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Do Outlandish posts shut down debate?


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#16    Fluffybunny

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 03:59 PM

Repoman on Feb 3 2009, 08:53 AM, said:

Discussion continued in the example threads you posted. Thus, debate was not "shut down". That is what this thread is about. Since discussion continued in threads you used as examples of outlandishness, it is obvious that the discussion did not "shut down".

That is my argument.

No, not really. You made outlandish statements that offended someone that shut down the debate. At a later point other people went off on a different discussion, but the discussion you were having had been shut down, trust me.

As I said earlier a thread does not have to be officially locked for a discussion to have been shut down. I know to admit that would be to admit defeat, but really I think it would be important to take a good look at that thread or some of the others and realize the effect outlandish comments have.

I am amazed that you don't like to admit that you have offended people, or just assume that it is acceptable to do offend others as you wish without consequence. What may be acceptable in your part of the world, in your circle, doesn't apply in the entire world. This forum is a little chunk of the world and that's why the guidelines that are in place to try to avoid outlandish comments like the blackface example above that has nothing but a negative impact and shuts down discussion and offends people.

We are not setting the bar at Victorian prose, simply looking for a little civility. Everyone makes mistakes, gets upset, says things they regret...it happens.  Very few people who have been here for any length of time haven't. The idea is to have a discussion between folks from all over the world, all walks of life, all backgrounds, belief systems, interests and concerns and to keep that discussion just that; a discussion. Not a fight. Not a flamewar, not racist rants. There are some forums that love that stuff, this isnt one of them.

Too many people on both sides of the spectrum have fallen into this mentality that a full one half of the country are the enemy for having different beliefs...in a country based on freedom of expression. It is this infighting that allows the focus to be taken away from "we the people" being able to watch, and have control over government corruption and ineptitude that is running rampant in our leadership.

People should be working towards fixing problems, not creating them.

#17    Repoman

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 07:30 PM

Fluffybunny on Feb 3 2009, 10:59 AM, said:

the discussion you were having had been shut down, trust me.
This seems to be your entire logical argument in this "debate". I don't think that is enough.


Fluffybunny on Feb 3 2009, 10:59 AM, said:

I am amazed that you don't like to admit that you have offended people,

Fluffybunny on Feb 3 2009, 10:59 AM, said:

or just assume that it is acceptable to do offend others as you wish without consequence.

That isn't what this debate is about.


Fluffybunny on Feb 3 2009, 10:59 AM, said:

We are not setting the bar at Victorian prose, simply looking for a little civility. Everyone makes mistakes, gets upset, says things they regret...it happens.  Very few people who have been here for any length of time haven't. The idea is to have a discussion between folks from all over the world, all walks of life, all backgrounds, belief systems, interests and concerns and to keep that discussion just that; a discussion. Not a fight. Not a flamewar, not racist rants. There are some forums that love that stuff, this isnt one of them.
I'm not sure this post added anything to your logical argument.


I do not think you have succeeded in clearly defining what non-subjective traits constitute an "outlandish" post. You have offered vague examples but those do not rise to the level of a standard definition which could be used to identify a post as outlandish. What unit of measure do you use? Where do you draw the line between nearly outlandish and mildly outlandish? Without a clear-cut definition, you cannot make a case.

Similarly, how do you define whether discussion has been shut down? What set of rules governs whether or not discussion has "shut down"? Without a set of metrics that can be applied to various posts, a conclusion about whether or not a discussion has shut down cannot be made.

Finally, how do you know whether it was the outlandish post (assuming a standard definition exists for such a thing) was responsible for shutting down a discussion (assuming a standard definition exists for a shut down discussion)? You have alluded to replies to allegedly outlandish posts being written differently than they would have had the "outlandish" post not been made. How do you know this?



#18    Fluffybunny

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 03:02 PM

Repoman on Feb 3 2009, 01:30 PM, said:

Similarly, how do you define whether discussion has been shut down?
What set of rules governs whether or not discussion has "shut down"? Without a set of metrics that can be applied to various posts, a conclusion about whether or not a discussion has shut down cannot be made

Finally, how do you know whether it was the outlandish post (assuming a standard definition exists for such a thing) was responsible for shutting down a discussion (assuming a standard definition exists for a shut down discussion)? You have alluded to replies to allegedly outlandish posts being written differently than they would have had the "outlandish" post not been made. How do you know this?

You continually want to play with the idea of whether what you said was outlandish or not. I gave you the definition. You fit the definition. You dont seem to like that idea, but that is the fact of the matter. You have spent post after post trying to wiggle out of something that was established early on. What you said was outlandish in those cases, and many others that I saw, but didnt bother to post as those that I did pose were sufficient to make my point.

Your comment was responsible for shutting down a thread because the discussion that had been going on stopped when you said it. Then claims of racism started, then arguments started. Then those who were having the discussion went away. I dont think Webster has a definition for "Shutting down debate", but I would be willing to be that what happened there would be a pretty great example.

And finally, had you given Rastaman a sincere respectful response, rather than the blackface impression you opted for, that particular thread would not have turned to accusations of racism and fighting. I am not sure if you are simply looking for filler questions to beef up your response, or if your last paragraph above is an honest query...If you cannot see the connection between the cause and effect of being rude and offensive to people by opting for an outlandish blackface response to people, then I guess I dont know what to tell you, the issue is far more fundamental than simple semantics and metrics.

Too many people on both sides of the spectrum have fallen into this mentality that a full one half of the country are the enemy for having different beliefs...in a country based on freedom of expression. It is this infighting that allows the focus to be taken away from "we the people" being able to watch, and have control over government corruption and ineptitude that is running rampant in our leadership.

People should be working towards fixing problems, not creating them.

#19    Repoman

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 02:59 PM

Fluffybunny on Feb 4 2009, 10:02 AM, said:

the issue is far more fundamental than simple semantics and metrics.
But only semantics and metrics can be used in a logical debate.




#20    Fluffybunny

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 12:05 AM

Repoman on Feb 5 2009, 08:59 AM, said:

But only semantics and metrics can be used in a logical debate.

Is it logical to do a blackface impression in the midst of an open forum that promotes discussion and condemns racism and discrimination?

No. No it isnt very logical. You cant quantify outlandishness. It doesn't mean that it isn't there, any less real, or any less of a problem; it just means you cant look at it and assign it a number. That being the case, and going over my posts again, I have established that the examples (provided by you) fit the definition of being "outlandish", and did indeed shut down the debate.





Edited to add: And in reading through the debate rules, we were to have 8 posts and a conclusion... So, I think I am done. Thank you Repoman. Take care. Been fun.

Edited by Fluffybunny, 06 February 2009 - 12:14 AM.

Too many people on both sides of the spectrum have fallen into this mentality that a full one half of the country are the enemy for having different beliefs...in a country based on freedom of expression. It is this infighting that allows the focus to be taken away from "we the people" being able to watch, and have control over government corruption and ineptitude that is running rampant in our leadership.

People should be working towards fixing problems, not creating them.

#21    Repoman

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 03:41 AM

In conclusion, I wish to reiterate that FluffyBunny has done nothing more than display a few examples of posts he felt shut down discussion by being outlandish. By using self-defined examples of his premise to support his premise, he has failed to logically prove his thesis.

He, in no way, conclusively proved that any of the posts mentioned were responsible for debate being shut down (assuming such a definition even exists).

He hasn't provided testimony from users that admitted that the reason they stopped participating was because of outlandish posts.
He hasn't provided a definition of "outlandish" that could be usable in determining the status of posts.
He hasn't provided a definition of "shut down" that could be usable in determining the status of threads/discussions.
He hasn't provided data that shows trends in posting that would lend credence to his claim that certain posts inhibit discussion.

The sole realm of our debate is the discussion thread.
Discussion threads are nothing more and nothing less than a collection of individual posts submitted by authors, placed beneath an existing topic.

To state that discussion has been shut down because of ANY sort of a post implies that the person making such a claim has access to a resource that allows him to compare the discussion that might have existed (had the "outlandish" post not been made) with the discussion that actually exists (with the "outlandish" post having been made).

On the other hand, I have pointed out that replies continued to be made in threads that he had already labeled as containing "outlandish" posts. If that isn't proof that outlandish posts do not shut down debate then I do not know what is.


#22    Repoman

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 01:33 AM

Fluffybunny on Feb 5 2009, 07:05 PM, said:

Edited to add: And in reading through the debate rules, we were to have 8 posts and a conclusion... So, I think I am done. Thank you Repoman. Take care. Been fun.
Ditto!




#23    Saru

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 05:05 PM

This debate is now complete, thank you both for taking part.

Debate is now open to member comments.


#24    behaviour???

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 05:15 PM

Well done Repo on your conclusion post
Thanks
B???

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#25    CausticGnostic

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 08:15 AM

UM's posting rules, which are intended to foster "civil discussions" with mutual respect and tolerance for all possible beliefs and ideas, are based on the old communication theory that more discussion will always settle an issue, or solve a problem, and promote understanding, if not consensus.

Unfortunately, that communication theory is fallacious.  There is no issue or problem, historical, contemporary, actual or theoretical, which has not already been irremedially polarized.  Whether this is due to an inherent "either/or" approach of the mind itself, to the politicization of all topics in higher education under the rubric of political correctness, or to the reductive "sound-byte" tactics of our mass-media news programs, the result is that discussion as an intellectual or dialectical process has become morobund.  There are only two kinds of people discussing a topic: Yea-sayers and Nay-sayers.  The mugmumps who can't decide and the people who don't care remain silent.  

Relativism insists that every person's opinion, no matter how "outlandish" or unjustified, is just as valid as anybody else's.  Consequently, there's no longer any impetus to provide evidence for one's opinion.  Rational argument has been replaced by emotional persuasion as the preeminent form of public discourse.  Rhetoric has ousted demonstration from the public forum, and now reigns supreme. In addition, liberalism demands that every belief (no matter how ridiculous) be given the same level of respect as every other--except, of course, those beliefs that directly challenge the supposedly self-evident infalliblity of liberal tolerance.        

Given the fact that argument is pointless (since nobody needs a reason to believe anything anymore), imposing rules of discussion "for civility's sake" is merely a form of moral censorship, but one with an intellectual result, as well.   It brings to light the "problem of intolerance" that political correctness can never escape.  Essentially, the posting rules permit you to say anything you want, except something that people might object to on moral grounds.  People can say they like or agree with a belief, or that they dislike and disagree with a belief, but they can't express contempt for beliefs they genuinely believe are contemptible, or ridicule people who hold beliefs that are geniunely believed to be ridiculous.  This permits contemptible and ridiculous beliefs to thrive.  So, all beliefs are equal--except those that hurt people's oh-so-tender feelings; and all rhetorical tactics are permitted--except the negative ones: sarcasm, vituperation, profanity, and insult.  You know, all the really effective forms of ad hominem.

If a post isn't going to provide information (although information is now extraneous except as entertainment, since people have already made up their minds), I'd rather a post be outlandish--and as flamboyantly outlandish as possible.  After all, reasoning is dead, and all we have left is rhetoric.  Are we now to neuter our rhetoric, too?  Then what would be the point of talking about anything?  We might as well just glare at one another sullenly and keep one hand near our weapons.


Edited by CausticGnostic, 11 June 2009 - 08:26 AM.





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