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#21367 - 01/17/04 02:26 PM Debate vs discussion
Anonymous
Unregistered


Some intelligent people like to debate on something. They cannot talk about something without trying to have the last word. Debate are more a mental war than nothing else. If war is motivation for working harder, it has also destructive consequences. Mental debates are responsible of problems like lost of memory, self-delusion on your on intelligence, social problem to communicate with others, difficulty to accept it's errors. Does who never debates might be seen as stupid by the ones who do. And there is a danger for intelligent people to feel forced to participate to debates to prove your intelligence or believe that you are less intelligent than people you win debate. Very intelligent people step over it. Let them die with their debates. It's fascinating to see that if you listen to a debate silently, you might find a good solution in less time than it requires them to get a position and try to convince others that they have the good solution. And more important, how in a debate people forget what it has been said at the beginning of the discussion or how many drivels occur in the discussion. Debates has also many destructive effects to others intelligent people. It can be desastrous for very intelligent people who haven't learnt the self-control required to not shut down your mind when there is a debate and not participate in the debate . Failling in this regard might conduct to lost of confidence, substance abuse, masochism because you could do anything against their attacks but you knew the answers. You don't have to debate. Do your things, set your goals, and when you are with others, let them "win" their debates. If you have to speak, say what you have to say and nothing more. It's the old formula, do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked.


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#21368 - 01/17/04 02:29 PM Re: Debate vs discussion
reprobate Offline

CoS Warlock

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 7140
Loc: Canada
Quote:

Mental debates are responsible of problems like lost of memory, self-delusion on your on intelligence, social problem to communicate with others, difficulty to accept it's errors.




Three thousand years of Western philosophy and theoretical science would tend to speak against this point.

It has always proceeded by debate.

I think you're thinking of something else. Perhaps grammar and orthography? You don't seem to care much for them, either.

Grab a dictionary and look up "polemic". Maybe that's what you mean. You might want to invest in a word menu, to increase your vocabulary and become more sensitive to important conceptual distinctions.



Edited by reprobate (01/17/04 08:00 PM)
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#21369 - 01/17/04 04:10 PM Re: Debate vs discussion [Re: reprobate]
Rev_Malebranche Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 4136
Loc: Oregon
While I do of course agree with all of that...

He did manage, in a clumsy way, to reach a very Satanic conclusion.

Quote:

You don't have to debate. Do your things, set your goals, and when you are with others, let them "win" their debates. If you have to speak, say what you have to say and nothing more.




There are those, like yourself, who are endowed with excellent written communication skills. Who enjoy and understand the finer points of intellectual and philosophical discussion and debate.

There are many I've observed who lack this ability, but who express a very Satanic nature through their actions and verbal communications.

It is better for them to act, and occasionally to discuss, than it is for them to attempt to debate. Expecting everyone to be able to debate effectively is like expecting me to be able to "wing" a transatlantic flight. Things might get messy.

A successful magician must be able to recognize his own weaknesses, and know what areas to avoid.

I have no doubt that there are many people of great worth who are not fantastic writers. The key is for them to avoid making asses of themselves, and to strive to succeed doing the things the really ARE good at.

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#21370 - 01/17/04 04:22 PM Re: Debate vs discussion [Re: Rev_Malebranche]
reprobate Offline

CoS Warlock

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 7140
Loc: Canada
Quote:

There are those, like yourself, who are endowed with excellent written communication skills. Who enjoy and understand the finer points of intellectual and philosophical discussion and debate.




Flattery will get you nowhere, Mr Malebranche.

Quote:

There are many I've observed who lack this ability, but who express a very Satanic nature through their actions and verbal communications.

It is better for them to act, and occasionally to discuss, than it is for them to attempt to debate. Expecting everyone to be able to debate effectively is like expecting me to be able to "wing" a transatlantic flight. Things might get messy.




That's absolutely fair. Different talents, dispositions, and interests make for very different people doing very different things.

Be that as it may, I'd hate to see anyone try to represent debate as ineffectual, as "not doing something". We're all on this forum because of a book, where an author took a side on an important debate.

Besides, I couldn't let something so obviously ill-put-together, and hypocritically didactic to comical proportions, pass without a little bite!
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#21371 - 01/17/04 05:50 PM Re: Debate vs discussion [Re: reprobate]
Rev_Malebranche Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 4136
Loc: Oregon
It was certainly worth a nibble.

His "argument" was ill-fated because he attempted to suggest that debate was pointless for everyone, always.

l just didn't want it to come across that a Satanist must be part of an intellectual elite. To be sure, he is part of an instinctual elite.

It is so easy for those of us who can communicate relatively effectively via the keyboard to clobber someone on our turf . But the poorly or self-educated rugged individual - someone like Wolf Larsen in The Sea Wolf, would likely clobber us on his .

I'd hate to see us invalidate, heckle and ostracize a real Wolf Larsen on the grounds of academic ineptitude.

(I am in no way implying that this is necessarily the case here, with this post, poster or thead, but it got me thinking along those lines.)

At the same time, if you are going to participate on this turf, you do have to learn the finer points of the game to be successful. If you are not interested in mastering the finer points of debate or discussion, you should avoid participating in them whenever possible. That was the idea I saw in the last lines of that post, and I think it is a good idea.

If you don't want to learn how to play the game successfully, don't play at all. You may still be one a Hell of a Satanist on your own terms.

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#21372 - 01/17/04 06:05 PM Re: Debate vs discussion [Re: Rev_Malebranche]
Lerue Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 12/18/02
Posts: 425
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Just wanted to throw a dime in and say that you can grow in areas that you may not be competent in, and that you can learn to become proficient in areas where you may be lacking. You may not become a Jack London or a Ludwig Van, but I guarantee that you will improve if effort is given in attempting to improve yourself.

I find that the best way to learn how to write is to write, the best way to learn how to sing is to sing, etc...

I do agree you should try not to make an ass out of yourself while doing it, but sometimes that is another great way to learn. It certainly has helped me learn some lessons, though I always seem to need to learn lessons.

As long as you learn.

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#21373 - 01/17/04 07:23 PM Re: Debate vs discussion [Re: Lerue]
Roxxxadelic Offline


Registered: 01/14/04
Posts: 67
Loc: Seattle
I love a good debate from time to time. It can be a good mental game of chess, with every point having a couterpoint, every move a coutermove.

But sometimes debate can have its drawbacks. While debating, one sometimes has a tendency to focus on 'winning' the debate instead of the information given in the discussion. This can prevent one from learning valid information from your opponents in the debate, as learning and changing your viewpoints is sometimes seen as capitulation.

In the long run I benefit more from information learned in a good discussion than from the ego boost of having the last word.

R X
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#21374 - 01/17/04 07:26 PM Re: Debate vs discussion
Anonymous
Unregistered


This is a public forum. A place where one having made a post, must obviously be interested in hearing the opinions of others.

It is also a place where one, being a member as such, may also lurk and read and learn a lot.

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#21375 - 01/17/04 09:21 PM Re: Debate vs discussion [Re: Lerue]
Rev_Malebranche Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 4136
Loc: Oregon
Oh, I agree wholeheartedly. Practice may not make perfect, but it makes you a whole lot better at something than not trying.

And as the saying goes, you have to fall off the bike or whatever...

However, if you do want to do well at something, you also have to make the effort to begin with. People "discuss" things all of the time. Or at least they express their opinions aloud at each other in something resembling "conversation". I think a lot of us have higher standards when it comes to what we would consider intelligent discussion or debate on these boards. If it isn't someone's forte, and they want to participate, they should do as reprobate suggested and investigate the finer points of writing and communication.

You know, the more I write, the more I'm interested in getting things right.

I have always had a pretty sizeable reading and writing vocabulary (my speaking vocabulary is much smaller). But when I write these days, I often have www.m-w.com open in another window. I hear words in my head while I'm typing, but I often check them to make sure they actually mean what I think they mean. I've also taken to using the modern usage references on Bartelby.com. (Hell, I'm still getting the hang of those damn semicolons.)

Many communication problems can be avoided if one simply makes the effort.

What I was saying is that, if someone is not willing to make that effort - he'd be better off focusing on other things.


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#21376 - 01/17/04 09:39 PM Re: Debate vs discussion
Scratch Offline


Registered: 09/30/03
Posts: 207
Loc: Austin, TX
I will admit that debates are entertaining. In some cases they can lead to finding new solutions and compromises between groups of people. In other cases, I would agree with you in saying that they're just another form of pointless war. I suppose the best way to avoid getting trapped into a vicious cycle of words and waste of time is to observe the people you're debating with and decide if they're really worth the trouble.
There's nothing wrong with making a point, but are the people you're talking to really that valuable to you? Those who are truly brilliant have no need to prove it to lesser beings.

SOCIAL MASTURBATION!!! yep...that's what that is.
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#21377 - 01/17/04 10:07 PM Re: Debate vs discussion [Re: Rev_Malebranche]
Lerue Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 12/18/02
Posts: 425
Loc: Los Angeles, CA

Excellent, I usually have www.dictionary.com open when I write, m-w is better by far though, thank you.

As for the other thing, I agree with you and make no excuses for those who post drivel on these boards. My main reason for posting was due to my interest in writing essays, even though there are many who do them better. I guess my interest in writing them outweighs my hesitance at writing them, if you know what I'm saying.

I even thought about creating a submission for sataniclust.com, but I don't think I would have anything to say ...
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#21378 - 01/17/04 10:11 PM Re: Debate vs discussion [Re: Lerue]
Rev_Malebranche Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 4136
Loc: Oregon
We'll be around, and we'd love to hear from you, of course. Whenever something strikes you, let us know.

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#21379 - 01/18/04 12:03 AM Re: Debate vs discussion [Re: Scratch]
Sammael Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 09/16/03
Posts: 614
Loc: Detroit, MI
Debating can be pointless and masturbatory at times, but it can also be intellectually stimulating. However, one must know the proper time and place - CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES WISELY. Of course, it also helps to choose your debating partner wisely. I debate with friends on occasion, but there is no emphasis on changing each other's mind. It's all about making each other think. It's fun, if done with maturity and respect.
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#21380 - 01/18/04 12:33 AM A simple quote. Food for thought.
Bill_M Offline
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Registered: 07/28/01
Posts: 11546
Loc: New England, USA

“Debate is an art form about the winning of arguments. It’s not a mechanism for finding the truth.” - Stephen Jay Gould
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#21381 - 01/18/04 12:51 AM Re: Debate vs discussion
mattevans Offline


Registered: 01/14/04
Posts: 147
Loc: Japan
I find that debating subjects that I am interested in with people who have an opposing attitude to be one of the best ways to learn more about the subject. I think that the key to having a good debate is the same as with anything; don't be an idiot about it. If the arguments presented change your opinion, be thankful that you have learned something. If there is no argument presented strong enough to change either parties opinion then agree to disagree. At least you have learned more about opposing viewpoints.

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#21382 - 01/18/04 01:56 AM Re: Debate vs discussion [Re: reprobate]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Quote:

Three thousand years of Western philosophy and theoretical science would tend to speak against this point.




I admit it was like that in the past. That does't mean there is no other ways to communicate ideas between humans. Debates which are just used to communicate ideas between a group of person which share a common interest are usually not constructive because their are no goals to achieve and no finality. Most of the time, this is only to evaluate your amount of knowledges on a subject with other individuals. You might feel intelligent, but you've done nothing concrete and the things you learn in a debate might probably be learnt faster alone if you put the effort. The second form of debate is when there is something at stake. Work debates, political debates, couple debate, there is something to be decided which involves many persons. Work debate sometimes involve a moderator. This is the form I was thinking about when I wrote this post. A polemic is more an open mental fight. A debate is usually more diplomatic. An intelligent discussion is more effective. Which is really diffucult to acheive when you are intelligent, I conceit. One problem is the way with communicate ideas, which is essentially by oral. The mouth is much slower than the brain. I've heard something like 500 words/minute for the brain compared with 100 words/minute for the mouth. And most people cannot talk at this speed.

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#21383 - 01/18/04 02:04 AM Re: A simple quote. Food for thought. [Re: Bill_M]
Anonymous
Unregistered


You usually impress me with your keen memory

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#21384 - 01/18/04 03:02 AM Re: Debate vs discussion
Felstorm Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 1474
Loc: Minnesota.
There is something I feel must be said.

Satanism has a set dogma. And what good is dogma if it changed or debtated to death on a whim? You can "debate" Satanism all fucking day and just talk yourself in circles for hours and hours and hours, and get absolutely nowhere. (Well perhaps the Temple of Set.) Because that is what debate is, debate is having an argument for argument's sake. Discussion begins with a line of dialogue and ends definatively with answers and edification. Debates are inherantly hostile, and aimed at tearing down or re-forming your opinion of something to match someone elses opinion. Reading some on Dawkins' meme-theory has alot to do with this.

For those that feel the incessant compulsion to constanty poke and find fault with what was laid out by the CoS and in the TSB are shit disturbing masochists. They will never be content with what they find, because they are not Satanists to begin with. They have such an open mind that it is counter-productive. Ideas go in but fall out just as quick because their cranium is devoid of anything for those ideas to stick to.

The Satanist will look at TSB and CoS policy and say "This works for me" and that is final, no more questioning is needed because they know they got the "real deal". Anton Lavey worked very hard to put everything a Satanist needs into the books he wrote. Debate on Satanic policy and dogma often leads to sour grapes attacks, and antics akin to monkeys throwing poo. These sour grapes attacks are obvious for what they are. Moderators delete them.

Creationists and Evolutionists debate. Protestants and Catholics debate. Republicans and Democrats debate. The United Nations debates. See how far they get accomplishing their goals? Debate is all based upon opinion and consensus. And opinions are never wrong, especially if they are your own. An opinion may be formulated upon facts or fallacies or any number of combinations of the two. But it is a fruitless waste of energy to debate non-issues, which is usualy what these "debates on Satanism" boil down to.

From my observations "consensus" from the body of followers is not how Church of Satan policy and dogma is decided upon and laid out. CoS is not the Unitarian Church.

It is my observation that the people that ask the most questions often lack the effort and curiosity to answer those questions for themselves.
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#21385 - 01/18/04 09:10 AM Re: Debate vs discussion
reprobate Offline

CoS Warlock

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 7140
Loc: Canada
Quote:

Debates which are just used to communicate ideas between a group of person which share a common interest are usually not constructive because their are no goals to achieve and no finality. Most of the time, this is only to evaluate your amount of knowledges on a subject with other individuals. You might feel intelligent, but you've done nothing concrete and the things you learn in a debate might probably be learnt faster alone if you put the effort. The second form of debate is when there is something at stake. Work debates, political debates, couple debate, there is something to be decided which involves many persons. Work debate sometimes involve a moderator. This is the form I was thinking about when I wrote this post. A polemic is more an open mental fight. A debate is usually more diplomatic. An intelligent discussion is more effective. Which is really diffucult to acheive when you are intelligent, I conceit.




Again, I submit that you don't have a clear conception of what a "debate" is or ever was.

The point of a debate is not, and never was, to "win". The point of a debate has always been to convince -- either to convince your partner, or to convince an audience. You allude obliquely to this aspect of debates with your distinction between a moderated "work debate" and a debate between people who share interests but not projects. A public and moderated debate only has "winning" as its superficial objective; at core, it really aims to convince an audience. But in a private debate, the aim is no less to convince.

Private debates can quickly reach a loggerheads, where one or both parties realize nobody's going to convince anyone of anything. To procede beyond this point is counterproductive, and often devolves into polemic. But to suggest that persuading other people of your views isn't "constructive" or isn't doing something is absurd. It's the essence of politics, the art that changes history.

(Polemic can be diplomatic; the key in telling the difference between a debate and a diplomatic polemic, is to determine whether the parties are offering their arguments through clenched teeth, or whether they actually think what they say will have a stopping influence on their sparring partner.)
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#21386 - 01/18/04 01:25 PM Re: Debate vs discussion [Re: reprobate]
Rev_Malebranche Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 4136
Loc: Oregon
Very charitable of you to explain this.

To further demonstrate what it means to "make the effort", I had to look up "at loggerheads" in the dictionary.

That's a great little expression. And kind of sexy, too.

...Or maybe I've just been researching Tom of Finland all week and I have visions of lumberjacks dancing in my head .

Words can be so much fun. The English language is rich with layers of meaning.

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#21387 - 01/18/04 05:45 PM Re: Debate vs discussion [Re: Sammael]
Scratch Offline


Registered: 09/30/03
Posts: 207
Loc: Austin, TX
True. Hell, that's what makes it entertaining sometimes!
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