Against Interminable Arguments | Slate Star Codex




I think if I were to fully alieve it I’d have to change a lot of my behaviors, but I found this essay pretty persuasive.

I disagree. this person wants less open discussion which makes me suspicious of their views immediately. the argument rests on several emotional concerns, namely that the author feels they aren’t making progress in arguments enough (I.e. winning), that they feel a compulsion to correct others, and a compulsion to make others uncomfortable in those arguments as a punishment for questioning their world view. the comments section is enlightening as to what community we’re dealing with, and the author’s primary example is the “32 types of anti feminists” comic being made by “a jerk” who “insults [the author’s] friends”.

one thing that immediately jumped out at me:

one of the main reasons I get defensive is because I think some groups
actively strategize to push their opponents out of the Overton Window
and turn them into despised laughingstocks. When it works, it means I
either have to be a despised laughingstock or spend way too much mental
energy hiding my true opinions. The alternative to letting these people
have the final say is defending one’s self.

speaking as someone who’s views exist almost entirely outside the overton window, and who regularly gets hate-mail for my political viewpoints, may i just says that scott can cry me a fucking river.

moreover, essentially all political debate is on some level an effort to shift the overton window, and inherently, doing so will result in people being pushed outside it. the idea that this is an illegitimate rhetorical move is absurd.

he goes on to say:

When I don’t want to argue but feel forced into it, I’m doing a very
different thing than when I’m having a voluntary productive discussion.
I’m a lot less likely to change my views or admit subtlety, because that
contradicts my whole point in having the argument. And I’m a lot more
likely to be hostile, because hostility is about making other people
feel bad and disincentivizing their behavior, and in this case I really
do believe their behavior needs disincentivizing.

this admission is incredible. scott is here basically admitting that he isn’t open to changing his view, and is openly hostile, with the express purpose of making his opponent feel bad, any time he feels they are trying to shift the overton window- which, i remind you, is something which is inherent to almost any form of political argument, period.

it’s interesting to finally understand how “rationalists” justify to themselves that they are everything they claim to be against (i.e., irrational closed minded bullies) but i do have to say i’m disappointed that the justification turned out to be so unapologetically shallow and inane.

“Man admits his thought process is suboptimal, is immediately derided by people”

MMMmmm smell that neurotypical response. Smells like assholism.

Against Interminable Arguments | Slate Star Codex

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