Monday, May 15, 2017

Arguing with a psychic psychiatrist

The Dilbert cartoonist explains:
How to Know You Won a Political Debate on the Internet ...

Absurd Absolute

An absurd absolute is a restatement of the other person’s reasonable position as an absurd absolute. For example, if your point is there is high crime in Detroit, the absurd absolute would be your debate opponent saying something such as “So, you’re saying every person in Detroit is a criminal.” ...


Analogies are good for explaining concepts for the first time. But they have no value in debate. ... No one needs an analogy when facts and reason can do the job.

Attack the Messenger

When people realize their arguments are not irrational, they attack the messenger on the other side. If you have been well-behaved in a debate, and you trigger an oversized personal attack, it means you won. ...

The Psychic Psychiatrist Illusion

The Psychic Psychiatrist Illusion involves imagining you can discern the inner thoughts and motives of strangers. I’m talking about the unspoken thoughts and feelings of strangers, not the things they have actually said. If your debate opponents retreat to magical thinking about their abilities to detect secret motives and mental problems in strangers from a distance, you won.
He nails it. In certain types of discussions, I am invariably confronted with absurd absolutes, analogies, and ad hominem attacks. But most of all, someone will make some crazy mindreading assertion about what someone else is thinking or intending.

Someone might say, "Yes, Trump said ABC. But a woman would know that Trump intended XYZ."

Many times I have heard someone say that he is continually surprised by what Trump says, and cannot make sense of his words, and yet he somehow knows what Trump is thinking.

Not just Trump. I have had ppl argue with me and tell me what I am thinking!

So yes, an internet arguing who starts ad hominem attacks and playing psychic psychiatrist is grasping at straws.

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