General discussion


Dialogue by Intellectuals

By XEntity ·
Intellectual discussions, in days of old, were in mahogany rooms filled with smoke and polite chatter. The warm glow of incandescent lamps cast across the humored faces of distinguished middle aged men in high back leather chairs upon which their sport coats ride up on occasionally. Their shirt collars were open and wilds of hair curled out of their shirt as well as around their thick black rim glasses. Cigars smoldered in half full ash trays sitting cockeyed atop folded newspapers. This is the setting of a retro intellectual conversation.

Today, conversations on a host of topics are carried out not in the same manner but rather over the internet without a face-to-face dialogue which is somewhat informal and most certainly undisciplined.

Most honest intellectuals, besides being humble, will remark that there is a sense of decorum, a rigor, to elevated thought and subsequent dialogues; much of which was taken from those old swanky mahogany rooms. A well humored intellectual will realize that reason and commonsense are quite apart from each other. Reason is the ability to go beyond awareness and develop understanding but commonsense is when a reasonable argument appeals to our God-given sensibilities.

When it comes to truly deep issues there is a strong temptation to retreat to unreasoned beliefs often wrongfully calling it commonsense. To deal with this the ancient Greek philosophers attempted to establish formalized human reasoning using unassailable rules of logical deduction. These Greeks would stand upon flat elevated rocks as an orator to those who gathered. In more current times, intellectuals would sit in high back leather chairs and smoke pipes in dimly lit mahogany rooms and exchange views. And today, many who profess to be intellectual sit in dimly lit rooms as the glow of a computer monitor cast shadows across their face. The only sense of their identity is perhaps hidden in an avatar rather than in their proclamations of character.

Many people today have lost sight of not only the other human but the purpose of such conversations. These conversations are not as much to espouse a viewpoint, gain followers, or confirm a belief but to discern the strength or weakness of a particular view point. There is an art to carrying an intellectual conversation.

The successful intellectual conversation is unlike ordinary run-of-the-mill chatter. One has to bring recognized credibility into the dialogue and a foundational base from which the dialogue begins. Often proper names with surnames are used in reverence another?s views. During discourse when presenting an opposing opinion, one often caveats the dissenting opinions with respectful language that softens the objection. Such language may include ?There is another view on that point?? or ?I would like to provide an alternate perspective? in lieu of ?I disagree??, ?you are wrong?, or other language that diminishes the other person?s significance or contribution. Rarely are first person pronouns used as ego is ideally removed from the dialogue and the focus is placed on the information and knowledge exchanges. For example, ?My studies?? may be rephrased as ?The understanding I have come to know ? ?. Unfortunately, there are those who ego is to argue simply to hear their own voice. These people are so busy listening to themselves that they have little time to form original thoughts. The goal is to debate without heightened language. More important than the language, acumen, and respect is the keen awareness of fundamental Theorems, Principles, and Laws that intellectual discourse relies on. Some of the most basic are:

Ockham's Razor
Competent Analysis
Innocent Humor
Da Vincian Principles
Creative Thinking
Critical Thinking
Common Thinking

There are styles and methods that are not acceptable to use in intellectual discourse which include:

Building Prejudicial Arguments
Inappropriate humor

To be proficient in carrying an intellectual dialogue one must not only be studied but also trained and practiced. That which is reasoned must use a variety of available tools. These tools respect other views and can strengthen one's own argument. The structure to reason involves both mathematics and words. Most often the language is translated into mathematics but mathematics can demonstrate behaviors that must be translated into words.

Deeply religious people mistakenly equate the hearts and minds of humans divisively to emotion and reason respectively. They fail to realize that the Bible encourages intellectual conversations as long as they are centered rightfully on the knowledge and wisdom that God grants humans. In executing such dialogues one has to employ the rigors of integrity, intellect, resourcefulness, and love. By incorporating these attributes into the dialogue and sharing meaningful understanding and growth can mature and everyone becomes 'refreshed'.

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A refutation

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Dialogue by Intellectuals


Any reasonable debater realises that emotion must be taken into account.

If I challenge a core principle that you have built your life or reputation on, you will feel threatened.
That gets your blood up, then you react emotionally.

I'm not in anyway religious, so in my opinion every time you bring god into your argument, you are not reasoning but emoting.

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So are you trying to say

by jdclyde In reply to A refutation

that there can be no reasonable discussions about or concerning religion?

Since different people worship different things, if you bow down at the ever changing alter of science, does that always make you reasonable?

Are there never science "theories" or "facts" that contradict each other? Have there never been scientific "theories" or "facts" that have been found to later be untrue?

Another angle, how about literary works? Because Shakespeare didn't write about actual events, there can be no reasonable discussions about his work?

I concede that if someone says they killed the 20 homeless people because god told him to, while interesting, will rarely have much to do with reason.

You know the old saying, Never count on absolutes when you make a general statement. B-)

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No, he was referring to 2Bad's interjection of religion into

by Absolutely In reply to So are you trying to say

every other topic in which he posts. If the topic wasn't religion in the first place, and hasn't explicitly referenced a religion, logically introduction of religion to that topic is an emotive reflex not an intellectual decision.

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Was just trying to tweek Tony

by jdclyde In reply to No, he was referring to 2 ...

Not defend the bad one. B-)

After my two hour drive through the ice storm to get to work, he was the first puppy I found to kick!

Sorry to detract from the dismantling of that twit. You, Sandy, and Neil (plus a few others here and there) are providing great merriment!

Please, do continue! ;\

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Come on, man, focus!

by Absolutely In reply to Was just trying to tweek ...

Keep your eye on the nutball!

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Not between people with differing but

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to So are you trying to say

erm 'hard held' positions no.

I never claimed I could have a reasonable conversation about religion, I can be polite to a point, then some twit tells me I'm going to **** or I've got no morals, sticky brown stuff in the rotary impeller.

I seem to remember you and me agreeing to differ once on religion, that was about as close to reasonable as either of us could get.

Some won't even go that far.

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I just hope

by jdclyde In reply to Not between people with d ...

gg doesn't see that you like holding your positions hard..... :0

It was bad enough having to read about 2bad4u's fantasies about hairy chested men sucking on cigars! Then to take it a step further by not having any women around to interfere with the all male orgy was WAY out there.

Come to think of it, I am surprised MAE didn't make that connection!

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I did

by maecuff In reply to I just hope

you nimrod. I pointed out how ****-erotic the men's club sounded. At least his fantasy version of it...

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now why on earth

by jdclyde In reply to I did

would you call someone a great hunter while at the same time pointing out that that same person missed a post?

Oh, I get it.

Hey Neil, is THAT Irony? I can never tell and do get so confused........

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by neilb@uk In reply to now why on earth

calling you Nimrod for missing a post was irony. Only one word but executed well.

"The use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning"

Mae never misses.

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