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Talk:Hierarchy of disagreement

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Article is poor[edit]

From the first time I've seen it, I've always thought this diagram fucking sucks ass for the following fucking reasons:

For example, it doesn't mention vulgarity (now am I sarcastically level 5 or sarcastically level 3?) Thinkadoodle (talk) 18:07, 24 September 2021 (UTC)
  1. There's no such thing as a pure, perfect rebuttal, even to awful, incoherent ideas, all argument must be context dependent. Sometimes there is no central point to refute. Sometimes you're the person making a point.
  2. Quotes can be meaningless asides to snip at technicalities, and detract wildly from the idea of addressing #1, which we've established is the main goal. Or from #3, which I'd argue is the main goal.
  3. This should be #1. Evidence, and making your reasoning explicit are far more important than "refuting" your opponent. Present your own position clearly, accurately, and with appropriate qualification, and worry less about the other fucker being "wrong". But you know what? Sometimes the evidence is already in play and is being ignored. Sometimes the reasoning is already spelled out. Sometimes you can't add anymore, because it's done. Sometimes it's a fucking pointless hellscape to provide real evidence to address every point.
  4. Contradiction by bare assertion is the worst kind of argumentation. Should be beneath fucking everything. It's what children do. Moreso than insults, moreso than having bad tone, just reasserting yourself forever is the basis of awful argumentation.
  5. This is in about the right place in the list, and is more or less right. I'm glad I found something I could agree with
  6. I know this is tough, but sometimes ad hominem is super goddamn relevant. Sometimes people cite themselves as authorities when they're not. Sometimes people cite others as authorities when they're not. It's perfectly okay to tear these things down. Sometimes, the other person in the argument's behavior is the reason why there's disagreement in the first place.
  7. Sometimes. And this is important. It's okay to say so. I know that's not a popular opinion. Sometimes a person is just a goddamn idiot, and that's all there is to say about the matter, because the frame of reference for a real conversation cannot exist with the layers upon layers of self-assured bullshit involved. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 21:20, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
For no. 6, I don't think that's a good defense for ad hominem. I don't think countering people citing themselves or others as authorities necessarily is even an ad hominem attack. It still depends how you counter it. If your point of contention is to provide evidence for authority or to question if the authority is relevant to the argument, that is not an ad hominem. It would be considered ad hominem if it were a personal attack that poisons an authority's reputation (like insinuating one is a Big Pharma shill) without a substance. Like, calling Andrew Wakefield a fraud in a relevant context (countering his credentials as a researcher) isn't ad hominem nor isn't a way to poison motive because you can back those allegations. Personal characteristics often have no bearing in the argument, hence why it seems to rank so low here. I still think the last two sections overlap, however. The explanation for that section doesn't seem too well-thought out though, so maybe I'm reading a little too much between the lines.
I also think 2 and 3 really go hand-in-hand, they also overlap. No 1 is kind of meaningless to me, being vague and not helpful. Also, I keep feeling this actually overlaps with the "pure contradiction" part. What's really the difference between the two? What the hell does "refute" in "refute the central point" mean???? Honestly, the upper areas should be labeled under "refute the central point", as a category. I think the contradiction part that you ripped on would be better if it were "states the opposing case with reasoning but little or no supporting evidence". Even so I might understand why it would be ranked there because there's still an interaction with the argument compared to the actions below that one.
The real problem, however, is the linear, stiff, totem-pole-like design of it as well as the assumption that the debates taking place are formal; I do agree for instance that insults suffice usually for PRATTs and intellectual dishonesty (hence why the context of the debate matters a lot), and so they have their place in debate. The linear design doesn't lend to much flexibility and suggests hard-set rules rather than fluidity, which would be more characteristic of contexts of debates.
So overall I don't think it's quite the worst thing ever, but I think it's pretty limited in its application, and it surely does not apply to Internet debate or debates with desperate creationists. I might argue that the the hierarchy appears assumes intellectual honesty for both parties and would be advice for good-faith users trying to rebut arguments. Unfortunately, it seems like this pyramid was designed with Internet debates in mind, not formal ones, and with intellectually dishonest posters roaming around, it's really bad advice. Honestly, I think it would be far more useful to identify intellectual dishonesty and highlight the value of using cheaper tactics on them. Of course, you have to have your reasons for perceiving intellectual dishonesty. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 19:00, 15 September 2018 (UTC)
This article is back in recent changes, and I still I'm still right about it. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 04:14, 13 March 2020 (UTC)
I would like to see the criticisms, perhaps rewritten, and added to the main page. Bongolian (talk) 06:19, 13 March 2020 (UTC)
Argument is a game won or lost over a point of disagreement. This outline looks OK for formally decidable propositions. It is a simple list of game rules (incomplete). Most people play a version of this game. Some assume the ability to read minds or other exotic stuff. Unfortunately, no list of rules can solve every dispute. It's interesting.Ariel31459 (talk) 21:07, 15 March 2020 (UTC)

Discussion - No such thing as a perfect rebuttal[edit]

"There's no such thing as a pure, perfect rebuttal, even to awful, incoherent ideas, all argument must be context dependent. Sometimes there is no central point to refute. Sometimes you're the person making a point."

I suggest this argument has chosen a wrong context regarding the article. There are several interesting thoughts I'm having -
  • The context of the article might be reframed if the title were more specific to allow the possibility of other such hierarchies, and thus annoy people less
  • The context of the article is that it's in RationalWiki where the mission is for many people to use the given hierarchy to help understand good and bad logical discussions, and make good ones, so in that way it's a good article.
  • "Sometimes you're the person making a point." There is an implicit assumption that there is a disagreement going on - it's an implicit context, I think - so even if you are making a point, then the article can help understand whatever logical disagreements come up after the original point has been stated. This doesn't show that the article is wrong. (It is a good article, I think!)
  • Also unstated (unless I haven't gotten to that part yet) in the article is that persuasion is different from logical debate - it allows emotional appeals and appeals to authority, etc. (I'm wondering what the difference is between "persuasion" and "rhetoric" in the old sense of persuasive argument. Am I making a false dichotomy? By "persuasion" I mean not the Jane Austen novel, but more like what Ken Ham tries to do.) Thinkadoodle (talk) 18:27, 24 September 2021 (UTC)