I was listening to the Jimmy Church Radio Show last night with guest Richard Dolan. I followed Richard's chat, and I was on twitter. During the commercial breaks I listened to Richard Dolan's conversation with his chat.
Richard Dolan is an academic, an established debater, historian and knows the rules of proper conduct in a conversation/debate. He is also a very ethical man and will not overstep the guidelines for elucidation of an idea because he knows that it's extremely unproductive.
For those who do not know:
Posted by Nullus Maximus
A significant amount of my recent work has been written in response to arguments made by other libertarian thinkers. As such, the time is ripe for a guide to how this is best done. This article will take the reader through the process of an exchange of ideas from start to finish, and explain my ten simple rules for debating. Those who follow these rules are guaranteed to become more successful debaters, as well as less stressed and overworked.
- Pick your battles. While a person of little renown may have enough time to engage with whomever one pleases at whatever length one desires, people who have less time to spend engaging in debates must choose which opponents to engage and which to ignore, as well as how long to engage each opponent. It is best to have a consistent rubric for this, which will be discussed further in rules 2 and 9.
- Engage only those worthy of being engaged. Some people are capable of maintaining a rational discourse, while other people cannot seem to communicate without resorting to personal attacks, profanity, threats, and other such uncivil behavior. Some people have interesting and novel insights, while other people insist upon bringing up points which have been refuted a thousand times. Some people are experts in the fields of which they speak, while other people do not stick to their lasts. Some people make the effort to properly support an argument, while other people Gish gallop. A person’s behavior in this regard is a strong indicator of whether that person is worthy of one’s attention. Note that other debaters will judge you by a similar standard, so be the kind of person that someone else would be willing to debate.
- Do your research. If you know a topic in great detail, you will be more able to counter any argument your opponent may make. An uninformed debater is an incompetent debater. An unprepared debater is a sloppy debater. Also, make sure that the sources you study are reliable. If the opponent is competent, a misinformed debater will be an embarrassed debater.
- Do not argue to convince the opponent; argue to convince a third party. In many cases, a person worthy of being engaged will be firmly entrenched in a position, and it may even be against the nature of the format for your opponent to come over to your side. Focus instead on convincing the audience, whether they be people watching a live debate or reading a correspondence. This methodology is stated explicitly in some debate formats, but it is sound strategy regardless.
- Base your arguments upon logic (logos), not emotion (pathos) or authority (ethos). A debate is properly won by using reason and evidence to demonstrate that one’s position is superior to that of one’s opponent. Detouring into appeals to emotion can help one connect with the audience or provoke an opponent into a misstep, but this does not advance one’s case in a rigorous manner. Appealing to the authority of oneself or someone else can dissuade a weak opponent or convince a less intelligent audience, but attempting this against a strong opponent in front of a knowledgeable audience is a recipe for disaster.
- Relentlessly attack logical fallacies and weak arguments. It is important to point out every shortcoming that you can find in your opponent’s case. Doing so will make you more skilled in identifying logical fallacies and weak arguments, which means that opponents will be less able to get away with sloppy reasoning in future debates. Do not worry about being pedantic; your job is to find all weaknesses in your opponent’s case and illuminate them to make your case appear stronger by comparison.
- Focus on the task at hand. A debate can easily go off track, especially if the subject matter is wide, deep, or both. Avoid making arguments that neither support your case nor attack your opponent’s case. Only go into the weeds if your opponent takes you there; the person who begins the foray into many different minutiae is usually running out of solid logic and evidence.
- Destroy arguments, not people. Be respectful of your opponent, or at least be as respectful of your opponent as he or she is of you. Resorting to personal attacks (or escalating them if they are already in use) is a refuge of a person with weak arguments, and it will make people less willing to consider your case on its merits. Remember, your job is to defeat your opponent’s arguments, not his or her character.
- Know when to quit. There comes a point in every debate at which further discussion has diminishing returns or even becomes completely pointless. It is important to learn to identify that point and stop there. Sometimes this will be clear; an opponent may even announce that a particular round will be his or her closing argument. If this happens, respond with a closing argument of your own and be finished; do not repeatedly pummel the opponent after he or she has left the debate. This may also be the case in a timed or response-limited debate, in which case one should abide by the rules of the format. In other cases, it will be a matter of personal judgment to decide to walk away from a debate.
- Handle both defeat and victory appropriately. No one likes a sore loser or a bad winner. If you lose a debate, reflect on how and why you lost. Then, take the necessary steps to avoid losing in the same manner in a future debate. This may involve more study of the debate topic, reviewing logical fallacies, or even changing one’s position on an issue. If you win, do not gloat or boast. Accept victory graciously, then check your discourse for arguments that could have been stronger or presented more effectively. From <https://www.zerothposition.com/2016/04/21/ten-simple-rules-for-debating/> (Italic emphasis mine)
Jimmy Church is a radio host. What we were listening to last night was a radio show. Not a court of law. Jimmy has said this many times on his show, he will interview anybody. He will give them as much rope as they want. His job is to make the guest comfortable and elicit the conversation, while asking the questions that everybody wants answers to, and that is a gift he brings to the show. It is not, nor has it ever been, nor can I conceive that it ever will be a court of law or a place where emotional bashing will ever be allowed to occur! I have heard him politely hang up on people who try to take the conversation there. Those are his ethics. He will not step beyond them, just as Richard Dolan will not.
What just makes my jaw drop is the preponderance of loud noise people can make when they do not know about critical thinking or debate. The loudest voice never wins, nor does the meanest. Period. There was so much verbal battery going on in the comments last night that I was floored. What has happened to everybody's minds???
It was not the purpose of either person speaking to provide evidence of any kind. This wasn't even a debate, it was a conversation. It certainly wasn't a court of law…
In a court of law:
Evidentiary Standards and Burdens of Proof
In almost every legal proceeding, the parties are required to adhere to important rules known as evidentiary standards and burdens of proof. These rules determine which party is responsible for putting forth enough evidence to either prove or defeat a particular claim and the amount of evidence necessary to accomplish that goal.
The Burden of Proof
The burden of proof determines which party is responsible for putting forth evidence and the level of evidence they must provide in order to prevail on their claim. In most cases, the plaintiff (the party bringing the claim) has the burden of proof.
The burden of proof has two components. First, the plaintiff must satisfy the burden of production, which has also been referred to as the burden of going forward. As the terms suggest, this burden requires the plaintiff to put forth evidence in the form of witness testimony, documents, or objects. After the plaintiff presents his or her case-in-chief, the burden of production shifts to the defendant, who then has the opportunity to provide evidence either rebutting the plaintiff’s evidence or supporting the defendant’s own arguments.
Evidentiary Standards in Civil Cases
Preponderance of the Evidence
Second, the plaintiff must satisfy the burden of persuasion. This burden determines which standard of proof the plaintiff must follow in presenting evidence to the judge or jury. A standard of proof determines the amount of evidence the plaintiff or defendant needs to provide in order for the jury to reach a particular determination. In most civil cases, the burden of persuasion that applies is called “a preponderance of the evidence.” This standard requires the jury to return a judgment in favor of the plaintiff if the plaintiff is able to show that a particular fact or event was more likely than not to have occurred. Some scholars define the preponderance of the evidence standard as requiring a finding that at least 51 percent of the evidence favors the plaintiff’s outcome.
Clear and Convincing Evidence
In some civil cases, the burden of proof is elevated to a higher standard called “clear and convincing evidence.” This burden of proof requires the plaintiff to prove that a particular fact is substantially more likely than not to be true. Some courts have described this standard as requiring the plaintiff to prove that there is a high probability that a particular fact is true. This standard sets a higher threshold than the preponderance of the evidence standard, but it does not quite rise to the widely recognized standard used in criminal cases, known as “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
In administrative law proceedings, the standard of proof that most commonly applies is the substantial evidence standard. This standard requires the plaintiff or moving party to provide enough evidence that a reasonable mind could accept as adequate to support a particular conclusion.
Evidentiary Standards in Criminal Cases
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
The “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard is the highest standard of proof that may be imposed upon a party at trial, and it is usually the standard used in criminal cases. This standard requires the prosecution to show that the only logical explanation that can be derived from the facts is that the defendant committed the alleged crime, and that no other logical explanation can be inferred or deduced from the evidence. The United States Supreme Court in Victor v. Nebraska, 511 U.S. 1 (1994), described this standard as “such doubt as would give rise to a grave uncertainty, raised in your mind by reasons of the unsatisfactory character of the evidence or lack thereof . . . . What is required is not an absolute or mathematical certainty, but a moral certainty.”
Another common standard of proof used in some criminal law proceedings is the credible evidence standard. Credible evidence is evidence that is not necessarily true but that is worthy of belief and worthy of the jury’s consideration. Some have defined this standard as requiring the jury to conclude that the evidence is natural, reasonable, and probable in order for it to be credible.
Evidentiary Standards and Burdens of Proof Resources
Further, IMO (here it comes) when evidentiary standards and burden of proof are applied to the UFO question, we do not even know the scope of the situation. For instance, there is a preponderance of opinion out there that consciousness needs to added into the equation to properly understand what a reasonable question could/should be. From a quantum physics aspect looking at consciousness, this makes sense because of the 'observer effect' and entanglement. From an experiencer aspect it appears to be the whole of the experience from the preponderance of the data.
BEYOND UFOS: THE SCIENCE OF CONSCIOUSNESS AND CONTACT WITH NON HUMAN INTELLIGENCE (VOLUME ONE)
This 820 page book details the academic research findings of the world’s first comprehensive multi-language quantitative and qualitative 5 year academic research study on individuals that have had UFO related contact with Non-Human Intelligence (NHI)-- The FREE Experiencer Research Study.
Over the last 5 years FREE has collected detailed responses to 3 extensive quantitative and qualitative surveys from over 4,200 individuals from over 100 countries. Our survey findings from these thousands of "Experiencers" contradict much of what is circulating in mainstream materialist Ufology.
Our academic book will establish a new paradigm for viewing the UAP (UFO) Contact Phenomenon. FREE argues that "Consciousness" and the paranormal and psychic aspects of this phenomenon is the key to understanding this complex phenomenon instead of the traditional materialist perspective of "nuts & bolt's" Ufology.
The Dr. Edgar Mitchell Foundation for Research into Extraterrestrial and Extraordinary Experiences, or FREE, is a 501c3 Academic Research Not for Profit Foundation. FREE was co-founded by the late Apollo 14 astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell, Dr. Rudy Schild, an Emeritus Research Astronomer at the Harvard/Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics at Harvard University, Australian researcher Mary Rodwell and Rey Hernandez, an Attorney and Experiencer who was a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of California at Berkeley. FREE is comprised of retired academic professors and lay researchers who have been researching the field of Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon (UAP) and contact with Non-Human Intelligence (NHI) for more than 30 years. The Executive Director of FREE is Harvard Astrophysicist Dr. Rudy Schild. From <https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07G3JLS3H/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1>
And this doesn't even scratch the surface of what needs to be added to the equation or quantified and debated. And yet - we descend into gossip and snarky attitudes over one little tiny insignificant piece of the puzzle and deem ourselves capable of not only presenting all the facts, but arguing them in a legal manner. This field is not about just one tiny little question, nor one tiny little person (or several) people. It is about the whole planet!
Wake up! Put your head on the right way and act like it's not empty in there!!!!! grrrrrrrrrrr