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Switzerland
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Hello.

Post by Switzerland » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:17 am

Hi. I've been interested in philosophy for years. Finally decided to join a forum. I've been browsing and something worries me. It seems that most of the 'philosophy' going on here is mainly egoism and subjective dogma. In a couple of active threads I'm seeing ad hominems out of every corner and creating a sea of negativity. I'm wondering why that is, or what's going on. People make mistakes, but this is a bit more noticeable than a mistake. Any ideas?

EchoesOfTheHorizon
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Re: Hello.

Post by EchoesOfTheHorizon » Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:26 pm

Oh, hi.

Reason why is because they are human, and as humans, discourse gravitates towards topics and modes of expression people are comfortable with. Philosophy mostly, 99.99999% takes place in this mode.

Ad Homenin Attacks is hardly unusual, often codified in rhetoric as valid. What isn't valid is the prohibition against Ad Homenein assertions. A larger dialectic exists that the debates take place in. Some schools of philosophy almost exclusively reside within this intact, I recommend looking into texts like The Cynic Epistles, a text from Antiquity used (sometimes manufactured) by those advocating the Cynic style of spontaneous ad hom attacks on passerbyers stance in regards to vices and virtues, I've seen it practiced by a group in Hawaii, as part of the last remaining cell of occupied wall street (and one even wore a dog chained and howled, but knew nothing of the term Cynicism, mystery to me how that concept trickled down to me still to this day).

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynic_epistles

People in general hold to this rhetorical form to lesser degrees, the talk of philosophers when in intimate contact talking with close friends won't begin to match up with how they often write, if on topics of logic. It is because philosophy in the west went through a early rhetorical split between spoken and written philosophy. You can produce far more ponderous texts solo in philosophy than you ever could in active debates as we have traditionally had them structured in the west. In India, they would debate around the corpus of the Vedas, Upanishads, and a few other texts, and the winner or losers of the debates had to support ever increasing complex questions to one another, explaining a question often in riddle form.... if they failed, they had to quit their school of philosophy and adopt the victorious school of thought. That's as advanced of a system you can produce within reason that is both scholastic yet conversational based. It avoided the issue of Ad Homs by simply forcing the defeat of your opponent and making him your think slave from then on out, they didn't have to delve into questions of if you are ethically in a place to make a assertion, cause Vedas and God trump all. The dialectic was a slave to this.

In the west we support a diversity of opinion, often imaginative, but have to structure the perceived consequences of the thought against the precariousness of the survival of a community.

I'll give you a purely satirical, imagined, extreme case:

Trixie advocates the highest good is to boil water, and leave it in a bucket positioned on top of slightly cracked doors.

I see Trixie advocate this, while setting up a bucket, and call Trixie a asshole and a moron. This is a blatant ad hom.

Others see Trixie being called a Ad Hom, says "Why you say that?"

Sister of a Suck hears this, comes rushing through a door to say no Ad Hominens, gets horribly burned, because Trixie put a bucket of scolding hot water up.

My attack was, in hindsight, a appeal to ethics. It was for the safety of person and community, a sign and signal to others in real time, in a absolutely efficient fashion, not to follow suit. Had Sister of a Suck allowed the conversation to continue, he would of heard the reason why it was such a bad idea, and wouldn't have to spend a week in a burn unit in a hospital.

Informal discussions will often evolve on this basis, sometimes the point will be understood without further digging, others are a little slow and require a longer period of time to accustom themselves to the mode of argument, and how it relates to the larger realm of complex thinking. We rarely in the west insist merely on the basis of a defeated argument you have to join the opposing view. About 50% of conversation is dedicated to this, not just in philosophy, but also in general conversation. More actually if you are a screen writer for a show like FRIENDS. This cannot be escaped save in solitary discourse, or formal written works of philosophy where all elements can be controlled like a work of art (and they are seldom read).

The art of politics often flows out of rhetorical studies, so you'll see in res publicas, be they democratic or dictorial, they often rely on Ad Homs, heavily interspersed in their speech as well as other forms of speech in attacking competing ideas. 99.9999% of legislative work involves this in western democracies.

Again, only place this doesn't work, is works of formal monkish logic. I'm Catholic, and fairly monkish, so if you want that sort of debate, hit me up, and we can set a isolated thread up and do it, but know the Protestants on this site who advocate the hardest for academic styled debates will Ad hom the loudest while we do so. It is that ingrained in their nature. Cannot be avoided.

If you are interested in this, lots of books exist on the subject. I recommend looking into the rhetoric of the philosopher Vico as a starting point, but also just meander around on google. If a topic isn't going to your liking, just bring up the idea to others you'll like to restrict the style to a particular mode of thought. Traditionally we've used "logical fallacies" to force a debate to conform to a artificial standard, but logical fallacies rarely can support themselves on their own, and can't hold off a determined opponent wanting to utterly trash a theory.

If you link your sense of self to your theories, I strongly recommend backing off from this. Ideas are thrashed and broken on a regular basis. It isn't ever going to be like in the class rooms, because that isn't real debate, given it has severe pedagogical restrictions inforced by a teacher/professor, that aims at the participation of the "common dumbest denominator", because they are paid to do so in this fashion. It is why we today have legions of morons running amok with philosophy degrees but get ripped to shreds when their beliefs are tested.

The surest way to get into debates is to observe first, figure out how other debate, then jump in. If you sit around too long without chirping in, you're in the wrong. If you assert a Ad Hom, be expected to receive one in return, or a explanation as to why. Far more challenging retorts can occur.

One of the best ad homenein discourses in the history of philosophy came from Lucian of Samosata. He was accused of "not being a real philosophy (seriously, wtf?)" or had literal professors of philosophy approach the emperor, who Lucian was closely associated with, to do him in. Back then, Emperors we moderators, except they could send you in exile, torture, or murder you. You'll see that the drive to rules are usually insidious and a pure evil, and has little basis in philosophical discourse. Lucian did the only thing a philosopher could, and made a beautiful little track where he attacked ever school of philosophy present under the most absurd and ludicrous of means, remains one of the best works of philosophical retort ever written, a true classic of philosophy:

http://www.theoi.com/Text/LucianDialoguesDead1.html

As then, so now, most trolls seek authority and righteousness, but are always incipient fools who don't know diddly squate about philosophy. It isn't found in emulation of behavior or forms of the anal retentive, or those snowflakes easily wounded, but by those ambitious enough to seek out the problems of philosophy, identify the problems we've long overlooked, and push the borders. Such philosophers next to never fit the mold society expects them to play in. They, like a great artist, can paint in many forms. If you demand your art as realist or expressionslist, they can humor you.... for a while, but that isn't the substance of their genius, their focus, who they are.

You'll find a lot of little threads where anyone will come onto this site, post a question, and receive a reply, with the response of "sorry, I was looking for a more academic discussion". I 100% want to reassure such fools, philosophy is not the field for them, be they a novice or a professor at a Ivy League school, if you demand all thought to conform to you, in only one pattern, you will not long survive in the great sea of thought we sail in. It will be nothing but chaos to you. I recommend looking into a trade like carpentry, or marble ball manufacturing instead. Philosophy is a incredible force of nature spread across many kinds of thinkers, no one thinker has the ability to see the entirety of it. We can never hope to make it uniform like a professor pretends to. Simply can't be contained. Why it can lead to exacerbation.

If you need a particular style, or a emulation of a particular thinker, ask. Someone might emulate it if they care, merely to amuse you. I strongly recommend getting rid of such a crutch and learn to broaden your horizons. You face a fierce and unconquerable frontier, don't demand others tame it for you, make it conform to your expectations.

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Eodnhoj7
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Re: Hello.

Post by Eodnhoj7 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:29 pm

Switzerland wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:17 am
Hi. I've been interested in philosophy for years. Finally decided to join a forum. I've been browsing and something worries me. It seems that most of the 'philosophy' going on here is mainly egoism and subjective dogma. In a couple of active threads I'm seeing ad hominems out of every corner and creating a sea of negativity. I'm wondering why that is, or what's going on. People make mistakes, but this is a bit more noticeable than a mistake. Any ideas?
Because philosophy acts as a knife which cut open our innermost thoughts and desires, it exposes us for who we really are and what we really believe.

You have to keep in mind the majority of philosophy, and the people who either intentionally or unintentionally embody it, uses a negative nature to achieve the desired end point.

What most philosophy does today is continually break things down until their is nothing left. The problem is that noone has reached the "nothing is left" portion of philosophy without revoking to continual circulatory relativism or giving up on philosophy all together. Take that approach of "negation" from philosophy and apply it to the people who use it and you will see the people who use the ad hominums fundamentally see themselves as "nothing" or "broken" which in turn affects how they see the world.




Philosophy is fundamentally the exploration of paradoxes and contradictions, in my opinion, through the observation of definition considering that "there is nothing new under the sun" but the sun is always "new".


Welcome.

EchoesOfTheHorizon
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Re: Hello.

Post by EchoesOfTheHorizon » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:41 am

No, Jans Smut tried building it all up. You are overemphasizing a single direction. And people can minimaliae philosophy down to just pure perception with a single idea behind it, seeing it as self, being, universe. We have a few different modes we can bullshit ourselves with in this.

Switzerland
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Re: Hello.

Post by Switzerland » Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:41 pm

That's too bad. I suppose my time here will be shorter than I had imagined.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Hello.

Post by Immanuel Can » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:15 pm

Switzerland wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:41 pm
That's too bad. I suppose my time here will be shorter than I had imagined.
It might be. The ad homimen's are certainly a problem, not because they achieve anything, of course, but because logically speaking they don't. All they do is clog the discussion with irrelevant revilement.

Inexplicably, some people actually defend this practice, as when above you read, "What isn't valid is the prohibition against Ad Homenein assertions." Actually there's nothing "valid" or even relevant about 99% of ad hominems raised here. (As you probably know, the only legitimate utility of that rhetorical device is in cases wherein the character or virtues of the speaker are being offered as a reason for belief, as when Nietzsche titled his essay, "Why I Am So Wise." If he did that, he was offering his "wisdom" as a reason for belief, or at least as a suppositional question begged at the start and supposedly relevant to the quality of his ensuing argument -- a thing by which he invites us to ask, "Was Nietzsche really so wise?" :shock: But that's his own doing, and none of ours.)

Unfortunately, something about the discussion-board format --- maybe the anonymity of it, maybe the absence of filtering, and maybe the physical distancing of the interlocutors -- seems to invite the worst in human character to jump to the fore. So you'll find people who should, as adults, know better, who are swearing, insulting, blaspheming, trolling, pretending to be people they aren't, repeatedly posting ads for irrelevant causes, ganging up on each other, ranting, inciting, and otherwise acting in ways that they themselves would probably be ashamed to see replicated in their own six-year-old child. That's a real hazard here, and I can't promise you that some of it won't happen to you.

However, there are also so fine, reasonable, intelligent, kind and thoughtful people here, really smart folks who do their best not to be provoked by the rhetoric, and who offer perspectives worth hearing -- on all sides. So how long you stay will probably be related to your tolerance level for abuse and petty cavilling, and also your ability to dig the good conversationalists and their jewels of insight out of a pile that sadly sometimes declines into the dunghill of low conversation.

So it's really your choice. If your skin is thin, this is probably a bad place to be. But if you are wanting some thoughtful critical input about something, then there's value here too. You just have to find it.

EchoesOfTheHorizon
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Re: Hello.

Post by EchoesOfTheHorizon » Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:24 pm

It isn't the format, it is the thought process. Only valid use of logical fallacies, as per Chryssipus, was to remove paradox from philosophy. He failed horrifically, infact, paradoxes can be central to philosophy and debate.

When more modern academics tried to resurrect the ideas, they had to have a specific topic, and heavily restrict how far and wide the discourse could be, and had to heavily restrain certain thought patterns. This changed the nature of the dialectic, but not the impulse. It has happened too many times where I have sat in a debate and someone yelled out "logically fallacy" at someone I am talking to. So what? I don't care if they are or not, intentionally or not, you gotta put some trust in human nature and the dialectic that what motivates them to think in such patterns has a sound basis to it, and prefer to stick with it, picking at it like a lock till it opens. There is a moron on Amazon.com with a book of over 300 logical fallacies, including many he alone discovered! Wow, fucking wow. That doesn't invalidate the motivations to talk and debate, the impulses they are generated from, or the direction towards creativity or understanding they lead to. You can't contort all the avenues of the mind to fit into the narrow, limited mind of a single individual. What they are essentially saying is half of what the brain does functionally isn't valid in a philosophical debate, but then in return I must ask, what is philosophy then? You can't apply a restrictive algorithm to express a engine of inquire into the unknown of human thinking, it is a backward, bizarre, asinine approach to inquiry into the nature of all things, all ways of thinking, all ways of reaching a conclusion.

So I typically just let people go, and find more natural ways to argue with them. If the Ad Hom (by the authority of Aristotle by the way, it is central to western civilization, especially our ethics and politics, absolutely isn't as restricted as you claim) or put out straw men, I go along with it. In the case of strong men arguments, I remember that even in ironclad cases (and I will explain how it is ironclad if I believe so) someone pressured to lie is at the same time sensing a argument against facts can be presented here.... in that very spot. They might have a shitty argument, but instead of blurting out "logical fallacy, I win" I often stop to ponder how flexible or partial the abstract principles that hold together the argument actually are, will consider it, and then break off on a tangential segway to address such issues. It allows for a greater depth of understanding, and it teaches my opponents that the instinct to lie isn't necessarily a vice on their part, but a unconscious aspect of their thought that is pressuring to get out, but can't rationalize itself on justified grounds yet. If I seek it out for them, they will often exclaim with agreement. Then I murder their fuller argument, cause that is what I do.

It is very important in philosophy to embrace the natural flow of thought, and let things be a little loose. In dedicated disciplines carved out of philosophy, like say, a thesis on particle physics, or etiology in medicine, some blocks are okay. It is a generally safe and valid methodology, but in the wide world of the dialectic, we simply are. We are more than we generally give credit for. Chaotic thought is still most logical, and it is predictable and negotiable if you spend the time to learn how people debate. I mean actually debate. You can't demand the ends dictate the means in discussion when people have different personalities, ways of thinking, different philosophies and motivations. It will be scatterboard. This is good and valid, was at least in the era of Socrates and Plato. They merely motioned for you to listen the first few times, then join in, you didn't need in the beginning a method. That came later after you joined one of the schools, if you even bothered. I can't imagine a justification for denouncing that method as valid and going with a bullshit emulation of something much more restrictive as the universal mode of philosophical discourse. I like the idea of a priest in his robes, in Constantinople, debating a naked Gymnosophist (Jain philosopher) about abstract ideas. Two very different philosophical traditions, using different debate standards, just meeting and talking, holding conversation. How long would such talks last if they started claiming the other of logical inequities of forms, or etiquette of dress? Conversation never would of been started. They would of just pointed at each other screaming foul. But we know such open conversations happened. People won't always go by the rules we demand, and this is as far as pure philosophy is concerned, a good thing. It is a challenge to better ourselves and explore the thinking process a bit more. We force a lot unto philosophy that isn't obvious or natural. It will work itself out in the end, as you become more experienced, if you stick with it, and become a better thinker. Think of it as a Mt Parnassus to climb.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Hello.

Post by Immanuel Can » Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:56 pm

EchoesOfTheHorizon wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:24 pm
you gotta put some trust in human nature and the dialectic that what motivates them to think in such patterns has a sound basis to it, and prefer to stick with it, picking at it like a lock till it opens. There is a moron on Amazon.com...
This is a really interesting line.

I would have to ask, why have we "gotta put some trust in human nature"? Do you mean that humans always have rational bases for what they say or think? If so, I would suggest that's likely to prove obviously untrue, and very quickly too. So I still have to ask, why have we "gotta" do that?

I'm not sure, but I think I understand what you're going for: it seems you're wanting to be charitable, and to assume that people have reasons for what they say...but that's not good grounds for thinking they always -- or perhaps even half of the time -- do. And at the same time, you turn around and say, "There is a moron..." who believes in locating fallacies. So why wouldn't you be willing to say you've "gotta have some trust" in his nature, and suspend your skepticism with regard to him, until you locate that "sound basis" he might have, "picking at it like a lock until it opens?" :shock:

Your skepticism seems a bit selective. What you say above makes it look like you're skeptical of people who disbelieve in fallacies, but trying to be (perhaps excessively?) charitable to those who actually make and rely on fallacies...

Switzerland
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Re: Hello.

Post by Switzerland » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:06 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:15 pm
It might be. The ad homimen's are certainly a problem, not because they achieve anything, of course, but because logically speaking they don't. All they do is clog the discussion with irrelevant revilement.

Inexplicably, some people actually defend this practice, as when above you read, "What isn't valid is the prohibition against Ad Homenein assertions." Actually there's nothing "valid" or even relevant about 99% of ad hominems raised here. (As you probably know, the only legitimate utility of that rhetorical device is in cases wherein the character or virtues of the speaker are being offered as a reason for belief, as when Nietzsche titled his essay, "Why I Am So Wise." If he did that, he was offering his "wisdom" as a reason for belief, or at least as a suppositional question begged at the start and supposedly relevant to the quality of his ensuing argument -- a thing by which he invites us to ask, "Was Nietzsche really so wise?" :shock: But that's his own doing, and none of ours.)

Unfortunately, something about the discussion-board format --- maybe the anonymity of it, maybe the absence of filtering, and maybe the physical distancing of the interlocutors -- seems to invite the worst in human character to jump to the fore. So you'll find people who should, as adults, know better, who are swearing, insulting, blaspheming, trolling, pretending to be people they aren't, repeatedly posting ads for irrelevant causes, ganging up on each other, ranting, inciting, and otherwise acting in ways that they themselves would probably be ashamed to see replicated in their own six-year-old child. That's a real hazard here, and I can't promise you that some of it won't happen to you.

However, there are also so fine, reasonable, intelligent, kind and thoughtful people here, really smart folks who do their best not to be provoked by the rhetoric, and who offer perspectives worth hearing -- on all sides. So how long you stay will probably be related to your tolerance level for abuse and petty cavilling, and also your ability to dig the good conversationalists and their jewels of insight out of a pile that sadly sometimes declines into the dunghill of low conversation.

So it's really your choice. If your skin is thin, this is probably a bad place to be. But if you are wanting some thoughtful critical input about something, then there's value here too. You just have to find it.
I've noticed the ad hominems and those are a problem. Those are the crux of my concerns. In the 'free will' thread, it dove into such depths within the first page. This is the internet so people will throw their egos, issues and demons around in an attempt to infect others. I recall a thread in which race is the topic. The OP themselves being half of the race they were discussing. It's one thing to be critical, but another thing entirely to have self-hatred and worship other races as the paragons of human evolution. It's not thin skin (or maybe it is -- I no longer care) so much as it is that, right now, I'm at a crossroads in my life where I have a surplus of negative energy. I generate more than enough on my own and don't want, nor need help from others. I know that there are good people here, but they seem to be vastly eclipsed by the, as you put it, interlopers who, for one reason or another, prefer to have ego measuring contests and try to infect others as opposed to stimulating, constructive or productive conversation. That's why it's looking like I'm better off not staying here.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Hello.

Post by Immanuel Can » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:20 pm

Switzerland wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:06 pm
I've noticed the ad hominems and those are a problem. Those are the crux of my concerns.
Well, I'm with you on that. It's so unnecessary...and, as far as advancing any understanding goes, completely useless.
In the 'free will' thread, it dove into such depths within the first page.
I find that ad hominems are what people throw first when they're out of ideas but are desperate to cling to that idea anyway. The most natural (if regrettable) tendency is to say, "Yeah, well, I don't have to listen to what you say, because you're a _____." It's irrational, it's illogical, it's immature, but it's common, I'm afraid.

The "free will" thing is one that gets people angry right away. Some folks are very dependent on Determinism to make it possible for them to get by. As Sartre said, there's a sense in which "freedom" is something you are "condemned to be," not something you seek out. To be free is to have to make choices, without having safety rails in place. The ancient Greeks called it "anomie," (from a + nomos, meaning "lawlessness") the condition of being without knowledge of any laws, rules, guidelines or security measures...and it can be quite vertiginous, if not also sometimes terrifying. But Sartre thought we were "condemned" to have to face it, or live inauthentically. He knew that there's much reassurance in the belief that nothing depends on your choices, and that everything is kind of "fated" by material forces. And if you raise a question about that, you can get those who are addicted to that belief hot under the collar in a second.

And also, there are a certain number of people as well who just seem incapable of grasping ideas as such at all. They seem to see every idea as inevitably tied to -- and dependent upon -- the character of a particular person. So to question an idea is, for them, to insult the person; and to insult the person is to have grounds for dismissing the idea, they suppose. They just can't get their heads around the idea that even inveterate liars sometimes tell the truth, and even virtuous, well-meaning and sincere people sometimes make mistakes in their ideas. So really, there's no logical connection between the person and his/her statement of an idea. But that seems to much for them to fathom.
I recall a thread in which race is the topic. The OP themselves being half of the race they were discussing. It's one thing to be critical, but another thing entirely to have self-hatred and worship other races as the paragons of human evolution.
Yeah, I'm with you there too. I guess I could only say in their defence that maybe...maybe...they were just trying out an inflammatory idea, just to see what thought it would generate. Maybe they were playing "devil's advocate." Maybe they didn't actually believe all they said. Maybe. One cannot know for sure, of course. And there are probably some ideas that are more hurtful than useful to broach. But not having a stake in that debate, I can't really say why they did it.
I'm at a crossroads in my life where I have a surplus of negative energy. I generate more than enough on my own and don't want, nor need help from others.
That's important to know. And you're right; it would be a good reason for avoiding any more of that negativity.
I know that there are good people here, but they seem to be vastly eclipsed by the, as you put it, interlopers who, for one reason or another, prefer to have ego measuring contests and try to infect others as opposed to stimulating, constructive or productive conversation.
Yeah, I can't argue with that either. The proportions are a bit uneven, to be sure.
That's why it's looking like I'm better off not staying here.
You might be right. Too bad, in a way; we could use more of the calm-and-rational voices, and you seem like one of those. But it's hard to hang with this crowd sometimes, and you really would have to have some compelling reason of your own to want to put up with the negativity, in search of something more positive.

Sorry we can't offer it. I wish we could.

xman
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Re: Hello.

Post by xman » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:21 am

I am new too, and noticed the same thing you did. I was saddened--having hoped I had found a site where posters used philoso-speak, with its attendant good-natured joshing, use of critical reasoning, and all the rest--unlike, say, the philosophy sites on Reddit (a real bear pit). I wonder if the long posts here attempting to find rational reasons for the trollery might be misguided, that instead we should recognise that most people are foolish, self-serving, and superficial; that it might be better to apply Occam's razor to look for the simplest explanation. I mean, have you ever considered the country of origin of most of the trolls? I'm not pointing fingers, but......

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Hello.

Post by Immanuel Can » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:25 am

xman wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:21 am
I mean, have you ever considered the country of origin of most of the trolls? I'm not pointing fingers, but......
There are places with a badly debased political culture, in which personal attacks and railing are sincerely believed to be worthwhile techniques of argumentation.

I'm happy not to live in one of those places.

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-1-
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Re: Hello.

Post by -1- » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:48 am

Switzerland wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:17 am
Hi. I've been interested in philosophy for years. Finally decided to join a forum. I've been browsing and something worries me. It seems that most of the 'philosophy' going on here is mainly egoism and subjective dogma. In a couple of active threads I'm seeing ad hominems out of every corner and creating a sea of negativity. I'm wondering why that is, or what's going on. People make mistakes, but this is a bit more noticeable than a mistake. Any ideas?
You're right. Ad Hominems are only the top of the iceberg (or tip of the ice berg). Strawman fallacy is a favourite of many here. Or plain lying in attempts to line up empirical evidence to support one's claim.

What else. Equivocation is not big here. Applications of faulty logic, not classifiable as fallacies, abound.

I only come here to pick up chicks.

Switzerland
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Re: Hello.

Post by Switzerland » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:33 pm

-1- wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:48 am
I only come here to pick up chicks.
That's disappointing, and counter-intuitive.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:20 pm
The "free will" thing is one that gets people angry right away. Some folks are very dependent on Determinism to make it possible for them to get by. As Sartre said, there's a sense in which "freedom" is something you are "condemned to be," not something you seek out. To be free is to have to make choices, without having safety rails in place. The ancient Greeks called it "anomie," (from a + nomos, meaning "lawlessness") the condition of being without knowledge of any laws, rules, guidelines or security measures...and it can be quite vertiginous, if not also sometimes terrifying. But Sartre thought we were "condemned" to have to face it, or live inauthentically. He knew that there's much reassurance in the belief that nothing depends on your choices, and that everything is kind of "fated" by material forces. And if you raise a question about that, you can get those who are addicted to that belief hot under the collar in a second.

And also, there are a certain number of people as well who just seem incapable of grasping ideas as such at all. They seem to see every idea as inevitably tied to -- and dependent upon -- the character of a particular person. So to question an idea is, for them, to insult the person; and to insult the person is to have grounds for dismissing the idea, they suppose. They just can't get their heads around the idea that even inveterate liars sometimes tell the truth, and even virtuous, well-meaning and sincere people sometimes make mistakes in their ideas. So really, there's no logical connection between the person and his/her statement of an idea. But that seems to much for them to fathom.
Interesting that you mention it. I personally subscribe to the "free will exists" school of thought. I admit that in my attempt to understand those who claim the opposite, I let a few insults fly. I just can't wrap my mind around how free will can't exist. I agree with you, in that it seems to be a safety net for those who make the claim that it doesn't. Like you said, with free will, you have to accept responsibility for your actions. You might end up realising that your own worst enemy is yourself. I honestly think certain groups get power from being victims (how that works, I don't know). As if they "get off" on it. I was speaking with a friend last night and she mentioned an event at her local university in which there "oppression Olympics". Me? I subscribe to free will because it means I DO have the power to make choices that matter. I mean, even theism makes sense in this regard, as it says that free will is a given. Funny, I often thought scientists were the smart ones.

No need to apologise though. I'd like to think I'm rational, but I am certainly calm. It's fun to share ideas, learn and grow. But like you said, the people with whom to grow are few and far between.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Hello.

Post by Immanuel Can » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:02 am

Switzerland wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:33 pm
Me? I subscribe to free will because it means I DO have the power to make choices that matter.
Yeah, me too.

I would guess there are different motives for wanting to believe in Determinism, ranging from a sincere inability to conceive of the universe beyond material causality, all the way to a desire to avoid moral responsibility and the impulse to be a "victim." Some are at least noble motives, and others are probably less so. Which one you get depends mostly on the individual. But I don't think that any of their arguments hold up, so none of the motives is great.
I mean, even theism makes sense in this regard, as it says that free will is a given. Funny, I often thought scientists were the smart ones.
There is a form of Theism called "HyperCalvinism," which is essentially as deterministic as Causal Determinism. But I think it's hogwash too.
No need to apologise though. I'd like to think I'm rational, but I am certainly calm. It's fun to share ideas, learn and grow. But like you said, the people with whom to grow are few and far between.
True. So it's always nice to find one.

Cheers.

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