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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 03:36 PM
Original message
A flowchart to determine if you are having a rational discussion:


http://twentytwowords.com/2011/03/15/a-flowchart-to-hel... /

"Caveat: This chart is about debate and conversations that are supposed to be debate-like. It does not apply to every conversation you have. Therefore, the principles of this flow chart are not meant to be used in fights you have with your spouse. Should you choose to disregard that little bit of common sense, under no circumstances shall you imply that you learned your tactless conversational tactics via this post. Youve now been warned. Thus, any misapplication of information contained herein that leads to marital strife is not the responsibility of this blogger and only represents your personal jackwagonry."



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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 03:45 PM
Response to Original message
1. Deming would be pleased. That's a keeper! +1 nt
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 03:46 PM
Response to Original message
2. Ah here is one major problem with this flow chart
Edited on Fri Dec-02-11 04:01 PM by truedelphi
One example: from a lifetime rich with such examples --

I was an office worker in the seventies.

Every time I had an evaluation of my work, when my office managers asked if there was any improvement in the company that would help my productivity soar, I gave the same, crystal clear answer:

Eliminate cigarette smoking in the office.

Many of you here on DU are probably too young to even understand my request.

For instance if you live in the San Francisco California area, then you are able to work in a smoke free environment. You have no idea of what people would endure in the sixties seventies and into the eighties. The situation was even worse for people older than myself. For instance, my father, who put in a lengthy career as an accountant, ended up at the age of fifty five with emphysema -even though he had quit smoking at the age of thirty nine.



Often I would look across the office to the huge carpet to ceiling windows some eighty feet away, and I could not see out of those windows at the skyline of Chicago. Instead what I saw was billowing purple haze, caused by all the cigarette smoke. (People in skyscrapers didn't have the ability to open windows, so there wasn't any way to get clean fresh air. It all was re-cycled through the buildings ventilation system.)

Anyway after I made the request for a non-smoking environment, I would be looked at as though I were suggesting that the company remove the little green men that raced around upside down from the ceilings.

Did that stop me? No it didn't.

I continued to complain. I wrote letters to the Board of Health in each city that I worked in, if I ended up in an office environment for my pay check.

Eventually the tide had turned against people smoking in the work environment. But if people had not continued to argue in favor of such a thing happening, it would not have happened.

The fact That people do not want to hear a message because "conventional wisdom" is that the opposite of what a person is suggesting should never deter anyone from speaking the truth.

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markpkessinger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #2
11. I don't see anything in the flow chart that would have prevented you...
... from continuing to press your case. Can you clarify?
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tabatha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 03:47 PM
Response to Original message
3. Excellent.
1 and 2 are what I would call obfuscation.
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Speck Tater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 03:50 PM
Response to Original message
4. I use this chart myself. It's very handy, especially when you start off by asking a skeptic...
"Is there anything that will change your mind on this topic?"

For example:

"Could such phenomena as ESP possibly exist?"
"Might such a thing as the soul exist?"
"Is it possible that disembodied consciousness continues after death?"
"Might reincarnation be real?"

Skeptics, if they are honest, will admit that there is nothing that will cause them to change their minds, and so there really is no point in discussing the matter beyond that point.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. I consider myself a skeptic and I wouldn't give an absolute "no" to any of those..
:shrug:
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Speck Tater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #6
25. Good. That puts you in good company.
Carl Sagan in "Demon Haunted World", where he debunks most of the nonsense the that gullible believe, also stated that reincarnation stands with certain ESP phenomena as one of several examples of contentions that might be true."

He was a true skeptic. The kind of skeptic I consider myself to be. No the knee-jerk "true disbeliever" who rejects out of hand whatever James Randi tells him to reject.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. Are you familiar with The God Helmet?
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Speck Tater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #27
30. I've heard of it. It's interesting, but I remain skeptical until it's replicated. nt
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immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Skeptics, if they are honest, will follow the evidence.
I am a skeptic. And for most things I can think of that will change my mind.

If you can present evidence for any of the things in your questions, I would believe it. Discussions usually devolve here to what constitutes evidence.

from my own experience, atheist love to construct tests that would cause them to change their minds. I never met a theist who would propose such a test. They have always told me they would stick to their beliefs no matter what. A skeptic is one who questions.

--imm
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Speck Tater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #8
20. Please see my response #19 nt
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immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 10:34 PM
Response to Reply #20
31. All people can succumb to confirmation bias.
Edited on Fri Dec-02-11 10:39 PM by immoderate
Your experiment doesn't illuminate anything. A sign of a pseudo-random number generator is it's symmetry, which may not be present in natural (real random) events. Why wouldn't a random generator of 0s and 1s split 45-55? I don't think your "experiment" is indicative of anything past anecdotal.

True believers are immune to any proof. A real skeptic will have an open mind. They just ask questions about things that are unquestioned. Whom do you think will be less biased?

On edit: Your statistical analysis of your tens of thousands of data points should have been able to tell you at what level of confidence your data was a product of chance. What levels of confidence did the professors use?

--imm
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Lyric Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #4
12. Oops..I see a mistake.
"Is there anything that will change your mind on this topic?"

For example:

"Could such phenomena as ESP possibly NOT exist?"
"Might such a thing as the soul NOT exist?"
"Is it possible that disembodied consciousness DOES NOT continue after death?"
"Might reincarnation be A MYTH?"

Woowoos, if they are honest, will admit that there is nothing that will cause them to change their minds, and so there really is no point in discussing the matter beyond that point.


Fixed that for ya. See, "skepticism" is the DEFAULT rational position, unless solid scientific evidence presents itself to the contrary. All rational people are skeptics. It's completely irrational to live your life as if those things are real, when you have ZERO evidence that any of them actually are. Same goes for God/religion. Now, you might CHOOSE to deliberately be irrational. God knows plenty of religious people do--that's why it's called "faith". But you certainly don't have the right to make that choice and then turn around and post hypocritical lies and smears about how irrational "skeptics" are.

:hi:
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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 05:09 PM
Response to Reply #4
13. The problem is, believers have very different standards of "evidence."
I expect most skeptics, if provided with rigorous scientific evidence, would accept said evidence. The catch is, nobody has ever provided rigorous scientific evidence for any of those things.
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LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #4
18. Sure they can, in cases where a phenomenon is possible to test.
A great number of tests have been devised to test that first question, because testing the transmission of thoughts should be relatively simple.
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Speck Tater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Let me tell you about an experiment I did in graduate school in the 1960's
I was in the electrical engineering masters program. I wrote a computer program to generate fake data with 1's and 0's where the 1's had a probability of 50.5% and the 0's a probability of 49.5%. I collected tens of thousands of samples and compiled all the standard statistical measures. Then I took my results to four math professors.

The first two professors were told that this was data from a hardware random number generator I had built and I wanted them to tell me if it was truly random or if it was biased. They both came to the conclusion that the hardware was faulty and whatever process I was using was significantly biased in favor of 1's.

The second two professors were told that this was data from a series of ESP tests and I wanted them to tell me if there was significant deviation from chance to justify concluding that it was not a random result. They both came to the conclusion that the data showed nothing more than purely random results.

Thus the same "data" is either believed or not believed based solely on the preconceived notions of the judge making the call. The same data was either very significant, or completely insignificant depending on whether it was used to prove something you thought could be true or something you thought could not be true.

Remember the big hoopla about aspirin prevent heart attacks? Well guess what, the combined evidence to ESP is many hundreds of times more statistically significant than the evidence to aspirin. But since the evidence leads to a place the scientist does not want to go, it is dismissed.

So yes, there is this "ideal" where science follows wherever the data leads, but there is also the psychological reality that scientists will not follow if the evidence leads in an unpopular direction. And this fact of life has been repeatedly replicated in laboratories all over the world by careful, competent, and conscientious researchers in the legitimate, much much maligned field of parapsychology.

The truth is, the people who malign the research are the one who have never really examined the results. They still believe the now obsolete, but still widely believed falsehood that ESP experiments have not been adequately replicated. They have been. But the close-minded will not follow where the evidence leads.
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LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. Oh my.
I scarcely know where to start.
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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #4
21. I consider myself a skeptic and I have gone to many rituals and magic-type demonstrations.
I have also associated with several new-age cults. I loved the cults, but none of them had any supernatural powers, and most of them never claimed to.
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Speck Tater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. Waste of time. Rituals and "magic" are all phoney.
That's a problem I face all the time. I say I think there is sufficient evidence to take some ESP claims seriously and everybody jumps to the ridiculous conclusion that I believe in witchcraft, astrology and the Loch Ness Monster. I don't. That's all nonsense, and deserves the ridicule it gets.

But what I think is important is that I did not reject astrology, for example, until I had done a thorough and unbiased investigation of my own. And for the sake of that investigation I suspended disbelief and was willing to accept evidence that it was real. I spent time with a couple of professional astrologers and really got to know how they did what they did, inside and out. The charts they make, the tables and calculations, and the methods of prognostication. Then, after I examined it in detail, and gave it more than a fair shake, I concluded that it's all nonsense. But I don't consider that I wasted my time because now I can be truly confident in my dismissal of it, as opposed to those who dismiss everything based on the biased half-truths pedaled by the likes of CSICOP.
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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 08:25 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. I had a lot of sex with interesting people when I hung out with new-age cults.
So I don't feel like I wasted my time either.
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malthaussen Donating Member (413 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 04:03 PM
Response to Original message
5. Is this the right room for an argument?
The chart assumes that the purpose of "discussion" is to prove a point. Which is fine, if you want to define it that way. I think most talk between two people must be "conversation," or something else -- where the medium is the message.

-- Mal
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flying rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 04:28 PM
Response to Original message
7. Imma gonna have fun with this one
Saved and printed.
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dtexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 04:38 PM
Response to Original message
9. I love it.
And I have sent it on.
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ellisonz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 04:52 PM
Response to Original message
10. This thread should be stickied at the top of all forums.
Bravo, Bravo.

:yourock:
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andiejen Donating Member (5 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 04:06 AM
Response to Reply #10
32. Flowchart
What a good idea. Have this thread stickied at the top of all
forums!!!
Until then, I am going to print and save it. Keep it near
during discussions.
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Zorra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 05:12 PM
Response to Original message
14. That's great, thanks!
I'm going to keep that handy at all times.
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freshwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 05:34 PM
Response to Original message
15. I posted this a while back elsewhere, good reminder here. Warning: Does not apply to FNN.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 05:47 PM
Response to Original message
16. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
PETRUS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 06:00 PM
Response to Original message
17. LOVE it! K&R
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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 08:18 PM
Response to Original message
24. K&R nt
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moodforaday Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 08:38 PM
Response to Original message
28. Limited application
The flowchart makes sense, but it is of limited use. You can apply it to discussing issues which can (in principle) be resolved scientifically or at least pragmatically. Questions about the economy and about UFOs all apply.

However, I don't think you can apply it to discussing values. If your initial position is that "war is good for the well-being of a nation" or "we should always obey authority no matter what" then I believe you are wrong and no, there is nothing that will ever make me change my mind. I may yield under torture (easy!) but that still won't change what I think. By the flowchart, we should refrain from debating values altogether.


And I don't think I like the first two numbered items: "Do not introduce new arguments..." and "Do not move on to another argument." Just because one argument has been proven faulty does not affect the validity of other arguments, nor does the order in which arguments are presented (unless one relies upon the one that precedes it). If you stick to these rules verbatim, I think you are penalizing your opponent for leading with a weak argument, i.e. you're happy to win by "gotcha". To my mind, all distinct arguments are equal. Unless I am really misreading the two rules, that is!
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 09:04 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. I saw this on FB today and thought it looked interesting.
I'm sure most people in the heat of an argument think they are being the rational one, and that their "facts" are the ones with validity. I actually like the points you dislike the best, that is funny. :) To me, this is the worst part of a discussion, when someone keeps shifting the goalposts with separate and wholly new arguments when you've amply demonstrated that your opponent is standing on weak ground on their original stance. If their new arguments are in the same theme, with analogies and parallels, I think that is ok, but when the whole discussion shifts to strawmen, I find that maddening.

Values, I agree, can be tricky to pin down. In the context of DU though, one expects the debates to follow progressive directions in values. When someone cross-tacks with some reactionary "counterpoint" in an argument, I think that debate is very valuable.
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blindpig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 07:09 AM
Response to Original message
33. Hmmm...

:hi:
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ileus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 07:13 AM
Response to Original message
34. Looks like it should have an: I'm correct you're wrong bubble.
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 09:46 AM
Response to Reply #34
35. That's when you can go to: "This is not a discussion"
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ProfessionalLeftist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 09:51 AM
Response to Original message
36. Bookmarked. n/t
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ThoughtCriminal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 01:02 PM
Response to Original message
37. I am REQUIRED to post this
http://youtu.be/kQFKtI6gn9Y

No You're not.

I most certainly am.
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gkhouston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 01:16 PM
Response to Original message
38. I disagree with the first bubble.
Just because I can't imagine something that would change my mind about an issue right now doesn't mean my mind is unchangeable. After all, if I were aware of a line of reasoning or some evidence another person might use, wouldn't I possibly hold a different position?

A better question, IMO, is "Under any circumstances, would you be willing to change your mind about this topic?" A rational person would respond something along the lines of, "yes, if presented with new data or an argument I haven't considered." A time-waster would declare, "Nothing is going to change my mind about this."
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. I have things that I refuse to change my mind about.
A time-waster wouldn't be up-front about that, and would lure someone into a discussion under false pretenses. I try to be upfront with people and say, this is something I'm not budging on, no matter what the angle. Then I acknowledge that it isn't a discussion, because I am not capable of having one on the subject in a good faith manner.
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napoleon_in_rags Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #38
40. I disagree with how the third rule is phrased.
Edited on Sat Dec-03-11 03:07 PM by napoleon_in_rags
If you have 3 pieces of evidence (arguments) backing something up when only 1 would be sufficient, you CAN move on if one argument is proven to be false to the next argument. All 3 must be disproven to disprove your point. Its an Ad Hominem fallacy if you condemn somebody's point because one of their arguments was wrong. e.g.
Alice: I think there is fire in the next room Bob, and I have 3 arguments: 1) There is smoke, and where there is smoke there's fire. 2) The fire alarm is going off, and when the fire alarm is going off, there's fire. 3) There's flickering orange light and heat coming from under the door.
Bob: Not true Alice, don't you remember when Charlie pulled the fire alarm in school, setting it off even though there is no fire? So your second point can't be true.
Alice: Oh yes I remember, so that argument is wrong. But still...
Bob: But nothing! You've been proven wrong. By rule 3, one of the facts you were relying on was disproven, so there is no fire in the next room.

Saying RELYING ON is too non descriptive. IT should say something like "If some fact you argued has been disproven, you may no longer make any arguments based on that fact.
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gkhouston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 05:24 PM
Response to Reply #40
41. Yeah, I thought that one was poorly worded, also.
Your phrasing is much better.
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BrendaBrick Donating Member (859 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 06:15 PM
Response to Original message
42. A website by Jessica Hagy
Edited on Sat Dec-03-11 06:16 PM by BrendaBrick
has some other cool flowcharts/illustrations. Example:



Her site: http://thisisindexed.com /


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