Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. 30 Jul '14 19:23
    I have been on here (with occasional absences) so many years . . . I used to have friends (and maybe still do, not sure anymore) on different sides of different issues - and we were not always gentle with one another in the heat of argument over issues that we cared passionately about. Apologies were often called for - and as often accepted.

    And we made lasting enemies as well - though not so often. But the predominant discourse seems to have lately changed.

    Errors in something that someone has presented can no longer be errors of fact - they are now, pretty much from the get-go, clear examples of deceit. One’s opponents can no longer be mistaken - they must be in some way stupid or perverse (or, at best, stupidly duped). Adversarial debate is no longer a means to arrival at the truth, and anyone who can see (or who dares to say) elements of truth on both sides, or who recognizes that there might be wrongful claims of fact on both sides - well, that person is just a hypocrite. And the days in which one could take the opposite side of an argument for the sake of using adversarial discourse to test the truth - those days are long gone.

    Accusations of bigotry (especially racism) furiously fly. But so do accusations of “playing the racist/bigot card”. Often, both of those countervailing accusations are levelled at “those people”, the supporters of this or that position, as a common “strategy”. There are bigots on here of course - some of them admitted, some not (some perhaps not even to themselves). But the “code” for various forms of bigotry has become sufficiently “mainstream”, that no amount of one-sided polemic or pattern of rhetoric seems enough to decide the coin.

    Sarcasm, vicious generalizations and personal attacks are now prominent substitutes for argument. There is no dialectic - synthesis is unacceptable, every antithesis despised. Every adversary must be reduced to at least a caricature of evil.

    In simple terms, there is little concern for fairness here any more, little allowance for benefit of the doubt (even after only a minimal interchange), little generosity of spirit - and damn little consideration of the idea that one might be, oneself, wrong. And so there is an animosity on these fora that once, at worst, was a sideshow - but has now become the main theme.

    It hurts my heart. Maybe I am just getting old. But - it hurts my heart (which, I confess, beats not quite so soundly as it once did).

    The sudden thrust I can take, and parry.
    But these constant razor slices,
    though they seem a meaner thing,
    yet do they sting and bleed -
    and, strange indeed, though I have suffered
    far fewer cuts than others,
    it is from their wounds too
    that I find myself bled out.

    Whatever. Goodbye.
  2. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    30 Jul '14 19:35 / 5 edits
    The Great Debaters trailer
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnezpSJwr8c

    http://www.script-o-rama.com/movie_scripts/a1/the-great-debaters-script-transcript.html

    [Professor]
    Of the 360 students here at Wiley College,

    only 45 of you were brave enough
    to try out for the debate team.

    Of that 45, only four
    of you will remain standing

    when the tryouts are over-- why?

    Because debate is
    blood sport. lt's combat.

    But your weapons are words.
  3. 30 Jul '14 19:38 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eE4eU1wJZFo

    [Professor]
    Of the 360 students here at Wiley College,

    only 45 of you were brave enough
    to try out for the debate team.

    Of that 45, only four
    of you will remain standing

    when the tryouts are over-- why?

    Because debate is
    blood sport. lt's combat.

    But your weapons are words.
    I've been standing, up till now, as long as you - and the tryouts were over years ago. But, with that, fair enough.
  4. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    30 Jul '14 19:54
    Originally posted by vistesd
    I have been on here (with occasional absences) so many years . . . I used to have friends (and maybe still do, not sure anymore) on different sides of different issues - and we were not always gentle with one another in the heat of argument over issues that we cared passionately about. Apologies were often called for - and as often accepted.

    And we mad ...[text shortened]... s than others,
    it is from their wounds too
    that I find myself bled out.

    Whatever. Goodbye.
    I agree with you about the way argument by insult seems to be taking over. Personally I just sit on my hands before replying. What I find tedious is the way deliberate moronic misunderstanding of posts as well as endless repetition of the same point seem to be taking over.

    The forums will be diminished without you. Farewell.
  5. 30 Jul '14 19:57
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    I agree with you about the way argument by insult seems to be taking over. Personally I just sit on my hands before replying. What I find tedious is the way deliberate moronic misunderstanding of posts as well as endless repetition of the same point seem to be taking over.

    The forums will be diminished without you. Farewell.
    Seems to be taking over? It's been that way since the time I first started posting here.
  6. 30 Jul '14 20:03
    Originally posted by vistesd
    I have been on here (with occasional absences) so many years . . . I used to have friends (and maybe still do, not sure anymore) on different sides of different issues - and we were not always gentle with one another in the heat of argument over issues that we cared passionately about. Apologies were often called for - and as often accepted.

    And we mad ...[text shortened]... s than others,
    it is from their wounds too
    that I find myself bled out.

    Whatever. Goodbye.
    you were a tall tree for me my friend
    and I love trees
  7. 30 Jul '14 20:37 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by vistesd
    I have been on here (with occasional absences) so many years . . . I used to have friends (and maybe still do, not sure anymore) on different sides of different issues - and we were not always gentle with one another in the heat of argument over issues that we cared passionately about. Apologies were often called for - and as often accepted.

    And we mad ...[text shortened]... s than others,
    it is from their wounds too
    that I find myself bled out.

    Whatever. Goodbye.
    First Teinosuke and now you, Vistesd, have announced their leaving.
    I have respected you as one of the more thoughtful writers in this forum,
    and I would tend to defer (if I ever wrote much on that subject) to your
    greater expertise in economics. So I am saddened to see you go.

    I hope that you will not mind, however, if I share an impression coming
    from my perspective as an outsider in a forum dominated by white men.
    You seem to be lamenting the passing of a Golden Age (the Good Ol' Days)
    of civility and collegiality in this forum, and I am not convinced that this
    Golden Age ever existed much in reality as opposed to nostalgic imagination.

    In real life, I have heard some older white American men lament the passing
    of their Golden Age. In those halcyon days ('when men were real men' ),
    'conservative' and 'liberal' white men could argue passionately yet respectfully
    about whether or not the US government was moving too fast or too slowly
    in extending civil rights to non-white minorities. Then both 'conservative'
    and 'liberal' white men could enjoy one another's company (over drinks) at
    an exclusive private club reserved for only white men. (At this private
    club, they would be served with deference by women and non-white men.)
    I can understand why many older white American men like to regard this
    kind of 'collegiality' as a Golden Age *for themselves*. As an outsider,
    however, I would not care to remember it with such fondness or longing.
    The 'collegiality' that they would extend to you would not apply to me.

    I would like to make it clear that I have no reason to believe that you are
    racist or sexist, and some of your posts show sincere opposition to that.
    I would like you to be aware, however, that some of us might not lament
    the passing of 'collegiality' so much in a world dominated by white men
    because we never experienced that much 'collegiality' in the first place.
    Just ask any woman, for instance, striving to break through the 'glass ceiling'
    in a field dominated by men. Indeed, such a woman (when a rival at work)
    has too often been reduced to a 'caricature of evil' (to borrow your words).
    When a place becomes less homogenous, 'collegiality' often seems to suffer.

    Best wishes. Go in peace.
  8. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    30 Jul '14 20:50
    Originally posted by Eladar
    Seems to be taking over? It's been that way since the time I first started posting here.
    You might have been advised to reflect on that coincidence before saying it aloud.
  9. 30 Jul '14 21:28
    Originally posted by finnegan
    You might have been advised to reflect on that coincidence before saying it aloud.
    Yeah, figured you'd see it that way.
  10. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    30 Jul '14 22:20
    Originally posted by Eladar
    Seems to be taking over? It's been that way since the time I first started posting here.
    It's the way it dominates, in the past argument by insult happened but not as much as now.
  11. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    30 Jul '14 23:27
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_m98GAdqKM&app=desktop
  12. Standard member Grampy Bobby
    Boston Lad
    31 Jul '14 04:14 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by vistesd
    I have been on here (with occasional absences) so many years . . . I used to have friends (and maybe still do, not sure anymore) on different sides of different issues - and we were not always gentle with one another in the heat of argument over issues that we cared passionately about. Apologies were often called for - and as often accepted.

    And we mad ...[text shortened]... s than others,
    it is from their wounds too
    that I find myself bled out.

    Whatever. Goodbye.
    Though we've had our differences in months past I too shall miss your presence; you've represented an intellectual logician's perspective and rationales as well if not better than many others in a league with Freaky's friend bbarr on these forums years ago. Read somewhere: "The more you bleed in training, the less you die in war." You've bled early, vistesd. I wish you well.
  13. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    31 Jul '14 09:10
    Give this sentimentality a rest please. I regularly abandon the forums in despair, vowing never again to waste my time and never again to tolerate the distasteful unpleasantness. I have stayed away as long as a year.
  14. Subscriber Suzianne
    Misfit Queen
    31 Jul '14 13:42
    Originally posted by vistesd
    I have been on here (with occasional absences) so many years . . . I used to have friends (and maybe still do, not sure anymore) on different sides of different issues - and we were not always gentle with one another in the heat of argument over issues that we cared passionately about. Apologies were often called for - and as often accepted.

    And we mad ...[text shortened]... s than others,
    it is from their wounds too
    that I find myself bled out.

    Whatever. Goodbye.
    +10

    Others (but obviously not all) here feel it as well. I was called a drama queen for posting similar in the Spirituality forum before taking a break, so it does not surprise me that some give you similar "short-shrift". Rest assured that some of us do feel it too, and we do feel your pain (hackneyed though that phrase may be).

    Let's hope that we can have the strengh to change this, even in the face of those who so treasure the status quo that they'd rather see the end of all forums before giving up their little niche, their self-imagined throne room.

    So go quietly, vistesd, safe in the knowledge that you have given some of us recognized value for our interactions here with you.
  15. 31 Jul '14 14:28
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    It's the way it dominates, in the past argument by insult happened but not as much as now.
    I don't think so, perhaps it is the left that is getting insulted more now and so people like you are actually noticing it.