Sunday, January 31, 2016

"Keep the Debate Alive!" (#7 moral of the comments)

Thanks to Hotwhopper and it's tracking of Anthony's latest antics, I found out a little while ago that WattsUpWithThat has featured me in a rather scathing post.  I haven't looked at it, no time for that distraction right now.  I'm sure I'll get to it eventually.  

See, I want to stick with some thoughts I woke up with and wrote down before having to run off to get on with other chores.  Now I only have a few moments available and want to keep my eyes on the prize, as some say.

I woke up thinking about the Climate Science Contrarian's plaintive refrain: 
"Keep the Debate Alive!" 
yet when someone like me comes along who wants to debate with them for real, it's always the same song and dance. 

First the self-certain wildly mistaken claims.  

Then, ignoring all the evidence I provide, dismissing my argument with a wave.
Then, the denial and resentment at being questioned.
Then rather than counter-arguments, and getting specific about where my errors in logic or facts are, they resort to insults (occasionally threats - kudos to Poptech for not climbing into that gutter.) 
and arm waving, basically whining that - It's not nice to challenge someone's faith.  

Then they back out of the discussion with their chorus of "Debate is healthy - you are stupid..." while their ears, eyes and minds remain firmly plugged.

{Then he/they slink off to their club houses and let me have it.  So it goes.   Poptech and Steele's claims are ever more convincing when kept within the sanctity of their self-imposed echo-chambers.}


One of the important basic questions Poptech refused to discuss is:

What kind of DEBATE is worth having?

The debate I keep chasing is a constructive affair.  
It's about a willingness to expose one's own ideas/understanding to skeptical reviews. 
It's about considering and better understanding competing information and ideas. 
It's about being willing to hear about flaws in one's own understanding.  After all, that is how we learn!
Poptech's debate is the political/lawyerly affair, where "winning" the argument is all that matters.
That sort of debate feeds on conflict and confusion rather than on learning anything constructive.  Nothing more than a sort of ad hoc exercise in self-justification.  

It's a wretchedly dishonest affair, the stuff of power politics.

Not the stuff of learning or understanding.


Anonymous said...

..."plaintive" refrain, perhaps?

Dang spell checkers. :^)

citizenschallenge said...

Thanks for pointing that out.
I have occasional programming issues with the spell checker in my head.
But, I get by, with a little help from my friends. ; )