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Someone please argue rationally! - A little less than a happy high — LiveJournal
komos
komos
Someone please argue rationally!
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technocowboy From: technocowboy Date: February 11th, 2004 09:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Please, stab him in the head. I will use my ordination and absolve you from guilt. Tell Idiot Boy that it's from the homos around the country. If we're not people, then we can't be tried by the same laws.

Fucking ass-gasket. Stupid people piss me off.

RAAR!
komos From: komos Date: February 12th, 2004 06:50 am (UTC) (Link)
The trouble here is that normally, this man is sane, well-informed, and logical. There's something about this issue that is pushing people to become stupid, and I mean rabidly stupid.
hfx_ben From: hfx_ben Date: February 12th, 2004 01:53 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re:

"... normally, this man is sane, well-informed, and logical. There's something about [__insert issue here_] that is pushing people to become stupid ..."
That's why I'm doing gnodal: to isolate that bifurcation and then, if you will, stick a fork into it (in my fraction tactics meetings, we talk about "sticking an ice-pick into whatever crack our dialtectic can force open"). My hope is that I don't have to finance it by producing a stock-market tool.
komos From: komos Date: February 12th, 2004 10:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Can the tool really be applied with effect to all human debate? With something as emotionally charged as this, it becomes easy to dismiss all logical models for a simple belief in the "wrongness" of the thing. Once the argument reaches that point, it ceases to be a discourse.
hfx_ben From: hfx_ben Date: February 13th, 2004 07:42 am (UTC) (Link)
"With something as emotionally charged as this, it becomes easy to dismiss all logical models for a simple belief in the "wrongness" of the thing. Once the argument reaches that point, it ceases to be a discourse."
Quite ... which states the challenge rather nicely.

"Can the tool really be applied with effect to all human debate?"
How could it /not/? I mean, what situation came to mind that urges everyone to state this sort of question as though with great confidence (in the question ... great doubt in the method)?
It strikes me, when I inguire skilfully, that we are moved by a profound pessimism.
komos From: komos Date: February 13th, 2004 09:39 am (UTC) (Link)
The questions that come to mind are all of a kind, loosely defined by such statements as, "the ends justify the means," or "for the greater good." This idea is really what lies behind the irrationality of this debate.

Move to a radically different example - the necessity of the firebombing of Japan during WWII. An averace of fifty percent of the civilian population of 67 cities was killed in order to facilitate the end of the war. On both an emotional and a rational level, there are solid reasons to argue for and against any justification offered for this action.

The trouble, as I see it, is that "the greater good" is almost always determined by the victors, and rationality can be wrapped around it.

But then, perhaps I'm missing the point and just rambling... ^_^
hfx_ben From: hfx_ben Date: February 13th, 2004 09:49 am (UTC) (Link)

Re:

"''"the ends justify the means''"
And we get Enron accounting all along with way, presented using the dehumanizing rhetoric of "collateral damage".

"... the necessity of the firebombing ..."
To call a rose a rose, the /desirability/, or advisability, neh?
;-)

"as I see it, is that "the greater good" is almost always determined by the victors, and rationality can be wrapped around it."
IMHO the only way to strip the debate of the worst sophistries is to have the "facts" and their relationship as clearly in sight as possible ... then let the jury do its work, with the reasonable knowledge that good folk will do what good folk do; the freedom from threat and promise is great ... now, if we could also kindle the spirit of fraternity ...
komos From: komos Date: February 13th, 2004 12:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't disagree in the least.

The question is just how you define the data set. Americans in particular seem all too willing to look at a truncated data set that is used to support a faulty conclusion. As the neo-cons have demonstrated, if you limit your data to 1992 and forward, Hussein was an irrevocably evil man who behaved erratically and posed an imminent threat to world peace. Extend back to the 1980s and suddenly the US is implicated not only for propping him up but also for supplying him with the means to create WMD and giving him the encouragement to use them. Bring that up and Ends Justify the Means is again used - "Global geopolitics are very complex, and sometimes you must do evil to do good."
hfx_ben From: hfx_ben Date: February 13th, 2004 06:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sure ... good stuff.
Back to Enronism for a moment: apparently, according to the PoMo school of thought, the aim is to convince and persuade.
Soooo ... it's all one big game of sophistry.
komos From: komos Date: February 14th, 2004 09:42 am (UTC) (Link)
That being the case, how does one then change the focus to the 'big picture'?
hfx_ben From: hfx_ben Date: February 14th, 2004 10:20 am (UTC) (Link)

Re:

My immediate reaction is to concentrate on self-interest; the gang dynamic and mob mentality have the advantage of benefits that are immediate and tangible, however superficial and short-sighted they might be ... what aspect of personal desire might compel the individual to strive for more?

The old books say that real happiness comes from not only having the freedom to act, but to know after acting that one chose rightly. But they also lament that most are easily pleased with the more superficial and immediate.
Seems to me we have to preach of the commons ... how we should strive for the best in order that all can have even some slight good. (The slogan I've been trying for years to formulate elegantly runs something like, "To do what we can here and now in order to avoid a future that's horrid beyond imagining.")
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