quote:Originally posted by Greg Davidson: LR, you are right.
And maybe I should back off for a while.
For what it's worth, I don't see too many people 'confess' to making mistakes on a general basis, here or elsewhere. I think I understand your desire to hold people accountable to what they say, but then again who is really 'pure of heart' in this sense? The fact that the Obamacare thread involved quantitative elements made it into a sort of easy snare where if someone made claims there would be a numerical results years later that would prove the claim to either be accurate or not. But should the possibility of a numerical evaluation in that one case really stand to 'prove' that people will make errors and not admit it? But we already know they do! Proof of it isn't required.
I think the best we can aspire to here is to try to understand each other and to recognize that when we disagree it's not always of primary importance to determine "who is wrong". There can be reasons for disagreement other than error, even though of course errors and faulty reasoning also occur. While I suppose we should try to point out these errors (and in so doing frequently have debates over basic facts or interpretations) it may be of more value to realize the basic valuations individuals have that lead them to their typical positions. Maybe understanding the person's outlook on life is more important than whether or not they are the best debaters.
You seem to believe, for instance, that Republican/conservative positions are often based on spurious claims. But are they? What claims are really at the core of conservatism? Are the errors you suspect perhaps not endemic to individuals rather than to the conservative philosophy? If certain conservatives employ bad reasoning to realize their values, might we not envision better reasoning on their behalf and yet not feel the values themselves must be considered refuted along with the bad arguments?
I mostly agree with that (see, I'm accusing you of being right), but being wrong is the hallmark of certain posters here. What really galls me, and I think Greg and some others, is poor thinking. That happens because of bad analysis sometimes, but far more often is due to simple bias. That's what needs to be called out and "corrected", though it is almost never admitted or "fixed".
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quote:Originally posted by AI Wessex: I mostly agree with that (see, I'm accusing you of being right), but being wrong is the hallmark of certain posters here. What really galls me, and I think Greg and some others, is poor thinking. That happens because of bad analysis sometimes, but far more often is due to simple bias. That's what needs to be called out and "corrected", though it is almost never admitted or "fixed".
Biases can be a good thing. If one has faith in one's first principles then it would be foolish indeed to agree with concepts counter to them just because they sound logical on paper. Sometimes it can be hard to formulate an argument against the logical-sounding proposition, and an attempt to do so will create a weak, 'biased' argument that you could easily spot as merely trying to reiterate a previous supposition. You'd be right to point that out, but wrong to imply that it therefore means the person is full of it. It just means they aren't up to the task of creating a good enough argument to back up their beliefs in the scenario provided.
Let's say you give a moral realist the dilemma "kill one person to save 100" (a lousy but old example). If killing is wrong under any circumstances then the person will say they won't do it. But then one can accuse them of killing the 100 out of selfish pride, of not knowing math, of being hypocritical, and of being a coward. If the person then offers some argument about killing harming all of humanity or human sacrifice being a sinful proposition, you'll ask for evidence of this and won't get it. So the moral realist's argument will appear to be 'weak' even though it's actually entirely tenable and consistent as a philosophical position. Furthermore, if moral realism is correct (which it's entirely possible it is, ontologically) then no amount of argument either way will change the fact that the person's position is the right one.
So I find the issue of being right and wrong often muddier than would be convenient for those who enjoy debate as I do.
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