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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26016 Posts

Posted - 04/07/2004 :  09:26:08  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
It has been decided that the SFN will be publishing a book. A book which will be written by you, the SFN members. The only guideline so far established is that the title of this book will be "The Skeptic Friends Network's Guide to Arguing with Idiots." Please place your submissions for inclusion in the book in this thread, thanks.

And with that, I'll leave you all to it.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.

Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9680 Posts

Posted - 04/07/2004 :  16:25:22   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message
Tip number one: Don't post or point to links providing reliable information of the subject you are discussing. It will be a waste of time, because they will not bother reading it out of principle, or they will not understand the information or it's implication.

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
Edited by - Dr. Mabuse on 04/07/2004 16:26:10
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 04/07/2004 :  18:55:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
I hate to play the cynic (like hell I do), but the only advice I can give about arguing with idiots is:

Don't. It is a waste of time, breath, and sometimes adrenlin and knuckle-skin. After all if they considered another's argument, they wouldn't be idiots, would they?


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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tw101356
Skeptic Friend

USA
333 Posts

Posted - 04/07/2004 :  19:58:48   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send tw101356 a Private Message
The Short Guide to Arguing With Idiots


Chapter 1


Debate the hand.


Fin

- TW
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 04/07/2004 :  22:56:37   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
The title is "The Skeptic Friends Network's Guide to Arguing with Idiots." but its not actually supposed to be about that right (as people have took the title to be)? Its supposed to be evidence and arguments for the sensible things, things that most skeptics believe in right? Well, I guess here is a list of things that I would include:

Beginning of the universe
Evolution
Old Earth vs. Young Earth (age of the Earth)
Palm reading (and others like it)
Psyics
The people who can cure with their "enegry" (whats the term for this)

At least thats a start.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26016 Posts

Posted - 04/08/2004 :  06:46:23   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
While the title is tongue-in-cheek, and we're hoping the text will be humorous as well, yes, the aim here is to gather a bunch of more-or-less serious content for an actual book. Sort of like filthy did with his thread, "Weird evolution? God went off his meds?," we're looking for short essay-length pieces (or longer) to be compiled into this work. That's not to say that any of the above is unusable.

Okay, the above are, I suppose, guidelines #2, #3 and #4.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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@tomic
Administrator

USA
4607 Posts

Posted - 04/08/2004 :  08:03:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit @tomic's Homepage Send @tomic a Private Message
Not only that but styles in arguing and perhaps a humorous description of strategies or fallacies employed by people you are likely to argue with.

@

Gravity, not just a good idea...it's the law!

Sportsbettingacumen.com: The science of sports betting
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byhisgrace88
Formerly "creation88"

USA
166 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2004 :  23:58:27   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send byhisgrace88 an AOL message Send byhisgrace88 a Private Message
I don't have anything that I wish to submit, yet at least. But I beg you all, just tr to keep his book neutral. When I first signed up for this site, it was because it was advertised as a "neutral site". There is nothing neutral about Skeptic Friends. And I'm not talking about the members,because if everyone except for one or two happens to be of one point of view, theres nothing you can do about that. But I'm speaking of the articles throughout the site. There is no doubt more than a little biast to a leftie point of view.

Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desire, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.-- C.S. Lewis
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13470 Posts

Posted - 04/10/2004 :  00:32:37   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
quote:
creation88:
I'm speaking of the articles throughout the site. There is no doubt more than a little biast to a leftie point of view.


Just what articles do you think are leftist?

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 04/10/2004 :  01:06:34   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
Alcohol or some other relaxent helps. Also, a knowledge of what the idiot might use for a cite. You can't argue effectivly if you are not familiar with both sides. It won't matter, though, idiots being what they are.

Firearms should not be present at the debate, in most cases.


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13470 Posts

Posted - 04/10/2004 :  09:40:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
So, why should we skeptics debate? Is anyones mind going to be changed?

Hard to win a debate with anyone who is not familiar with or unwilling to actually look at the evidence in support of their claim. The new ager relies on anecdotal evidence and has raised the value of that kind of evidence to "a new paradigm." Show them how ear candles cannot work and they say "I only do what works and they work for me." In effect, they have removed science from the equation. So appeals to reason that include demonstrating their claims physical impossibilty are lost on them.

The creationist gets the balk of their "science" from other creationists. And while some may be willing to consider what we might have to say, they only do so long enough to run back to their creationist sources to learn how to argue whatever point is being made. They too disregard what peer reviewed scientists have to say on the subject. Plus, they feel that their faith is being attacked. That comes up over and over again. No matter how debunked their arguments are, they keep coming back with the same tired arguments that are really an attempt to discredit evolution. They have no science of their own to support their claims.

I guess what I am getting at is the best we can do is stick to our guns and hope that someone who is just couruis and listning to or reading the debate will understand the systemic weaknesses of new age or creationist arguments, or whatever sillly or unsupported claim is being thrown at us, and be swayed by our use of critical thinking in debunking those claims. It is rare indeed that a person commited to a claim, no matter how perposturous, is going to let go of an idea that defines who they are.

A successful debate from our point of view should be the one that brings to people, other than the person we are debating with, an understanding of the value of critical thinking. Otherwise, there is no reason to have the debate...

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26016 Posts

Posted - 04/10/2004 :  10:16:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
What I'm curious about, C88, is just where you saw this site "advertised" as politically neutral. Or neutral in general, as skepticism does not generally entail giving all views on an issue equal weight. Instead, they are weighed according to the evidence each view can provide for itself.

If anything, a "leftie" viewpoint should be expected, as "righties" tend to try to impose restrictions on personal freedoms which don't harm others or society as a whole. The evidence by which conservatives attempt to support reductions or eliminations of such freedoms tends to be slim, non-existant, based upon taste, or even fraudulent.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2004 :  11:59:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Ricky

The title is "The Skeptic Friends Network's Guide to Arguing with Idiots." but its not actually supposed to be about that right (as people have took the title to be)? Its supposed to be evidence and arguments for the sensible things, things that most skeptics believe in right? Well, I guess here is a list of things that I would include:

Beginning of the universe
Evolution
Old Earth vs. Young Earth (age of the Earth)
Palm reading (and others like it)
Psyics
The people who can cure with their "enegry" (whats the term for this)

At least thats a start.




People who can "cure" with their "energy" fall into several classifications.

Rashiki (sp)
Tantric
Shakra
Faith Healers
Run of the mill charlatians

Cthulhu/Asmodeus when you're tired of voting for the lesser of two evils

Brother Cutlass of Reasoned Discussion
Edited by - Valiant Dancer on 04/12/2004 12:00:19
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Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2004 :  12:10:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.

What I'm curious about, C88, is just where you saw this site "advertised" as politically neutral. Or neutral in general, as skepticism does not generally entail giving all views on an issue equal weight. Instead, they are weighed according to the evidence each view can provide for itself.

If anything, a "leftie" viewpoint should be expected, as "righties" tend to try to impose restrictions on personal freedoms which don't harm others or society as a whole. The evidence by which conservatives attempt to support reductions or eliminations of such freedoms tends to be slim, non-existant, based upon taste, or even fraudulent.



I can't agree with this. I've seen both leftie and rightie arguments on this board. While some of the articles espouse the untestability of religion (construed as atheist leftie), they don't go so far as to completely deny the existance of a supreme being. They do point out the extremely remote possibility of such a being based on observed phenomenon or lack thereof. They also sometimes focus on the lockstep devotion to dogma as absolute truth present in some religious argumentation.

I also seem to remember both extreme rightie and leftie posters being challenged to support their assertions and we never heard from them again after most expressed that this must be some haven for the opposite viewpoint.

Rightie and leftie tend to be political concepts and politics are an ugly process anymore.

Cthulhu/Asmodeus when you're tired of voting for the lesser of two evils

Brother Cutlass of Reasoned Discussion
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26016 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2004 :  13:23:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
Valiant Dancer wrote:
quote:
I can't agree with this. I've seen both leftie and rightie arguments on this board.
I wasn't clear.

I believe that, on average, many skeptical groups, web sites, and forums will display a political outlook which is somewhere left of center. This isn't to say that there will not be people here who expound upon extremist beliefs (on either end of the scale). However, it seems to me that more of the issues which today's right wing has chosen to defend (that homosexuality is "bad" for society as a whole, for example) will not stand up to harsh scrutiny than the issues that the left has chosen for themselves.

Each "side" certainly "owns" issues which are rooted in fact, and each also has issues which aren't. I just think that more of the left's widely-touted opinions will stand up to critical questioning, and thus I think one should find more "lefties" than "righties" amongst the users of a forum which is dedicated to skepticism.

In the spirit of proper skepticism, I'd be glad to be shown I'm wrong.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2004 :  06:57:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.

Valiant Dancer wrote:
quote:
I can't agree with this. I've seen both leftie and rightie arguments on this board.
I wasn't clear.

I believe that, on average, many skeptical groups, web sites, and forums will display a political outlook which is somewhere left of center. This isn't to say that there will not be people here who expound upon extremist beliefs (on either end of the scale). However, it seems to me that more of the issues which today's right wing has chosen to defend (that homosexuality is "bad" for society as a whole, for example) will not stand up to harsh scrutiny than the issues that the left has chosen for themselves.

Each "side" certainly "owns" issues which are rooted in fact, and each also has issues which aren't. I just think that more of the left's widely-touted opinions will stand up to critical questioning, and thus I think one should find more "lefties" than "righties" amongst the users of a forum which is dedicated to skepticism.

In the spirit of proper skepticism, I'd be glad to be shown I'm wrong.



The definition of what is a leftie and rightie position tends to depend on what part of the political spectrum one is a member of. Since the great majority of regular members here are freethinkers, they tend toward status quo until compelling evidence indicates otherwise. (a conservative position) I don't think we could really make a definative statement about the political standings of the membership without a poll.

I have a few assumptions about some specific members due to posting style and positions held, but many members don't make such indications. (Thats the "problem" with freethinkers)

I'll run through the ones I can think of.

C88 - Probably Republican
Gorgo - N/A (anarchist)
Valiant Dancer - Independant with Libertarian leanings

Everyone else I really can't tell from their posting styles or specific positions expressed on government. I think that any one of the posters would vote for someone based on the platform rather than the political party. Probably tending toward centrist.

Cthulhu/Asmodeus when you're tired of voting for the lesser of two evils

Brother Cutlass of Reasoned Discussion
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