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Do Outlandish posts shut down debate?

25 posts in this topic

Repoman vs Fluffybunny

This is a formal 1 vs 1 debate, full details on how the debate system works can be found in our Debates FAQ. The debate will begin with an introductory opening post from each participant followed by 8 body posts and finally a conclusion.

The computer has randomly chosen Fluffybunny to post first.

Repoman is arguing against Outlandish posts causing debate to shut down

Fluffybunny is arguing in favour of Outlandish posts causing debate to shut down

Once the debate is complete the thread will be open to member comments.

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<font size='5' color='#800000'>Repoman </font><font size='5'>vs</font> <font size='5' color='#800000'>Fluffybunny</font>

This is a formal 1 vs 1 debate, full details on how the debate system works can be found in our Debates FAQ. The debate will begin with an introductory opening post from each participant followed by <font color='#800000'>8</font> body posts and finally a conclusion.

<Br>The computer has randomly chosen <font color='#800000'>Fluffybunny</font> to post first.

<font color='#800000'>Repoman</font> is arguing against Outlandish posts causing debate to shut down

<Br><font color='#800000'>Fluffybunny</font> is arguing in favour of Outlandish posts causing debate to shut down

Once the debate is complete the thread will be open to member comments.

I know from experience that debates get heated; discussions get difficult when they are on topics that are either sensitive, or polarizing(i.e. Abortion, politics...). Sometimes people get pulled into discussions and end up getting angry and saying things that they normally wouldnt say. We all do it from time to time.

Making outlandish posts, accusing people of being terrorist supporters when they are not, making racist statements that can lead to only further polarizing an already heated discussion, and shutting down any hopes of having an open discussion. If you accuse a person of being a terrorist supporter in the midst of a civil discussion, you have just ratcheted up the discussion to a point that no further civil discussion is going to happen.

Let me give everyone an of example of this, and the very reason why this debate has occurred. Repoman has agreed to argue the point that Outlandish posts DO NOT shut down debate, so I will use one of his comments for an example(if we need more I have plenty):

In regards to a serious, level headed comment I recently made regarding the questionable legal status of Guantanamo detainees: Repoman left this comment at the end of his post:

FREE THEM ALL!!!!

DISBAND THE US MILITARY NOW!!!!

Being a person who served several years as a Medic in the Army, this kind of a comment is a slap in the face, I feel no need to respond to a comment like that; it shows that Repoman is swinging to such extremes that conversation is likely going to do no good anyway, so it is pointless to continue trying to talk to him about this topic. That has just shut the conversation down.

I respect Repoman in that I know he served in the military as well. It is pretty clear that his interest in issues are something he gets very passionate about. I do the same on many issue to, so I completely understand, and can appreciate that.

Without the extreme comments, sarcasm and such, we probably could have kept talking until we understood where each other stood on the issue...or at least come closer to understanding each other.

If you need further proof, go look through any of the political threads, ghosts, bigfoot, UFO, or Psychic phenomena threads...they start out OK...get a little heated...words get exchanged and then someone says something so frustrating/rude/extreme as to derail the entire thread and draw it away from its original topic and into the realm of a flamewar. It happens all the time.

So it is pretty clear that extreme and OUTLANDISH comments DO SHUT DOWN DEBATE.

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It is my belief that many of the posts that FB considers "Outlandish" are merely ironic, sarcastic or examples of a logical appeal to ridicule fallacy purposefully used merely to emphasize a point and not to definitively prove or disprove a position. While I agree that the nuances of verbal communication can be lost in an online discussion, that lack of nuance does not make a post "outlandish".

It is also my belief that "Outlandish" is a very subjective term and it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to successfully argue any position whose underlying premise is undefinable in the absolute. Whatever rules are used to absolutely define "outlandish" can be used to label almost any post as "outlandish".

The "debate" in question is the entire thread. If a specific post within the thread is not replied to, does that mean it "shut down" the debate? Or does the debate still exist (ie, has not been "shut down") as long as there are followups to the thread? How long do you wait since the last follow-up to a thread before you declare the thread dead and debate shut down? If an "outlandish" comment is made and replied to, isn't that also continuing the debate?

In order to win a debate on this subject, FB will need to do 3 things:

1) Define "outlandish" in a manner that is definitive enough to argue

2) Define the characteristics of a thread/debate that has been "shut down" in a manner that is definitive enough to argue

3) Provide data that absolutely proves (using the agreed upon definitions above) that the outlandish posts are the cause of the debate shutting down.

I will be arguing against FB's attempt to meet the 3 requirements above.

I believe when this has played out that FB will be unable to prove that outlandish posts shut down debate.

Edited by Repoman

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I will go with Websters definition(there are several, but this is the definition I am going for):

1. Outlandish

Out*land"ish\, a. [AS. ?tlendisc foreign. See Out, Land, and -ish.]

1. Foreign; not native.

Him did outlandish women cause to sin. --Neh. xiii. 26.

Its barley water and its outlandish wines. --G. W. Cable.

2. Hence: Not according with usage; strange; rude; barbarous; uncouth; clownish; as, an outlandish dress, behavior, or speech.

Something outlandish, unearthy, or at variance with ordinary fashion. --Hawthorne. -- Out*land"ish*ly, adv. -- Out*land"ish*ness, n.

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

2. The example I gave in my opening post is a wonderful example of and outlandish statement shutting down a discussion. The discussion can be found Here. Other great examples are when a discussion is going own between two opposing views and one side pulls the mutually assured destruction card when things start going bad; i.e. an anti abortion person refers to someone who is a pro choice as a "baby killer", a creationist chooses to call an evolutionist "A godless heathen bound to burn in hell for their blind beliefs" or A person who considers themselves a "skeptic" who calls a person who believes in ghosts, or bigfoot, (or something paranormal) rude names; kooks, freaks, crazy, nutjobs...so on and so on. Or when the "Nazi" bomb is dropped on one side or the other.

The split second those names are used, the aggression level ratchets up so high, that you can no longer have a discussion and be productive. It simply becomes a fight, and argument. Nothing productive.

On the internet people have become lazy and feel that they can treat others in a way that they would never do so in a face to face conversation. People have the privacy of being behind a keyboard and think that calling someone a name or being rude is simply acceptable because it is so prevalent. The types of discussions that happens here regularly would never be tolerated face to face, but somehow, behind a keyboard people thing that it is ok. It isnt.

3. If you wish to have proof, go through the last two pages of every locked thread in the World Events or the UFO section and you can see for yourself the degradation of a conversation that gets heated up to a point where someone says something outlandish, and then things are out of line. Very rarey do threads get closed because they just run out of steam and get boring...they get closed because they have turned into an non productive flamewar, and there are page after page of closed threads about abortion, or religion, or creationism where someone ran out of intelligent ideas to argue with and decided to default to the equivalent of name calling and throwing a tantrum.

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I will go with Websters definition(there are several, but this is the definition I am going for):

Not according with usage; strange; rude; barbarous; uncouth; clownish;

You should note that the qualifiers (strange, rude, barbarous, uncouth & clownish) are all dependent on a baseline acceptable definition of "normal". Those qualifier words are used in reference to an established norm - the "according to usage" primary definition. You, yourself, have alluded to the frequency with which these "outlandish" posts occur. Thus, using them as examples only serves to show that they are not outlandish.

The split second those names are used, the aggression level ratchets up so high, that you can no longer have a discussion and be productive. It simply becomes a fight, and argument. Nothing productive.
This is just a rewording of your original hypothesis.

On the internet people have become lazy and feel that they can treat others in a way that they would never do so in a face to face conversation. People have the privacy of being behind a keyboard and think that calling someone a name or being rude is simply acceptable because it is so prevalent. The types of discussions that happens here regularly would never be tolerated face to face, but somehow, behind a keyboard people thing that it is ok. It isnt.
While this may be true, it adds nothing to your argument.

If you wish to have proof, go through the last two pages of every locked thread in the World Events or the UFO section and you can see for yourself the degradation of a conversation that gets heated up to a point where someone says something outlandish, and then things are out of line. Very rarey do threads get closed because they just run out of steam and get boring...they get closed because they have turned into an non productive flamewar, and there are page after page of closed threads about abortion, or religion, or creationism where someone ran out of intelligent ideas to argue with and decided to default to the equivalent of name calling and throwing a tantrum.
Are you suggesting that all flamewars consist of nothing but "outlandish" posts? If so, you are merely restating your hypothesis. If not, then you cannot use them as an example.

I suggest that the sheer frequency of posts that could be described as counter-productive to ongoing discussion are not outlandish because the definition you supplied for outlandish requires the behavior or words to be strange/outside the realm of normal usage.

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You should note that the qualifiers (strange, rude, barbarous, uncouth & clownish) are all dependent on a baseline acceptable definition of "normal". Those qualifier words are used in reference to an established norm - the "according to usage" primary definition. You, yourself, have alluded to the frequency with which these "outlandish" posts occur. Thus, using them as examples only serves to show that they are not outlandish.

Your last sentence above makes a huge incorrect assumption(Poor logic); that so many of the outlandish posts occur that they are no longer outlandish. While that is funny to ponder over, it is easy to see that the rate of thread closure is possibly 2% of all of the threads on the forum, out of that 2% I dont think that I would qualify the frequency of the poorly used terms as "Normal". As I said previously, the outlandish claims come up when one side runs out of the ability to think of a better argument and aims prefers to frustrate or anger the opponent. One sides inability to form a cogent argument does not mean the other side should have to tolerate being called names or being treated rudely.

This is just a rewording of your original hypothesis.

It is important that you understand that, so I mentioned the point again.

While this may be true, it adds nothing to your argument.

Actually, no, it does. There is a place for what I am saying, specifically with you. Just as outlandish comments often will escalate an discussion to an argument, and argument to a fight, and a fight to a flame war, and a flame war to a locked thread; the "behind the keyboard bravado" also factors into what a person says during these exchanges. What would be typed in the security and comfort of your home is not the same thing that will be said in a face to face confrontation, and ultimately a face to face discussion would be much different that what we witness online, so while it may not be the crux of the matter by any means; it is certainly a consideration for day to day discussions.

Are you suggesting that all flamewars consist of nothing but "outlandish" posts? If so, you are merely restating your hypothesis. If not, then you cannot use them as an example.

Did I ever say ALL? I dont think I did...I see shades of grey. Several reasons why threads close. Even threads that do not get locked have discussion get shut down, sometimes people who argue and get flamewars going end up leaving. You have taken part in many threads...I have had to close down many a thread, so I know what is there, you have been in a couple of threads that have been closed I think, but in all reality the best way to see what I am talking about is to go to your favorite section of the forum, and start looking at longer locked threads. Just the last couple of pages to see the exchanges as things wind down. I considered cutting and pasting examples here , but that would take a great deal of space, and it doesnt seem fair to drag other people into this topic. I will use your posts, your words to show how outlandish comments shut down communication.

In regards to Obama being elected you state:

What amazes me is that there are still people that have a problem with admitting that Obama got elected because he was black. I would have thought that this fact would bring smirks of glee to the faces of all the people that like to denigrate the USA. I assumed you guys would be using this obvious fact to begin slinging slogans around like "YEAH! YOU CAN'T BUST ON US NO MO' 'FINNA WE BE 'LECTIN' YOU OUT OF OFFICE AND Stuff<=== LOL! "STUFF" it is hilarious that there actually exist people that don't yet understand that even kids understand and use words like "****". - oooooops - censored. D'OH! Link

And close your yap about my being racist (please sir?). Just because I'm not a drooling PC Obama sack-sniffer doesn't make me racist.Link

This post was directed at the member Rastaman:

HEY MON - DAIN'T COOL BRA. DON BE DEESGUSTED MON. LET AUNTIE POULETTE MAKE YA SUM STEW.

Sorry you are disgusted that at least person isn't too much of a puddy to take a stand against your Hamas homies. I understand a lot of you guys hate israel. DEY DA BIG EEVUL MON!Link

Now this is just three of your posts, and not even the most outlandish by any means, and not the most outlandish in the forum by any stretch of the imagination, but rather than draw other members in as example(I have done it myself so I had a few of my own I could have chosen), I chose to use some of your posts where the comments were so offensive that they did shut down communication with the people you had been discussing matters with. Disturbingly I was able to grab those examples within the first few pages of your posts, and there were many more that I could have added, but these three were the easiest to see the "outlandishness" of them. When the equivalent of a blackface routine is performed, it pretty much shuts down discussion. People give up, people walk away, people fight, whatever. The discussion doesn't continue in the same manner after ridiculous statements that could be taken as offensive.

I suggest that the sheer frequency of posts that could be described as counter-productive to ongoing discussion are not outlandish because the definition you supplied for outlandish requires the behavior or words to be strange/outside the realm of normal usage.

I disagree. Not even close, if you would look back at my definition of the word: Not according with usage; strange; rude; barbarous; uncouth. Not every word is strange, rude, barbarous, or uncouth...We go back to the Outlandish types of things that have a tendency to start flame wars and fights and such.

Do you say barbarous things to your grandmother at christmas dinner? Would it be acceptable at your place to call your grandmother an "Obama sack sniffer" Do you say them to her at any other time? Do you say rude and uncouth things to your minister after service? To your neices and nephews?no. It is not acceptable. It would not go over well there, and it does not go over well here. it shuts down the discussion.

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they did shut down communication with the people you had been discussing matters with

The discussion doesn't continue in the same manner after ridiculous statements

I see your original position has evolved.

You have now changed the premise from:

"OUTLANDISH WORDS WILL SHUT DOWN THREADS" (you even mentioned locked threads as a supporting fact to your original claim)

to:

"A RIDICULOUS STATEMENT MIGHT CAUSE THE DISCUSSION TO TAKE A DIRECTION THAT IS NOT EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE DIRECTION IT WOULD HAVE TAKEN HAD THE RIDICULOUS WORDS NOT BEEN POSTED"

I applaud you for being able to provide examples of my words that you have deemed outlandish. But just dredging up examples of what you consider outlandish does nothing to prove that my posting those things caused the thread to die.

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I applaud you for being able to provide examples of my words that you have deemed outlandish. But just dredging up examples of what you consider outlandish does nothing to prove that my posting those things caused the thread to die.

Read my opening post, and the title of this debate. You choose the topic title of the debate, I did not, I simply am playing by the rules you set. I never said anything about threads having to be locked, nor did you; I was going by the topic title. For the shutting down of debate to happen does not mean that the thread has to be locked.

I don't know if you followed the links provided to the actual threads or not to see what happened in those threads as a result of your comments. It doesn't make any sense to cut and past a thread that is several pages long into my post. So an example of an outlandish comment(by you) with a link to that thread is the simplest means to convey the message.

If you look at the topic of the title of this debate "Do Outlandish posts shut down debate?", and consider the example of your comment towards Rastaman:

HEY MON - DAIN'T COOL BRA. DON BE DEESGUSTED MON. LET AUNTIE POULETTE MAKE YA SUM STEW.

Sorry you are disgusted that at least person isn't too much of a puddy to take a stand against your Hamas homies. I understand a lot of you guys hate israel. DEY DA BIG EEVUL MON!

You can see in that thread that the discussion was going along rather well and after the point you added the above comment the debate was full of a lot of arguing and bickering and claims a racism and such; that is a pretty good example of shutting down a debate. That is a perfect example. It shut down the debate you were having and turned it into a shouting match with claims of racism and such.

I see your original position has evolved.

You have now changed the premise from:

"OUTLANDISH WORDS WILL SHUT DOWN THREADS" (you even mentioned locked threads as a supporting fact to your original claim)

to:

"A RIDICULOUS STATEMENT MIGHT CAUSE THE DISCUSSION TO TAKE A DIRECTION THAT IS NOT EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE DIRECTION IT WOULD HAVE TAKEN HAD THE RIDICULOUS WORDS NOT BEEN POSTED"

Again, please read the topic of the debate:

Do Outlandish posts shut down debate?

I am sorry if you dont like the words I use when I post. Unfortunately for you they are all within the guidelines that you set. I brought up the locked threads for the simple fact that they are often a good example and easy way to locate outlandish comments that lead to debates shutting down. At one point I had assumed that you would go search for examples on your own...

I didnt feel it would be appropriate to bring other peoples posts into this thread, and at any rate you have provided enough examples where the debate was shut down when you said something outlandish.

Meanwhile all this time that you have been attempting to pick apart my posts, (The ones that have been sticking within the guidelines and definitions that you set forth in this debate) you haven't provided any supporting evidence of your own and have ignored the evidence I have provided that shows how your own words have shut down discussions that you have been involved in. You seem to avoid defending your own actions that are examples of shutting down discussion or the idea that outlandish posts do just that, and instead try to turn everything back on me.

There really isnt much to say. The premise is so simple that most people would realize right off the bat that saying really outlandish things is going to shut down debate. We learn it when we are kids. We dont say mean things like call people "Sack Sniffer" simply for supporting someone or doing the equivalent of a virtual black face act to a group of people of people specially when we know the audience has a member named "Rastaman" who odds on would likely take offense to such an act. maybe in your small crowd of offline friends it is acceptable to do such things, but in a forum consisting of members from all over the world, things like that simply do not fly. It is outlandish, and it shuts down debate.

Perhaps it is a good time for you to admit that yes, indeed when outlandish things are said that it does shut down debate.

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see what happened in those threads as a result of your comments.
You are using your hypothesis as a supporting argument. You cannot do that. You are trying to prove that my allegedly outlandish posts were the cause of the discussion shutting down.

You can see in that thread that the discussion was going along rather well and after the point you added the above comment the debate was full of a lot of arguing and bickering and claims a racism and such; that is a pretty good example of shutting down a debate. That is a perfect example. It shut down the debate you were having and turned it into a shouting match with claims of racism and such.
An equally valid theory would be that once debate shuts down on a topic, it opens itself up to allegedly outlandish posts.

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You are using your hypothesis as a supporting argument. You cannot do that. You are trying to prove that my allegedly outlandish posts were the cause of the discussion shutting down.

Why cant I do that? Where was that stated? There are no rules against it. I dont understand how using a perfect example of your creation that showed an instant cause-effect of your outlandish comment would be out of line...and I did prove that your outlandish post were the cause of the discussion shutting down so you dont really seem to have an argument against that fact.

So far the entire debate you have brought no defense to your side of the debate you challenged me to and simply attempted to pull apart my arguments, (which you have failed at). I have proven my point.

The concept is so simple that I dont even need to go on post after post having to prove my point; 4 posts is about 3 posts too many to get the point across that we all learned when we were kids; be kind to each other when we are having a conversation...dont be mean to each other. It is pretty simple.

An equally valid theory would be that once debate shuts down on a topic, it opens itself up to allegedly outlandish posts.

I dont understand what that means, I read it a few times and cannot make sense of it. I dont see how it would ever be appropriate to start making outlandish comments like the examples above. Sorry.

It is pretty clear that I have made my point, and supported it with proof; all supplied by you.

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I dont understand what that means, I read it a few times and cannot make sense of it. I dont see how it would ever be appropriate to start making outlandish comments like the examples above. Sorry.
You have offered the theory that outlandish comments shut down debate and attempted to prove this by showing how some threads contain outlandish posts as the last posts in the thread.

I offered a competing theory - that outlandish posts do not appear until after debate has already shut down.

Both theories would look exactly the same - a thread filled with non-outlandish posts terminated with outlandish posts.

Did the outlandish posts kill the thread or did outlandish posts appear in a thread that was already dead?

To prove your case you would need to find posters willing to admit that they fully intended to continue posting in the thread until they saw a post which you consider "outlandish" and that the mere viewing of said post was enough to dissuade them from further participation in the thread.

I could then offer as rebuttal threads that you have used as examples of outlandish posts that received replies even after the outlandish post was made - clearly showing that the outlandish post did not shut down the discussion.

It is pretty clear that I have made my point, and supported it with proof; all supplied by you.
All you have done, fluffy, is say that my outlandish posts shut down debate and then showed example after example of posts which you consider outlandish.

You have not even attempted to prove that my posts were the cause of any discussion to shut down. In one example you showed how my post was the last post in a discussion. But just being the last post in a discussion does not mean the post caused the discussion to end.

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You have offered the theory that outlandish comments shut down debate and attempted to prove this by showing how some threads contain outlandish posts as the last posts in the thread.

I offered a competing theory - that outlandish posts do not appear until after debate has already shut down.

Both theories would look exactly the same - a thread filled with non-outlandish posts terminated with outlandish posts.

Did the outlandish posts kill the thread or did outlandish posts appear in a thread that was already dead?

To prove your case you would need to find posters willing to admit that they fully intended to continue posting in the thread until they saw a post which you consider "outlandish" and that the mere viewing of said post was enough to dissuade them from further participation in the thread.

I could then offer as rebuttal threads that you have used as examples of outlandish posts that received replies even after the outlandish post was made - clearly showing that the outlandish post did not shut down the discussion.

All you have done, fluffy, is say that my outlandish posts shut down debate and then showed example after example of posts which you consider outlandish.

You have not even attempted to prove that my posts were the cause of any discussion to shut down. In one example you showed how my post was the last post in a discussion. But just being the last post in a discussion does not mean the post caused the discussion to end.

The bottom line is that it isnt acceptable to create the equivelant of a blackface performance to a guy named "Rastaman" At Any Time. Not many people are going to consider something that was taken off of tv 40 years ago for its racist overtones like that acceptable. It isnt just me.

Whether a discussion is going great, or going slow, that doesnt give anyone the right to come into the middle of the room and make comments like that which started a fight with calls of racism and such. You are trying to act as if it is ok sometimes and not others. That isnt the case.

*You bring up my choice of the terms and whether they are outlandish or not. It is subjective to a degree, but it brings up a point that I think I should highlight. It is kind of awkward for the fact that I contribute and debate and such here as well and try to do the best I can to separate the working at the forum part of me from the having fun part of me.

When you are in your home with your friends you can act in such a matter as you see fit. When you join(and agree to forum rules) on a privately owned forum that welcomes people of all races, colors, nationalities, and so on, and that forum strictly prohibits racist comments, hatred, profanity and such...well those are the rules that you have agreed to play by. So when you say that I picked out the phrases, and it was just by my judgement that it is considered outlandish.

Well Yes, I hate to bring it to the table but look to the left, just below my nickname and you will see a rectangle that says "Moderator". Not "Perfect Moderator", Not "Outstanding Super Duper Moderator", but just "Moderator". It means that I have been around long enough and am trusted enough to be able to make decisions in place of the forum Administrator when he isnt around. So in this particular case, I do kinda get to make those calls. Have I made mistakes in the past? yep, I am not perfect. Is it a safe bet that the blackface comment was an outlandish comment? You betcha. That I would put my paycheck on any day. It is outlandish here,with the FCC, and pretty much anywhere that has ever had strife between blacks and whites.

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The bottom line is that it isnt acceptable to create the equivelant of a blackface performance to a guy named "Rastaman" At Any Time. Not many people are going to consider something that was taken off of tv 40 years ago for its racist overtones like that acceptable. It isnt just me.
"Jamaican", as an accent, isn't racist. It is linguistic. I still don't know Rastaman's race. I don't want to know. It doesn't matter to me. If a British person (that could be black, white or anything else) posted in a way meant to emphasize the difference between the Queen's english and the US vernacular when read, I wouldn't cry "RACISM!!!. It is an outlandish thing to equate the phonetic representation of an accent with racism.

Well Yes, I hate to bring it to the table but look to the left, just below my nickname and you will see a rectangle that says "Moderator". Not "Perfect Moderator"
I am sure that if you felt I was being hateful just by spelling words in a way that conveyed their cultural pronunciation you would have exercised your "not perfect moderator" powers.

To get back to the subject of this debate - I do not feel that you have proven that I shut down debate by using spellings of words that you consider outlandish. Every thread that you used as an example continued to have a vibrant discussion even after my example posts were made. Furthermore, you failed to address the debate subject completely in your most recent post here.

Thus I feel that I have shown that outlandish posts do not shut down debate.

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"Jamaican", as an accent, isn't racist. It is linguistic. I still don't know Rastaman's race. I don't want to know. It doesn't matter to me. If a British person (that could be black, white or anything else) posted in a way meant to emphasize the difference between the Queen's english and the US vernacular when read, I wouldn't cry "RACISM!!!. It is an outlandish thing to equate the phonetic representation of an accent with racism.

I am sure that if you felt I was being hateful just by spelling words in a way that conveyed their cultural pronunciation you would have exercised your "not perfect moderator" powers.

To get back to the subject of this debate - I do not feel that you have proven that I shut down debate by using spellings of words that you consider outlandish. Every thread that you used as an example continued to have a vibrant discussion even after my example posts were made. Furthermore, you failed to address the debate subject completely in your most recent post here.

Thus I feel that I have shown that outlandish posts do not shut down debate.

Had you been friends with Rastaman and it had been acceptable between the two of you to make such comments to each other in a friendly manner offline then that would be one thing, but you did something that was outlandish. No two ways about it. I already covered that in depth. I hope this ends soon for the fact I am running out of ways to say something obvious again and again.

You can try any way you want but the bottom line is that what you did was outlandish and anyone who sees the discussion can see the impact your comment had on the debate. Just like any of the other outlandish comments that were pointed out that shut down debate; that is proof of the point. You can try to just say it isnt so, but that doesnt make the proof go away. Sorry. Just doesnt work that way. Just as I couldnt walk into your home and act any way I pleased if it were out of line with your standards and manners, you cannot go into other peoples virtual homes and act in an outlandish way. When in Rome?

My most recent post addressed comments in your previous posts. That is how debates generally go, and I am not sure why you are bothering to make continual comments about posting style rather than supporting your side of the argument.

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I am not sure why you are bothering to make continual comments about posting style rather than supporting your side of the argument.
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.

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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.

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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.

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.

That isn't what this debate is about.

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?

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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.

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

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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

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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.

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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!

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

Debate is now open to member comments.

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Well done Repo on your conclusion post

Thanks

B???

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Posted (edited)

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

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