Public Service Announcement.

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Public Service Announcement.
« on: May 10, 2010, 02:14:16 PM »
I've witnessed misunderstandings arise from a particular problem far too often as of late, so I propose the following Godwin-esque law within FES.

Dick's Law:  As an argument continues, the tendency to pick apart, question, or blindly accept dictionary definitions increases.  This includes: rejecting outright an obvious and commonly-accepted definition in order to justify an idiotic statement with a much more obscure definition (that makes no contextual sense), or being purposely vague to the extent that any idiotic statement can be justified by cherry-picking definitions.

Please keep in mind:
A dictionary is a useful tool to reference. It is not an all inclusive guide to everything. ...[the] assertion that it is such an all encompassing guide is well beyond moronic.
Brevity is the purpose of a dictionary... if it was to actually explain anything, then it would be called an Encyclopedia.
How to avoid:  Clarify exactly how you define potentially exploitable words as you use them, as demonstrated well in the following:
I will give you one final chance, what qualifications for animal do we not meet. I do not mean the dictionary definition of animal meaning "inhuman behavior" I mean the biological definition for animal. (lacks cell walls, etc.)

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Pongo

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Re: Public Service Announcement.
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2010, 02:41:54 PM »
I've witnessed misunderstandings arise from a particular problem far too often as of late, so I propose the following Godwin-esque law within FES.

Dick's Law:  As an argument continues, the tendency to pick apart, question, or blindly accept dictionary definitions increases.  This includes: rejecting outright an obvious and commonly-accepted definition in order to justify an idiotic statement with a much more obscure definition (that makes no contextual sense), or being purposely vague to the extent that any idiotic statement can be justified by cherry-picking definitions.

Please keep in mind:
A dictionary is a useful tool to reference. It is not an all inclusive guide to everything. ...[the] assertion that it is such an all encompassing guide is well beyond moronic.
Brevity is the purpose of a dictionary... if it was to actually explain anything, then it would be called an Encyclopedia.
How to avoid:  Clarify exactly how you define potentially exploitable words as you use them, as demonstrated well in the following:
I will give you one final chance, what qualifications for animal do we not meet. I do not mean the dictionary definition of animal meaning "inhuman behavior" I mean the biological definition for animal. (lacks cell walls, etc.)

I think it's a matter of pride.  The thread in question would have had 3 pages of wasteful posting circumnavigated if Deceiver could have admitted something along the lines of, "Oh, I suppose I did say something that was by definition incorrect.  That's okay though, I'm still not wrong on any practical level."  Instead he would rather post endlessly unrelated definitions and silly strawmen.

Re: Public Service Announcement.
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2010, 02:55:15 PM »
The problem is when people throw in things like "by definition" without referring to what kind of definition they're using.  By dictionary definition, Venus is a star.  By its scientific definition, it isn't.  Dick's Law comes from not being clear about which definition is being used.

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Thermal Detonator

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Re: Public Service Announcement.
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2010, 04:46:51 PM »
I was going to post my link to FES specific tools of debate such as Bishop's Razor etc. but the crappy search function refuses to find them.
(Bishop's Razor is to refute an argument by pretending that an opposing proof was never mentioned. For example:
"[FET explanation] has been disproved by [insert concrete disproof here]"
is refuted by
"Nobody has offered a disproof of [FET explanation]".)

Parsifal is a prime exponent of this, as well as Tom Bishop for whom it is named.
Gayer doesn't live in an atmosphere of vaporised mustard like you appear to, based on your latest photo.