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Thread: The art of debate...

  1. #41
    Veteran Member MaryAnne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jeffrey View Post
    And yet Dr. Knuckles raises a valid point about "independent media" being niche-marketed, such that it is going to pander to its niche rather that present a balanced approach.
    Quote Originally Posted by chaos View Post
    I consider SNL to be a niche market yet they come close to how America views politics. I don't watch SNL but I occasionally see their parody of politicians but there is a line they can not cross.
    Satire usually hits the facts. Of course I am a moderate Democrat, but none can match Jon Stewart. Stephen Colbert comes close, but they are a team.
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  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaos View Post
    I'm going on 40 years of memory but Plato did make an attempt to legitimize Socrates as a real person but Socrates would never apologize or commit suicide.
    Not sure what this means. It wasn't suicide--it was an execution. There's nothing in any of the dialogues to suggest that Socrates would not complete an action that the state compelled him to make. And it's wrong to say he "apologized." "The Apology" is translated from the Greek "apologia" which means to explain or justify something, not admit to wrongdoing. The term "apology" was used frequently, even into the 19th century, to mean "argument in favor of..."
    It was Plato who was unable to live with the fact that Greece rejected his call for a monotheist state god. Plato was a lot like Trump when it comes to being loved by the people.
    Plato wasn't a politician and never got involved in electoral politics. In fact, Socrates was opposed to democracy as a concept--he believed in rule by experts. Plato fled Athens for 14 years after Socrates's death. There's also nothing in Socrates's portion of the dialogues that would suggest he actually wanted to "preach false gods" as he was accused of. What was the name of this one god you say Socrates was preaching? I've never seen it.

    In short, I'm curious where you get your information as it doesn't align with what I've learned. I studied Plato in grad school because of his association with rhetoric. Is it possible that your 40 years of memory is imperfect? Let's all live up to the the dictum that Socrates called his only wisdom: Let's recognize when we don't know something.
    Last edited by Rasselas; 8th September 2017 at 07:29 AM.
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  3. #43
    Established Member NeoVsMatrix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BitterPill View Post
    Let's use your example to put Socratic debate to work: Let us say for the sake of argument that you claim not all men are mortal, but who are these immortal men? Certainly not Socrates since he died by hemlock. And if Socrates were a vampire, forgiving that such a thing could be true, wouldn't it take a wooden stake to kill him?
    Valar morghulis ... hello ?

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmanmcfly View Post
    When did we give up on logic and reason as the foundation of debate?

    Going from presenting blogs as undeniable fact and attacking when a contrary opinion is presented.

    The haste with which the majority of debate devolves into ad hominem or other fallacious debate techniques...

    Have we forgotten that in debate the first person who resorts to attacking the person has essentially given up and is accepting defeat?
    My own debate technique tends to focus on facts and figures that can be found in official or at least credible sources. For example, rather than waging a war of vague rhetoric about how much better or worse things got on Obama's watch, I'd want to quote what the actual changes were to major measurable indicators of social and economic well-being (murder rates, median real incomes, etc.) My thought is that we'll never get anywhere with a battle of emotional assertions, but maybe we can get somewhere when we're dealing with hard numbers.

    The problem with my approach, though, is it simply doesn't work. The vast majority of people only care about numbers if they happen to line up with their emotional convictions. A person who is emotionally convinced that the nation went to hell in a hand-basket on Obama's watch isn't going to care that incomes rose, crime fell, unemployment rates plummeted, stock prices soared, drop out rates fell, GDP rose, teen pregnancy fell, etc. The person will either dismiss the numbers as fabricated, or ignore them while seeking out some counter-trend, however obscure (e.g., a decline in the number of businesses less than a year old).

    The scientific research confirms that my approach just doesn't line up well with how most people's minds actually work. Most people reach a snap emotional judgment, and then bend their intellects to the task of finding material that supports that judgment, and explaining away material that contradicts it. They're not interested in learning what the truth is. They're interested in convincing themselves and others that whatever they happen to believe is right.

    Still, hope springs eternal and I stick to the numbers-based debating approach, no matter how many times it fails.
    Last edited by Arkady; 8th September 2017 at 09:27 AM.
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  5. #45
    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    And it's wrong to say he "apologized." "The Apology" is translated from the Greek "apologia" which means to explain or justify something, not admit to wrongdoing. The term "apology" was used frequently, even into the 19th century, to mean "argument in favor of..."
    Indeed, I only regret you beat me to this post. In fact, the term "apologetics" is still in use, though obviously in a more formal context.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    Not sure what this means. It wasn't suicide--it was an execution. There's nothing in any of the dialogues to suggest that Socrates would not complete an action that the state compelled him to make. And it's wrong to say he "apologized." "The Apology" is translated from the Greek "apologia" which means to explain or justify something, not admit to wrongdoing. The term "apology" was used frequently, even into the 19th century, to mean "argument in favor of..." Plato wasn't a politician and never got involved in electoral politics. In fact, Socrates was opposed to democracy as a concept--he believed in rule by experts. Plato fled Athens for 14 years after Socrates's death. There's also nothing in Socrates's portion of the dialogues that would suggest he actually wanted to "preach false gods" as he was accused of. What was the name of this one god you say Socrates was preaching? I've never seen it.

    In short, I'm curious where you get your information as it doesn't align with what I've learned. I studied Plato in grad school because of his association with rhetoric. Is it possible that your 40 years of memory is imperfect? Let's all live up to the the dictum that Socrates called his only wisdom: Let's recognize when we don't know something.
    I read all the dialogues in college, and my take on it is the same as yours.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arkady View Post
    I read all the dialogues in college, and my take on it is the same as yours.
    The other poster's take is curious. It's hard to call Socrates's apologia and apology when he tells his accusers that not only shouldn't they punish him, they should pay him a stipend from public funds. And in the Crito he makes a careful explanation of why he will not escape into exile to avoid his punishment, as Crito suggests he should.

    And good for you. I know the Phaedrus, the Apology, and Crito fairly well, but I don't know the others.

  8. #48
    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    I have not read them all ... just Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Symposium, Republic, Euthyphro & Gorgias. I do not remember much of any of them, but I still have the first five.

    In fact, I have a book containing the first four and selections from Republic that I have had since something around the 4th grade ... early to start reading that stuff, especially given that my 4th grade teacher suggested Shakespeare would be too hard for me to read. (Started those in h.s.) Never tell a kid something is too hard for him.
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  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jeffrey View Post
    I have not read them all ... just Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Symposium, Republic, Euthyphro & Gorgias. I do not remember much of any of them, but I still have the first five.

    In fact, I have a book containing the first four and selections from Republic that I have had since something around the 4th grade ... early to start reading that stuff, especially given that my 4th grade teacher suggested Shakespeare would be too hard for me to read. (Started those in h.s.) Never tell a kid something is too hard for him.
    Now that I think of it, I've read at least portions of the Republic and Gorgias as well. Don't ask me about Phaedo or Symposium though.

  10. #50
    Junior Member Claudius the God's Avatar
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    The problem is that now one side of the argument has created their own set of facts. There is no possibility of real debate when one side refuses to accept facts as facts without creating their own reality. There is no basis for conversation when you cannot accept factual information as the foundation for the discussion. This is the genius or perfidy of the right wing today, it tosses aside accepted factual information and sources in favor of their own sources. Right wing think tanks were tasked with creating an alternate body of facts long ago, their aim was to use their own fabricated knowledge base to combat otherwise accepted sources and findings. If you do not agree with the facts presented, create your own facts and then pretend they are acceptable as alternatives. This is how propaganda becomes accepted by the masses as we can see with global warming today among other issues. The gun debate is in the same boat. Health care is victim to this madness as well. We are now irrational creatures appearing as rational beings within a fantasy, what makes sense to the Mad Hatter does not make sense to Alice. Alice doesn't live here anymore.
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