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Jeff Root's Rules of Debate

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by drsha, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. drsha

    drsha Banned

    Members do not see these Ads. Sign Up.
    A recent post of Jeff Roots on another thread deserves a thread of its own

    He refers to a debate that he is having in his home town with others and describes Intellectually-Dishonest Debating (IDD).

    He states:
    "This thread is basically a debate more than it is a discussion. We have a local issue in my community that has created significant discussion and debate in our newspaper's blog. Frustrated with the methods of debate employed in both forums, I decided to search the internet tonight to review debate tactics. I found a website that summarizes the reasons for my frustration. I have bolded some of them for emphasis. The title is "Intellectually-honest and intellectually-dishonest debate tactics" and the link is http://www.johntreed.com/debate.html Sorry for the length of the posting, but I hope it will create a better foundation for future debate.
    Copyright by John T. Reed

    This Web site is, in part, a debate between me and others with whom I take various issues. I welcome intellectually-honest debate. It is one of my favorite ways to test my theories and learn. That is the way we were trained at Harvard Business School where all lessons are taught by the case method and my wife and I got our MBAs. When Harvard Business School was founded in 1908, it was modeled after Harvard Law School which also uses the case method of instruction. In college, I was on the debate team during my freshman year. Retired general and unsuccessful presidential candidate Wesley Clark was on that debate team as well.

    Although I am fond of intellectually-honest debate, most of the statements made by my opponents to prove that I am wrong have been of the intellectually-dishonest variety.

    Lest I be accused of intellectually-dishonest debate myself, I hereby explain the difference.

    Two intellectually honest tactics
    There are two intellectually-honest debate tactics:

    1. revealing errors or omissions in your opponent’s facts
    2. revealing errors or omissions in your opponent’s logic
    Rules of debate
    All other debate tactics are intellectually dishonest. Generally, the federal rules of evidence of our courts attempt to make the argument or debate there intellectually honest. Roberts Rules of Order, which were written by my fellow West Point Graduate Henry Martyn Robert, are used to govern debate in many organization meetings. For example, one of Robert’s Rules, Number 43 says,

    “It is not allowable to arraign the motives of a member, but the nature or consequences of a measure may be condemned in strong terms. It is not the man, but the measure, that is the subject of debate.”
    Most of Roberts Rules relates to procedure like limiting debate. Those rules are irrelevant to an online debate like that between me and other real estate investment gurus.

    Some debate organizations have rules like the Code of the Debater from the University of Virginia which says among other things:

    “I will research my topic and know what I am talking about.

    “I will be honest about my arguments and evidence and those of others.

    “I will be an advocate in life, siding with those in need and willing to speak truth to power.”

    Politicians, con men
    Intellectually-dishonest debate tactics are typically employed by dishonest politicians, lawyers of guilty parties, dishonest salespeople, cads, cults, and others who are attempting to perpetrate a fraud. My real estate opponents, in general, are either charlatans or con men. As such, they have no choice but to employ intellectually-dishonest tactics both to prove that I am wrong and to persuade you to buy their products and services. My coaching opponents are generally not charlatans or con men, but many are quite political. Those who dislike my military views are also career politicians notwithstanding their claims to be “selfless servant warriors.”

    Here is a list of the intellectually-dishonest debate tactics I have identified thus far. I would appreciate any help from readers to expand the list or to better define each tactic. I am numbering the list in order to refer back to it quickly elsewhere at this Web site.

    1.Name calling: debater tries to diminish the argument of his opponent by calling the opponent a name that is subjective and unattractive; for example, cult members and bad real estate gurus typically warn the targets of their frauds that “dream stealers” will try to tell them the cult or guru is giving them bad advice; name calling is only intellectually dishonest when the name in question is ill defined or is so subjective that it tells the listener more about the speaker than the person being spoken about; there is nothing wrong with using a name that is relevant and objectively defined; the most common example of name calling against me is “negative;” in coaching, the critics of coaches are often college professors and the word “professor” is used as a name-calling tactic by the coaches who are the targets of the criticism in question; as a coach, I have been criticized as being “too intense,” a common put-down of successful youth and high school coaches. People who criticize their former employer are dishonestly dismissed as “disgruntled” or “bitter.” These are all efforts to distract the audience by changing the subject because the speaker cannot refute the facts or logic of the opponent.
    2.Changing the subject: debater is losing so he tries to redirect the attention of the audience to another subject area where he thinks he can look better relative to the person he is debating
    3.Questioning the motives of the opponent: this is a form of tactic number 2 changing the subject; as stated above, it is prohibited by Robert’s Rule of Order 43; a typical tactic used against critics is to say, “They’re just trying to sell newspapers” or in my case, books—questioning motives is not always wrong; only when it is used to prove the opponent’s facts or logic wrong is it invalid
    4.Citing irrelevant facts or logic: this is another form of tactic Number 2 changing the subject
    5.False premise: debater makes a statement that assumes some other fact has already been proven when it has not; in court, such a statement will be objected to by opposing counsel on the grounds that it “assumes facts not in evidence”
    6.Hearsay: debater cites something he heard but has not confirmed through his own personal observation or research from reliable sources
    7.Unqualified expert opinion: debater gives or cites an apparently expert opinion which is not from a qualified expert; in court, an expert must prove his qualifications before he can give an opinion
    8.Sloganeering: Debater uses a slogan rather than using facts or logic. Slogans are vague sentences or phrases that derive their power from rhetorical devices like alliteration, repetition, cadence, or rhyming; Rich Dad Poor Dad’s “Don’t work for money, make money work for you” is a classic example. In sports, coaches frequently rely on cliches, a less rhetorical form of slogan, to deflect criticism.
    9.Motivation end justifies dishonest means: debater admits he is lying or using fallacious logic but excuses this on the grounds that he is motivating the audience to accomplish a good thing and that end justifies the intellectually-dishonest means
    10.Cult of personality: debater attempts to make the likability of each debate opponent the focus of the debate on the grounds that he believes he is more likable than the opponent
    11.Vagueness: debater seems to cite facts or logic, but his terms are so vague that no facts or logic are present
    12.Playing on widely held fantasies: debater offers facts or logic that support the fantasies of the audience thereby triggering powerful desires to believe that override normal desire for truth or logic
    13.Claiming privacy with regard to claims about self: debater makes favorable claims about himself, but when asked for details or proof of the claims, refuses to provide any claiming privacy
    14.Stereotyping: debater “proves” his point about a particular person by citing a stereotype that supposedly applies to the group that opponent is a member of; dismissing criticism by academic researchers by citing Ivory Tower stereotypes is an example of this debate tactic
    15.Scapegoating: debater blames problems on persons other than the audience; this is a negative version of playing on widely-held fantasies; it plays on widely-held animosities or dislikes
    16.Arousing envy: debater attempts to get the audience to dislike his opponent because the audience is envious of something that can be attributed to the opponent
    17.Redefining words: debater uses a word that helps him, but that does not apply, by redefining it to suit his purposes
    18.Citing over-valued credentials: debater accurately claims something about himself or something he wants to prove, but the claim made is one that attempts to get the audience to overrely on a credential that is or may be over-valued by the audience; for example, some con men point to registration of a trademark or corporation as evidence of approval by the government of the con man’s goods or services
    19.Claiming membership in a group affiliated with audience members: debater claims to be a member of a group that members of the audience are also members of like a religion, ethnic group, veterans group, and so forth; the debater’s hope is that the audience members will let their guard down with regard to facts and logic as a result and that they will give their alleged fellow group member the benefit of any doubt or even my-group-can-do-no-wrong immunity
    20.Accusation of taking a quote out of context: debater accuses opponent of taking a quote that makes the debater look bad out of context. All quotes are taken out of context—for two reasons: quoting the entire context would take too long and federal copyright law allows quotes but not reproduction of the entire text. Taking a quote out of context is only wrong when the lack of the context misrepresents the author’s position. The classic example would be the movie review that says, “This movie is the best best example of a waste of film I have ever seen,” then gets quoted as “This movie is the best...I’ve ever seen.” Any debater who claims a quote misrepresents the author’s position must cite the one or more additional quotes from the same work that supply the missing context and thereby reveal the true meaning of the author, a meaning which is very different from the meaning conveyed by the original quote that they complained about. Furthermore, other unrelated quotes that just prove the speaker is a nice guy, like in the Reverned Jeremiah Wright-Barack Obama controversy, are irrelevant. The discussion is about the offending quotes, not whether the speaker is a good guy. The missing context must relate to, and change the meaning of, the statements objected to, not just serve as character witness material about the speaker or writer. Merely pointing out that the quote is not the entire text proves nothing. Indeed, if a search of the rest of the work reveals no additional quotes that show the original quote was misleading, the accusation itself is dishonest.
    21.Straw man: debater attacks an argument that is easy to refute but which is also an argument that no one has made in the debate.
    22.Rejecting facts or logic as opinion: It is true that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But everyone is not entitled to their own facts or logic. Facts are facts. 2 +2 = 4 is not my opinion. It is a fact. Rich Dad Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki says incorporating enables you to deduct a vacation to Hawaii as a board meeting on your federal income taxes. He’s wrong. It’s not my opinion. It’s the Internal Revenue Code Section 162(a) which you can read for yourself at http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/ht...2----000-.html. Whether you can deduct a trip to Hawaii has nothing to do with whether you are incoprorated. And you cannot deduct a vacation. It has to be an “ordinary and necessary business” expense. Travel expenses which are “lavish or extravagant” are explicitly not deductible according to IRC §162(a)(2). The fact that Kiyosaki and his CPA co-author differ from my statements on that subject are not matters of opinion. They are either lying or incompetent. I am accurately describing the law.
    23.Argument from intimidation: [from a reader] The essential characteristic of the Argument from Intimidation is its appeal to moral self-doubt and its reliance on the fear, guilt or ignorance of the victim. It is used in the form of an ultimatum demanding that the victim renounce a given idea without discussion, under threat of being considered morally unworthy. The pattern is always: "Only those who are evil (dishonest, heartless, insensitive, ignorant, etc.) can hold such an idea." This is reminiscent of the McCarthy era loyalty oaths or groups that demand that candidates take a yes or no position on complex issues.
    24.Theatrical fake laughter or sighs: This is wordless but it says what you just said is so ridiculously wrong that we must laugh at it. Hillary tried this without much success. It is intellectually dishonest and devoid of any intelligence, facts, or logic. The whole Democrat party laughed at Sarah Palin. They were successful with this tactic in spite of the fact that conspicuous by its absence in that “explanation” of how she was such a joke was any evidence or logic to show how a guy who was never mayor or governor or head of anything else was better qualified for the top executive job in the world than a person who was a mayor and a governor. Al Gore made the sigh debate tactic famous in the 2000 presidential debats and the ensuing Saturday Night Live parodies of it. On 6/2/09, Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams celebrated this tactic in a comic strip that had Dilbert saying to the pointy-haried boss, “I like what you’ve done with your dismissive scoffing sound.”
    25.Innuendo: an indirect remark, gesture, or reference, usually implying something derogatory.
    26.My resume’s bigger than yours. All the more reason why you ought to be able to cite specific errors or omissions in my facts or logic, yet still you cannot.
    There is a more comprehensive list at http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/s...arguments.html. And others at http://www.csun.edu/~dgw61315/fallacies.html and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies. I also recommend Carl Sagan’s Baloney Detiction kit which says

    Baloney Detection Kit

    Warning signs that suggest deception. Based on the book by Carl Sagan, The Demon Haunted World. The following are suggested as tools for testing arguments and detecting fallacious or fraudulent arguments:

    Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the facts.

    Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view.

    Arguments from authority carry little weight (in science there are no "authorities").

    Spin more than one hypothesis - don't simply run with the first idea that caught your fancy.

    Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it's yours

    No doubt the bad gurus reading this will immediately go to those sites to memorize all those new, useful, con-artist techniques."

    I will now try to utilize these rules in my posts and wish to thank Jeff for this creative contribution to The Arena.

    Dr Sha
  2. Graham

    Graham RIP

    The Narciccist will fail to appreciate these in them selves due to their "God Like" perception of themselves. Use of these comments by others result in "narciccistic injury" often worsening the feeling of insecurity in the Narciccist resulting in progressively worsening relationships and aggressiveness!
  3. drsha

    drsha Banned

    On the contrary, I think thses rules are great and wish them to be applied universally.

    Dr. Sha
  4. No, Dennis. I think you are doing it for you. You are so worried about what you need to express that you aren't considering the feelings of everyone else, especially Jeff (see the title of this thread). I believe that's called narcissism.
  5. Song for you Dennis?:

    "Don't give me love, oh no none of that stuff
    cos it's yer money I'm after, baby.
    Your love and your kisses they're
    just not enough, it's just yer
    money I'm after, baby.

    Well I know that it's hard
    and I know that it's tuff
    when each thing you're giving me
    is just not enough.
    Forget your heart, it's your bank
    I wanna break, it's just
    yer money I'm after, baby.

    Heaven's above, no I'm not in love
    it's just yer money I'm after baby.
    I'm sticking with you and, oh,
    that's just because
    it's yer money I'm after, baby.

    I'm in love with myself
    and nobody else."

    Stuffies- it's yer money I'm after baby
  6. drsha

    drsha Banned

    Using Jeff's Rules:

    #3 questioning the motives of the opponent

    #7 unqualified expert opinion

    Intellectually-Dishonest- Debate (IDD)

    Do we see how this works.

    no anger, no personilizations


    it forces us back to the thread.

    I'm Cured!

    Dr Sha
  7. No, you're still a twat.
  8. drsha

    drsha Banned

    Jeff's Rule #4 Siting irrelevant facts or logic

    Have a good day

    Dr Sha
  9. BTW, my original point proven:
    "No, Dennis. I think you are doing it for you. You are so worried about what you need to express that you aren't considering the feelings of everyone else, especially Jeff (see the title of this thread). I believe that's called narcissism."
  10. drsha

    drsha Banned


    in his child ego voice

    I want to be the last poster too Simon
  11. Is that all you've got? LOL
  12. drsha

    drsha Banned


    Good Day

    Dr Sha
  13. Well, I sincerely hope you can come up with something better when we next engage in debate , Dennis.

    If you really do wish to go back to the original debate, there are a number of questions that I asked of you there, which you did ignore. If you like I can post them again here.
  14. Graham

    Graham RIP

    You will win, or should I say, Have won, the argument from the standpoint of a reasoned and analytical mind. Narcissism will never accept defeat despite being shot in the head:bash: There is no argument that will not be vehemently defended by total nonsence believing it to be true! It`s a lost cause Simon! Further comment just fuels the narciccistic tendency and so on and so on and so on....:bang:

    Have a great weekend everyone!
  15. Yeah, but I just looked in the mirror.
  16. Graham

    Graham RIP

    when we eventually meet we can get into a pissing contest as to who is ugliest!! This just isn't worth the energy!

    You and i are bigger than this. **ck him and let it go! He's not worth it!

    with respect
  17. ..........Graham...............;)

    I'm sitting on my computer watching my favourite movie- Jaws
  18. Graham and Simon:

    Having known both of you for quite a few years and seen both of you on numerous occasions, it is my considered and sincere opinion that you are each equally ugly.:cool::rolleyes::drinks
  19. Any evidence for that Kevin?

    I'm afraid on this I don't consider you an expert. Perhaps blinda, twirly or one of the other ladees would like to comment...
  20. Ugliness is in the eye of the beholder....takes one to know one.

    Long ago, I decided that beauty isn't all it is cut out to be. Brains are what it's all about (i.e.I know that both Simon and Graham have good heads on their shoulders).

    Of course, Graham's bald spot is getting bigger by the year, Spooner's best rugby days are now behind him, and I currently run about as many miles in a week that I previously ran in a day in my early twenties.

    With age comes greater wisdom, but less beauty....unless, of course, .........you're Sean Connery.:drinks

    Attached Files:

  21. Jeff Root

    Jeff Root Well-Known Member

    As a point of clarification I did not write or create these rules, I simply posted them. Therefore they are not Jeff Root's rules of debate. The article was written by John T. Reed. Some people like to take credit for things for which they did not do. I am not one of those people. An intellectually honest person would have titled this thread "Rules of Debated Posted by Jeff Root" or John T. Reeds Rules of Debate”.

    In the very last sentence of the article, Mr. Reed wrote: “No doubt the bad gurus reading this will immediately go to those sites to memorize all those new, useful, con-artist techniques.” Interesting how predictable the behavior of intellectually dishonest people is.
  22. Jeff Root

    Jeff Root Well-Known Member

    Kevin, thank you for those inspirational words. I have now decided to change my name to Sean Connery.

    Sincerely yours,
    Bob Smith, the orphaned lab owner who has no knowledge of his family "roots" ;)
  23. blinda

    blinda MVP

    Couldn`t possibly as I have not met either Graham or Simon, yet. However, I DO remember the Summer Biomechanics School of 2007 Kevin:drinks

  24. Bel:

    Just between me and you, word has it that Craig, Simon and I will all be lecturing together for BSS 2011. Hopefully see you there.:drinks
  25. Word! Looking forward to it already.
  26. Best I start to save my Krona then.
  27. blinda

    blinda MVP

    D`you know I heard that just yesterday! Oh I`ll definately be there :cool:
  28. Griff

    Griff Moderator

    Is this true?? I think I just got a semi-on...
  29. RobinP

    RobinP Well-Known Member

    My wife is going to be so delighted when I tell her about this.........oh thats right...no, she won't actually, she'll assume it is just another opportunity for me to go and drink booze and talk ad nauseum about biomechanics and "bloody podiatry arena".

    How wrong she is!
  30. blinda

    blinda MVP

    How rude!:eek: You better believe it....guy from RX lab told me yesterday.

    (Now there`s a trinity I CAN believe in;) Sorry Smelly)
  31. To answer all the texts/ e-mails I've had regarding this at the same time: yes, it's true Craig, Kevin and I will be lecturing together at Biomechanics Summer School 2011, as far as I know it's June 25/26th.
  32. footsiegirl

    footsiegirl Active Member

    Where is this going to be held/
  33. footsiegirl

    footsiegirl Active Member

    Where is this going to be held...sorry I confused the system and posted twice in error
  35. Venue not confirmed yet- midlands /warwickshire probably
  36. Those be the dates. It gives you plenty of time to re-organise your wedding anniversary, birth of your child etc..
  37. Lol, as it goes that IS my birthday!
  38. Simon:

    Didn't know you were so famous......who would have thought that a punk rock podiatrist could have made it so far.:rolleyes::drinks
  39. Jeff Root

    Jeff Root Well-Known Member

    Kevin, how do you know that they aren't the hecklers trying to confirm! ;)
  40. blinda

    blinda MVP

    There`s an idea. If you guys bring your guitars along, you could form the Rock band that Kevin suggested a while ago :cool:

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