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While I Was Away...

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While I Was Away...
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hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2379Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: While I Was Away...

Steelmage99 wrote:Wouldn't it only be a tu quoque if the statement "Hillary sold 20% of US' uranium to Russia" was actually true, instead of the nonsense that it is?


No, because the fallacy is committed whether the accusation is real or fabricated. It's literally saying 'you did that too'. It doesn't impact the underlying logic if the accusation is untrue, and it's the logic that's the matter for concern when discussing a fallacy.
Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:03 pm
Steelmage99Posts: 170Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 9:43 am Gender: Male

Post Re: While I Was Away...

hackenslash wrote:
Steelmage99 wrote:Wouldn't it only be a tu quoque if the statement "Hillary sold 20% of US' uranium to Russia" was actually true, instead of the nonsense that it is?


No, because the fallacy is committed whether the accusation is real or fabricated. It's literally saying 'you did that too'. It doesn't impact the underlying logic if the accusation is untrue, and it's the logic that's the matter for concern when discussing a fallacy.


OK
Blunder that theists make all the time;

Pretending to know what other people think.
Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:15 pm
Sparhafoc
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Post Re: While I Was Away...

hackenslash wrote:
Steelmage99 wrote:Wouldn't it only be a tu quoque if the statement "Hillary sold 20% of US' uranium to Russia" was actually true, instead of the nonsense that it is?


No, because the fallacy is committed whether the accusation is real or fabricated. It's literally saying 'you did that too'. It doesn't impact the underlying logic if the accusation is untrue, and it's the logic that's the matter for concern when discussing a fallacy.



Yup, and it's a playground level of sophistication. Children do this all the time as if the onus of their actions can be spread by noting that someone else did it too!

It's always embarrassing to see a supposedly full grown adult engage in this kind of behavior.
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
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Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:32 pm
surreptitious57Posts: 223Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:09 am Gender: Male

Post Re: While I Was Away...

One can educate anyone about the difference between fact and opinion but merely knowing the difference is not enough because if that knowledge is
not employed it has zero effect upon general discourse. Ditto logical fallacies and critical thinking. Now one is never going to rid the internet of opinion
masquerading as fact because the internet and especially social media is an opinion generating machine. More fundamentally though this is a feature
of human nature which has existed long before the internet ever did. The best that one can do therefore is to try to become a better critical thinker one
self and leave others to decide for themselves

I know nothing and this for me is the best place to be because it means I have the most to learn. I also am not the least bit interested in whether anyone
agrees with anything I say. But I will listen to others whose knowledge on a particular subject is greater than mine where I have committed factual errors
I also read the opinions of others whose worldview is fundamentally different to mine if for no other reason that I find it interesting. Although on occasion
it may be right as well so that is another reason

Although I am of the left and therefore a liberal I am a classical one not an ideological one. I would never deny anyone their fundamental right of free
speech regardless of who they are or what they have to say. It is somewhat ironic that free speech that was once a cornerstone of the left is now one
of the right. I completely reject the notion that only one view is right and all others are inferior or irrelevant. I also think universities should be bastions
of free speech where every idea is openly debated and nothing is sacrosanct or taboo. But I also think that those who are genuinely affected by other
opinions should be reasonably protected from them. Free speech does not extend to forcing someone to listen to something they do not want to hear
Labelling them snowflakes does not make them any less human. Everyone is sensitive about something. We are human beings not robots. Therefore
the sensitivity of others should not be dismissed merely because they happen to be sensitive about different things

I am very fortunate because I am thick skinned and apart from the obvious not very much affects me. My sense of detachment I think allows me to be
a better thinker because I can see things more objectively. I am also quite old [ 53 ] so am not an idealist who wants to change the world. I only focus
on what I can actually change and that is myself and it is a work in progress. But I am very careful not to encourage others to change themselves too
for that is entirely beyond my jurisdiction. Everyone must be free to decide how they want to live their life and not have someone decide that for them

I have rambled on a bit and some of what I have said may not be relevant to this thread but I will let it stand as it is

A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:10 am
Sparhafoc
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Post Re: While I Was Away...

Opinion generation = fine, fantastic even.

Lack of awareness of opinion not equating to fact = highly problematic in the supposed Information Age.

You say it's not easy to get people to employ this, but it's perfectly common for anyone studying history, for example, to learn about biases, about why a given historical document may frame a particular event a certain way, while another source may provide a very different, even contradictory rational. We can train our citizens to understand information, just as we train them to understand other things. It's just an educational focus that's lacking.

Another problem is that you are not putting this into the wider context. How much of current affairs are being perverted by misinformation machines appealing to the vacuous biases of their target audience which lacks any critical thinking abilities and is looking only for confirmation?

An example of this is the 'fake news' diversion offered by Trump where anything critical of him or his policies, anything not aligned with his opinions is automatically fake. For clarity, he's not the cause, he's a symptom.

To paraphrase Sagan: We live in a society ever more exquisitely dependent on knowledge, in which hardly anyone knows anything about how knowledge is generated. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and certainty is going to blow up in our faces.
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
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Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:37 am
surreptitious57Posts: 223Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:09 am Gender: Male

Post Re: While I Was Away...

It is more than an educational issue because it is a psychological one also. Knowing how to think critically is no good unless it is actually applied. Those
who are not interested in it cannot be persuaded. Closed minds cannot be educated so the best that can be done is provide the tools so that those who
want to be better thinkers can be. Critical thinking should be a core subject in every school for that very reason but not everyone learning it will actually
make use of it. I think social media makes it harder because the popularity of opinions can give them legitimacy. Not everyone knows that how popular
an opinion is has absolutely no bearing on its actual truth value. Even if they did they would not necessarily retain that knowledge for future reference
And so if they choose not to then so be it. The internet is the greatest educational tool ever. However not everyone will be using it for this purpose so
simply saying that it is a matter of education is fundamentally wrong

A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:49 pm
Sparhafoc
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Post Re: While I Was Away...

surreptitious57 wrote:It is more than an educational issue because it is a psychological one also. Knowing how to think critically is no good unless it is actually applied.


I would say that knowing how to think critically then ensures that it is applied - one can't handicap oneself intentionally by momentarily forgetting the paucity of a form of argument. Once you know that a common way to think about something is flawed, and understand why, then it's difficult to envisage people electing to ignore it.

Instead, I think it's quite clear that most people simply do not know, and consequently are unaware of the errors in their reasoning. And this goes to the top of many governments as well.


surreptitious57 wrote:Those who are not interested in it cannot be persuaded. Closed minds cannot be educated so the best that can be done is provide the tools so that those who want to be better thinkers can be.


Right, but we're not talking about morons or trolls, people who are just being asshats - I am talking about the general populace.


surreptitious57 wrote:Critical thinking should be a core subject in every school for that very reason but not everyone learning it will actually make use of it.


Somewhat irrelevant. All that would matter is that more do.


surreptitious57 wrote: I think social media makes it harder because the popularity of opinions can give them legitimacy. Not everyone knows that how popular
an opinion is has absolutely no bearing on its actual truth value. Even if they did they would not necessarily retain that knowledge for future reference


I am not sure how your argument works. How do people forget that a particular form of argument is flawed? There may well be a range of ability when it comes to application, but if you don't teach people French, then they can never be expected to speak it. Teach them, and even the worst will still learn something.

A material example here is the law of contrapositive, or modus tollens rule of inference. Once you understand rigorously how this works, you can't simply forget it, although you may be imperfect in applying it.

But again, I don't see a coherent argument against something just because the consequence won't be perfect. All it needs is to be better.


surreptitious57 wrote: The internet is the greatest educational tool ever.


The pen/writing implement is - without it, we'd never have had an internet.


surreptitious57 wrote:However not everyone will be using it for this purpose so
simply saying that it is a matter of education is fundamentally wrong


To me, that's very confused because we're not talking about whether people are using the internet for educational purposes, we're talking about people making stupid statements in utter confidence, and that the internet breeds this behavior. Your response is strange because it actually seems to suggest that learning stuff never results in people being able to employ what they've learned. I'd say that's manifestly false.
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
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Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:05 pm
surreptitious57Posts: 223Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:09 am Gender: Male

Post Re: While I Was Away...

I see unbelievably ridiculous nonsense on the internet that no amount of critical thinking will ever overcome and the Earth is flat is my all time favourite
I would bet my life that if all of the flat Earthers were taken up into space and could see it from the International Space Station they could still find some
reason to deny the evidence of their eyes. I however defend the right of them to think that. As long as they are not impacting on the freedom of any one
else they can think whatever they want. Not everyone is interested in being a critical thinker. The world would undoubtedly be a better place if they were
but that is not how it works. One has to deal with reality as it is not as it should be

A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:27 pm
Sparhafoc
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Post Re: While I Was Away...

surreptitious57 wrote:I see unbelievably ridiculous nonsense on the internet that no amount of critical thinking will ever overcome and the Earth is flat is my all time favourite
I would bet my life that if all of the flat Earthers were taken up into space and could see it from the International Space Station they could still find some
reason to deny the evidence of their eyes. I however defend the right of them to think that. As long as they are not impacting on the freedom of any one
else they can think whatever they want. Not everyone is interested in being a critical thinker. The world would undoubtedly be a better place if they were
but that is not how it works. One has to deal with reality as it is not as it should be



Not everyone is interested in math, but we still teach it at school to children to prepare them for a world which uses math.

The same can be said of all educational programs, so your rejection of this one doesn't appear to be consistent with how education works and why we do it.
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
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Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:05 pm
surreptitious57Posts: 223Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:09 am Gender: Male

Post Re: While I Was Away...

There are two distinctive types of ignorance. The first is genuine ignorance where someone does not know something but is willing to learn it while the
second is deliberate ignorance where someone does not know something but is not willing to learn it. I think most of the general population will deviate
toward the mean with regard to their general worldview which can accommodate the odd extreme one on a particular subject too. No one is completely
black or white in their thinking. Everyone is varying shades of grey and critical thinking would improve everyones ability to think better regardless of any
thing else. But it should be a choice freely taken rather than imposed

A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:12 pm
Sparhafoc
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Post Re: While I Was Away...

surreptitious57 wrote:But it should be a choice freely taken rather than imposed



Should learning math be a choice freely taken rather than one imposed?
Should Science? English? Physical Education?

If one can justify any specific topic being taught to kids to prepare them for the world, then I think your response is a form of special pleading. Critical thinking permeates all areas of modern life, and also benefits many other disciplines.

It doesn't matter whether some people want to learn math or not - we don't give them the option. Of course, they're not obliged to succeed in life, but we are obliged to prepare them to the best of our ability.
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
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Tue Oct 31, 2017 3:25 pm
surreptitious57Posts: 223Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:09 am Gender: Male

Post Re: While I Was Away...

I mean it should be a choice once they become adults so are free to decide for themselves
But before then they should be taught as much as possible and with no freedom to choose

A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:44 pm
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2379Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: While I Was Away...

On a somewhat lighter note than of late, a new blog post: Wow, Man! That's Really Heavy!

http://www.hackenslash.co.uk/2017/11/wo ... heavy.html

Actually not a new post, but a revamp of an old entry in the RS sci-writing comp, and a bit of fun with physics.
Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:06 pm
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2379Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: While I Was Away...

New blog post: Did You See That?!!

http://www.hackenslash.co.uk/2017/11/di ... l?spref=tw

The role of consciousness in the observer effect in Quantum Mechanics.
Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:47 am
Sparhafoc
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Post Re: While I Was Away...

Nice post, and could as easily be entitled: how not to get stuck up one's own rectum
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
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Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:52 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2379Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: While I Was Away...

lol/ Cheers.
Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:58 am
Sparhafoc
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Post Re: While I Was Away...

I really like that Russell quote; I'm going to have to read some more by him - he seems in many topics to have been ahead of his time.
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
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Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:17 pm
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2379Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: While I Was Away...

I've always had a bit of a soft spot for Russell. I didn't agree with him on all things, and indeed he expressed some views that we rightly view as bloody awful today, such as his views on eugenics (though his was a more academic view that practical, unlike some), but he spoke a lot of sense.
Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:25 pm
Sparhafoc
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Post Re: While I Was Away...

It's that disturbing Victorian outlook on society and life, and it seems to have been pretty much universal even among the greatest thinkers of those generations. Darwin's Descent of Man expresses a similar perspective, even from a guy who was very progressive for his day!
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
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Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:26 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2379Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: While I Was Away...

Aye.

A truly great thinker, though. And the founder of CND can't be all bad.

To be brutally honest, a very large chunk of the study I've done in the history of philosophy outside the sciences is between Russell's A History of Western Philosophy and Sophie's World, along with a smattering of specific stuff. You don't need much more than that and a scan of whatever comes up.

Oh, read Republic and some bits and bots of Aristotle, as well.
Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:55 am
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