Talk:Thought-terminating cliché

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That's racist[edit]

Is that not a thought-terminating cliché? Doesn't it just assume your position without investigation? Radiant Orb (talk) 19:31, 21 February 2019 (UTC)

(EC)No, see below for how it doesn't really meet the definition. And also, no because saying it can be a reasonable inference in context. Your objection to it seems more thought-terminating in that it brokers no question. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 19:33, 21 February 2019 (UTC)

Examples section sucks balls[edit]

The ideal of a thought terminating cliche, is that it's literally a cliche that answers all questions. Saying "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" as an answer for whether to engaging in high-risk, high-return investment or store cash in a mattress would be a thought terminating cliche, because it brokers no disagreement. "This source is biased in bad way" doesn't necessarily reflect though termination in the same way, and is not really a cliche either.

We filled the section with a bunch of ad homs loosely built around politics as examples. And it sucks at it, because some of them are legit criticisms of things that warrant further examination in an argument.

Real examples might be:

  • The lord works in mysterious ways
  • All's well that ends well
  • Do, or do not, there is no try(sorry Yoda)
  • Make of it what you will but...
  • You never know

There's hundreds of these things that are good examples, and we piled a bunch of bullshit instead. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 19:33, 21 February 2019 (UTC)

"If you don't like it, don't buy it" might qualify, though context dependent admittedly. How about "that's just your opinion". Better late than never? Hmmmm... --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 19:39, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
Yes, those are good ones. I think I'll just toss the section now, and redo it with that short list. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 19:46, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
"That's racist" isn't a cliche (a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought)? Looks textbook. A cliche doesn't "answer all questions", what are you going on about? Radiant Orb (talk) 19:53, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
That's not compelling. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 19:57, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
You don't like it? It's obviously correct though, and you were talking crap. But it's not "compelling", meaning you don't like it. OK, thanks for that. Radiant Orb (talk) 19:59, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
I mean more generally that you're full of shit. If you do even a trivial breakdown of "you're racist" it's a pretty straightforward construction of the most basic sentence structure in english, [subject] [to be] [predicate]. That's not a cliche that's basic syntax. Your only real objection can therefor be the use of "racism" as a concept. Which you've very straightforwardly demonstrated is because you don't like being told the truth about yourself. Go away. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 20:09, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
Is it just me that sees through this patina of superficial erudition to excuse brazen hypocrisy and double standards? Oh no the nasty man took away the "racist" name calling, it's all we had. Thoughtless (talk) 16:14, 6 July 2020 (UTC)
Wow, if it's "name calling" that sounds like a great candidate for an example of an ad hominem argument, not a thought terminating cliche. You sure showed me by demonstrating that the original point I made was accurate. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 17:30, 6 July 2020 (UTC)
Both. And clearly your earlier gibberish didn't say that. How are we to explain you? Ultimately you appear to be a shameless pathological liar. Gaslighting with obvious nonsense because you don't have the slightest integrity to concede anything that doesn't align with your delusional SJW worldview. Thoughtless (talk) 18:50, 6 July 2020 (UTC)
Um, how is Ikanreed gaslighting?-Flandres (talk) 19:07, 6 July 2020 (UTC)
I don't know whether to cite the general internet at large's misunderstanding of the concept of gaslighting to the point of uselessness or Mikey's general misunderstanding of literally every single goddamn thing here. Regardless we should probably just block him for ban evasion. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 20:45, 6 July 2020 (UTC)

On occasion[edit]

The ttcs are actually used to end 'a discussion that is going round in circles'/an intentional decision to move on to another topic and similar positive uses. Anna Livia (talk) 16:58, 22 February 2019 (UTC)

Yes I see your point, their role as social lubricant is real. Same with "white lies". I can't really abet either, myself. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 18:40, 22 February 2019 (UTC)
Shall we say that in many cases it is 'the intent' rather than 'the words' that is key - and some 'white lies' are 'I have no interest, but it makes you happy/rather than give a long explanation...' ad similar. Anna Livia (talk) 20:27, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
I agree with Anna Livia's remark. "Thought-terminating cliché" is really about "Conversational thread-terminating tricks". The article currently envisions only a single social situation. There needs to be a table with three columns: the cliché; it's interpretation when used against the rationalist; when used by the rationalist. In a singing group I attend, 14 people during refreshment break might form 4–7 conversation groups; if I find myself in a group that starts discussing "spirituality", I could use one of these clichés to excuse myself an join another group; I wanna learn something new. Many Rationalwiki articles directly or indirectly address conversational strategies, but we don't have an article on "Conversational strategies" or "Conversational situations" or "Conversational phenomena". In the abstract, a "ttc" shares some features of a "conversation stopper," but conversation stoppers are not clichés. Wigitsune (talk) 19:13, 30 June 2020 (UTC)

this isn't new(s)[edit]

Is the more common expression "this isn't new" or "this isn't news"? --Annanoon (talk) 11:49, 26 March 2019 (UTC)

Depends upon the context.
What is the modern equivalent of 'Queen Anne's dead'? Anna Livia (talk) 12:24, 26 March 2019 (UTC)

recently added example[edit]

"It's scientifically proven". It's not great. We all agree that science is, by definition, a process that improves from flawed to less flawed theories, and one that cannot ever set in the stone of absolute proof beyond any doubt. These are indeed things that such a statement might terminate as a gross simplification. However, as a way of addressing things like "HIV doesn't cause AIDS, it's god's punishment", "It's scientifically proven that HIV attacks the immune system in a way that creates the effects of AIDS" is a pretty valid response. The reams of evidence there is compelling, and not going to be overturned by the continual refinement that science engages in. It's a bad and naive example. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 20:27, 28 March 2019 (UTC)

@Ikanreed Agreed. I can't think of any situations in which someone would use "it's scientifically proven" in such a context that it would be a thought-stopping cliché... unless of course that drive-by BoN who added it in there is some young Earth cretinist trying to strawman evolutionary science or something... should I remove it from the article? --Goatspeed. Stalk meCircularREmail2.gifasoningMy experiments 22:47, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
Wanted to give it a chance, but someone echoing my thoughts seems like enough reason for me to extricate it. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 23:27, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
Good. --Goatspeed. Stalk meCircularREmail2.gifasoningMy experiments 17:22, 29 March 2019 (UTC)

Agree to disagree?[edit]

Would this be a valid example of a thought-terminating cliché? -- Pedja  (speak up, contributions) 13:14, 26 April 2020 (UTC)

Sorta. It's a gray zone. It's certainly intended to end a conversation. But I feel like its role is more social lubricant than ideological linchpin? ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 13:47, 6 July 2020 (UTC)


i can think of many circumstances for most of these phrases where they are simply trite and anyone interpreting them in the way they are described in this section is likely an insufferable pedant who hears these these phrases a lot because no one wants to continue arguing with them.

these examples need the context in which the phrase is being used in order to justify the meaning we have given else it just looks like mean spirited arrogance. there is a dismissive smugness and an over bearing sense of superiority in the explanations that would not be warranted for the situations that spring to mind when i think about the phrases given. i have to think harder to come up with the situations where the description given would actually fit, if its even an accurate description at all.

i dunno. you hear the phrases (the ones people actually use - go fuck yourself yoda) often enough in conversation where they are perfectly fine to use and the worst that could be said of them is that they are trite, we need to specify the context in which their usage would be genuine attempts to silence and deflect criticism or have that effect. some real examples, rather than hypothetical would be best. especially as the article is heavy on the orwellian nature of such phrases, that they are popular with totalitarians and cults as a technique of mind control, it would be good to see examples of relevance and differentiate from the more common everyday examples we all employ versions of.

differentiate between the thought terminating from mere cliche is probably what i am trying to say AMassiveGay (talk) 13:50, 7 September 2020 (UTC)

I don't know. Do you really think "The lord works in mysterious ways" has a real meaningful usage other than as a thought terminator and suppression of religious dissent? What's the valid application? Some of them are a bit of a stretch, but real orwellianism is often trite and seemingly benign. You don't become an authoritarian by actively believing in authoritarianism. You get that way suppressing your own critical thinking and rejecting criticism of the central dogmas. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 00:42, 9 September 2020 (UTC)