often said, the government has engaged in particularly cruel exploitation of the atheist/rationalist/secular humanist community, where 9/11 is concerned. The atheists have basically been encouraged to run the government's own shell game for it. I might joke about it, and even get angry about it at times, but in my own more positive moments, I do try and feel genuine compassion towards the atheists in this. They have positive intentions for the most part, and they have been cynically used.

The fundamental premise of my argument here, at least relating to this specific case, is that the government doesn't need to pay for, or order, specific COINTELPRO in order to enforce public ideological compliance with the official account of 9/11, because with the atheists, they already have a large segment of the population who earnestly (and falsely) believe that they are behaving altruistically in doing it for said government.
edit on 24-4-2012 by petrus4 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 02:42 AM
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reply to post by petrus4


Yes, but what I'm talking about isn't real skepticism. It's straw science; as in, taking a projected image of science which is actually the diametric opposite of the real thing, (such that it is a religion) and then trying to convert them to that.

 


Science isn't infallible. I think I've covered in a few threads where there were some pretty outrageous frauds or at least pathological science.

The problem though, especially with alternate theories, is that people try to discredit science with hearsay and that is the whole reason the scientific method was established.

There is always the possibility that people are fudging the numbers or that corporate interest hides certain outcomes and publicizes others.

As observers, the best we can do is make judgement calls, and often credibility and other issues come into play. There is a lot of red flags that arise though, when something doesn't smell right. And there are also a lot of methods that seem legitimate even if the person making the claim sounds crazy.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 09:30 AM
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Originally posted by Malynn

Originally posted by squarehead666
So OP, if I'm not mistaken, what you are upset about, essentially, is people disagreeing with you.....You might be better off with a blog than posting on a forum!
edit on 23-4-2012 by squarehead666 because: clarity


You're either one of the trolls described in the OP, or sadly lacking in reading comprehension. It is a growing problem in society. Was the topic too long for you to pay attention?

And you have no manners and, apparently, even less comprehension of the English language.....A long winded whinge is still a whinge!

To make this perfectly clear, I'm sick to the back teeth of seeing unsupported rubbish presented as fact here on the ATS.....I only joined this forum to demonstrate conclusively that most Nazi UFO pictures can be proven to be fake in just a few minutes, if only you make the effort to investigate them for yourself.

So, to then find a thread which does little other than whine that people will not accept unsupported theories, faked photos and hearsay as being conclusive evidence annoys me intensely. I studied law at university so I have a bloody good handle on what actually constitutes evidence and I really don't appreciate being called a troll simply for applying these standards to what I find here.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 10:15 AM
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Originally posted by squarehead666
To make this perfectly clear, I'm sick to the back teeth of seeing unsupported rubbish presented as fact here on the ATS.....I only joined this forum to demonstrate conclusively that most Nazi UFO pictures can be proven to be fake in just a few minutes, if only you make the effort to investigate them for yourself.


(Emphasis mine)

And that was exactly my point. It isn't only the observed degree of pedantry that I was criticising; it was the level of rage and hostility that customarily goes along with it.

I can also scarcely contain my own relief, at times, that I never did attend university. I can't remember the last time I spoke to someone who admitted having done so, who was not also terminally narcissistic. I remember some university Computer Science graduates in particular who I have spoken to; the magnitude of their own factual inaccuracy at times, was matched only by their adamancy that they were correct, and their level of hostility towards anyone who challenged them.

University is demonstrably less about education, than it is about the encouragement of intellectual egotism, and the reinforcement of statist mind control.
edit on 24-4-2012 by petrus4 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 10:53 AM
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Originally posted by petrus4
I can also scarcely contain my own relief, at times, that I never did attend university.


Originally posted by petrus4
University is demonstrably less about education, than it is about the encouragement of intellectual egotism, and the reinforcement of statist mind control.

So once again you are spouting off your opinions about something that you know nothing about.....You accuse me of intelectual narcicism, yet you are the one who expects his unsupported, baseless theories to be accepted at face value without any challenge?

Frankly it would be laughable were it not for the tactic of terming anyone who disagrees with you a 'troll' or a 'shill'.....This behaviour is unacceptable and it would be a great relief to see the forum moderators taking proper action in such instances.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 11:33 AM
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reply to post by petrus4
 





And that was exactly my point. It isn't only the observed degree of pedantry that I was criticising; it was the level of rage and hostility that customarily goes along with it.


I see no more rage or hostility in his reply that yo have shown in the OP and subsequent posts.



I can also scarcely contain my own relief, at times, that I never did attend university. I can't remember the last time I spoke to someone who admitted having done so, who was not also terminally narcissistic. I remember some university Computer Science graduates in particular who I have spoken to; the magnitude of their own factual inaccuracy at times, was matched only by their adamancy that they were correct, and their level of hostility towards anyone who challenged them.


The wonderful thing about a university degree, well, most, is that it teaches you to use logic, and critical thinking, this is hardly a fault. I do not have a degree, but as lucky enough to have two academics as my parents, bot school teachers to boot, and though I have not taken any post secondary (formal) education, I did learn to use reasoning, logic, and critical thinking when approaching a situation. Is your dislike for academics more a question of you not liking when someone who can think critically, use logic, reasoning, and use scientific knowledge to refute claims, theories, and tidbits you post as fact? Speaking of "Terminally narcissistic", have you encountered anyone from the more radical side of say, religion, who suffer the same ailment? Have you encountered many who say, can't see the factual inaccuracies in a religious book, but are so sure of their facts, they fail to even acknowledge that there is possibility of imperfection? Have you encountered the hostility towards anyone who uses simple logic and critical thinking to show that say, a religious book is not all it is cracked up to be by it's more radical followers.



University is demonstrably less about education, than it is about the encouragement of intellectual egotism, and the reinforcement of statist mind control.


While I won't disagree entirely with you, as I am sure some institutions of higher learning do act somewhat in this capacity, University is not about intellectual egotism, it is about learning to seek the truth, to discover how things work, to investigate the unknown, to use logic and think critically. I have to wonder about your posts, they appear to more of a rant against the non religious, and educated in almost an envious or jealous tone, than anything else.

I notice you did not so much as touch my last post, I really am curious as to why. I have an idea, just waiting for you to confirm it, or destroy it.
edit on 4/24/2012 by RyanFromCan because: hanging tag
edit on 4/24/2012 by RyanFromCan because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 11:37 AM
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reply to post by hooper
 


What are you doing here mr. scientist. Don't you know they don't like critical thinkers here?!


Also, I enjoyed the 2+2= 4 part. Simple, but really pushes the point forward. Sadly, it will go lost on many a soul.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 11:42 AM
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Originally posted by RyanFromCan
reply to post by petrus4
 



To be perfectly honest, the only group of people who I see using "PSYOPS" type warfare here, are the bible thumpers who use emotional arguments, rather than factual evidence, who use condescending language to anyone who does not believe the bible to be literal and perfect, and do not share their blind unquestioning faith. They regularly act in arrogant ways sch as publicly praying in a condescending manner for "unbelievers", and name calling. I can't say I have seen any swear, but that goes for everyone here really, as it is most definitely frowned on and great steps are taken to prevent it.


While I will agree with you that Christians try to engage in this behaviour, the reason why I didn't respond to this post, is because my opinion tends to be that they lack sufficient credibility for anyone to take them seriously, and therefore their ability to genuinely offend or otherwise harm people, is minimal. If a person is vulnerable to Christian attempts at psychological abuse, then yes, they can be harmful; but relatively few of us still are vulnerable to them.

Christianity is dying, at this point. That is the main reason why I at least, am able to ignore them.
edit on 24-4-2012 by petrus4 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 11:45 AM
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Originally posted by RyanFromCan
reply to post by petrus4
 





And that was exactly my point. It isn't only the observed degree of pedantry that I was criticising; it was the level of rage and hostility that customarily goes along with it.


I see no more rage or hostility in his reply that yo have shown in the OP and subsequent posts.


I admit it; in the last few hours in particular, I have started to become angry. Psychological attrition is the goal, however, as I've mentioned; and they are apparently succeeding with me to a greater extent than I would have liked to admit.





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