Monday, December 05, 2005

With thanks to 'Lost in Space'

I'm not a big fan of Lost in Space's views, but he does at least argue constructively, which I have respect for and rarely resorts to the attached set of guidelines which he posted on the boards and cut from Holy Smoke. and made me laugh. All you Five Live UK message board junkies out there will recognise the following:

1) Regardless of the issue ---- make sure you bring up your views on abortion, capital punishment, Christianity, and the political party you least like, regularly. Make sure your use the terms "wrong", "evil", "sinful" and "false" in describing views that differ from your particular beliefs. Try to work in the terms "blinded" or "deluded".

2) Depending on YOUR orientation refer to your opponents in arguments (or debates that hold the promise of becoming arguments) as facists or communists as often as possible. Suggest that their views parallel those held in Nazi Germany or of Stalinist USSR at least once.

3) Point out the shortcomings of the opposite gender. Using tasteless jokes that you ascribe to others is a favorite ploy. If your opponent is of the same sex ---- cast doubt on their sexual orientation.

4) When you've managed to get a good heated exchange going try to score points by using a word that will drive your opponent to the dictionary. Mock any attempts on their part to do the same. If possible humiliate them and react to attacks on your arguments with ironic references to misspellings, ill-conceived sentence construction, or inappropriate word usage.

5) If you make an error, never apologize. Blame it on a technical difficulty or on your opponent's mischaracterization of your argument.

6) When inspired, make sure you word your attacks and counterattacks so that you leave no opening for your adversary to capitulate to your view except in disgrace. Try to make certain that every avenue of response is a path of shame. Phrases like "only a idiot or a scumbag would argue that ..." are very helpful.

7) If you start to slip in an argument attack the person. It's most helpful to know something personal about them so that your ad hominems point out both academic/professional defects and their deficiencies as a human.

8) If someone levels an attack upon you, respond that in their reliance on ad hominem attacks the argument has deteriorated to a level that no longer warrants your participation. This can be a winning blow if played properly. Be subtle here, and clever; try to convey the sense of your opponent as dim-witted, ethically degenerate, desperate, and outmanuevered by your overwhelming intellectual superiority. The real joy here is that you can neatly do away with any respect due your opponent, slander his character, lacerate his pride, and, if done properly and with elan, simultaneously represent yourself as a man or woman whose ethics and moral sensitivity make it impossible for you to do what you just did. This one is a real gem -- and when executed gracefully -- really an art form.

8) When you face a loss, construct a "straw man" argument either by taking your opponets words out of context or by changing the issue. Never lose ---- change the issue. If your opponent has the facts on thier side, argue that facts don't constitute scholarship and understanding, and might even be a sign that one has not yet come to the level of understanding at all. Claim that computers store facts and that real scholarship is the sign of being able to understand and seeing the deeper connections.

9) Remember that you are always right. No matter what forces are marshalled against you, no matter how reasonable, humble, or generous, don't give an inch, don't be swayed. You are always right. It's the other side that caused this ruckus and keeps it going.

10) Always insist on the last word. The only honorable finish is unconditional capitulation by your adversaries or their defeated silence.

13 comments:

Gavin Corder said...

Well done Six! All good stuff except the sinful part...I don't believe in sin!

(I think it may be a flaw in my personality... but the only one obviously) :-)

Kayfer Kettle said...

I see each and every person, including myself, in that list Six!

I do like the last word, but I'm a woman, so that's a bit of a given.

Funny how that gets less and less important as I get older though..maybe I'll get old gracefully after all!

Very good indeed.

K x

Lionel Hutz. said...

Just checking as for some reason I cant seem to leave comments here - its as bad as the five live board

Lionel Hutz. said...

Woo hoo - I can still talk to at least one person I met on the boards

Six Years Late said...

Get yourself a blog Lionel and join in.

Gavin Corder said...

Thanks Six! I didn't see that on the damn flag!!!!!!!!!!!I've removed it!

Augustus said...

Hi Six, Thanks for visiting me over on my blog - I can't believe I've written that - it's only 24 hours old! I'm not sure if it counts as a blog yet. Anyway, I loved the list. All human life is there. Except me of course... Yeah, right. I'm interested in your advertising background. I used to work with Kelvin MacKenzie at the Mirror during the infamous Live TV. Yes, I have been News Bunny! What aspect of the black art do you worship?

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm...so, these comments will go on forever as we all try to get the last word?...pathetic post Mr.'Six', you've also spelt thier [sic] wrong in point 8.

...;-)

ianhug66 said...

Hi Six, I just checked 5live, you've given up like me. It's pathetic the board these days, common sense is lost. I'll keep in touch through your blog mate. Hope your familys well. Take care..

Lucy said...

HEY Guys, Six, Ian, don't leave, You are appreciated on 5live.
But I will keep up with you on here, if I may.
I guess it does get a bit addictive on there though and I know i should spend less time 'chatting' . So maybe I will be less addicted if the good posters leave.
Hope all is going well though and you shake off the cold .
L x

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