Ecmandu's No Fool

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Re: Ecmandu's No Fool

Postby Uccisore » Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:22 pm

Ecmandu wrote:For one, I'm sure there are certain tribes in the northern kalahari desert that would think all your luminaries are morons, idiots and worse.


I disagree, and I'd like to see you prove the above, considering you don't know who all my luminaries are.
The rest of your post was presented nothing of substance to the debate.

I asked you a question, Ecmandu, and you didn't answer. I will repeat it as it is key to the debate:

The world contains fools- people who, through genetics or injury or who-knows-what, are simply dumb. They aren't going to master anything, as we understand mastery [....] Maybe the one thing they do better than anything else is something they are still mediocre at compared to everyone else in the room. These are the people we call fools, idiots, stupid, etc. (perhaps only when being mean).

I maintain there is insufficient evidence to classify you as one of these- a fool. Do you disagree or not?
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Re: Ecmandu's No Fool

Postby Ecmandu » Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:32 pm

Uccisore wrote:
Ecmandu wrote:For one, I'm sure there are certain tribes in the northern kalahari desert that would think all your luminaries are morons, idiots and worse.


I disagree, and I'd like to see you prove the above, considering you don't know who all my luminaries are.
The rest of your post was presented nothing of substance to the debate.

I asked you a question, Ecmandu, and you didn't answer. I will repeat it as it is key to the debate:

The world contains fools- people who, through genetics or injury or who-knows-what, are simply dumb. They aren't going to master anything, as we understand mastery [....] Maybe the one thing they do better than anything else is something they are still mediocre at compared to everyone else in the room. These are the people we call fools, idiots, stupid, etc. (perhaps only when being mean).

I maintain there is insufficient evidence to classify you as one of these- a fool. Do you disagree or not?


I was referring to the list of luminaries you provided. They would die if they were sent alone into the kalahari desert, and they have probably helped destroy the world.

By your definition there is only one fool. So you're arguing that I'm the only fool in the world, and that I'm the only example of what not to do in philosophy. You see, you decided you're going to set this debate up so you can ridicule me and say I contributed to philosophy... classic Uccisore. So I set the debate up that I can be more intelligent and wise than you and still win the debate. That's where we are. You haven't addressed my points about philosophy in general (which is what you stipulated in your own wording) because you haven't touched the infinity argument, and when you do, you will lose.
Do unto yourself and others as you'd do unto yourself if you were them (and you) - Ecmandu's Rule.

Ecmandu's second rule: calculate the set of your argument upon itself before you argue!

Stratification of motivational systems towards conspicuous consumption or extraneous drama cause all human ills - that was the most important thing you'll ever read in your life. - Ecmandu

The biggest problem in life... That more than one person wants the same thing! Solve this, and you have beaten the demon of life!
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Re: Ecmandu's No Fool

Postby Uccisore » Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:43 pm

Ecmandu wrote:[
I was referring to the list of luminaries you provided. They would die if they were sent alone into the kalahari desert, and they have probably helped destroy the world.


More unproven assertions.

By your definition there is only one fool. So you're arguing that I'm the only fool in the world, and that I'm the only example of what not to do in philosophy.


Not even close to true. I see you refuse to answer a simply put, straightforward question. Unless you actually have an argument to make, I think I'm done for the day- all my points stand concisely stated, often repeated, and unaddressed by you, so I have absolutely no problem letting the clock run.

Speaking of, how is the debate being judged? I think Carleas ought to do it, since he hosted it and hasn't given a public opinion on it. Are you alright with that?
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Re: Ecmandu's No Fool

Postby Ecmandu » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:05 pm

Uccisore wrote:
Ecmandu wrote:[
I was referring to the list of luminaries you provided. They would die if they were sent alone into the kalahari desert, and they have probably helped destroy the world.


More unproven assertions.

By your definition there is only one fool. So you're arguing that I'm the only fool in the world, and that I'm the only example of what not to do in philosophy.


Not even close to true. I see you refuse to answer a simply put, straightforward question. Unless you actually have an argument to make, I think I'm done for the day- all my points stand concisely stated, often repeated, and unaddressed by you, so I have absolutely no problem letting the clock run.

Speaking of, how is the debate being judged? I think Carleas ought to do it, since he hosted it and hasn't given a public opinion on it. Are you alright with that?


Sure. He's the "executive director" of the boards, and considering the nature of the stakes, that is the most appropriate choice.
Do unto yourself and others as you'd do unto yourself if you were them (and you) - Ecmandu's Rule.

Ecmandu's second rule: calculate the set of your argument upon itself before you argue!

Stratification of motivational systems towards conspicuous consumption or extraneous drama cause all human ills - that was the most important thing you'll ever read in your life. - Ecmandu

The biggest problem in life... That more than one person wants the same thing! Solve this, and you have beaten the demon of life!
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Re: Ecmandu's No Fool

Postby Ecmandu » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:29 pm

Do me a favor Uccisore, remember, I'm a fool (and phyllo is right, and I was right about how you were trying to define fool... I said it before phyllo, so I didn't get help from discussions) I want you to state all of these points, as non-verbose as possible.
Do unto yourself and others as you'd do unto yourself if you were them (and you) - Ecmandu's Rule.

Ecmandu's second rule: calculate the set of your argument upon itself before you argue!

Stratification of motivational systems towards conspicuous consumption or extraneous drama cause all human ills - that was the most important thing you'll ever read in your life. - Ecmandu

The biggest problem in life... That more than one person wants the same thing! Solve this, and you have beaten the demon of life!
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Re: Ecmandu's No Fool

Postby Ecmandu » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:49 pm

Actually, unless uccisore posts his points in a non-verbose manner (and he has the advantage of this entire page now which he didn't have before), I will consider that Uccisore conceded the debate.
Do unto yourself and others as you'd do unto yourself if you were them (and you) - Ecmandu's Rule.

Ecmandu's second rule: calculate the set of your argument upon itself before you argue!

Stratification of motivational systems towards conspicuous consumption or extraneous drama cause all human ills - that was the most important thing you'll ever read in your life. - Ecmandu

The biggest problem in life... That more than one person wants the same thing! Solve this, and you have beaten the demon of life!
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Re: Ecmandu's No Fool

Postby Ecmandu » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:28 pm

Uccisore wrote: "You didn't cite your 'factoids' about Einstein or Ghandi, and I'm not concerning myself with them until you do."

Actually another thing that's not well known about Ghandi quotes is that he says, "I am a Hindu, a Muslim, a Christian etc... AND I am an atheist."

The quote in question was when Ghandi said, " I thank God for not giving me Einstiens brain" He was VERY anti-nuclear ANYTHING, and he spoke out the rest of his life about it. Unfortunatly for him, India got nukes.
Do unto yourself and others as you'd do unto yourself if you were them (and you) - Ecmandu's Rule.

Ecmandu's second rule: calculate the set of your argument upon itself before you argue!

Stratification of motivational systems towards conspicuous consumption or extraneous drama cause all human ills - that was the most important thing you'll ever read in your life. - Ecmandu

The biggest problem in life... That more than one person wants the same thing! Solve this, and you have beaten the demon of life!
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Re: Ecmandu's No Fool

Postby Ecmandu » Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:09 pm

Just one more comment before Uccisore replies... take your time, let it stew, formulate, I don't want a half-assed Uccisore argument. Go back and concisely, you can even do it in numbered list form, all the he arguments you've made. You have the advantage of a pages worth of posts to do this, and I suggest you use it to your advantage. Then I will reply to EVERY one.
Do unto yourself and others as you'd do unto yourself if you were them (and you) - Ecmandu's Rule.

Ecmandu's second rule: calculate the set of your argument upon itself before you argue!

Stratification of motivational systems towards conspicuous consumption or extraneous drama cause all human ills - that was the most important thing you'll ever read in your life. - Ecmandu

The biggest problem in life... That more than one person wants the same thing! Solve this, and you have beaten the demon of life!
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Re: Ecmandu's No Fool

Postby Uccisore » Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:28 am

Ecmandu wrote:Just one more comment before Uccisore replies... take your time, let it stew, formulate, I don't want a half-assed Uccisore argument. Go back and concisely, you can even do it in numbered list form, all the he arguments you've made. You have the advantage of a pages worth of posts to do this, and I suggest you use it to your advantage. Then I will reply to EVERY one.


My points are already concisely presented, multiple times. You have all the opportunity you need to reply to them. I have nothing to gain by writing what is already there for you to read over again.

If there is something specifically I wrote that you find unclearly expressed and you need me to explain it in more detail, then say so and I will. Otherwise, if you can't or won't reply to my arguments as written, we'll see what happens tomorrow.
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Re: Ecmandu's No Fool

Postby Ecmandu » Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:48 am

Uccisore wrote:
Ecmandu wrote:Just one more comment before Uccisore replies... take your time, let it stew, formulate, I don't want a half-assed Uccisore argument. Go back and concisely, you can even do it in numbered list form, all the he arguments you've made. You have the advantage of a pages worth of posts to do this, and I suggest you use it to your advantage. Then I will reply to EVERY one.


My points are already concisely presented, multiple times. You have all the opportunity you need to reply to them. I have nothing to gain by writing what is already there for you to read over again.

If there is something specifically I wrote that you find unclearly expressed and you need me to explain it in more detail, then say so and I will. Otherwise, if you can't or won't reply to my arguments as written, we'll see what happens tomorrow.


That was lame Uccisore. I'd have done it for you in Bullet Points. In my mind, you conceded the debate. You obviously aren't that passionate about this.
Do unto yourself and others as you'd do unto yourself if you were them (and you) - Ecmandu's Rule.

Ecmandu's second rule: calculate the set of your argument upon itself before you argue!

Stratification of motivational systems towards conspicuous consumption or extraneous drama cause all human ills - that was the most important thing you'll ever read in your life. - Ecmandu

The biggest problem in life... That more than one person wants the same thing! Solve this, and you have beaten the demon of life!
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Re: Ecmandu's No Fool

Postby Ecmandu » Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:56 pm

You haven't demonstrated that we aren't all fools in one way or another, which I think is obvious to anyone reading this thread, that in one way or another we are all fools.

Someone may know carpentry really well, but not electrical engineering, someone may know how to survive in the kalahari desert, almost everyone in the world would die there very soon.
Polymath as it's limits because as I said before, there is a stratification of intellect, this isn't just an assertion, some people are nice, others are grumps, this is everyones life experience. So yes, since we are all fools in one way or another, I am a fool as well. What I saw was a feeble attempt at trying to refute this obvious point that we all know. My other point, was that given that we are all fools in one way or another, we also have specializations... my specialization is being better at debate than you, while still allowing me to be a fool. This is why i won't get banned for winning the debate.

You haven't really touched upon the philosophy section, because you never talked about the infinity problem, and the way you set the debate up, was the general sense of contributing to philosophy, not the specific sense... by this I mean, has ANYONE contributed to philosophy when you can show that there are an infinite number of regressive souls? The answer is "no". Since they cannot contribute to philosophy, they certainly cannot contribute something worthwhile to philosophy.

And, thus, you are refuted on both points. Oh, and thanks a lot Peter :!:
Do unto yourself and others as you'd do unto yourself if you were them (and you) - Ecmandu's Rule.

Ecmandu's second rule: calculate the set of your argument upon itself before you argue!

Stratification of motivational systems towards conspicuous consumption or extraneous drama cause all human ills - that was the most important thing you'll ever read in your life. - Ecmandu

The biggest problem in life... That more than one person wants the same thing! Solve this, and you have beaten the demon of life!
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Re: Ecmandu's No Fool

Postby Ecmandu » Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:18 pm

Read my last post, it's my debate finisher: This would have been an edit, but not everyone reads those.

Uccisore I think you're mad at me because I found a loophole to not get banned, and I also think you're mad at me for using the same technique as you in the context of that loophole. I get to outdebate you as a fool, and you get to make fun of me as a non-fool. So we're even, In every respect except one. I don't think you won the debate.
Do unto yourself and others as you'd do unto yourself if you were them (and you) - Ecmandu's Rule.

Ecmandu's second rule: calculate the set of your argument upon itself before you argue!

Stratification of motivational systems towards conspicuous consumption or extraneous drama cause all human ills - that was the most important thing you'll ever read in your life. - Ecmandu

The biggest problem in life... That more than one person wants the same thing! Solve this, and you have beaten the demon of life!
Ecmandu
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Posts: 6541
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2014 1:22 am

Re: Ecmandu's No Fool

Postby Uccisore » Thu Apr 23, 2015 6:09 pm

Ecmandu has declared that post to be his debate finisher. I have no expectation that he'll actually keep his word in that regard, but here are my tentative closing remarks.

First of all, it should be said that Ecmandu's point about specialization works against him. He has said repeatedly that as we all have our limitations, we all have our specializations as well, and then he's gone on to describe his. If Ecmandu is right and we all have specializations to go along with our limitations, one could just as easily say that nobody is a fool, including Ecmandu. The vision he paints of a world in which we are all on par because we're all good at some things and bad at others is a world in which we're all uniquely gifted. To take from this 'we're all fools' would be arbitrary cynicism, or in this case, a hollow attempt to win a debate through twisting rhetoric instead of actually making a point. Now, I think Ecmandu's portrayl is fundamentally flawed and I will show why, but it's important to note that even if you accept his description of human intellect, his argument undercuts his position. What he's shown is not that we're all fools, but that the distinction between fool and non-fool can't be made, and so the term has no meaning at all.

But enough of that. Let me show why his portrayl of human intellect and foolishness is wrong, not just undercutting of his position.

Imagine Leonardo da Vinci is put into a position of having to shoe a horse. He's never done this before, and has been provided no guidance. A farmer, and a friend of his watch as he flouders, almost gets kicked in the face. Perhaps he uses the wrong kind of nail. Hell, perhaps he's unaware that nails are even required. All in all, he makes a mess of things.
Says the farmer: "This man is clearly a fool."
Says Leonardo's friend: "Actually, that's Leonardo da Vinci, the accomplished painter, architecht, inventor, sculptor, engineer, mathematician, biologist and cartographer."

If the farmer believes da Vinci's friend, he will of course immediately realize his error. Why? Two reasons. For one, he can remember his own first time shoeing a horse, and would know immediately how difficult it would be if one wasn't given any guidance. For two, he knows that a person with all those accomplishments is no fool. There's simply no comparison between being a stupid, idiotic person (as 'fool' has been defined for the purposes of this debate), and finding oneself in a situation in which they have no expertise. And indeed, even in the above situation we'd expect da Vinci to figure out for himself how to shoe a horse faster than some other, random person put in a similar situation because daVinci is a genius, and some people merely figure out new things faster than others. That's an aspect of foolishness Ecmandu completely ignores- it's not just a question of what you do and don't know, it's a question of how quickly you can come to learn something new if you must.

With this understanding, Ecmandu's point works against him in another, more important way. What we know about Ecmandu is that he's hideously bad at debate, reading comprehension, and philosophy. And even then, what do we really know? The evidence is circumstantial- it's always possible that he's faking his incompetence in order to troll, or to teach some greater lesson. For all you truly know, I'm Ecmandu, and I'm playing some great public game with myself. But let's put that aside, and take his behavior at face value. What we see of him here doesn't make him a fool any more than da Vinci for being unable to shoe a horse. Ecmandu may be a whiz with numbers who simply can't express himself- indeed he has claimed this. Perhaps if only you saw him dance, or paint, or sew a wound, or fix a car, you would be stunned by his acumen. He could be knowledgeable and talented about a great many things, and average at a great many more. All the evidence we have of Ecmandu's 'foolishness' shows only that he is incompetant at a particular narrow skillset- the skillset required to argue about philosophy on the internet. That certainly doesn't meet the definition of "Fool" I set in this debate. And however the reader or this debate may define "fool", I highly doubt "being bad at one thing" qualifies. There is simply not enough information to conclude "This man is a fool".


As far as I can tell, Ecmandu hasn't attempted to address my point about his contribution to philosophy, so this section will be shorter, and basically a repeat of what I've said elsewhere. I maintain that Ecmandu has a worthwhile contribution to philosophy to make by being a bad example of it. He illustrates quite well how inattention to detail, poor writing skills based in a lack of education, stubbornness, and presumption of one's own expertise where it does not exist can lead to bad results. Reading his words can serve as a 'come to Jesus' moment for similar armchair philosophers with a tendency to spout off without having done their homework. In fact, I have good reason to believe that this has actually occured. The only argument Ecmandu has given about his lack of contribution to philosophy has been that, if there have been an infinite number of souls, then everything has been said before, and thus his contribution cannot possibly be original. This fails in three fundamental ways.
First, he's given us no reason to believe that there actually have been an infinite number of souls in the past, much less souls capable of making philosophical statements. He hasn't even bothered to say what a soul is. One simply has to take it for granted that there have been an infinite number of monkeys typing on keyboards in order for his argument to even get off the ground. Considering this goes against mainstream physics which asserts the universe had a beginning a finite amount of time in the past, the fact that he has no argument for his position is an astounding gaff for a debate such as this.
Second, even if there have been an infinite number of souls spouting philosophy, those souls are still unique. Ecmandu as a male homo sapiens living in the 21st century saying what he says has different and unique implications to the Lobster Queen of Betelguese IV saying the same thing 75 million years ago. Questions of "Why now? Why him? Why not somebody else? How else might Ecmandu resemble the Great Lobster Matriarchs of old?" will have answers raised only by Ecmandu's unique utterances, and those answers may themselves be a unique contribution to philosophy.
Third, and most importantly, the uniqueness of Ecmandu's philosophical ideas has nothing at all to do with the contribution to philosophy I allege that he has made. He made his "nobody has said anything unique" argument before I wrote my first post in this debate, and has simply stuck to it without seeming to acknowledge it's irrelevance to my position. He thinks he is concerned with the "macrocosmic" scale, and I with the "microcosmic" scale, as he calls them. But even if he's contributed no unique philosophical ideas to the universe in either sense- even if it is as he appears that his greatest idea was accidentally lifted from Brave New World-, that doesn't detract from my position at all. In fact, it makes my position stronger- one of the ways in which Ecmandu's philosophical endeavors serves as a warning to the rest of us is in what can happen when you claim to have an original idea when you haven't done the background reading first.

So in conclusion (unless and until Ec goes back on his word and writes a new 'debate finisher'), Ecmandu's depiction of foolishness renders the word meaningless as opposed to showing that we are all fools. In reality, a person is not a fool merely because they lack a specialization. Ecmandu can't be concluded to be a fool because all we know about him is that he lacks one particular skillset. Ecmandu makes a worthwhile contribution to philosophy by demonstrating how it ought not be done. His argument about originality on a universal scale doesn't address this in any way, is inadequately supported, and doesn't entail his conclusions.
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Re: Ecmandu's No Fool

Postby Ecmandu » Thu Apr 23, 2015 6:34 pm

Uccisore wrote:Ecmandu has declared that post to be his debate finisher. I have no expectation that he'll actually keep his word in that regard, but here are my tentative closing remarks.

First of all, it should be said that Ecmandu's point about specialization works against him. He has said repeatedly that as we all have our limitations, we all have our specializations as well, and then he's gone on to describe his. If Ecmandu is right and we all have specializations to go along with our limitations, one could just as easily say that nobody is a fool, including Ecmandu. The vision he paints of a world in which we are all on par because we're all good at some things and bad at others is a world in which we're all uniquely gifted. To take from this 'we're all fools' would be arbitrary cynicism, or in this case, a hollow attempt to win a debate through twisting rhetoric instead of actually making a point. Now, I think Ecmandu's portrayl is fundamentally flawed and I will show why, but it's important to note that even if you accept his description of human intellect, his argument undercuts his position. What he's shown is not that we're all fools, but that the distinction between fool and non-fool can't be made, and so the term has no meaning at all.

But enough of that. Let me show why his portrayl of human intellect and foolishness is wrong, not just undercutting of his position.

Imagine Leonardo da Vinci is put into a position of having to shoe a horse. He's never done this before, and has been provided no guidance. A farmer, and a friend of his watch as he flouders, almost gets kicked in the face. Perhaps he uses the wrong kind of nail. Hell, perhaps he's unaware that nails are even required. All in all, he makes a mess of things.
Says the farmer: "This man is clearly a fool."
Says Leonardo's friend: "Actually, that's Leonardo da Vinci, the accomplished painter, architecht, inventor, sculptor, engineer, mathematician, biologist and cartographer."

If the farmer believes da Vinci's friend, he will of course immediately realize his error. Why? Two reasons. For one, he can remember his own first time shoeing a horse, and would know immediately how difficult it would be if one wasn't given any guidance. For two, he knows that a person with all those accomplishments is no fool. There's simply no comparison between being a stupid, idiotic person (as 'fool' has been defined for the purposes of this debate), and finding oneself in a situation in which they have no expertise. And indeed, even in the above situation we'd expect da Vinci to figure out for himself how to shoe a horse faster than some other, random person put in a similar situation because daVinci is a genius, and some people merely figure out new things faster than others. That's an aspect of foolishness Ecmandu completely ignores- it's not just a question of what you do and don't know, it's a question of how quickly you can come to learn something new if you must.

With this understanding, Ecmandu's point works against him in another, more important way. What we know about Ecmandu is that he's hideously bad at rhetoric, debate, reading comprehension, and philosophy. And even then, what do we really know? The evidence is circumstantial- it's always possible that he's faking his incompetence in order to troll, or to teach some greater lesson. For all you truly know, I'm Ecmandu, and I'm playing some great public game with myself. But let's put that aside, and take his behavior at face value. What we see of him here doesn't make him a fool any more than da Vinci for being unable to shoe a horse. Ecmandu may be a whiz with numbers who simply can't express himself- indeed he has claimed this. Perhaps if only you saw him dance, or paint, or sew a wound, or fix a car, you would be stunned by his acumen. He could be knowledgeable and talented about a great many things, and average at a great many more. All the evidence we have of Ecmandu's 'foolishness' shows only that he is incompetant at a particular narrow skillset- the skillset required to argue about philosophy on the internet. That certainly doesn't meet the definition of "Fool" I set in this debate. And however the reader or this debate may define "fool", I highly doubt "being bad at one thing" qualifies. There is simply not enough information to conclude "This man is a fool".


As far as I can tell, Ecmandu hasn't attempted to address my point about his contribution to philosophy, so this section will be shorter, and basically a repeat of what I've said elsewhere. I maintain that Ecmandu has a worthwhile contribution to philosophy to make by being a bad example of it. He illustrates quite well how inattention to detail, poor writing skills based in a lack of education, stubbornness, and presumption of one's own expertise where it does not exist can lead to bad results. Reading his words can serve as a 'come to Jesus' moment for similar armchair philosophers with a tendency to spout off without having done their homework. In fact, I have good reason to believe that this has actually occured. The only argument Ecmandu has given about his lack of contribution to philosophy has been that, if there have been an infinite number of souls, then everything has been said before, and thus his contribution cannot possibly be original. This fails in three fundamental ways.
First, he's given us no reason to believe that there actually have been an infinite number of souls in the past, much less souls capable of making philosophical statements. He hasn't even bothered to say what a soul is. One simply has to take it for granted that there have been an infinite number of monkeys typing on keyboards in order for his argument to even get off the ground. Considering this goes against mainstream physics which asserts the universe had a beginning a finite amount of time in the past, the fact that he has no argument for his position is an astounding gaff for a debate such as this.
Second, even if there have been an infinite number of souls spouting philosophy, those souls are still unique. Ecmandu as a male homo sapiens living in the 21st century saying what he says has different and unique implications to the Lobster Queen of Betelguese IV saying the same thing 75 million years ago. Questions of "Why now? Why him? Why not somebody else? How else might Ecmandu resemble the Great Lobster Matriarchs of old?" will have answers raised only by Ecmandu's unique utterances, and those answers may themselves be a unique contribution to philosophy.
Third, and most importantly, the uniqueness of Ecmandu's philosophical ideas has nothing at all to do with the contribution to philosophy I allege that he has made. He made his "nobody has said anything unique" argument before I wrote my first post in this debate, and has simply stuck to it without seeming to acknowledge it's irrelevance to my position. He thinks he is concerned with the "macrocosmic" scale, and I with the "microcosmic" scale, as he calls them. But even if he's contributed no unique philosophical ideas to the universe in either sense- even if it is as he appears that his greatest idea was accidentally lifted from Brave New World-, that doesn't detract from my position at all. In fact, it makes my position stronger- one of the ways in which Ecmandu's philosophical endeavors serves as a warning to the rest of us is in what can happen when you claim to have an original idea when you haven't done the background reading first.

So in conclusion (unless and until Ec goes back on his word and writes a new 'debate finisher'), Ecmandu's depiction of foolishness renders the word meaningless as opposed to showing that we are all fools. In reality, a person is not a fool merely because they lack a specialization. Ecmandu can't be concluded to be a fool because all we know about him is that he lacks one particular skillset. Ecmandu makes a worthwhile contribution to philosophy by demonstrating how it ought not be done. His argument about originality on a universal scale doesn't address this in any way, is inadequately supported, and doesn't entail his conclusions.


Debate finisher and last post are two different things Uccisore. But you actually did address point here, I must commend you for that. Do you really believe that Leonardo DaVinci could learn to shoe a horse faster than anyone ever born? Even a "retard" can learn to shoe a horse. So my point stands, relative to others, we are all idiots to one degree or another. An idiot savant could probably do it perfectly the first time. If the farmer realized his error, that farmer, not having had exposure to my debate, would be in error, and he would quickly see his error. In order for someone to be a fool by your definition, they have to be incapable of being talented at anything... retards are talented at being retarded!!! More talented than anyone in the world in fact. People trying to act retarded, never quite get it right.

I'll just say a soul is a thinking being that can comprehend this discussion in an infinite number of languages for the narrow sake of this debate, since we are talking about two humans here.

As I said in my OP, if there are not an infinite number of souls retroactively, than something must have come from nothing at all at some point, I even demonstrated that a hypothetical creator cannot be a perfect polymath in my OP, by talking about counting the natural numbers and existents. If it did come from nothing at all, than you are still hosed in this debate, because that means that it wasn't OUR contribution. But let's assume you believe in some super-creator... this super creator would have known everything philosophically, and relative to it, none of us would have original ideas philosophical ideas, and without the originality, you lose the worwhileness, and all of us would be fools relative to this being. So either way you cut it, you lose your debate.
Not because I'm a fool, but to demonstrate that we are all fools. However, in the context of our universal foolishness, we have specializations, and my specialization is being a better debater than Uccisore. But I'm still a fool who has contributed nothing worthwhile to philosophy.
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Re: Ecmandu's No Fool

Postby Uccisore » Thu Apr 23, 2015 7:02 pm

Ecmandu wrote:Debate finisher and last post are two different things Uccisore. But you actually did address point here, I must commend you for that. Do you really believe that Leonardo DaVinci could learn to shoe a horse faster than anyone ever born?


Probably not, and neither did I say anything vaguely like that.

In order for someone to be a fool by your definition, they have to be incapable of being talented at anything...


Not at all. They merely have to be 'a stupid, idiotic person'. Such a person may have talents. We would just expect them to have fewer talents, or for the talents they possess to not require great intelligence, or for them to take longer to gain those talents than it would take other people. Again, all things that can't be demonstrated of you one way or the other.

retards are talented at being retarded!!!


Even if that wasn't asinine in the extreme, it wouldn't counter my point. That would just be an example of the kind of 'talent' a fool can possess. There are others that they probably can't, or would be more difficult for them. What the above really does is make my point all the stronger- if your position entails things like 'being retarded is a talent', you really are making the term 'fool' meaningless as opposed to arguing that you are one.

I'll just say a soul is a thinking being that can comprehend this discussion in an infinite number of languages for the narrow sake of this debate, since we are talking about two humans here.


I only know one language. Am I not a soul then? I figured there would at least be some finite number of souls based on your definition, but as you define it above, I'd go so far as to say souls don't exist. A being that can comprehend an infinite number of languages? As an atheist can you give me an example of even one of these?

As I said in my OP, if there are not an infinite number of souls retroactively, than something must have come from nothing at all at some point, I even demonstrated that a hypothetical creator cannot be a perfect polymath in my OP, by talking about counting the natural numbers and existents.


This is obviously false. If there aren't an infinite number of souls, all that shows is that the first soul came from something previous that wasn't a soul. You may as well argue that there are an infinite number of goats, or spoons. Anyway, I've demonstrated why this is irrelevant in two different ways, and you haven't touched those positions at all, so it hardly matters.
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Re: Ecmandu's No Fool

Postby Ecmandu » Thu Apr 23, 2015 8:16 pm

For your first point I gave the example of a retarded person being impossible to mimic by a non-ratarded person as well as they can. So your argument about great intelligence goes out the door, or being able to learn things quicker or faster. But your second argument is more devastating, or so you would think, and this is that I have rendered the concept of fool into irrelevancy and cannot possibly argue that I am a fool, which i am supposed to do. My response to this is that we have a necessary stratification of intelligence for different things, and from the perspective of that necessary stratification, we are all fools at different things relative to each other, this does not however negate the concept of foolishness, it does, as I previously stated, makes it apply to us all.

Now you could argue that this also makes us all intelligent as well, which you have already tried to do and that this negates my argument as well. First point to this attempt, I only need to argue that we are all fools, which I have soundly done, second point, the stratification... we are all intelligent at different things, but that does not make us all intelligent at the same things, which would cancel out the argument as you suggested. I stipulate that my talent is being able to outdebate you, while also admitting that I am a fool.

The language thing was poorly worded... just that it could be translated to beings who could understand the debate.

Your argument about souls still suggests that it would have come from nothing at all, because if something came from something previously that wasn't a soul, even though there were elements that existed prior to it, the soul itself, the combination had no precedent and came from nothing at all.

Please show me those two ways you made all of this irrelevant.
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Re: Ecmandu's No Fool

Postby Uccisore » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:03 pm

The idea that a non-retarded person can't fake being retarded is completely unfounded and probably false. Prove it.

In order to show that you aren't rendering 'fool' meaningless, all you need to do is provide us with the meaning. Go ahead- define 'fool', consistent with how you have used it, such that it describes something distinct and applies to you.

The reality is as I've described- some people are simply smarter than others. Some people learn faster, learn more, learn things that are more difficult to learn. A person who has mastered many difficult fields is not a 'fool' by anyone's measure simply because there is something out there they haven't mastered yet. My example of daVinci shoeing a horse holds true, you've said nothing to refute it. We can't tell if you are a fool or not because we only have access to a narrow range of your capabilities, and as I've pointed out incompetence can be faked. It is obvious from the definition of 'fool' that we both agreed to that the term applies to some people, and not others.

"We are all intelligent at different things" is a platitude- again, prove it.

There's no evidence that there are an infinite number of beings who could understand this debate. Your argument to the contrary is meaningless gibberish. It is entirely possible that souls came into being in the same way as spoons or antelope or computers or anything else. But again, this is irrelevant for reasons that I have presented since Day 1, and you have ignored through the entire debate. The most recent time I explained this is here:

"
As far as I can tell, Ecmandu hasn't attempted to address my point about his contribution to philosophy, so this section will be shorter, and basically a repeat of what I've said elsewhere. I maintain that Ecmandu has a worthwhile contribution to philosophy to make by being a bad example of it. He illustrates quite well how inattention to detail, poor writing skills based in a lack of education, stubbornness, and presumption of one's own expertise where it does not exist can lead to bad results. Reading his words can serve as a 'come to Jesus' moment for similar armchair philosophers with a tendency to spout off without having done their homework. In fact, I have good reason to believe that this has actually occured. The only argument Ecmandu has given about his lack of contribution to philosophy has been that, if there have been an infinite number of souls, then everything has been said before, and thus his contribution cannot possibly be original. This fails in three fundamental ways.
First, he's given us no reason to believe that there actually have been an infinite number of souls in the past, much less souls capable of making philosophical statements. He hasn't even bothered to say what a soul is. One simply has to take it for granted that there have been an infinite number of monkeys typing on keyboards in order for his argument to even get off the ground. Considering this goes against mainstream physics which asserts the universe had a beginning a finite amount of time in the past, the fact that he has no argument for his position is an astounding gaff for a debate such as this.
Second, even if there have been an infinite number of souls spouting philosophy, those souls are still unique. Ecmandu as a male homo sapiens living in the 21st century saying what he says has different and unique implications to the Lobster Queen of Betelguese IV saying the same thing 75 million years ago. Questions of "Why now? Why him? Why not somebody else? How else might Ecmandu resemble the Great Lobster Matriarchs of old?" will have answers raised only by Ecmandu's unique utterances, and those answers may themselves be a unique contribution to philosophy.
Third, and most importantly, the uniqueness of Ecmandu's philosophical ideas has nothing at all to do with the contribution to philosophy I allege that he has made. He made his "nobody has said anything unique" argument before I wrote my first post in this debate, and has simply stuck to it without seeming to acknowledge it's irrelevance to my position. He thinks he is concerned with the "macrocosmic" scale, and I with the "microcosmic" scale, as he calls them. But even if he's contributed no unique philosophical ideas to the universe in either sense- even if it is as he appears that his greatest idea was accidentally lifted from Brave New World-, that doesn't detract from my position at all. In fact, it makes my position stronger- one of the ways in which Ecmandu's philosophical endeavors serves as a warning to the rest of us is in what can happen when you claim to have an original idea when you haven't done the background reading first."
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Re: Ecmandu's No Fool

Postby Ecmandu » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:18 pm

Uccisore wrote:The idea that a non-retarded person can't fake being retarded is completely unfounded and probably false. Prove it.

In order to show that you aren't rendering 'fool' meaningless, all you need to do is provide us with the meaning. Go ahead- define 'fool', consistent with how you have used it, such that it describes something distinct and applies to you. Two things will become immediately obvious:

1.) Your definition will have not be the one we agreed upon before this debate began, and thus any argument you base on it is irrelevant to this debate.

2.) Your definition will not represent the way people actually use the word.


The reality is as I've described- some people are simply smarter than others. Some people learn faster, learn more, learn things that are more difficult to learn. A person who has mastered many difficult fields is not a 'fool' by anyone's measure simply because there is something out there they haven't mastered yet. My example of daVinci shoeing a horse holds true, you've said nothing to refute it. We can't tell if you are a fool or not because we only have access to a narrow range of your capabilities, and as I've pointed out incompetence can be faked. It is obvious from the definition of 'fool' that we both agreed to that the term applies to some people, and not others.

"We are all intelligent at different things" is a platitude- again, prove it.

There's no evidence that there are an infinite number of beings who could understand this debate. Your argument to the contrary is meaningless gibberish. It is entirely possible that souls came into being in the same way as spoons or antelope or computers or anything else. But again, this is irrelevant for reasons that I have presented since Day 1, and you have ignored through the entire debate. The most recent time I explained this is here:

"
As far as I can tell, Ecmandu hasn't attempted to address my point about his contribution to philosophy, so this section will be shorter, and basically a repeat of what I've said elsewhere. I maintain that Ecmandu has a worthwhile contribution to philosophy to make by being a bad example of it. He illustrates quite well how inattention to detail, poor writing skills based in a lack of education, stubbornness, and presumption of one's own expertise where it does not exist can lead to bad results. Reading his words can serve as a 'come to Jesus' moment for similar armchair philosophers with a tendency to spout off without having done their homework. In fact, I have good reason to believe that this has actually occured. The only argument Ecmandu has given about his lack of contribution to philosophy has been that, if there have been an infinite number of souls, then everything has been said before, and thus his contribution cannot possibly be original. This fails in three fundamental ways.
First, he's given us no reason to believe that there actually have been an infinite number of souls in the past, much less souls capable of making philosophical statements. He hasn't even bothered to say what a soul is. One simply has to take it for granted that there have been an infinite number of monkeys typing on keyboards in order for his argument to even get off the ground. Considering this goes against mainstream physics which asserts the universe had a beginning a finite amount of time in the past, the fact that he has no argument for his position is an astounding gaff for a debate such as this.
Second, even if there have been an infinite number of souls spouting philosophy, those souls are still unique. Ecmandu as a male homo sapiens living in the 21st century saying what he says has different and unique implications to the Lobster Queen of Betelguese IV saying the same thing 75 million years ago. Questions of "Why now? Why him? Why not somebody else? How else might Ecmandu resemble the Great Lobster Matriarchs of old?" will have answers raised only by Ecmandu's unique utterances, and those answers may themselves be a unique contribution to philosophy.
Third, and most importantly, the uniqueness of Ecmandu's philosophical ideas has nothing at all to do with the contribution to philosophy I allege that he has made. He made his "nobody has said anything unique" argument before I wrote my first post in this debate, and has simply stuck to it without seeming to acknowledge it's irrelevance to my position. He thinks he is concerned with the "macrocosmic" scale, and I with the "microcosmic" scale, as he calls them. But even if he's contributed no unique philosophical ideas to the universe in either sense- even if it is as he appears that his greatest idea was accidentally lifted from Brave New World-, that doesn't detract from my position at all. In fact, it makes my position stronger- one of the ways in which Ecmandu's philosophical endeavors serves as a warning to the rest of us is in what can happen when you claim to have an original idea when you haven't done the background reading first."


I didn't say they can't fake it, I said they can't fake it as well!!! So from the perspective of a retard, they would be a fool for trying to mimic them. They'd say, "This is how it's really done" and just be themselves. FOR LIFE! "I was born this way, can you fake that shit?!" People use the word fool, to represent something that is an attempt at expertise but fails miserably, as one definition. And i think this covers your definition quite well, and especially for the purposes of your argument in this debate.

I refuted your example of DaVinci Shoeing a horse and you blew it off. There are people to whom DaVinci, even if he could learn how to shoe a horse, would look like a fool in this endeavor, relative to them. There, honestly, are probably real retards who could shoe a horse faster than DaVinci, and that's because intelligence is not as mono-stereo typed as you make it out to be.

My example of the Kalahari Desert is a great example... this is basic life or death skills, and there are probably only 1000 people in the whole world who could live in some of these regions and not die. That makes the other 7 billion look like fools.

Well... if there aren't an infinite number of people who could understand this debate, then that means we came from nothing at all, which means that it's not OUR contribution to philosophy, it's nobody's.

I already answered the rest of it.
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Re: Ecmandu's No Fool

Postby Uccisore » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:45 pm

Ecmandu wrote:[

I didn't say they can't fake it, I said they can't fake it as well!!!


Which is still a completely unproven speculation on your part.

People use the word fool, to represent something that is an attempt at expertise but fails miserably, as one definition.


So you're claiming that you are an attempt at expertise, and not a person?
I asked for YOUR definition. How are you defining fool in your argument such that it's consistent with your position, describes something real and distinct, and applies to you? I maintain that you have rendered 'fool' meaningless, if I'm wrong, give me the meaning.

I refuted your example of DaVinci Shoeing a horse and you blew it off. There are people to whom DaVinci, even if he could learn how to shoe a horse, would look like a fool in this endeavor, relative to them.


Yes, that's exactly my point. daVinci trying to shoe a horse would absolutely look like a fool compared to a farmer who's done it all his life. Just as you look like a fool when you try to do philosophy. And yet in daVinci's case for sure and perhaps in yours, looking like a fool in a particular instance doesn't make a person a fool anymore than (by your admission) seeming like a retard in some particular instance makes a person a retard. You see, you defeat yourself again. daVinci is no fool just because we can imagine a scenario in which he would look like one, for we know that he was an extremely intelligent, compentent person who had mastered a variety of difficult fields. Davinci is not a fool because he cannot shoe a horse. A person who acts/seems like a retard is not a true retard merely because of how he appears. You are not a fool merely because you seem terrible at philosophy and rhetoric on the internet.

My example of the Kalahari Desert is a great example... this is basic life or death skills, and there are probably only 1000 people in the whole world who could live in some of these regions and not die. That makes the other 7 billion look like fools.


Right, and as we've both agreed, just because you look like something doesn't mean you are that thing.

I already answered the rest of it.


You clearly didn't, you just aren't willing to read three paragraphs and formulate a response. That's why you begged me for non-verbose bullet points of my arguments last night, and that's why you aren't getting them. You'll deal with my points written in as much detail as it takes to make me confident in their strength, or you'll let my points go unanswered and lose the debate. Your choice.
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Re: Ecmandu's No Fool

Postby Ecmandu » Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:20 pm

Uccisore wrote:
Ecmandu wrote:[

I didn't say they can't fake it, I said they can't fake it as well!!!


Which is still a completely unproven speculation on your part.

People use the word fool, to represent something that is an attempt at expertise but fails miserably, as one definition.


So you're claiming that you are an attempt at expertise, and not a person?
I asked for YOUR definition. How are you defining fool in your argument such that it's consistent with your position, describes something real and distinct, and applies to you? I maintain that you have rendered 'fool' meaningless, if I'm wrong, give me the meaning.

I refuted your example of DaVinci Shoeing a horse and you blew it off. There are people to whom DaVinci, even if he could learn how to shoe a horse, would look like a fool in this endeavor, relative to them.


Yes, that's exactly my point. daVinci trying to shoe a horse would absolutely look like a fool compared to a farmer who's done it all his life. Just as you look like a fool when you try to do philosophy. And yet in daVinci's case for sure and perhaps in yours, looking like a fool in a particular instance doesn't make a person a fool anymore than (by your admission) seeming like a retard in some particular instance makes a person a retard. You see, you defeat yourself again. daVinci is no fool just because we can imagine a scenario in which he would look like one, for we know that he was an extremely intelligent, compentent person who had mastered a variety of difficult fields. Davinci is not a fool because he cannot shoe a horse. A person who acts/seems like a retard is not a true retard merely because of how he appears. You are not a fool merely because you seem terrible at philosophy and rhetoric on the internet.

My example of the Kalahari Desert is a great example... this is basic life or death skills, and there are probably only 1000 people in the whole world who could live in some of these regions and not die. That makes the other 7 billion look like fools.


Right, and as we've both agreed, just because you look like something doesn't mean you are that thing.

I already answered the rest of it.


You clearly didn't, you just aren't willing to read three paragraphs and formulate a response. That's why you begged me for non-verbose bullet points of my arguments last night, and that's why you aren't getting them. You'll deal with my points written in as much detail as it takes to make me confident in their strength, or you'll let my points go unanswered and lose the debate. Your choice.


Umm... wow. I refuted every point here in previous posts Uccisore. I actually don't mind setting on what I've written and let Carleas decide from here, unless you have something of substance to add.
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Re: Ecmandu's No Fool

Postby Ecmandu » Thu Apr 23, 2015 11:01 pm

Ecmandu wrote:Umm... wow. I refuted every point here in previous posts Uccisore. I actually don't mind setting on what I've written and let Carleas decide from here, unless you have something of substance to add.


I might add that Carleas is the judge, and as judge he has the right to seek council of anyone he deems fit for council, so it doesn't all just rest on his shoulders, if he should so choose.
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Re: Ecmandu's No Fool

Postby Uccisore » Thu Apr 23, 2015 11:04 pm

I am perfectly content letting this be the end of it. If you're in agreement, I'd like to lock the thread now so we both have assurances the other isn't going to sneak in any last-minute points, and we can do something else with our day.

EDIT: This is a test to see if posts can be edited after the thread is locked. It looks like they can. Now that we've agreed the debate is over, I'm stating my intention to not edit any of my posts, and expecting Ecmandu will agree to the same.
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Re: Ecmandu's No Fool

Postby Ecmandu » Thu Apr 23, 2015 11:14 pm

Uccisore wrote:I am perfectly content letting this be the end of it. If you're in agreement, I'd like to lock the thread now so we both have assurances the other isn't going to sneak in any last-minute points, and we can do something else with our day.


Fine by me Uccisore.
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Stratification of motivational systems towards conspicuous consumption or extraneous drama cause all human ills - that was the most important thing you'll ever read in your life. - Ecmandu

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Re: Ecmandu's No Fool

Postby Carleas » Fri Apr 24, 2015 2:12 am

Thanks to Uccisore and Ecmandu for their participation. I will deliberate and deliver my judgement tomorrow morning.
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Re: Ecmandu's No Fool

Postby Carleas » Fri Apr 24, 2015 9:06 pm

I have reached my decision. Please note that while the participants have agreed to put a certain stake on the outcome of this debate, I have done my best not to let that affect my evaluation of it, and to the extent possible I have excluded from consideration discussion within the debate of the circumstances and stake of the debate.

I have not, however, excluded one point of pre-debate discussion in particular, a post that came after what has been linked to as the Challenge, but before
Ecmandu contacted me to create a formal debate; I am considering that intervening post because Ecmandu had the opportunity to object to it and did not, and so it stands as a clarification of the topic of the debate rather than a part of the debate. In any case, I do not think that its inclusion affected my ultimate judgement.

The Judgement

This debate was steeped in hubris. Both participants made, at times, interesting and strong arguments in advocating their position, but both also undermined their position by their inability to completely commit to the premise of the debate. This was regrettable. As a simple matter of presentation, it is poor form to betray during a debate that one does not fully endorse what one is saying, and I find that both participants were unable to suppress their true feelings. Even the strongest argument is made rhetorically impotent when followed by an implied "but I don't really believe that." Ecmandu clearly believes that he is intelligent, and was never able to fully commit to the argument that he is a fool. Uccisore, though he laid the accusation at Ecmandu's feet and seems to have recognized that he couldn't convincingly argue that Ecmandu was not a fool, still undermined his argument to nearly the same extent by insisting on pointing out e.g. that Ecmandu "look[s] like a fool." Both cases would have been stronger if the debaters had managed a more dispassionate stance.

That said, in their attempts to avoid making the claims they were both clearly unwilling to make directly, their arguments were likely much more interesting, if less compelling. Ecmandu, unable to simply argue that he was a particular fool, chose to condemn everyone as a fool. Similarly, unable to play devil's advocate against himself, he attacked the entire philosophical endeavor. Again, this is a much weaker case than it could have been, and even as framed could have been made much stronger than it was had Ecmandu been willing to argue that in some particular he was a fool. But it is a creative tack, and not entirely unsuccessful.

Uccisore, because he couldn't argue that Ecmandu was simply not a fool, instead offered that we have every reason to think that Ecmandu is a fool, but should reject his actually being a fool as the best explanation for those appearances. Again, the simpler argument is much stronger, and it seems clear that past interactions influenced the choice to eschew it. And, like Ecmandu, even the argument as framed could have been stronger if he'd been willing to present any argument that had as a corollary that Ecmandu simply had no relevant moral failings. Still, it was interesting, and not entirely unsuccessful.

Turning to the success of the arguments as framed, let me start by addressing the question of definition. As I mentioned earlier, I did note and consider that Uccisore had offered an intended definition of "fool" as part of the pre-debate discussion. By my reading, this was the only definition that was actually baked into the challenge. Words like "contribution" and "worthwhile" were open to definition as part of the debate itself. Nor were sub-definitions like that of "idiot". Uccisore repeatedly claimed that since he had presented the statement of the debate, he was entitled to define the terms, but I disagree. Especially since Ecmandu offered the first post, though not only for that reason, it does not seem that definitions not agreed upon as part of the prelude to the debate can be set authoritatively by either party.

That said, either party is free, within the context of the debate, to offer reasonable definitions for the terms as they are using them, and I appreciated that Uccisore offered clear definitions for the terms as he was using them. I thought this was a good rhetorical move, especially since Ecmandu juked out of the gate with unexpected implicit meanings of his own. And by being explicit, and by combining one definition that was part of the debate with a handful that weren't while claiming that it was his prerogative to define them all -- even though I found his claims to be incorrect, by making them as he did he seems to have convinced Ecmandu that they were the definitions that must be used, and thus put the debate into terms that were clearly more favorable to Uccisore.

I did find, however, that too many terms were defined. "Fool" was defined to "idiotic" which was defined to "stupid" which was itself defined. The first definition arguably grounded the conversation to a fixed, external reference, but the further sub-defining only gave Ecmandu more fuel (because Uccisore was ultimately trying to prove the negative, and the definitions gave several sufficient-but-not-necessary ways for Ecmandu to argue the positive). However, since Ecmandu failed to attack any of these weakness, it may be that the gambit paid off, because Uccisore came away from the first exchange looking like he'd done his homework and he had the authorities on his side.

Also a strong point for Uccisore in his first reply was his citation to Ecmandu's claim to have written "the most important sentence in human history". That's hard to square with Ecmandu's claim. Had he made them, similar citations to other posts from Ecmandu pointing out those rare moments where Uccisore himself believes that Ecmandu offered points that weren't totally without merit would have been even stronger. Similarly, and returning to a point I made earlier, Uccisore spent too much time in his first post making Ecmandu's argument for him. The troll argument is only necessary once it is proven that Ecmandu seems like fool. As if that concession isn't undermining enough, the only alternative hypothesis presented (considered?) is that Ecmandu is intentionally presenting himself as a fool. Surely another possibility is that we just don't understand him, a suggestion that would have allowed Uccisore to turn some of Ecmandu's own arguments ("people thought Einstein was a fool") against him quite forcefully. This was a missed opportunity.

A weak point from both participants was the discussion of the meaning of "contribution". Ecmandu's argument was interesting, and might have been quite strong had he actually stuck with it rather than getting derailed by discussions of "worthwhile." Uccisore's definition of "contribution" seems wrong to me: if one delivers books on quantum theory to an isolated island, one has not made a contribution to quantum theory. It maybe a contribution to the study of or the enjoyment of or the proliferation of the theory, but it is not a contribution to the theory. It seems like the argument Ecmandu struggled to make throughout the debate about "worthwhile" would have been more aptly directed at "contribution": there, it seems much more as though novelty is required. This was another big missed opportunity for Ecmandu.

Ecmandu's distinction that he was speaking "in GENERAL" was paradoxically both patently absurd and rhetorically strong, and probably necessary once Ecmandu had limited himself to a much more difficult task than he needed to take on (this is certainly a case where proving the specific case is much easier than the universal truth, and I don't mean that as any kind of slight). Ecmandu seems to posit a Platonic form of 'philosophy', that grows throughout the life of the universe and every civilization plugs into, and only new unique insights count as contributions to the central store. He further assumes that there are an infinite number of souls plugged into it, so that everything that might be contributed by any human has already been contributed. This is absurd, but I liked the chutzpah, and given the constraints he had set for himself, it was impressive for being workable within those constraints. In terms of rhetoric, it ended up having too many assumptions, as Uccisore rightly noted. Still, Ecmandu's already-stated fallback ("that means that it wasn't OUR contribution.") was also strong; had it been expressed more fully, it could have been much stronger.

This leads me a major weakness in Ecmandu's side, and ironically something that he criticized Uccisore for: Uccisore did not come across as verbose to me, he came across as much more complete in his arguments. Ecmandu touched on arguments, but left too much unsaid. Uccisore had a lot more arguments that were presented quasi-syllogistically, and that works both rhetorically in a formal debate like this, and in non-exhibition contexts, where it makes arguments easier to follow and easier to analyze. There were several points where I could see what Ecmandu was trying to say, although he didn't come out and say it (the question of whose contribution it is is one example); there were several where I thought maybe he was making a point but I wasn't sure if I was just coming up with arguments of my own as I read (the discussion about when and how the historical greats could be characterized as fools is an example); and then there were points where the point he was making didn't seem to follow at all (the repeated assertion that he'd be banned no matter how this debate comes out, for example; this seems to have constrained his argument, and it wasn't until late in the game that he touches on the idea, which is right, that one can win a debate and still be a fool). I give this debate to Uccisore in large part because, even where Ecmandu makes his best arguments, he only makes half. He makes them and when Uccisore pushes on them, he doesn't do a whole lot to reinforce them. Uccisore's verbosity, to my eye, was not just for show, it was quite substantive, and he laid out his own arguments and his rebuttals much more completely, making them easier to follow, easier to accept, and ultimately stronger than the counterpoints half-made by Ecmandu.

In general, this debate would have been better with two major changes: First, structurally (and I take this as a failure on my part), it should have been limited in scope to a certain number of posts with a minimum and maximum word length. The debate came off as just another conversation, that was ultimately judged, and too many pixels were spilt questioning whether there would be more to come and who said what; more rigorous structure would have produced a more rigorous debate, and I apologize that I didn't ask for a more complete set of rules before creating this thread.

Second, and I lay criticism in equal parts on both participants: they should have swallowed their own bitter pills from the get-go. Ecmandu, if you're arguing you're a fool, just go ahead and accept that you, specifically, are a fool. This requires a slightly thicker skin, but it is a mark of the nimble mind to be able to take as true repulsive and false premises and reason from them. Uccisore, you make the same mistake. Surely there's something out there that looks like interesting philosophy in Ecmandu's 3000 posts; feigning respect was a near requisite for your side in this debate.

Debating is as much acting as it is arguing. I think you both offered interesting arguments, but neither of you came close to convincing me that you believed what you were saying.

So judged. I leave the consequences to be sorted out by the participants.
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Carleas
Magister Ludi
 
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