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Is changing context dishonest?

Am I being dishonest?

  • yes

    Votes: 3 37.5%
  • no

    Votes: 1 12.5%
  • other

    Votes: 4 50.0%

  • Total voters
    8

tacomancer

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Ok. Little curiosity here. I think I have been called dishonest by a few people here because, as far as I can tell, I tend to change the context of the argument and argue from a context I think is more accurate in thinking about a particular topic. Ultimately, I think if something is argued in the wrong context, than the conclusions will also likely be flawed.

I guess perhaps others don't see it that way. So, heres the question, is changing context something that should be considered dishonest?

I will submit this post for analysis. As far as I can tell, American is arguing from a context he considers legitimate while I am arguing from another. From my point of view, I see his as rigid and inflexible while he sees mine as dishonest.

http://www.debatepolitics.com/break...owner-rights-nationwide-6.html#post1058827476
 

Ockham

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I don't think you're being dishonest but you're also not acknowledging the founders view. There's a whole bunch of baggage that goes along with this as well. Perception is that liberals / Democrats see the Constitution as a framework that was valid at one time but is no longer valid - therefore it's view is outdated and must be changed. Conservatives primarily believe the Constitution was valid then and is even MORE valid now and no changes must be made unless it's hugenormous - which would require a new amendment. You can guess which side I come down on - easy to do. However, this is one of those arguments that won't really change much as you both have diametrically opposite views (I'm guessing). Then again, Conservatives acknowledging liberals change of the Constitution is akin to eating one's own vomit --- ie. repulsive as hell, so I doubt you'll be getting any acknowledgement of your point of view either.
 

tacomancer

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I don't think you're being dishonest but you're also not acknowledging the founders view. There's a whole bunch of baggage that goes along with this as well. Perception is that liberals / Democrats see the Constitution as a framework that was valid at one time but is no longer valid - therefore it's view is outdated and must be changed. Conservatives primarily believe the Constitution was valid then and is even MORE valid now and no changes must be made unless it's hugenormous - which would require a new amendment. You can guess which side I come down on - easy to do. However, this is one of those arguments that won't really change much as you both have diametrically opposite views (I'm guessing). Then again, Conservatives acknowledging liberals change of the Constitution is akin to eating one's own vomit --- ie. repulsive as hell, so I doubt you'll be getting any acknowledgement of your point of view either.

Well, I wasn't attempting to argue that point. I know the founders views are important, but I also believe there is more than the origionalist school of constitutional interpretation. I have no problem with people who feel that way as I think it is a legit way to look at the constution (among many), but what I did dislike was the suspician I was immediately met with when bringing up my view. It is not the issue itself, but how the issue was treated. How can we have useful debate when some views are not even accepted as legitimate and are refused to be considered?

This is really about the assumptions and practices around arguing an issue and not the issue itself to me. What I wanted to know is if simply using a different context, even if it is one that people do not like, should be considered dishonest.
 

Goshin

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Changing the context of a debate is a tactic often used by the skilled debator as a way of throwing the opposition off guard. It may therefore be seen as a "strategem" or "trick" rather than a strictly "honest" debating method.

Of course, the fact is that people do view things from different contexts, and this is often why we have problems relating to others with different points of view --- we don't see things the way they do, in some cases the other side's viewpoint is so alien to us that it is difficult to grasp how they hold such a position.

I try to see where the other person is coming from (on good days, at least, lol), but frankly if I consider their perspective, their "context", to be invalid, incorrect, unreasonable or lacking consistency then we are not likely to come to any sort of mutual understanding.

This is a common problem between both Left and Right: we often find it very difficult to understand each other's contextual point of view, even when we bother to try.
 

Ockham

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This is really about the assumptions and practices around arguing an issue and not the issue itself to me. What I wanted to know is if simply using a different context, even if it is one that people do not like, should be considered dishonest.
No, it's not dishonest. In fact, I'd like to see more of it as we tend to get in a rut with how we view issues and policies. If at least we could look at it from a different point of view or a different context and at least acknowledge it (not agree necessarily), I think we'd be better off. I don't mind it at all.
 

CaptainCourtesy

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At times, you will find this used in a paradoxical kind of tactic. One will be accused of being dishonest when, in fact the real issue is that the accuser refuses to accept that, even if they disagree, other points of view have validity. This is my major issue with folks who post in rigid, inflexible, partisan hack ways. You are entitled to your beliefs... just as I am. When we are talking about beliefs, though, no matter what YOU say, you are not right... nor am I. These are perceptions and belief systems that have validity and are legitimate. Dismissing them because you don't like them, don't agree with them, or find them distasteful is one thing and perfectly fine. Dismissing a belief like what we are discussing because you believe it to be invalid or illegitimate is absurd and cannot be proven. Folks who do that demonstrate an inflexibility and rigidity of thinking. I find these people to be the most frustrating to speak with, as they are unable to accept the validity of any world view other than their own. I don't mean agree... no one has to agree with a different world view. But one is no more legitimate than another.
 

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i really, really love your avatar.
 

CaptainCourtesy

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No, it's not dishonest. In fact, I'd like to see more of it as we tend to get in a rut with how we view issues and policies. If at least we could look at it from a different point of view or a different context and at least acknowledge it (not agree necessarily), I think we'd be better off. I don't mind it at all.

I agree with you completely. I wish more people would look at things this way. Listening to a different position does not mean that you have to agree with that position, but it allows you to open your mind to understand that position. Too often, rigid and inflexible thinking rears its head by demonstrating the inability to present the opposing position in any real sort of way. For example, conservatives do not hate the poor, and liberals do not hate the rich. Taking either of these extreme and absurd positions and wrapping your perception around the opposition with them causes an inability to really understand what the opposition is all about. If one listen with an innaccurate preconceived notion, ones understanding will be influenced by ONE'S belief system and one will fail to understand where the other is coming from.
 

The Mark

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Other: It depends on the intentions of the poster.

If their intention is to change the context to illustrate a point, I see little issue.

If their intention is to avoid and bypass an opposing point, it could be an issue.

Overall, however, it is a positive, IMO.
 

Jerry

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Ok. Little curiosity here. I think I have been called dishonest by a few people here because, as far as I can tell, I tend to change the context of the argument and argue from a context I think is more accurate in thinking about a particular topic. Ultimately, I think if something is argued in the wrong context, than the conclusions will also likely be flawed.

I guess perhaps others don't see it that way. So, heres the question, is changing context something that should be considered dishonest?

I will submit this post for analysis. As far as I can tell, American is arguing from a context he considers legitimate while I am arguing from another. From my point of view, I see his as rigid and inflexible while he sees mine as dishonest.

http://www.debatepolitics.com/break...owner-rights-nationwide-6.html#post1058827476

IMO context is everything.

If I say "you shouldn't be allowed to forbid firearms on your publicly accessible property without a permit because that is a hazard", I'm not talking about your home. I specified "publicly accessible", as in properties and structures which must comply with Public Accommodation laws. If your counter argument is not talking about privately owned property which is publicly accessible, you are being dishonest.

"What if I want to ban red shirts"? Well, the absence of red shirts is not a hazard whereas the absence of firearms is, just like the absence of a fire suppression system is a hazard; so as you're no longer talking about hazards you are being dishonest.

***
Perhaps someone says "Gay marriage should be banned". A typical retort is "the government shouldn't legislate who I can love", or "keep the government out of my bedroom".

The original position against gay marriage had nothing to do with love or anyone's bedroom, so both of these responses are dishonest.

***
And again, perhaps someone claims "the unborn have the right to life". Replys such as "my body, my choice" are deliberate attempts to change the context as the original argument had nothing to the rights of the women but the rights of the unborn (and it's not her body being aborted anyway).
 
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