As you know, we here at Argument Clinic are sticklers for language, especially other peoples’ language. If you have been following along, you probably could write this episode yourself, which is sort of the point. [stderr]
Recently, Argument Clinic received a formal request: “How do you argue against white supremacists?”
Our work is cut out for us. In this particular episode, while we will retain our usual superior, snotty, didactic, tone, we encourage The Commentariat(tm) to help us out. A definitive treatment of the question “How to argue with white supremacists” probably involves winning a civil war – and decisively winning it, at that.
“… that’s a label.”
HJ Hornbeck offers a good explanation [reprobate] of why atheists, scientists, and skeptics should avoid using the label “postmodern” in an attempt to dismiss ideas that are confusing or counter-intuitive, especially if they are confusing or counter-intuitive because the reader has failed a “privilege check.”
“Cursing” is a left-over of the jewish restrictions on saying “Yahweh”
(AKA: “the unpronouncable god”) – saying the name of god was punishable by death, so, uh, let’s call it (mumble) because a supreme being won’t be able to tell we’re talking about it if we refer to it as “Monique.”
Charles Stross’ book Accellerando has a large number of absolutely brilliant projections of the future of trolling.
This posting will not contain spoilers, so don’t worry. There are weaponizable ideas in this posting that I am not encouraging you to do, because not all things that can be done are worth doing.
Sometimes, you encounter an annoying person who is not arguing honestly with you; someone who just wants to show you how clever or tenacious they are.
Actually, they are tedious, not clever, but your problem then becomes a matter of explaining that to them.
One of FtB’s own has blundered recklessly into one of the worst tactics of Argument Clinic: referring to “political correctness.” In this installment of Argument Clinic we will discuss using the techniques of linguistic nihilism, as well as basic argumentation 101 (introductory level) to analyze discussions of “political correctness.”
I’m going to try something here that I consider daunting: as a side effect of this module, I will attempt to offer a refutation of two important paradoxes/arguments that bedevil philosophers and skeptics. Not one, but two! In the interest of Argument Clinic, however, I am willing to fail in the attempt even though it may leave me covered with shame and ripped to pieces by The Commentariat(tm)
In fencing, a destroying parry is one in which the defender’s blade kills the momentum of the attacker’s blade, leaving them in a known position for a riposte.
This is an emergency public service announcement from Argument Clinic!
I see a lot of discussion on various news sources as to whether or not so-and-so is a racist, or such and such. It is poor strategy to engage in such a discussion unless you plan to win it. To explain further… [Read more…]
Labelling is a rather strange tactic in argument; it’s popular but weak and mostly a poor tactic because of the ease with which it can be dragged into verbal nihilism. [Read more…]