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Thread: Have You Ever Stopped and Thought It All the Way Through?

  1. #1
    Flibbertigibbet Wonderer's Avatar
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    Have You Ever Stopped and Thought It All the Way Through?

    Sorry - for the semi-vague thread title, but I'm just interested in throwing this out for discussion. Seems as though a significant portion of the energy expended on this board (and many like it) is directed toward discrediting "the other guy." Whether it's questioning the source(s) linked, or playing the "whatabout" game, or pointing out the perceived hypocrisy of those on "the other side." So...just wondering...what, really, is the end game?

    If the "other side" is discredited, does that mean we don't have to consider what they're saying? I do realize some comments/positions are so extreme as to perhaps not warrant a substantive response. But I do sometimes get to wondering what we (most of us) are actually doing? Hoping to persuade? Hoping to dissuade? Seeking internet points?

  2. #2
    Veteran Member bajisima's Avatar
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    The source thing is a pet peeve of mine. Each side has their own preferences and I always feel like if someone doesnt like the source, then Google the subject and find one you like on the topic. But overall, politics has become a team sport, we root for our own team and knock down the competitor. Basically we do all the things, society says decent people shouldnt do, mock, name call, etc.
    Thanks from Wonderer and Ian Jeffrey

  3. #3
    Southern Strategy Liberal OldGaffer's Avatar
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    It is all about the points, everyone knows that��
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  4. #4
    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderer View Post
    Seems as though a significant portion of the energy expended on this board (and many like it) is directed toward discrediting "the other guy." Whether it's questioning the source(s) linked, or playing the "whatabout" game, or pointing out the perceived hypocrisy of those on "the other side." So...just wondering...what, really, is the end game?
    For many, it is about beating the other guy. Not winning anything, just beating him/her/them, and then lording it over them.

    I have no problem with challenging a source, if the challenge is valid (i.e., the extremes on either side).

    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderer View Post
    If the "other side" is discredited, does that mean we don't have to consider what they're saying?
    Fallacious as it is, that often is the general idea.

    I would certainly rather discuss the ideas. There are some people who do not wish to do that, because it takes work - much more than simply attacking the other side, demonizing it and its adherents as "evil," and therefore concluding that only "x" position is truly valid because anyone holding to any other position is evil on account of it. E.g.:

    1. Hitler built highways.
    2. Hitler was evil.
    3. Evil people build highways.
    4. Eisenhower built highways.
    5. Therefore Eisenhower was evil.

    That is, unfortunately, the kind of logic we see around here. Discussions of law become about what the law should be according to rage politics.

    While not representative of the country, we are a sort of microcosm of the country (as are other boards, I presume), and what goes on here is what seems to be going on IRL as well. The only way to overcome it, IMO, is for people of dignity and gravitas and education to put themselves up for election and make the people of bluster, parody and ignorance look like the fools they are. We need people who prove a politician need not be dead 15 years (if even that helps) in order to be a statesman.
    Thanks from Wonderer, Babba, StanStill and 10 others

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    This is a writer's guild. The content of posts are far less important than finding the optimal combination of words and working them with enthusiasm, guile and craft.

    Being accused of things is sort of the point. Provoke with style and you'll get accused of treachery and best of all, being called out-of-touch-with-reality.
    Thanks from StanStill

  6. #6
    Flibbertigibbet Wonderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jeffrey View Post
    For many, it is about beating the other guy. Not winning anything, just beating him/her/them, and then lording it over them.

    I have no problem with challenging a source, if the challenge is valid (i.e., the extremes on either side).


    Fallacious as it is, that often is the general idea.

    I would certainly rather discuss the ideas. There are some people who do not wish to do that, because it takes work - much more than simply attacking the other side, demonizing it and its adherents as "evil," and therefore concluding that only "x" position is truly valid because anyone holding to any other position is evil on account of it. E.g.:

    1. Hitler built highways.
    2. Hitler was evil.
    3. Evil people build highways.
    4. Eisenhower built highways.
    5. Therefore Eisenhower was evil.

    That is, unfortunately, the kind of logic we see around here. Discussions of law become about what the law should be according to rage politics.

    While not representative of the country, we are a sort of microcosm of the country (as are other boards, I presume), and what goes on here is what seems to be going on IRL as well. The only way to overcome it, IMO, is for people of dignity and gravitas and education to put themselves up for election and make the people of bluster, parody and ignorance look like the fools they are. We need people who prove a politician need not be dead 15 years (if even that helps) in order to be a statesman.
    Amen.
    Thanks from Ian Jeffrey

  7. #7
    Anarquistador StanStill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderer View Post
    But I do sometimes get to wondering what we (most of us) are actually doing?
    I ask myself this question a lot. The thing is, I think discussing politics and the underlying philosophy that people prop their political beliefs against is a very healthy and important thing to do for one's own mental health. And it's culturally important too. I think the general culture in the US pushes people to either ignore politics altogether and be apathetic passengers, or to at the most pick teams like with sports and simply cheer the players from the sidelines. It's impolite to discuss politics at parties, or family gatherings, or at work or.... For most people, even people who consider themselves "political", politics is just a process wherein the public is allowed to pick from a list of carefully groomed choices and listen to a debate that is kept within specific allowable boundaries.

    I think places like this give a chance for those so motivated to put their ideas to the test and see how they hold up against others. Maybe it's kind of inconsequential in the big picture of politics in the English speaking world, but it's kind of a necessary component of a functioning democracy. People arguing about what is the best way forward, without any (or with very few) restrictions about which ideas are allowed and which aren't. My mind has been changed lots of times here.

    Highlighting bad/poorly thought out ideas is a big part of this, both to point out logical fallacies that people make, and to reinforce my ability to recognize them so that I don't make them myself. Plus it's fun.

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    Radical Centrist BigLeRoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderer View Post
    Sorry - for the semi-vague thread title, but I'm just interested in throwing this out for discussion. Seems as though a significant portion of the energy expended on this board (and many like it) is directed toward discrediting "the other guy." Whether it's questioning the source(s) linked, or playing the "whatabout" game, or pointing out the perceived hypocrisy of those on "the other side." So...just wondering...what, really, is the end game?

    If the "other side" is discredited, does that mean we don't have to consider what they're saying? I do realize some comments/positions are so extreme as to perhaps not warrant a substantive response. But I do sometimes get to wondering what we (most of us) are actually doing? Hoping to persuade? Hoping to dissuade? Seeking internet points?
    I figure I score some points if I can just get people to laugh from time to time. I do try to be entertaining with my posts, at least usually. Beyond that, I am obviously also a man of strong opinions. I do seek to persuade. If I can persuade someone to see something from a different point of view, I call that a victory. I don't seek to gloat about it, or to lord it over them henceforth. I do try to consider their arguments, certainly when they strike me as at least based on reason. There are a few posters who I do not think engage in reason, one of whom I put on Ignore. I've just been a news and information junkie for about 45 years now, so can't imagine NOT keeping up with what is 'going on' in a very broad range of human endeavors (science, technology, economics, geopolitics, art, music, sports, literature, etc., etc.) and commenting on it.....

  9. #9
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    After all, this is not a professional association message board. We are not fellow lawyers or historians or doctors or credentialed academics.
    Some of us have some of those qualities. but it's not a homogeneous audience, so having some fun and keeping your quill wet is optimal.
    Thanks from StanStill

  10. #10
    Member Claudius the God's Avatar
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    I cannot speak for others on this board, only myself. I have been reading a newspaper or two every single day (OK, make it 90% of the days) between 1970 (I was a paperboy in 70-72 and read it every day) and today. After 72, I paid a lot of attention because I was scared to death of getting drafted. Why do I mention this? Because in those decades I was exposed to the vast gamut of ideas and opinions expressed by every kind of ideology in the mainstream at the time. How could I possibly escape the ideas of conservatives having lived this long and followed politics for decades? In addition, I have been a daily poster on blogs like this one since 2000. I believe I can argue the other side of my opinion as well or better than most who disagree with me simply because I have heard it all. And believe me, there was a time when blogs like this attracted some right wing intellectual giants with whom I battled in a game of wits and knowledge. I will not claim I won every encounter because in politics winning an argument is damn near impossible. All I can say is that yes, I have been exposed to the full range of conservative ideas and found them wanting. In fact, I challenge this boards conservatives to create a thread that actually defines a conservative today. Tell us what binds you to this ideology, give us reasons to believe you are right. Give us examples of other cultures or times when your ideas dominated the economy, education, business, philosophy and so on. I am ready to be convinced but you better have thought it through. Take your time.
    Thanks from Friday13 and jacobfitcher

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