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A discussion on weighing up two sides of an argument

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  • Pcdunn
    replied
    Especially the bear cub contemplating surfing!

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  • DJA
    replied
    Originally posted by Pcdunn View Post

    DJA, it occurs to me that the vast body of human knowledge is MADE of arguments about how to argue. Philosophy and Religion are entirely based on debating abstract concepts of knowledge and faith.

    Even the "hard" sciences such as archeology and physics encourage much arguing.

    I think this is a fascinating thread.
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  • Abby Normal
    replied
    Originally posted by Pcdunn View Post

    DJA, it occurs to me that the vast body of human knowledge is MADE of arguments about how to argue. Philosophy and Religion are entirely based on debating abstract concepts of knowledge and faith.

    Even the "hard" sciences such as archeology and physics encourage much arguing.

    I think this is a fascinating thread.
    epistemology and ontology!

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  • Pcdunn
    replied
    Originally posted by DJA View Post
    Now we have a thread to argue about arguments.
    DJA, it occurs to me that the vast body of human knowledge is MADE of arguments about how to argue. Philosophy and Religion are entirely based on debating abstract concepts of knowledge and faith.

    Even the "hard" sciences such as archeology and physics encourage much arguing.

    I think this is a fascinating thread.

    Leave a comment:


  • DJA
    replied
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    Last edited by DJA; 04-07-2021, 04:02 PM.

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  • Ms Diddles
    replied
    Ha!

    That's brilliant!

    Surfer dude swans!

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  • DJA
    replied
    Black Swans Surf On Waves In Australia - YouTube

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  • DJA
    replied

    The Trashmen - Surfin Bird - Bird is the Word 1963 (RE-MASTERED) (ALT End Video) (OFFICIAL VIDEO) - YouTube

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  • caz
    replied
    Originally posted by DJA View Post
    G'day mate. Sorry, I assumed from your post that you were comparing the two seaside resorts in South Devon, England, and considered the emigrating black swans got a raw deal.

    Never seen a swan on a surf board though - black or white. Must be quite a sight.

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  • JeffHamm
    replied
    Originally posted by caz View Post

    We have black swans in Dawlish, Devon, not far from where I now live. They were apparently introduced to Dawlish from Australia in the 1940s, and I saw them in 1965, when on school journey from London.

    Black swans are not found in cold miserable countries.
    England therefore ceased to be a cold miserable country in the 1940s.
    Well, England was hardly cold much of this past winter, though there were a few decent spells of chill for a couple days. There were crocus coming out in Jan/Feb, and daffodils trying to bloom in December. Having grown up in Canada, and now in New Zealand, I actually miss the winter and the snow (apart from the shoveling of course, I don't miss that) and sort of feel caught on a perpetual early-late spring seesaw. I find the heat far more miserable than the cold, but preferences are subjective things, so it's hardly surprising they're not universal.

    - Jeff

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  • JeffHamm
    replied
    Originally posted by caz View Post

    Hi Jeff,

    What I have always found interesting, and often very illuminating, is how an individual poster with a pet theory to defend will choose to go about it. It would be wonderful if everyone made an effort to be totally objective, by constantly testing their own beliefs against all the available evidence, as well as entertaining and exploring the opposite position. Too often, someone will come to the message boards with an entrenched belief and a heavy personal investment in it, and will then not be able to handle any objections, no matter how well argued or supported. If they take criticism personally, it will likely be rejected out of hand, instead of being taken into consideration. If only they would police themselves, and recognise when they are selecting or rejecting a piece of information, purely on the basis of what will keep their theory afloat and what would sink it, they'd attract far less criticism. Confirmation bias is an inevitable obstacle to civilised discussion, free of personal swipes. We can all see this in action in others, but not everyone will acknowledge it in themselves.

    I do think the happiest theorist is the one who can leave their personal feelings out of it, and concentrate on the quality of their own arguments, first and foremost. Acknowledging where an argument is potentially weak is a sign of strength, and an important first step to being taken more seriously.

    Love,

    Caz
    X
    Hi Caz,

    Yes, our ideas contain a lot of ourself in them, for what are we other than bags of mostly water once our thoughts and ideas are removed? It's normal to get frustrated when something that seems so obvious to ourselves gets push back, and we can't help but interpret that as an attack on ourself personally, which in turn puts us in defense mode.

    As I think about it, that is partly why I thought this topic might be useful. By examining the underlying logic of how arguments work, particularly with probabilistic statements, then we become more aware of how an objection to our argument is not a personal attack. Personal attacks are sophistry, which is not about getting to the truth but to make ones own arguments appear stronger and to make the other appear weaker. In either direction that is a bad thing because an argument should be evaluated on the strength of the underlying logic.

    And the logic is beyond our control. If I suggest that JtR was Bill Smith, and someone is able to document that Bill Smith wasn't born until 1878, I cannot control the logic that follows from that evidence; either JtR was only 10 years old, or Bill Smith was not JtR. It's not a personal attack on me to point out that Bill was born too late (or out of the country, or whatever). It is, however, unreasonable for me to say "But since Bill Smith was alive, and a 10 year old could use a knife, so Bill must still be considered as a valid suspect". To argue that by probabilistic reasoning alone is to refuse to acknowledge that the evidence is against me. That is my fault, and is something that is under my control.

    What I then need to do is either decide I was wrong, and move on. Or, if I'm not willing to do that because I think the rest of my case so strong that Bill Smith might just indeed be an example of the "rare case did happen this time", then I need to find evidence that really overcomes that doubt. Objections from the other side tell me how to improve my case, and what sort of evidence I need to strengthen it. Viewed this way, debate and discussions become helpful, both where people agree with us and where they do not.

    Viewed as "evidence of how clever I am", where we invest our self esteem in being right, leads one to rigid thinking and defense at all cost. There are clever and inventive ways to tell a story that connect all the evidence dots we have, particularly if one allows for anything at all to happen when crossing through patches where we have no evidence to guide us. But creative solutions are only stories we've made up, and we have to recognize that when it comes to evaluating their evidential support.

    It's not easy. I get frustrated at times as well when something I think works is shown to be deficient, but my frustration doesn't mean the other person was attacking me personally, they were just pointing out I missed something, or maybe that I misestimated how probable something was and presented actual evidence of what the probability is (just saying I'm wrong is not the same as demonstrating I'm wrong).

    Anyway, that aside, I also find philosophy of science (which is where this sort of stuff gets worked on) an interesting topic in its own right.

    - Jeff

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  • DJA
    replied
    The facts accumulated that you refer to as my theory is quite lengthy.Much of it has been posted,more than once.
    Having seen much shorter research posted here by "Lechmere" and "Prosector",I know the stupid interruptions to expect from people like you.
    I simply do not have the time.
    Your harassment is counterproductive.
    Go and annoy other posters, as is your usual form.

    Leave a comment:


  • Fiver
    replied
    Originally posted by DJA View Post
    I have been politely asked to start a dedicated thread by several long term members over the years.
    Certainly not going to do so for a rude poster who accuses me of self promotion by quoting my post out of context.
    Have been confined to bed for over two years fighting three forms of skin cancer and heart disease.I am in my 70s.
    Truth is I've been seeking a suitable screen writer for over 16 years.Pretty much run out of time.

    After considering your tactics,I will no longer even entertain expanding any further on the information previously afforded this website.
    Sorry to hear about your health problems. If you feel you are running out of time, then posting your theory in full would be the best way of getting the theory out. But as you note, you have no intention of fully posting your theory. This is hardly news, you've been refusing to post your theory for years now.

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  • DJA
    replied
    Originally posted by caz View Post

    I take it you haven't been to Torquay recently then?
    Was referring to the one here in Victoria AKA Bells Beach.

    Surfers take on huge waves. Bells Beach, Victoria. June 24th 2017. Music by Them Crooked Vultures. - YouTube

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  • caz
    replied
    Originally posted by DJA View Post

    Which movie
    You sound like my better half. He's always correcting me over what/which. One day, I'll remember.

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