Dishonest Debate Tactic

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by The Biblicist, Jul 6, 2016.

  1. The Biblicist

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    I have noticed the repeated use of a very dishonest debate tactic. The tactic is taking a statement from an opponent and isolating it from the context in which it is found and then proceeding to dismantle it without regard to the actual context it is placed in by their opponent.

    Of course, a piecemeal approach is necessary as many posts can be long, but the evil is not the piecemeal approach but with how that statement is treated with regard to its actual context. The evil is not merely isolating the statement, but isolating it from its context when dealing with it.

    This piecemeal isolated approach can dismantle and destroy any argument no matter if the argument is as solid as the rock of Gibraltar. It is pure sophistry rather than a show of real knowledge. Indeed, it is used by those who can't deal with an argument and so they destroy the argument by this isolation tactic.
     
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  2. Santha

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    This is what I have found to be true.
    The minute when the person opposing your view starts to play dirty, you have already won as the fear of losing has already gripped them.
     
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  3. Darrell C

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    Great, let's see an example of that.

    What I have always noticed in debate is that it doesn't matter how one addresses an issue...nothing is good enough.

    So let's see an example.


    Sometimes, when an antagonist will not answer, it helps to pull issues out as a focus. While that may be inconvenient for some, it hardly falls under a category of evil.

    So let's see an example of this "evil." Let's see if the context is lost.


    Sorry, no. A strong argument is not destroyed because a portion of it is targeted for weakness.

    That is the point of dismantling the pieces of an argument: if the argument cannot stand because part of it fails, then the argument is either weak or in error.


    So give an example.

    Let's see a "rock solid" argument that can be dismantled because part of the argument is targeted.


    God bless.
     
  4. Darrell C

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    What you may not have noticed, Santha, is that there are people that, when their arguments are dismantled...cry foul. It doesn't matter if you address the post as a whole (for which complaints of long posts are made), or if you break them up so that the cherry-picking that is the tendency of most is made easier, there is still going to be ruffled feathers.

    So I would say that the "evil" of the OP is nothing more than ruffled feathers, and the challenge is made to him, and anyone, to show that a solid argument can be dismantled by breaking the argument down.

    That challenge is for anyone that cares to show this.


    God bless.
     
  5. Internet Theologian

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    Yes, the lying on here (well, looks like it's been squashed) and that is what it is should not be tolerated on any site, especially one that is to represent Christ. IMO the liars should make an public apology. I know of one who has and of one who has not.
     
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  6. Internet Theologian

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    TB, they do the exact same thing with the Scriptures, therefore it is of no surprise, nor is it remarkable that they would do it with the words of men as well.
     
  7. Darrell C

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    I don't see that is has been "squashed." I find this entire OP, and the response to it very dishonest about the state of things.

    Perhaps you would like to give an example of the "evil" of the OP.


    God bless.
     
  8. Smyth

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    In most debates, at least one side is acting dishonestly.

    I'm not sure what you mean? Do you mean misrepresenting an out-of-context quote? Do you mean a strawman? Do you mean FUD (creating irrational fear, uncertainty, and doubt about a statement)?
     
  9. Darrell C

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    After an entire thread of hearing accusations, insults, and false arguments from a certain member who will remain unnamed, I can tell you...this is nonsense.

    Its very easy to bad-mouth people, the test in in the arguments presented. If debate causes one to get their feelings hurt, perhaps a debate forum is not the best place for that person to spending time. And when it comes to Biblical Doctrine, when it is not taken seriously, this is, in my view...evil.


    God bless.
     
  10. evangelist6589

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    Honest question. Are you a sock puppet of Preacher4Truth? He was banned from here you know.
     
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  11. tyndale1946

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    I come on here to discuss scripture I don't come on here to debate... Other brethren may like that kind of discourse but not me... One site I went to one time had a forum set aside for just debating... Santha I would like to make a suggestion that a debate forum be open... Two people who want to debate a topic pro and con be allowed to do so... And debate the topic at hand and not each other... And a moderator to moderate the debate... Just another suggest of mine... Brother Glen
     
  12. JonC

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    I don't understand your conclusion (which I am taking as a general comment about debates), brother. Why in most debates would at least one side be acting dishonestly?
     
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  13. Van

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    JonC, this is simple, the opponent is always dishonest, while we are bastions of integrity. :)

    One of the tactics of liberals is to charge their opponent with whatever malfeasance the liberals are engaged in. It is called inoculation in the propaganda trade.
     
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  14. Smyth

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    Evidence and logic is the same for the people on either side of a debate. Since they don't agree, at least one side is ignoring evidence or logic, which is dishonest. The evidence and logic may not be clear, so maybe both sides are being honest, but I think most things are pretty clear most of the time.
     
    #14 Smyth, Jul 7, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
  15. Darrell C

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    I'm pretty sure I made this suggestion in the suggestions forum (a one on one debate forum). It's a great idea. Although not absolutely necessary because when two who are intent to debate get going, there is little interuption (except for the comments and "awards"). However, the forums marked debate forums are debate forums. And the purpose for debate is to challenge that which one might see as in error, which...is important. Modern times have adopted a false philosophy that Scripture can mean whatever someone wants it to mean, and I disagree with that. There is an original intent with ramifications concerning cumulative intent. It is our job to understand that intent then properly teach it to other men.

    You can interact in the "Fellowship" forums to avoid debate (sorta, lol). But don't treat it like those who do like to debate for specific purpose are somehow villains, because they are debating in a Debate Forum.

    And again, I feel the OP is dishonest in its premise. It doesn't matter how someone dismantles an argument, if the argument can be dismantled, its not a good argument.


    God bless.
     
  16. Darrell C

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    Just because someone thinks their logic is sound, and it is not...does not impose a dishonest character to that person. There are a number of issues that can be seen as reasonable from both sides of the fence...if one is being honest. Free Will and the rejection of Free Will, for example, on the surface both have very good "arguments," but, it is when a through examination of the issues (plural) are examined...we can begin to see the weakness of certain "arguments."

    So I think we can at least give our antagonist the benefit of the doubt, and instead of charging them with dishonesty, consider that perhaps their reasoning capabilities, or the data they have absorbed by which they draw conclusions, have trouble. IF we are sure of our own positions (and I think that covers most of us here, lol), then we should be able to show those weaknesses.

    And I think we might levy a charge of dishonesty when an argument is dismantled but our antagonist (which is not a negative term, by the way, just distinguishes an opposing view) refuses to cede the point, we have to wonder the motivation behind that. But, it is just as possible that they maintain a delusion of being sound in their view, so again, I think we should give them the benefit of the doubt, and work harder to try to make them see the reasoning behind what is thought to dismantle that argument.

    And just for the record, goading an antagonist with charges is simply a technique in both instruction and debate. When Paul asks, "Shall we sin so that grace might abound?" it is a question posed to the audience that carries an underlying charge of guilt. The question would not be asked if there was not something that prompted the question. Some are not going to understand this technique, and are going to take it personally. But, if that kind of goading brings about the desired result, then the technique should be employed. But you aren't going to know whether the technique will work with any given antagonist...until you try it.

    I will just say, folks...this is a debate forum. If you do not want to debate, then stay out of the...debates.

    If you want to debate, but think that you do not need to debate in a traditional manner, which means you answer your antagonist's points, then the truth is, your not debating, you are...preaching. We have enough people that talk at people instead of with them, so please...

    ...don't contaminate the Debate Forum with your preaching. Interact in the Fellowship Forum.


    God bless.
     
  17. Baptist Believer

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    I would change this to:

    One of the tactics of a fallen human being who wants to win an argument is to charge their opponent with whatever malfeasance the accuser is engaged in.

    This kind of thing goes on across the political and theological spectrum.
     
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  18. Van

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    Biblicist, your point is spot on, with the possible exception that all of us sometimes rationalize poor behavior.
     
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  19. Smyth

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    People who use poor logic usually do so out dishonesty. I'm not talking about individuals who may be feeble in thought, but about ideological leaders and those who have been through rigorous debate.

    There are some great philosophical and theological questions, but most things are rather simple. OJ did it.
     
  20. HankD

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    You may label it as dishonest brother B but It is indeed a legitimate tactic in the art of debate.
    And the fact is that those who have this ability often CAN deal successfully in an argument and where there is a real underlying knowledge of the given subject the uninitiated are defeated.
    Therein lies the danger and the reason why many babes are kidnapped by the cults.

    An honest difficulty is defining context, where it starts, ends and its application (if any) to the current debate.

    My alma mater is Calvary University of KCMO.
    One of our tasks in hermeneutics was to choose a subject of which we disagreed and debate the issue with a classmate. Mine was baptismal regeneration. I was a late comer in my 30's and debated with a freshman and I won (via scorecard). Later he approached me as he was troubled and I had to carefully explain the truth to him.

    It's one thing to recognize this tactic and another to deal with it (at which you seem very good).

    So we each need to sharpen our skills and the BB is an excellent place to joust with those whom are "dishonest" or maybe playing "devil's advocate".

    HankD
     
    #20 HankD, Jul 7, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
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