1. Hmmm . . .
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    13 Jun '07 21:57
    I don’t know that I’ve never been guilty of this in the heat of debate (I have been guilty of some bad behavior); I hope not, but—

    Over the past few years, I’ve seen an awful lot of putative mind-readers practice their wares on here in derogation of their opponents. I don’t just mean misunderstanding, or the perennial “so what you’re really saying is _________?”. Nor do I mean simple recognition of sarcasm. Nor do I mean pointing out, even sharply, contradictions that someone has committed. Nor do I even mean questioning one’s opponent’s motivations.

    I mean actually telling someone in serious debate that they do not really think what they are saying, that they have hidden agendas or ulterior motives. I mean actual accusations of deceit, that could only themselves be honestly stated if the accuser actually knows what is going on the mind of the accused.

    I have had it happen to me (though not recently). I have actually had it happen as the result of my raising questions for discussion/debate, before the debate even started. Now, I have actually taken positions solely for the purpose of debating a given issue—but I usually try to take care to state that at the outset. I have altered my views on issues, and consistency (foolish or not) has perhaps never been my particular “hobgoblin.” But, again—

    There is nothing more aggravating than to have someone slap you in the face with “what you really mean” (sometimes accompanied by further insulting remarks) when you are honestly trying to express what you think. There is no argument that can be made in response. One can protest; one can simply tell the putative mind-reader that what they just said is a lie. But any meaningful argument is done.

    It is especially aggravating to one who tries, as best they can, to continually examine their own mind to root out self-deceit and repressed motivations and the like—out of a concern for self-integrity. I’d like to be able to shrug it off with some serenity, but I have not reached that stage, and sometimes it gives me a sick feeling in the gut. Even if I am not the target. (That sensitivity has sometimes led me to lash out unfairly at persons that I thought were accusing me of deceit, when they were in fact doing no such thing.)

    I don’t mind having my motivations honestly questioned—as in asking me the question, without presumption.

    I know there are people on here who dislike each other (or at least their personae on here); there are some that I dislike, and that doubtless dislike me. There are some people with whom I disagree almost all the time, and to whom I have sometimes said things that I later regret, that I actually like quite a bit. I trust you know who you are. There are those who are personally, morally offended by the positions that some others hold, and who express that offense passionately. Fine.

    But I don’t believe there are any real mind-readers on here (under whatever mantle such mind-reading is claimed). And I really wish those who succumb to the pretense would try to refrain.
  2. Donationkirksey957
    Outkast
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    13 Jun '07 22:28
    Originally posted by vistesd
    I don’t know that I’ve never been guilty of this in the heat of debate (I have been guilty of some bad behavior); I hope not, but—

    Over the past few years, I’ve seen an awful lot of putative mind-readers practice their wares on here in derogation of their opponents. I don’t just mean misunderstanding, or the perennial “so what you’re really saying ...[text shortened]... -reading is claimed). And I really wish those who succumb to the pretense would try to refrain.
    YouTube

    You mean like this guy?
  3. Hmmm . . .
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    13 Jun '07 22:32
    Originally posted by kirksey957
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pPlFrmkXlE

    You mean like this guy?
    Sorry, Kirk--my internet connection is too poor to watch youtube. I don't even try anymore.

    Besides, I just got spanked well and good by the Hand of Hecate on this mind-reading thing...

    :'(
  4. Joined
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    13 Jun '07 22:59
    Originally posted by vistesd
    I don’t know that I’ve never been guilty of this in the heat of debate (I have been guilty of some bad behavior); I hope not, but—

    Over the past few years, I’ve seen an awful lot of putative mind-readers practice their wares on here in derogation of their opponents. I don’t just mean misunderstanding, or the perennial “so what you’re really saying ...[text shortened]... -reading is claimed). And I really wish those who succumb to the pretense would try to refrain.
    I have to agree with you here. What bugs me is the way some folks can get off topic so fast before any meaningful conclussions can be reached. I noticed that when I first started posting in here back in January.

    Although I wish we didn't disagree, I'm sure I would find you to be a decent fellow to hang out with.

    But you go way over my head!

    And if I could read minds I would be sure to win every debate.
  5. Joined
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    13 Jun '07 23:15
    Originally posted by josephw
    I have to agree with you here. What bugs me is the way some folks can get off topic so fast before any meaningful conclussions can be reached. I noticed that when I first started posting in here back in January.

    Although I wish we didn't disagree, I'm sure I would find you to be a decent fellow to hang out with.

    But you go way over my head!

    And if I could read minds I would be sure to win every debate.
    insults are fun though
  6. Hmmm . . .
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    13 Jun '07 23:20
    Originally posted by josephw
    I have to agree with you here. What bugs me is the way some folks can get off topic so fast before any meaningful conclussions can be reached. I noticed that when I first started posting in here back in January.

    Although I wish we didn't disagree, I'm sure I would find you to be a decent fellow to hang out with.

    But you go way over my head!

    And if I could read minds I would be sure to win every debate.
    We would hang out fine, even as we argued. It’s always easier in person than in just the printed word on here.

    When I was growing up (or in my “formative years” anyway) my father and his best friend disagreed about nearly everything—religion, philosophy, politics. It seems (to my frail memory) that the families would get together about once a week for supper (usually on a Friday evening, as I recall). And after supper, Dad and Ray would start to talk about one of these favorite subjects, and pretty soon they’d be into argument—sometimes fairly heated. But they never insulted one another personally (sharp comments, such as, maybe: “That’s just dumb! You know better than that!” “Hey, it’s not so dumb—listen a minute!” were always aimed at the argument, never the person). At the end of the evening, they’d laugh and embrace—and do it again the next week.

    In my whole life, in spite of the argument, I’ve never seen a closer friendship: either of those men would’ve have risked his life for the other. I was fortunate to have known them both well.

    It’s a model I try to always keep in the back of my mind...
  7. Joined
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    13 Jun '07 23:44
    Originally posted by vistesd
    I don’t know that I’ve never been guilty of this in the heat of debate (I have been guilty of some bad behavior); I hope not, but—

    Over the past few years, I’ve seen an awful lot of putative mind-readers practice their wares on here in derogation of their opponents. I don’t just mean misunderstanding, or the perennial “so what you’re really saying ...[text shortened]... -reading is claimed). And I really wish those who succumb to the pretense would try to refrain.
    I'm guilty of this more than most, I presuppose people's intentions and even in some cases, people's positions. But not without justification, I'd like to argue.

    People's experiences mould the way they think and learn, their epistemic framework is specifically shaped according to their personal view of the world. Within this framework is a pyramid of conceptual knowledge, upon which rests the intricacies of ideas and their relations. When a new idea confronts them they map that idea against the totality of their own knowledge, evidence and auxilliary conceptual assumptions, before confronting that idea with first person action, be it utterance or action. Because their actions and utterances are built upon these foundations and because the habitual nature of reflection encourages the procession of these foundations as a personality traits, one can come to know the person through the manipulation of their ideas and thus the efficacy of their conceptual framework. This view of a person from their arguments and communicative style, topped up by personal details and or history gives rise to an attributive personhood.

    It is this that I presuppose in argument and this of which I am guilty. However, it is not an unjustified view to hold. Purely for the purpose of debates here, it seems to me that to know your opponents is to know the conditions under which their views might present, or perhaps even be true. If I 'mind read' it is only based on the view presented on this site already and supported by abductive inference from their conclusive behaviour.

    I'd write more, but I'm falling asleep at the keyboard, perhaps we continue this tomorrow?
  8. Standard memberHand of Hecate
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    13 Jun '07 23:52
    Originally posted by josephw
    I have to agree with you here. What bugs me is the way some folks can get off topic so fast before any meaningful conclussions can be reached. I noticed that when I first started posting in here back in January.

    Although I wish we didn't disagree, I'm sure I would find you to be a decent fellow to hang out with.

    But you go way over my head!

    And if I could read minds I would be sure to win every debate.
    No argument with the premises based on faith can ever be won by either side. As a result, with no persuasive conclusion being forthcoming, the argument will always devolve into a meaningless and subjective debate.

    For some reason the striking image of a hamster running in a wheel comes to mind. To make matters worse, the many 'players' in this Spirituality game routinely avoid any semblance of the anatomy of a valid argument. Name calling and sarcasm rules the day. This is only as it should be, given that an agreement is impossible.

    Nonetheless, as a reminder to our 'players' I would like to see arguments that focus on drawing attention to the premises that need support.

    Language should not be: vague, evassive, ambiguous, misleading or use poorly defined terms. Oh, and for the love of God, please have our spiritual side of the isle review the following qualifiers: usually, always, never, etc... sometimes true does not a valid argument make.

    Premises should not: be bogus, appeal to pity, attack the individual (ad homonim), attack oraganizations, affiliations, basically no attacking except for the argument itself. Also, and take notes here, begging the question by using the conclussion as a premise is bollox.

    Please use premises with sufficient support. A classic example is the 'False Dilema' where all possible/reasonable outcomes are not state and the 'player' attempts to force the 'playee' into a handful of unsatisfactory conclussions (nice work sonhouse, starrman, et al...). Slippery slope arguments make you look like an idiot by the way. Misrepresnting your fellow 'player' and his position is also bollox. Strawman arguments are always dramatic, but, also cheating.

    Please get to know and love your basic critical thinking terms, such as...
    "Deductive reasoning is the kind of reasoning in which the conclusion is necessitated by, or reached from, previously known facts."
    "Induction or inductive reasoning, sometimes called inductive logic, is the process of reasoning in which the premises of an argument are believed to support the conclusion but do not ensure it."
    This is vital to moving forward in any productive fashion... oh, and please be clear, put forth valid premises and thththhthtppptphth, my balls are huge pink elephants.

    Oh, and lets discuss the use/abuse of statistics. The following terms spring to mind: lame, dubious, overly precise, made up, omitted, irrelevant, inaccurate, retarded/government collected, and bogus.

    Lecture concluded with the following parting thought, just because your fellow 'player' acts like he/she is an idiot doesn't mean that they are one. Finally, I'd like to think that there is a 'God' out there, but, given the size of the universe and the realtively small part of it we occupy, He/She/It probably doesn't give us a whole lot of thought, so live life to its fullest and enjoy the time you have.
  9. Hmmm . . .
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    14 Jun '07 01:331 edit
    Originally posted by Starrman
    I'm guilty of this more than most, I presuppose people's intentions and even in some cases, people's positions. But not without justification, I'd like to argue.

    People's experiences mould the way they think and learn, their epistemic framework is specifically shaped according to their personal view of the world. Within this framework is a pyramid of c write more, but I'm falling asleep at the keyboard, perhaps we continue this tomorrow?
    Based on familiarity with given posters over time, I too sometimes presuppose their intentions, based on past statements of theirs. If someone makes a statement of intention or position, what I think that I do not do (nor do I recall you doing this) is to say something like, “You don’t really think that, you just have a deep-seated hate for Buddhists that makes you willing to lie...” (Except, perhaps, in jest—which I would also try to make clear.)

    I might say something like: “Hey, wait a minute. Didn’t you say before that _____________?”

    I’m probably not, in practice, as careful with my words as I’d like to be. I don’t recall ever calling someone the equivalent of a liar unless they said something that they couldn’t possibly know without reading my mind (and if, in fact, what they said wasn’t actually true).
  10. Joined
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    14 Jun '07 01:49
    Originally posted by vistesd
    We would hang out fine, even as we argued. It’s always easier in person than in just the printed word on here.

    When I was growing up (or in my “formative years” anyway) my father and his best friend disagreed about nearly everything—religion, philosophy, politics. It seems (to my frail memory) that the families would get together about once a week for s ...[text shortened]... ate to have known them both well.

    It’s a model I try to always keep in the back of my mind...
    Very interesting. "formative years". I think we're kinda opposites. My childhood was undirected. I ran wild in the streets.
    I'll shut up now or I'll tell my life story. 😛
  11. Joined
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    14 Jun '07 02:04
    Originally posted by Hand of Hecate
    No argument with the premises based on faith can ever be won by either side. As a result, with no persuasive conclusion being forthcoming, the argument will always devolve into a meaningless and subjective debate.

    For some reason the striking image of a hamster running in a wheel comes to mind. To make matters worse, the many 'players' in this Sp ...[text shortened]... lot of thought, so live life to its fullest and enjoy the time you have.
    Ok This is good. I want to comment on a few points you made, But I am exhausted and need to go to bed. I'm going to refer back to this post latter. I hope you will see my reply then. If not, I'll remind you.
    Good night! 😴
  12. London
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    14 Jun '07 05:031 edit
    Originally posted by vistesd
    I don’t know that I’ve never been guilty of this in the heat of debate (I have been guilty of some bad behavior); I hope not, but—

    Over the past few years, I’ve seen an awful lot of putative mind-readers practice their wares on here in derogation of their opponents. I don’t just mean misunderstanding, or the perennial “so what you’re really saying ...[text shortened]... -reading is claimed). And I really wish those who succumb to the pretense would try to refrain.
    I take it the proximate cause of this reflection are my comments to kirksey in the "Calling out the faithful" thread. So, like Starrman, my response comes from the perspective of one such (occasional) "mind-reader".

    Maybe five or six years ago, I would've agreed with your views without reservation; in general, I still do. An ideal world would have no such putative mind-readers (myself included).

    An ideal world would not have ulterior motives and mind games, either.

    I am reminded of something said by a character named Shifu from one of my favourite TV series, Stargate SG-1 (btw, I think you'd get on rather well with him if he were real). This character carries the genetic memory of a technologically superior, but evil, alien race; memories that are kept repressed so that they do not overwhelm and turn him. When he is asked why he does not try to access those memories to obtain technological information that could further human welfare, he responds, "The evil in my mind cannot be resisted. It is too strong. The only way to win is to deny it battle".

    I generally try to give people the benefit of the doubt and take them at face value. However, when I have strong justification to think this is not the case, I'm not going to hesitate to call it out if I feel the situation warrants it. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong and I'm not going to hesitate to apologise either.

    When someone performs an apparent act of telepathy on me, I usually respond simply by pointing that out. If the accusation comes from an unexpected source, or in an unexpected manner -- I would, at some point, look closer to home for an explanation. Do my actions, past and present, justify such a conclusion? Can such an accusation be reasonably inferred from the person's past experience with me?
  13. Cape Town
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    14 Jun '07 09:061 edit
    Originally posted by vistesd
    I mean actually telling someone in serious debate that they do not really think what they are saying, that they have hidden agendas or ulterior motives. I mean actual accusations of deceit, that could only themselves be honestly stated if the accuser actually knows what is going on the mind of the accused.
    Of course you have a hidden agenda. You started this thread solely because you wanted to get out of some argument in some other thread that wasn't going well for you.🙂

    Yes I have been guilty of mind reading several times and will try very hard to refrain in future. Its just so hard when you can literally see the unstated thoughts running through someone else's mind and they are refusing to actually say what they want to but rather dodge around and around it trying very hard to make you say it instead so that they can go "ahaa!".
    I also do not like for example th apparent assumption by some people that an atheist posting in a spirituality forum not only has something against all Christians and their beliefs but secretly believes in and hates their God. But then the Bible specifically calls all atheists anti-Christ so what else would we expect?

    I will try to stick with the "Do you mean to say ..." format in future.
  14. Hmmm . . .
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    14 Jun '07 14:55
    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    I take it the proximate cause of this reflection are my comments to kirksey in the "Calling out the faithful" thread. So, like Starrman, my response comes from the perspective of one such (occasional) "mind-reader".

    Maybe five or six years ago, I would've agreed with your views without reservation; in general, I still do. An ideal world would have ...[text shortened]... uch an accusation be reasonably inferred from the person's past experience with me?
    I take it the proximate cause of this reflection are my comments to kirksey in the "Calling out the faithful" thread.

    No smoking gun, actually—but a cluster of such, which served to remind me of past incidences as well. Perhaps it goes in rhythms. (As I said, I cannot say that I have never been guilty; I have certainly been guilty of the kind of presuppositionalism that Starr mentions.)

    I think twhitehead’s opening salvo here gives a very good, if mild, example (smiley face duly noted!). It’s an accusation of deceitful ulterior motivations based solely on what is putatively going on in my head.

    Now, if I have been proven (reasonable doubt, sufficient evidence, etc.) to have been so deceitful in the past, especially if there is a pattern, then one might fairly be suspicious of my motivations in the future. But I’m still not sure that that warrants a straight-out assumptive accusation in future cases where there is no evidence—unless one is a mind-reader. I am not sure that such a straight-out assumptive accusation is not as dishonest as its target.

    In this, as in any such issues, if I am a sinner throwing stones, I fully anticipate at the outset getting hit myself. And I ought to. As you say, I need to look close to home as well--especially as I may be guilty of doing to other what I hate (to use Hillel's version).

    Again, this thread is about a very particular kind of "ad hominem" accusation, and not about all harsh things said in the heat of argument...
  15. Joined
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    15 Jun '07 01:23
    Originally posted by Hand of Hecate
    [b]No argument with the premises based on faith can ever be won by either side. As a result, with no persuasive conclusion being forthcoming, the argument will always devolve into a meaningless and subjective debate.

    For some reason the striking image of a hamster running in a wheel comes to mind. To make matters worse, the many 'players' in this Sp ...[text shortened]... lly, I'd like to think that there is a 'God' out there, but, given the size o
    b]"No argument with the premises based on faith can ever be won by either side."

    I think I have to agree with you on this, but do you think that an argument based on reason can be won?

    "basically no attacking except for the argument itself."

    I think I'm guilty of attacking other than just the argument myself at times. I find that when I stay focused on the argument itself, I do a better job of making my points without getting too emotionally worked up.

    "Please get to know and love your basic critical thinking terms, such as...
    "Deductive reasoning is the kind of reasoning in which the conclusion is necessitated by, or reached from, previously known facts."
    "Induction or inductive reasoning, sometimes called inductive logic, is the process of reasoning in which the premises of an argument are believed to support the conclusion but do not ensure it."
    This is vital to moving forward in any productive fashion..."

    I really like this part. It would be a much more rewarding debate if everyone involved would try to practice these principles.
    But aren't there other ways of thinking, such as intuition or something, that can be used, with the proper language, to communicate truth? If I may use that term. I mean, can't an argument be "won" by using words in such a way as to persuade someone to a way of thinking?

    "just because your fellow 'player' acts like he/she is an idiot doesn't mean that they are one."

    You know, when I first learned of this forum back in january and started posting here, I was amazed by what I thought was abject ignorance on the part of some individuals. But over time, as I got to know the "players", I began to see more clearly what was going on here.
    I came to the conclusion, after going through a tuff time of trying not to be judgemental, that some folks play dumb. But more importantly, some of you people are a bunch better educated than I would have first thought. I like talking to, and arguing with people smarter than me. How else am I going to learn anything new?

    Well, I screwed up on this cut and paste job and lost the last part of what I was going to say. It had to do with your comment that you would like to think there's a God, but, something about the universe being too big for God to be thinking much about us. I think you violated the rules with that reasoning. Didn't sound right.

    Anyway, doctorscribbles scares the beejeebers out of me. I hope I can get into a debate with him sometime, just to see what happens.
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