Where did it go?

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Re: Where did it go?

Postby phyllo » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:43 pm

What is an argument?

To 'argue' in an academic context is to put forward an opinion through the process of reasoning, supported by evidence. An argument attempts to persuade through rational and critical judgement. In academic writing an argument is sometimes called a claim or a thesis statement, which is also supported with evidence.
How do we argue at university?

The everyday meaning of the term argument suggests a fight: an aggressive conflict or confrontation between adversaries, where one tries to dominate the other in order to 'win'. At university this kind of arguing is not appropriate. The aim of academic argument is to explore a question, a proposition or an area of knowledge and achieve reasoned mutual understanding. It is not important who 'wins'—what matters most is the quality of the argument itself. When you engage in academic argument in your tutorial discussions, you are developing your ideas, advancing and clarifying your knowledge and learning to think critically.


In order to successfully negotiate tutorial discussion, courtesy is important. The following are a few ground rules for good conduct.
Do

Respect the contribution of other speakers. Speak pleasantly and with courtesy to all members of the group.
Listen well to the ideas of other speakers; you will learn something.
Acknowledge what you find interesting.
Remember that a discussion is not a fight. Learn to disagree politely.
Respect differing views. Those who hold them are not necessarily wrong.
Think about your contribution before you speak. How best can you answer the question/ contribute to the topic?
Try to stick to the discussion topic. Don't introduce irrelevant information. If the discussion does digress, bring it back on topic by saying something like 'Just a final point about the last topic before we move on' or 'that's an interesting point, can we come back to that later?
Be aware of your body language. Keep it open and friendly. Avoid gestures that appear aggressive.
Speak clearly. Don't whisper; even if you're feeling uncertain about your ideas or language.

Don't

Don't take offence if another speaker disagrees with you. Putting forward different points of view is an important part of any discussion. Others may disagree with your ideas, and they are entitled to do so.
Never try to intimidate or insult another speaker or ridicule the contribution of others.
Don’t use comments like 'that’s stupid' or 'you're wrong'. Learn to disagree and argue appropriately.
Take care to use a moderate tone of voice. If you sound angry or aggressive others will not want to listen to you.
If you are a confident speaker, try not to dominate the discussion. Pause to allow quieter students a chance to contribute.
Avoid drawing too much on personal experience or anecdote. Although some tutors encourage students to reflect on their own experience, remember not to generalise too much.
Don't interrupt or talk over another speaker. Let them finish their point before you start. Listening to others earns you the right to be heard.


You may be trying to disprove another speaker's point, but it is also important to disagree politely, and to keep the discussion moving in the right direction. Try the following three steps to use when disagreeing with another speaker:

1. Acknowledge their thoughts/ ideas

I can see your point - however ...
That's a good point, but ...
I see what you're getting at/ where you're coming from, but ...
I see what you mean - however...

2. Then explain why you disagree

That's not always the case because ...
That's not necessarily true because ...
This idea isn't supported by statistics/ evidence ...
I thought the author meant that ...

3. Offer your opinion complete with reason and support

From what I've read ...
The statistics seem to indicate that ...
I think what (author's name) may actually be suggesting is ...
Other studies by (author's name) show that ...

Now, be prepared for counter-argument and further discussion!

Remember, confidence is the key. If you do your tutorial preparation and think things through, you can speak with confidence and believe that your contribution will be valid.

https://student.unsw.edu.au/discussion-skills
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Re: Where did it go?

Postby tentative » Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:55 am

Phyllo,

Kudos to UNSW Sydney for preparing this guide or primer. Kudos to you for posting it here in ILP.

NEXT: How do we insure that all members have read and agree to abide by all the do's and don'ts? Should such a thing take place, you might be able to find more interesting threads to become involved. I might be tempted to check in more than a couple times a year.


Carleas, I hope you are following this. It might be a way to reverse some of the nastier aspects of internet activity. It would be nice if some of the moderators would weigh in on this idea since it could only be to your benefit.
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Re: Where did it go?

Postby Carleas » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:07 pm

It's a nice idea, but I don't see how it works in practice. A policy banning someone until they sign an oath saying they've read and understood it? Should they pass a quiz?

I'm skeptical that moderation does very much to teach people how to have a discussion. It teaches people that they will be reprimanded for certain behaviors on certain forums, and if it's applied consistently that can be enough. But the audience isn't captive enough, and the stakes aren't high enough, for moderator intervention to have the effect of changing someone's style of discussion. At the very least, that would require a good faith effort on the part of the poster, and the people who come here to make a good faith effort to post the best philosophy they can don't really need moderator help to improve their posting; most of what makes for good discussion is just good faith.

Most of moderation's effect comes from excluding the small percentage of people who cause most of the disruption, but that too is moving the ocean with a spoon given how easy it is to circumvent any exclusion -- and that problem also hits any attempt to elicit some promise in exchange for lifting a ban: anything more onerous than creating a new account can be ignored at a net gain.

And either way, the bottleneck is time. We have a handful of part-time volunteer moderators, and there's more posted here than can be read in its entirety. We can bring on more moderators, but that brings its own challenges (over-moderation also gets complaints), and in any case we've had trouble finding people interested in moderating. This all makes me skeptical of anything that costs moderator time but is unlikely to make a meaningful difference.

And so: we return to ignoring. The time cost is distributed, and paid most by those who would request the most intervention. It avoids issues of over-moderation, but directly addresses the existence of bozos. It works best paired with moderation, because there are efficiencies in centralizing the exclusion of those who everyone agrees are a source of disruption, but it also works in the absence or delay of moderation.

If the alternative suggestion is "change all the bozos into not-bozos", ignoring the bozos strikes me as a pretty good option.
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Re: Where did it go?

Postby phyllo » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:04 pm

So ... nutn
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Re: Where did it go?

Postby Carleas » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:24 pm

Wut
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Re: Where did it go?

Postby tentative » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:53 pm

Phyllo,

I agree... nutn.

OK. Last gasp try:

Carleas, So it would be too much effort for improbable success? So it remains samo samo, don't rock the boat, move along-nothing to see here?

Would it be possible to create a must-read statement of the core of Phyllo's guide/primer for all newcomers before they're allowed to begin posting? Perhaps with a pretty please understand and follow this guide? Couldn't the moderators be asked to refer anyone who has to be warned to this guide as helpful suggestions? Would this be too much effort?

As a moderation tool, it would make warnings include an attempt to help people negotiate the minefield. Just a bit of education along with the slap on the wrist.

I agree that it wouldn't change things very much, but if it reached even a few members wouldn't that be useful?
IGAYRCCFYVM
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Re: Where did it go?

Postby Serendipper » Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:00 am

Carleas wrote:I'm skeptical that moderation does very much to teach people how to have a discussion.

Moderators should live up to their name: they should moderate (verb) and be moderate (adjective)(non-biased), but instead they typically escalate to the point of using force. As I see it, a moderator should step in to cool heated discussions, point out fallacious argumentation, and bring the discussion back to a productive level with never a thought of using force except for the most extreme case of unreasonableness. Anyone could undertake the role of moderation, but the education should start with the originator of the board and gradually a population of regulars would develop who could help keep folks in line with the tools learned from the master.

If moderators are not teachers, then they should be renamed cops rather than the continuation of the misnomer. The system of handing out citations is not building a self-correcting organism that could one day function without such policing.
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Re: Where did it go?

Postby iambiguous » Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:16 pm

phyllo wrote:
Instead, my concern here at ILP is the extent to which the idiots and the assholes come to prevail on all the forums. The Kids as I call them. And thus drive away those folks whose opinions [and intelligence] I do value.
"The Kids" have prevailed.

The discussions are below a high school level.


Well, there are Kids and then there are Kids.

Indeed, talk about an "existential contraption rooted in dasein"!

Though it is certainly true that the level of discourse here has deteriorated over the years. When I first came on board, I had some fascinating [if contentious] discussions with folks like von "mo" rivers, moreno, faust, only humean and the like.

Only I suspect that to them I was construed to be "Kid" in turn. That is, in ever insisting on bringing philosophy "down to earth", I was missing the importance of pinning it down "technically". Of focusing in on exploring just what it is that we can claim to know rationally.

Whereas from my frame of mind, philosophy [first and foremost] revolves around the question "how ought one to live?". Both on this side of the grave and in order to secure that which you would like your fate to be on the other side of it. A blurring of philosophy and religion out in the world of actual human interactions.

Also, my "polemical" bent no doubt rubbed many the wrong way in turn.

There's just no pinning down with any precision the optimal manner in which to discuss these relationships. Unless of course there is and I'm either unable or unwilling to grasp it.

If only from down in this godawful hole.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: Where did it go?

Postby iambiguous » Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:53 pm

phyllo wrote:If you are focused on the idea of "proof" or "provable" arguments then read this :
Before attempting to explain and assess moral arguments for the existence of God, it would be helpful to have some perspective on the goals of arguments for God’s existence. (I shall generically term arguments for God’s existence “theistic arguments.”) Of course views about this are diverse, but most contemporary proponents of such arguments do not see theistic arguments as attempted “proofs,” in the sense that they are supposed to provide valid arguments with premises that no reasonable person could deny. Such a standard of achievement would clearly be setting the bar for success very high, and proponents of theistic arguments rightly note that philosophical arguments for interesting conclusions in any field outside of formal logic hardly ever reach such a standard. More reasonable questions to ask about theistic arguments would seem to be the following: Are there valid arguments for the conclusion that God exists that have premises that are known or reasonably believed by some people? Are the premises of such arguments more reasonable than their denials, at least for some reasonable people? Arguments that met these standards could have value in making belief in God reasonable for some people, or even giving some people knowledge of God’s existence, even if it turns out that some of the premises of the arguments can be reasonably denied by other people, and thus that the arguments fail as proofs.

It is of course possible that an argument for God’s existence could provide some evidence for God’s existence, in the sense that the argument increases the probability or plausibility of the claim that God exists, even if the argument does not provide enough support by itself for full-fledged belief that God exists. A proponent of the moral argument who viewed the argument in this way might in that case regard the argument as part of a cumulative case for theism, and hold that the moral argument must be supplemented by other possible arguments, such as the “fine-tuning” argument from the physical constants of the universe, or an argument from religious experience. A non-believer might even concede some version of a theistic argument has some evidential force, but claim that the overall balance of evidence does not support belief.

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/mora ... #GoaTheArg


Yes, if a discussion of God and religion is confined to this sort of scholastic exchange, "civil and intelligent" discussions can be sustained for pages and pages. Epistemological arguments revolving basically around the arguments themselves.

But [existentially] what is really the point of believing in God and religion?

1] to ground one's behaviors in a moral narrative on this side of the grave and
2] to secure one's immortality and salvation on the other side of it

And here could the stakes possibly be any higher?! So, of course when discussions head in that direction, and the stakes do begin to mount, there will be more potential for friction, for fractious exchanges.

Religion can be approached "theologically" and/or "academically", or it can be discussed more pointedly in terms of its importance to the life that you actually live.

That's where the balance comes in. And different folks are bound to draw the lines here in different places. Precisely because "out in the world" of actual human interaction there is so much at stake.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: Where did it go?

Postby phyllo » Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:17 pm

Yes, if a discussion of God and religion is confined to this sort of scholastic exchange, "civil and intelligent" discussions can be sustained for pages and pages. Epistemological arguments revolving basically around the arguments themselves.
There is a way to get useful feedback, reduce your errors, improve your reasoning and ultimately get closer to the truth.
But [existentially] what is really the point of believing in God and religion?

1] to ground one's behaviors in a moral narrative on this side of the grave and
2] to secure one's immortality and salvation on the other side of it

And here could the stakes possibly be any higher?! So, of course when discussions head in that direction, and the stakes do begin to mount, there will be more potential for friction, for fractious exchanges.
The stakes are high.

Do you care if what you think is true or false?

Is it better to move towards the truth or to fortify yourself in a potentially false belief?

The 'modern' idea that everyone has their own truth and he/she lives in his own reality.

I disagree. I think the reality is outside of me and I need to interact with it. That means talking to other people. It's how I'm going to learn about reality and truth.

I need to shed my errors in order to grow.
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Re: Where did it go?

Postby Carleas » Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:09 pm

tentative wrote:So it would be too much effort for improbable success?
...
Would it be possible to...Would this be too much effort?

Let me put it differently.

I have X time to spend moderating ILP right now. I can spend it sending people links to articles they won't read, or I can spend it targeting disruptive users and posts (there are of course many other ways to spend that time, but this is just to illustrate the point). Given the expected payoff of these options, how much of X should I spend doing each thing? How much of time that I have been spending doing the latter thing should I give up to doing the former thing?

I won't speak for other mods, but for myself, if I'm being honest, I don't spend my time here particularly efficiently if the goal is to maximize the quality of discussion. I spend most of the time I have for ILP on posting philosophy, because I enjoy discussing philosophy, playing cop sucks, and I can convince myself that contributing the supply of good faith discussion is a sort of moderation-by-example. But assuming I've overcome the preliminary hurdle of deciding to spend more time actively moderating in a more traditional sense, I am still faced with the question of how I should spend that additional time to maximize bang for buck.

You're asking if doing what you suggest it possible, and I assert that that's the wrong question. Rather, we should ask if it's worthwhile given the opportunity cost of not engaging in other more effective modes of moderation. It does not seem so.

Serendipper wrote:Moderators should live up to their name

And so they do:
Dictionary.com wrote:3. a member of an online message board or electronic mailing list with privileges and responsibilities to approve or reject messages and uphold the terms of service.
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Re: Where did it go?

Postby tentative » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:21 pm

Sooo... Any attempt to provide educational resources is just a waste of administration's valuable time. Got it. With that perspective, it explains why ILP has become a facebook wannabe. Good luck with that.
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Re: Where did it go?

Postby Serendipper » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:34 pm

Carleas wrote:
Serendipper wrote:Moderators should live up to their name

And so they do:
Dictionary.com wrote:3. a member of an online message board or electronic mailing list with privileges and responsibilities to approve or reject messages and uphold the terms of service.


That's a #3 colloquial definition which is a perversion from the literal meaning and further testament that moderators are misnomers.

The #1 definition is:

noun
a person or thing that moderates.

The definition of moderate is:

adjective
kept or keeping within reasonable or proper limits; not extreme, excessive, or intense.

verb (used with object)
to reduce the excessiveness of; make less violent, severe, intense, or rigorous.

verb (used without object)
to become less violent, severe, intense, or rigorous.

noun
a person who is moderate in opinion or opposed to extreme views and actions, especially in politics or religion.

So a moderator is someone who or something that is not extreme/excessive/intense and practices the action of reducing excessiveness/intensity of something.

Any other definition is a perversion from the literal meaning.

The British dictionary suggests a moderator is more likely to be a church minister or heavy water in nuclear reactors than a policeman of message boards.

British Dictionary definitions for moderator
moderator
noun
1. a person or thing that moderates
2. Presbyterian Church a minister appointed to preside over a Church court, synod, or general assembly
3. a presiding officer at a public or legislative assembly
4. a material, such as heavy water or graphite, used for slowing down neutrons in the cores of nuclear reactors so that they have more chance of inducing nuclear fission
5. an examiner at Oxford or Cambridge Universities in first public examinations
6. (in Britain and New Zealand) one who is responsible for consistency of standards in the grading of some educational assessments
7. a person who monitors the conversations in an on-line chatroom for bad language, inappropriate content, etc

The #7 definition above is a cop

cop
[kop]
noun Informal.
1. a police officer.
2. a person who seeks to regulate a specified behavior, activity, practice, etc.

police
[puh-lees]
noun
1. an organized civil force for maintaining order, preventing and detecting crime, and enforcing the laws.
2. (used with a plural verb) members of such a force.
3. the regulation and control of a community, especially for the maintenance of public order, safety, health, morals, etc.
4. the department of the government concerned with this, especially with the maintenance of order.
5. any body of people officially maintained or employed to keep order, enforce regulations, etc.
6. people who seek to regulate a specified activity, practice, etc.

The difference between a cop and a moderator is the latter is only interested in the intensity and not the topic; the topic is irrelevant: his only job is to bring things back to center. However, a cop has no regard for intensity since his job is to blindly and mechanistically enforce prescribed rules.

So if moderators are to be cops, then they should be called cops. If they are to be called moderators, then they should be moderate and practice moderation. Otherwise it's like pro-lifers in support of the death penalty; they shouldn't be called pro-life if they are not.
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Re: Where did it go?

Postby Carleas » Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:35 pm

tentative wrote:Sooo... Any attempt to provide educational resources is just a waste of administration's valuable time.

It's not a question of the value of my time, since that shows up on both sides of the equation. Rather, the issue is that I can only spend my time once, and so time spent on ineffective interventions means time not spent on effective interventions. Here, my best advisers tell me that spreading the Holy Weblink "wouldn't change things very much", so it does not seem a likely candidate for how I should spend my time.

And while it's quite charitable of you to volunteer my time on this quixotic attempt to fix the world, I note that you have every ability to send that link to whoever you choose. Put it in your signature, send it by PM, reply to particularly egregious sins against the University of New South Whales - Sydney's Guide to Discussion Skills. I invite you to employ all the same means that I might employ to spread the Good News of Not Being A Dick On The Internet -- unless you feel that would be a waste of your valuable time.

Serendipper wrote:That's a #3 colloquial definition

Yes. We are using the word for one of several accepted meanings, and the one that is most natural in context.

I feel like you're making a critique of a practice and disguising it as a critique of language use.
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Re: Where did it go?

Postby tentative » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:01 pm

Carleas,

Your response was predictable and expected. "I'm too busy, you do it." Yes, I could do that, but it begs the question doesn't it? ILP belongs to YOU, not me. You're the guiding hand, not me.

You don't get it. Stop digging.
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Sorry, arguing with the ignorant is like trying to wrestle with a jellyfish. No matter how many tentacles you cut off there are always more, and there isn't even a brain to stun. - Maia

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Re: Where did it go?

Postby phyllo » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:19 pm

You're the guiding hand, not me.
He has decided what kind of guiding he wants to do.

This is not the first time this sort of discussion has taken place. Maybe it ought to be the last time.
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Re: Where did it go?

Postby Carleas » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:53 pm

I'm not recommending that "you do it". I see no good reason why anyone should do it, because it "wouldn't change things very much". There are better ways to achieve the goals expressed here, and you should do those.

But if your goals are different, if spinning wheels matter intrinsically, or if signaling a desire to educate is a good-in-itself even if no actual education occurs, by all means have at it. Those aren't my goals, and what you're asking me to do does not achieve any goal anyone has stated in this thread, and it seems that you have acknowledged that.
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Re: Where did it go?

Postby Serendipper » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:58 pm

Carleas wrote:
Serendipper wrote:That's a #3 colloquial definition

Yes. We are using the word for one of several accepted meanings, and the one that is most natural in context.

So you're on board with "pro-life" = "pro-death" because it's accepted, therefore it must not be disingenuous? The definition for moderator that you're using is synonymous with "cop" and completely redundant. The "moderator" label is a holdover from televised debates where moderators actually moderated rather than played the role of police, but the practice online has morphed from the old role of the moderator to that of a cop, which I feel is counterproductive and evidenced by your frustrations.

I feel like you're making a critique of a practice and disguising it as a critique of language use.

Well, it's both functional and a potential George Carlin skit. You admitted yourself that the status quo is not working and that you don't have time nor desire to "play cop", so teach people to argue properly and pass the torch to some regulars in an effort to create a self-sustaining organism. You're good with people, so teach people to be as you are.

Discussion moderator
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A discussion moderator or debate moderator is a person whose role is to act as a neutral participant in a debate or discussion, holds participants to time limits and tries to keep them from straying off the topic of the questions being raised in the debate. Sometimes moderators may ask questions intended to allow the debate participants to fully develop their argument in order to ensure the debate moves at pace.

In panel discussions commonly held at academic conferences, the moderator usually introduces the participants and solicits questions from the audience. On television and radio shows, a moderator will often take calls from people having differing views, and will use those calls as a starting point to ask questions of guests on the show. Perhaps the most prominent role of moderators is in political debates, which have become a common feature of election campaigns. The moderator may have complete control over which questions to ask, or may act as a filter by selecting questions from the audience.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discussion_moderator

That seems less synonymous with a "cop" who lurks in the background handing out citations or executions.
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Re: Where did it go?

Postby Carleas » Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:45 pm

Serendipper wrote:So you're on board with "pro-life" = "pro-death" because it's accepted, therefore it must not be disingenuous?

Who is making that equivalence? I'm not familiar with it, and it doesn't seem there is nearly as wide agreement on it as there is on the use of 'moderator' in the context of online forums.

Serendipper wrote: the practice online has morphed from the old role of the moderator to that of a cop

I've been arguing online since the late 90s, and the word moderator has meant what we use it to mean here as long as I can remember. In fact, though I have no way of confirming this, I would bet that I learned the online meaning first, since I was getting into trouble on internet message boards before I was watching televised debates.

Moreover, the word 'moderator' is written into the fabric of the software this site runs on, and apparently in the sense in which we use it. There is a built in class of user called a "moderator", certain built-in relationships between users and forums, built-in sets of permissions, etc. all labelled with the word 'moderator'. That class of user, those relationships, those permission sets, have nothing to do with playing interviewer, they have to do with "approv[ing] or reject[ing] messages and uphold[ing] the terms of service".

Serendipper wrote:Well, it's both functional and a potential George Carlin skit.

I'm not familiar enough with Carlin's work to get this reference.

Serendipper wrote:You're good with people, so teach people to be as you are.

I appreciate you saying so, but I think this thread shows otherwise!
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Re: Where did it go?

Postby Arcturus Descending » Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:54 pm

phyllo wrote:
What is an argument?

To 'argue' in an academic context is to put forward an opinion through the process of reasoning, supported by evidence. An argument attempts to persuade through rational and critical judgement. In academic writing an argument is sometimes called a claim or a thesis statement, which is also supported with evidence.
How do we argue at university?

The everyday meaning of the term argument suggests a fight: an aggressive conflict or confrontation between adversaries, where one tries to dominate the other in order to 'win'. At university this kind of arguing is not appropriate. The aim of academic argument is to explore a question, a proposition or an area of knowledge and achieve reasoned mutual understanding. It is not important who 'wins'—what matters most is the quality of the argument itself. When you engage in academic argument in your tutorial discussions, you are developing your ideas, advancing and clarifying your knowledge and learning to think critically.


In order to successfully negotiate tutorial discussion, courtesy is important. The following are a few ground rules for good conduct.
Do

Respect the contribution of other speakers. Speak pleasantly and with courtesy to all members of the group.
Listen well to the ideas of other speakers; you will learn something.
Acknowledge what you find interesting.
Remember that a discussion is not a fight. Learn to disagree politely.
Respect differing views. Those who hold them are not necessarily wrong.
Think about your contribution before you speak. How best can you answer the question/ contribute to the topic?
Try to stick to the discussion topic. Don't introduce irrelevant information. If the discussion does digress, bring it back on topic by saying something like 'Just a final point about the last topic before we move on' or 'that's an interesting point, can we come back to that later?
Be aware of your body language. Keep it open and friendly. Avoid gestures that appear aggressive.
Speak clearly. Don't whisper; even if you're feeling uncertain about your ideas or language.

Don't

Don't take offence if another speaker disagrees with you. Putting forward different points of view is an important part of any discussion. Others may disagree with your ideas, and they are entitled to do so.
Never try to intimidate or insult another speaker or ridicule the contribution of others.
Don’t use comments like 'that’s stupid' or 'you're wrong'. Learn to disagree and argue appropriately.
Take care to use a moderate tone of voice. If you sound angry or aggressive others will not want to listen to you.
If you are a confident speaker, try not to dominate the discussion. Pause to allow quieter students a chance to contribute.
Avoid drawing too much on personal experience or anecdote. Although some tutors encourage students to reflect on their own experience, remember not to generalise too much.
Don't interrupt or talk over another speaker. Let them finish their point before you start. Listening to others earns you the right to be heard.


You may be trying to disprove another speaker's point, but it is also important to disagree politely, and to keep the discussion moving in the right direction. Try the following three steps to use when disagreeing with another speaker:

1. Acknowledge their thoughts/ ideas

I can see your point - however ...
That's a good point, but ...
I see what you're getting at/ where you're coming from, but ...
I see what you mean - however...

2. Then explain why you disagree

That's not always the case because ...
That's not necessarily true because ...
This idea isn't supported by statistics/ evidence ...
I thought the author meant that ...

3. Offer your opinion complete with reason and support

From what I've read ...
The statistics seem to indicate that ...
I think what (author's name) may actually be suggesting is ...
Other studies by (author's name) show that ...

Now, be prepared for counter-argument and further discussion!

Remember, confidence is the key. If you do your tutorial preparation and think things through, you can speak with confidence and believe that your contribution will be valid.

https://student.unsw.edu.au/discussion-skills


Thanks for this, Phyllo. One needs all of the helpful reminders one can receive, especially when one's ego can get in the way and when one is not necessarily a philosopher, per se. lol
“How can a bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?”
― William Blake


“Little Fly
Thy summers play,
My thoughtless hand
Has brush'd away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink & sing:
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength & breath:
And the want
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die”
― William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience


“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”
― William Blake
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Re: Where did it go?

Postby phyllo » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:12 pm

I'm glad that it got a generally positive reception. :D
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Re: Where did it go?

Postby iambiguous » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:50 pm

phyllo wrote:
Yes, if a discussion of God and religion is confined to this sort of scholastic exchange, "civil and intelligent" discussions can be sustained for pages and pages. Epistemological arguments revolving basically around the arguments themselves.
There is a way to get useful feedback, reduce your errors, improve your reasoning and ultimately get closer to the truth.


That's true. And to the extent to which I am deficient in acquiring and then sustaining those skills, I am clearly open to legitimate criticism.

But my focus here is always on the distinction between those things/relationships for which "the truth" is in fact applicable objectively, and those things/relationships which may well be embodied subjectively/subjunctively in but points of view for mere mortals in a No God world.

All I can do then is to ask those who do claim to have acquired the necessary skills, to bring them out into the world of conflicting human behaviors; such that we might explore any possible limitations in regards to the tools philosophers use in their search for the truth.


But [existentially] what is really the point of believing in God and religion?

1] to ground one's behaviors in a moral narrative on this side of the grave and
2] to secure one's immortality and salvation on the other side of it

And here could the stakes possibly be any higher?! So, of course when discussions head in that direction, and the stakes do begin to mount, there will be more potential for friction, for fractious exchanges.


phyllo wrote: The stakes are high.

Do you care if what you think is true or false?


I care about the extent to which anyone who claims that what they think they know is true or false about God and religion is something that they can in turn demonstrate that all rational men and women are obligated to think they know is true or false about them too.

What else is there? The rest revolves around faith.

phyllo wrote: Is it better to move towards the truth or to fortify yourself in a potentially false belief?


What particular truth in what particular context? Isn't that where I always take the exchanges?

phyllo wrote: The 'modern' idea that everyone has their own truth and he/she lives in his own reality.


So, is there a postmodern mathematics? a postmodern science? a post modern set of empirical facts? a post-modern logic?

Again: What particular "reality" is being discussed?

phyllo wrote: I disagree. I think the reality is outside of me and I need to interact with it. That means talking to other people. It's how I'm going to learn about reality and truth.

I need to shed my errors in order to grow.


In other words, outside of you and I and everyone else here, there is this a-historical, a-cultural, a-experiential thing that is Communism or abortion.

And the "reality and truth" about them [for now] still revolves around the manner in which you think about them.

And that at least offers some measure of comfort for you. Others may not share your own moral narrative or political agenda about them but to the extent that they don't is the extent to which they are further removed from that "reality and truth".

And we just continue to "get" this is different ways.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: Where did it go?

Postby phyllo » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:46 pm

So, is there a postmodern mathematics? a postmodern science? a post modern set of empirical facts? a post-modern logic?
Yes there is. The truth in climate science is whatever you want it to be. Sociology and psychology are driven by politics and fads. Look at anything involving race or gender. Look at science posted by big agro and big pharma.

Look at Youtube and you will get get all sorts of truths about science, medicine and math. The place is full of geniuses.

Or just look at the gibberish posted in the Science forum on this site. Sadly James is no longer posting his highly entertaining nonsense. :(

You can't even get a count of the dead in Puerto Rico without Trump denying it and some people believing him. How is that for math?
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Re: Where did it go?

Postby phyllo » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:04 pm

In other words, outside of you and I and everyone else here, there is this a-historical, a-cultural, a-experiential thing that is Communism or abortion.
I don't think that those can be "other words" for what I wrote.

I think all knowledge comes from experience or is logically derived from experience - either my experience or the experience of others or a combination of both. So why would I write that some truth is a-experiential???
And the "reality and truth" about them [for now] still revolves around the manner in which you think about them.
I wrote the exact opposite. I wrote that I need to alter my thinking as required by an external reality.

That's what I'm asking on a forum. Should I be thinking differently about X? Am I doing something wrong? Does this still work? Did this ever work?
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Re: Where did it go?

Postby Serendipper » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:16 pm

Carleas wrote:
Serendipper wrote:So you're on board with "pro-life" = "pro-death" because it's accepted, therefore it must not be disingenuous?

Who is making that equivalence? I'm not familiar with it, and it doesn't seem there is nearly as wide agreement on it as there is on the use of 'moderator' in the context of online forums.


Pro-life has been equivalent to pro-death before the internet was around.

Image

Serendipper wrote: the practice online has morphed from the old role of the moderator to that of a cop

I've been arguing online since the late 90s, and the word moderator has meant what we use it to mean here as long as I can remember. In fact, though I have no way of confirming this, I would bet that I learned the online meaning first, since I was getting into trouble on internet message boards before I was watching televised debates.

Oh, I didn't mean to imply that "moderator" in the online context ever had any meaning other than it does now, but the label originated from the offline usage of it while the actual duties of a mod became that of a cop instead of a moderator. Do you see what I mean? The name was transferred from offline, but the duties changed.

Moreover, the word 'moderator' is written into the fabric of the software this site runs on, and apparently in the sense in which we use it. There is a built in class of user called a "moderator", certain built-in relationships between users and forums, built-in sets of permissions, etc. all labelled with the word 'moderator'. That class of user, those relationships, those permission sets, have nothing to do with playing interviewer, they have to do with "approv[ing] or reject[ing] messages and uphold[ing] the terms of service".

I'm not suggesting a name change, but to recognize that the duties of a moderator in the most literal and original sense of the word is to moderate intense situations. I'm not picking on ILP, but mostly other forums and speaking generally. For instance the physics forums mod posted a warning to me publicly on the thread about offtopic conversations, so I replied to it and he hassled me about replying to his message, so I replied again saying he should have pm'd me instead of posting on the thread if he didn't want the thread cluttered with his own offtopic nonsense. The point is instead of striving to moderate the situation, he continued to escalate into a battle of wills and it didn't have to be that way. I gave him a piece of my mind then left because I knew where it was inevitably going. Too many of those guys have Napoleon complexes and some forums have "trophy cases" to show off their banned members. Acting in that fashion is a perversion of the meaning of the word moderator, like a school is no longer a place of leisure as the original meaning of the word implied, but a place of work. Mods are rarely moderate (adj) and they almost never moderate (verb), but escalate; they should be called escalators! ;)

Serendipper wrote:Well, it's both functional and a potential George Carlin skit.

I'm not familiar enough with Carlin's work to get this reference.

Carlin was a self-proclaimed wordsmith who professionally joked about the silliness of the English language and how words are perverted for political reasons:



Serendipper wrote:You're good with people, so teach people to be as you are.

I appreciate you saying so, but I think this thread shows otherwise!

Well, you concede points and have a sense of fairness and equity that's unique among forum-people. You don't see it about yourself? Surely I'm not the only one to notice. Lao Tzu said "To lead people, walk behind them." and you either do it innately or have learned somewhere along the way. I'll point it out the next time I see you do it.
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