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Do you agree:China and America-Rising Dragon, Bleeding Eagle

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Manthink
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Postby Manthink » Tue, 31 May 2011 10:19 pm

Wind In My Hair wrote:The western side of this fight naturally adopts the Socratic approach to argument, which requires point for point rebuttal. Failure to address specific points raised is taken as a sign of lower intelligence.


Sometimes, silence is gold...a concept that seems to be lost in some...

Edit: We can be selective in choosing when silence can be applied effectively. Sometimes, this can be a powerful communication tool which can leave others to reflect and even learn from their own, sometimes forceful approach from a calm perceptive.
Last edited by Manthink on Tue, 31 May 2011 10:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby JR8 » Tue, 31 May 2011 10:23 pm

Manthink wrote:Sometimes, silence is gold...a concept that seems to be lost in some...


Er, but discussion forums are not intended for silence are they?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 31 May 2011 11:30 pm

It's just manthink's way of saying he doesn't have an answer.

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Wed, 01 Jun 2011 2:10 am

JR8 wrote:I don’t take failure to address points as a sign of lower intelligence. I take it as a sign that the other party cannot argue a point and hence is conceding it. It makes for a much better debate if such points are gracefully acknowledged, but of course ego being what it is...

I don't think it is an ego thing. Personally I often let a point drop for various reasons:

a) I'm not interested in it
b) It's so silly that to engage would drag down the tenor of the discussion
c) There were many points made and to rebutt each point is too tiring
d) The over-riding theme matters more than the details so I address that
e) I'm dying to argue the point but shut up to keep the peace

For me, a point is not conceded unless I explicitly say so. I'm not saying my way is correct or better, just that I do notice differences.

JR8 wrote:‘The other side stops listening because it deems the other hypocritical and having no right to condemn when it is itself a poor example.’ Is this how it is? Surely that would be what a westerner would consider moral relativism, ‘You say our XYZ is bad, but it’s not as bad as your ABC (therefore your point is invalid)’, again generally considered an invalid debating technique.

Case in point. You are still using the Socratic debating framework in making this judgment, and expect the other side to respond within the debating framework.

When someone says ‘You say our XYZ is bad, but it’s not as bad as your ABC', this does not mean your point is invalid. It means your point may be valid but you have no right to make this statement at all and therefore I am not going to discuss this with you.

It's like A and B talking while both are eating steak:

A: "Hey red meat is bad for health so you should stop eating that."
B: "And who are you to tell me that?"
A: "Er, you are not addressing the fact that red meat is bad for health."
B: "You do not have the right to lecture me while stuffing your face!"
A: "So you concede the point because you are not responding to it?"

Both A and B are making perfectly valid points. A is debating a point and not interested in the moral authority, B is questioning the moral authority and not interested in the debate. They are seeing the situation through entirely different lenses. That's all I'm saying.

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Postby JR8 » Wed, 01 Jun 2011 3:21 am

[quote="Wind In My Hair
I don't think it is an ego thing. Personally I often let a point drop for various reasons:

Sorry if I wasn’t clear, I meant not gracefully acknowledging a point is conceded... is perhaps an ego thing...

a) I'm not interested in it
b) It's so silly that to engage would drag down the tenor of the discussion
c) There were many points made and to rebutt each point is too tiring
d) The over-riding theme matters more than the details so I address that
e) I'm dying to argue the point but shut up to keep the peace

a) is an Achilles heal. I have difficulty understanding someone entering a debate, and then picking and choosing which points interest them. That is too akin to sparingly participating because your arguments are simply too weak. You have to expect the gladiatorial death-blow (ref: your Roman references :) ) particularly if the wounded and dying are getting super-gobby at the same time
b) Sometimes it can be fun. More seriously, surely better to have rabble-rousing debate than avoidance or none at all.
c/d) Agreed. Sometimes you need to focus on the overall pitch being made. But to do so by ignoring individual sisnificant points, then ref a)
e) Seems contrary to the whole point of being here. As long as you stick within the T&Cs and spirit/culture, this is not a knitting-circle.


For me, a point is not conceded unless I explicitly say so.

No, no way If you won’t debate a key point then you’ve lost it...

I'm not saying my way is correct or better, just that I do notice differences.
Case in point. You are still using the Socratic debating framework in making this judgment, and expect the other side to respond within the debating framework.

True, I ‘graciously concede your point’ :)

When someone says ‘You say our XYZ is bad, but it’s not as bad as your ABC', this does not mean your point is invalid. It means your point may be valid but you have no right to make this statement at all and therefore I am not going to discuss this with you.


So what gives a person a right to make a statement, who grants this right, and who judges whether it has been fairly granted?

If I am a burglar sitting in jail for burglary, am I disallowed an opinion to what punishment should be meted out to burglars on the basis that ‘I’m just as bad’ and hence there is nothing to discuss with me? Might it not be the case instead that in fact with my first hand experience I might have a very valuable perspective that you might be wise to hear?


It's like A and B talking while both are eating steak:
A: "Hey red meat is bad for health so you should stop eating that."
B: "And who are you to tell me that?"
A: "Er, you are not addressing the fact that red meat is bad for health."
B: "You do not have the right to lecture me while stuffing your face!"
A: "So you concede the point because you are not responding to it?"

Both A and B are making perfectly valid points. A is debating a point and not interested in the moral authority, B is questioning the moral authority and not interested in the debate. They are seeing the situation through entirely different lenses. That's all I'm saying.[/quote]

I think the point of moral relativism is that the two sides are not doing precisely the same thing (unlike above). Just, one side tries to knock out the other by making a diversionary (and invalid) parallel comparison.
a) Your SG judges are all in the pocket of the government!
b) Yeah well that’s better than being in the pocket of the EU!

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Postby x9200 » Wed, 01 Jun 2011 9:58 am

A guy from China living in Singapore and studying in a local university posted to an expat forum (clearly dominated by the Westerners or alike) an article of a scientist from a Western university. He claimed they (the OP and his study group) had a discussion based on the said article where also a bunch of professors, some of them also from Western universities participated. He asked the expat forumers about their opinions on the articles. To my experience it is rather uncommon in the Western based environment to use the Confucian approach, yet he, the person exposed to this Western environment right after the discussion started supposingly followed the Confucian approach. Is it the way the discussions are carried on in Singapore? I am a technical guy (this is to show my subject limitations) and all the discussions I participated locally were always based on Socratic approach. I have rather limited contacts with the Institutions/faculties organizing MBA courses in Singapore but it is hard to believe they follow in their discussions the Confucian approach. So what does it tell us about the OP?

Or maybe this is afterall not the Confucian approach but the lack of independent thinking being the result of years of indoctrinations (nicely put by the OP as the brain washing)? Were Soviet Union, other communistic countries and their party people using the Confucian approach in their discussions or responses to the questions? It sounded exactly like our friend.

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Postby nakatago » Wed, 01 Jun 2011 10:21 am

x9200 wrote:A guy from China living in Singapore and studying in a local university posted to an expat forum (clearly dominated by the Westerners or alike) an article of a scientist from a Western university. He claimed they (the OP and his study group) had a discussion based on the said article where also a bunch of professors, some of them also from Western universities participated. He asked the expat forumers about their opinions on the articles. To my experience it is rather uncommon in the Western based environment to use the Confucian approach, yet he, the person exposed to this Western environment right after the discussion started supposingly followed the Confucian approach. Is it the way the discussions are carried on in Singapore? I am a technical guy (this is to show my subject limitations) and all the discussions I participated locally were always based on Socratic approach. I have rather limited contacts with the Institutions/faculties organizing MBA courses in Singapore but it is hard to believe they follow in their discussions the Confucian approach. So what does it tell us about the OP?

Or maybe this is afterall not the Confucian approach but the lack of independent thinking being the result of years of indoctrinations (nicely put by the OP as the brain washing)? Were Soviet Union, other communistic countries and their party people using the Confucian approach in their discussions or responses to the questions? It sounded exactly like our friend.


What he said.

Early on, I resisted the temptation commenting on the subject because OP was obviously doing it for his homework.

And it's not just about different approaches. We have two "Eastern" POV's in the thread but one of them was flat out being rude while the other was still willing the engage in discussion.

Clearly, there's room for different approaches to a discussion but clearly someone completely abandoned any sort of logic and resorted to scorching the earth.

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Wed, 01 Jun 2011 12:32 pm

JR8 wrote:a) is an Achilles heal. I have difficulty understanding someone entering a debate, and then picking and choosing which points interest them. That is too akin to sparingly participating because your arguments are simply too weak. You have to expect the gladiatorial death-blow (ref: your Roman references :) ) particularly if the wounded and dying are getting super-gobby at the same time
b) Sometimes it can be fun. More seriously, surely better to have rabble-rousing debate than avoidance or none at all.
c/d) Agreed. Sometimes you need to focus on the overall pitch being made. But to do so by ignoring individual sisnificant points, then ref a)
e) Seems contrary to the whole point of being here. As long as you stick within the T&Cs and spirit/culture, this is not a knitting-circle.

a) OTOH addressing every single point results in mega-long posts like this which are tedious for both writer and reader!
b-e) I too graciously concede your points :)

JR8 wrote:
So what gives a person a right to make a statement, who grants this right, and who judges whether it has been fairly granted?

If I am a burglar sitting in jail for burglary, am I disallowed an opinion to what punishment should be meted out to burglars on the basis that ‘I’m just as bad’ and hence there is nothing to discuss with me? Might it not be the case instead that in fact with my first hand experience I might have a very valuable perspective that you might be wise to hear?

Judgment is always relative, and this is what's meant by moral relativism. What is right and fair is always judged from a specific POV. In your view (based on rules of debate) you have every right to make that statement, whereas in my view (based on moral authority) you have no right.

Re the burglar analogy, why is it then that in the US and UK, it's the judge or jury that decide punishment and not the criminals themselves? Of course burglars are entitled to their opinions, but which country in the world bases its laws on the views of its criminals? Do you not concede that they have lost their moral authority to be taken seriously on the subject of law and punishment?

JR8 wrote:I think the point of moral relativism is that the two sides are not doing precisely the same thing (unlike above). Just, one side tries to knock out the other by making a diversionary (and invalid) parallel comparison.
a) Your SG judges are all in the pocket of the government!
b) Yeah well that’s better than being in the pocket of the EU!

No, this is not usually what we see here. A more typical example from this thread:
a) You Chinese people are corrupt.
b) But you Americans are corrupt too.

It is not an unrelated comparison, and while the scale of the corruption may differ as X9200 pointed out, the basic lack of authority from which to preach still applies ie "If you can't get your house in order, who are you to preach to me?"

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Wed, 01 Jun 2011 12:50 pm

x9200 wrote:Is it the way the discussions are carried on in Singapore? I am a technical guy (this is to show my subject limitations) and all the discussions I participated locally were always based on Socratic approach. I have rather limited contacts with the Institutions/faculties organizing MBA courses in Singapore but it is hard to believe they follow in their discussions the Confucian approach.

I'm not saying the Confucian approach is a style of debating. That's exactly the point - that it cannot be viewed as a debate at all. It's a different lens, resulting in a different type of discussion (ie not a debate). You are right that academic discussions are Socratic. There are no Confucian methods of debate that I know of. The Confucian approach is more of a worldview that underlies how one approaches a discussion in the first place.

x9200 wrote:Or maybe this is afterall not the Confucian approach but the lack of independent thinking being the result of years of indoctrinations (nicely put by the OP as the brain washing)? Were Soviet Union, other communistic countries and their party people using the Confucian approach in their discussions or responses to the questions? It sounded exactly like our friend.

I'm not defending the OP. I concede :wink: that many people are brainwashed by their governments, myself included. I agree with all the points made that the OP would do well to think independently. OTOH, we are all conditioned to varying degrees by our environments. I suspect many posters here would not know how to proceed if we agreed to abandon the Socratic method.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 01 Jun 2011 1:54 pm

Wind In My Hair wrote:I suspect many posters here would not know how to proceed if we agreed to abandon the Socratic method.


True, based on my reading of what you have written thus far. There would, in fact, be no forum either as apparently, the Confucian method would preclude any meaningful discussion, thereby eliminating any need for the forum. :-|

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Postby nakatago » Wed, 01 Jun 2011 2:03 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
Wind In My Hair wrote:I suspect many posters here would not know how to proceed if we agreed to abandon the Socratic method.


True, based on my reading of what you have written thus far. There would, in fact, be no forum either as apparently, the Confucian method would preclude any meaningful discussion, thereby eliminating any need for the forum. :-|


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Postby x9200 » Wed, 01 Jun 2011 2:53 pm

Wind In My Hair wrote:I'm not saying the Confucian approach is a style of debating. That's exactly the point - that it cannot be viewed as a debate at all. It's a different lens, resulting in a different type of discussion

I understand this but I question that the proceeding discussion (or the two concurrent monologues :) is such a case.

Wind In My Hair wrote:OTOH, we are all conditioned to varying degrees by our environments. I suspect many posters here would not know how to proceed if we agreed to abandon the Socratic method.

This probably include myself. Is it suitable for any subject?

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Postby Manthink » Wed, 01 Jun 2011 3:04 pm

Wind In My Hair wrote:"If you can't get your house in order, who are you to preach to me?"


This is one powerful thinking that has great influence upon me.

I am not perfect, hence I do not have an answer to every debate/queries & rebuttal.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 01 Jun 2011 3:10 pm

Manthink wrote:
Wind In My Hair wrote:"If you can't get your house in order, who are you to preach to me?"


This is one powerful thinking that has great influence upon me.

I am not perfect, hence I do not have an answer to every debate/queries & rebuttal.


So have you ever had a good objective look at your own house? :wink:

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Postby x9200 » Wed, 01 Jun 2011 3:15 pm

Wind In My Hair wrote:It is not an unrelated comparison, and while the scale of the corruption may differ as X9200 pointed out, the basic lack of authority from which to preach still applies ie "If you can't get your house in order, who are you to preach to me?"

Probably asking a rudimentary question showing my ignorance but how the Confucian debate deals with the fact that nobody and nothing is perfect?


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