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Troy

A Field Guide to "Bad Faith" Arguments

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Stickyflames

Haha yeah, pretty much.

The amount of times I have heard about tone, civility, proof of unpurity etc.

It is completely sane to discuss the shortcomings of both points of view but it often always ends in wheel spinning and a civil shake of hands while the world burns. 

I notice we more progressive types can definitely lean towards strawman arguments. 

Where we declare who the other person is  based on one perspective they might share. This often leaves the other person more defensive because they feel misinterpreted. I definitely can be a learner in that area. Other than that, the rest ( including strawman) is pretty much every conservative person I ever encounter.

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Wendy

I'm keeping this in my email for handy access.  Thank you @Troy

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Troy
14 hours ago, Stickyflames said:

I notice we more progressive types can definitely lean towards strawman arguments.

 

I'm not sure what you mean here, so after reading the examples below, maybe you will have some examples from the progressive side that I may have missed. I think the author of the article I posted didn't give a very good explanation of strawmanning.

 

“A straw man is a form of argument and an informal fallacy based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent's argument, while actually refuting an argument that was not presented by that opponent.”

 

Here’s a very simple example: 

 

Person A: I think we should stop eating animals because we don’t need to eat animals and eating animals causes so much suffering and environmental destruction.

Person B: Not everyone who eats meat is evil, you know. 

Person A: I never said that.

Person B: But I eat meat and you are saying it causes so much suffering, so I must be evil for eating meat. 

Person A: No one said anything about being evil; I’m just trying to bring awareness to the consequences of our diet so we can make better choices.

Person B: Well, you won’t win anyone over by calling them evil. 

 

Person B created a Straw Man (you called me evil) so now we are talking about that, instead of the original and legitimate issue. 

 

Another example:

 

White Person A: We have to check our White Privilege for blind spots that keep us from understanding the struggles that people of color face.

White Person B: So, you are calling me a racist?

 

You see where it’s going? Now the conversation would be all about Person B not wanting to be called a racist when no one called him one.

 

Or here’s a recent one:

 

Female A, B, C, D, etc: Joe Biden needs to know that his affectionate caresses, sniffing of hair, holding from behind, and slow kisses are not always appropriate or welcomed.

Population: Oh, for God’s sake, he’s not a rapist!!

Population: Oh, he didn't mean it like THAT!

Population: Oh, that's just how he is!

Population: Oh, he is so creepy!!

 

Now the conversation is about whether Joe Biden is a rapist, or about his intentions, or about his innocence, or about his creepiness... rather than about the original issue of asking people to be more conscious of other people’s personal space and not to assume over-familiarity with strangers. 

 

Strawmanning isn’t when we call out bad behavior or problematic issues that are valid and legitimate. For instance, if we say that supporting Trump means supporting White Supremacist ideology, therefore a Trump follower supports White Supremacy, that’s not Strawmanning. That’s a legitimate equation. 

 

 

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CurvyWords

Thanks so much for posting this, I'm def going to just share it the next time someone tries to tell me to listen to Candace Owens. I was sooo frustrated watching coverage of the hearing because of her bad faith arguments and NONSENSE.

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ihynz

Oh gawd! just had this exchange with a FB group called "Chicagoland Native Plants" who posted a photo of flowers that are not native to this region, they  are native to Turkey. I pointed out they were not native, with link to my source (cuz I'm a scholar lol). Someone said that yes, they are not native, that's why they were labeled "non-native." I said oh, I just thought ... the name of the group...kinda mattered. And someone told me to "calm down." I wasn't NOT calm!!!

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Andrew

Thanks for this breakdown, Troy!  I've totally given up on trying to breathe any rationality into online discussions. As such I have deleted social media accounts of mine and don't watch much news media anymore either.  That shits depressing!  Honestly it's done me a world of good.  I certainly understand the need to address and combat the lunatic fringe that seems to have amplified its voice and influence to be much larger than it should be.  But personally, I've engaged in enough discussions, both online and in person, that quickly devolve into bad faith arguments that I'm pretty much entirely turned off from trying to share my perspectives with people that are totally uninterested in anything that could shake their beliefs. People hate being wrong, or being told that everything they believe is wrong or harmful.  I hate being wrong too, and it's something I struggle with.  But I'm open to being proven wrong, and I'm okay accepting it. But as is seen in contemporary discourse, people will go to great lengths to avoid having their opinions invalidated. A little anecdote: I spent nearly 6 hours, not even debating, with my partners cousin over why he shouldn't use racial epithets. I can't believe i wasted that much time as nothing changed on his end. I presented every bit of logic and reason i could and got absolutely nowhere.  I had casually debated him previously on different topics. We're very different people. But his go-to when he didnt have a reasonable counter was to cite a logical fallacy he believed i had committed.  I tried to tell him that he must not know what 'appeal to nature' was, because he was using that argument wrong too.  Anyhow.

 

A little off topic and maybe something for a thread of its own, unless it's already been discussed elsewhere.  Do you think a lot of the strife and toxic discourse going on, not just in politics, but the general animosity it feels like people have towards each other, is part of America slowly inching into a mature soul phase?  Maybe I just never noticed it before, but damn are people grumpy! A friendly "good morning" and a smile are met with a scowl and slight look of fear maybe 4/5 times I say it!

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Troy
9 hours ago, Troubadour said:

Trigger warning. IDW. 

Ricky Gervais and Sam Harris in conversation. 

 

Yeah, promoting and normalizing a racist bigot will be triggering. I love the oxymoron of "intellectual" dark web. And I love that this is a conversation between two straight white males who have been inconvenienced by the horrors of considering other people. Ugh. So typical and insular and toxic.

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Stickyflames
12 hours ago, Troubadour said:

These are just babies though?

adults don’t whine about considering other people/beings.

I am confused why this conversation is important enough to share?

You can talk about extreme politically correct policing and STILL empathize, care, listen and consider others.

These men are literally grown babies who are anti policing of words but also anti listening/ evolving/ considering.

Edited by Stickyflames
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CurvyWords

ANYWAYZZ I'm gonna take this opportunity to plug my alternate timeline husband's new book. Michael Brooks of the Michael Brooks Show and Minority Report is coming out with a new book this fall, tentatively titled: Against The Web: A Cosmopolitian Socialist Answer to the IDW & the New Right You can read about Michael and the book here and watch Michael make fun of Sam Harris in this video:

 

 

Edited by Troy
typo, fixed start time of video
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