Thursday, November 25, 2010

"Please substantiate this assertion"

Garbonzo Beans:

     "If Dimensio is being dishonest in his tact, take it up with him, it is not between you and [me.]"
     I have. I find that it is about as useful as trying to get Sye to be honest. However, your comment that you love the way he gets under people's skin constitutes an endorsement. I can certainly take that endorsement up with you.
     "The content of his requests both cohere, and remain untreated."
     I remember reading posts by christians that attempted to be substiantiations, not that I necessarily agreed with them. And rather than a description of what was wrong with the substantiation, the response that came back was... you guessed it, "please substantiate this assertion."
     "Any frustration that might stem from such circumstance, is a product of an insistently dishonest approach to a reasonable request, and not from the repetition of said request."
     Have you attempted the exercise I suggested yet? You don't even need to wait for Ray's comment moderation. Just imagine that you got "please substantiate this assertion" as the response to your statement (which as a one-shot could be passed off as reasonable) and then got the same line back for every attempt to support it. Let me know how many rounds it takes before you start thinking it's not reasonable. You can stop at one million. If you make one million attempts to support the statement and support the supports of the statement and so on and still accept someone giving nothing more than "please substantiate this assertion" to your one millionth attempt as reasonable rather than a frustration tactic, I will accept that you consider it reasonable ad infinitum. Oh, and if you do that, I'd be interested in seeing those one million attempts. You can post them to my blog.

     I consider the endless repetition of "please substantiate this assertion" to be a dishonest tactic. Now, the first several times I saw Dimensio use it, I thought it was a sincere request for supporting information. But it started getting monotonous. And later I noticed that he would just use the same response when people would try to give what they considered to be supporting information. I determined that he was just being a broken record and called him on it. Not too surprisingly, he just pulled "please substantiate this assertion" repeatedly with me. Now, Garbonzo Beans is endorsing the tactic as reasonable. I would like him to see it the way I see it. When I examine tactics, I try not to rely on whether I actually support the position they are being used to favor. I first look at whether they can be used in favor of the opposing position. If the same tactic can be used to support opposing positions, then either both positions are reasonable (in which case the issue cannot be resolved on then existing evidence) or, more likely, the tactic is unreasonable.


Whateverman said...

Oh noes: Dimensio gets frustrated too, therefore he's dishonest!

C'mon... You're trying to hold him to an unreasonable rhetorical standard. When people actually Do attempt to respond to his request in a reasonable fashion, the vast majority of those responses contain the very thing that caused him to demand substantiation:

Unsubstantiated claims.

When asked to demonstrate the veracity of their beliefs, they hold up their beliefs. If you think I'm wrong about this, you need to seriously go spend time reading the comments again.

Without a doubt, this occasionally results in Dimensio stonewalling attempts at conversation. Since most of the Christians at Ray's blog never intended to converse in the first place, I think YOU are being unreasonable in demanding that Ray's critics engage in squeaky clean rhetoric.

Pvblivs said...


     People accept different sources for their claims. Ultimately, in many discussions, all sides are falling back on their respective authorities. And those authorities are not accepted by their critics. Anyone could use the broken record of "please subtantiate this assertion" to frustrate people holding opposing views.
     "Since most of the [c]hristians at Ray's blog never intended to converse in the first place..."
     Well, since most christians on most blog never intend to converse honestly about the subject, I have produced several posts speculating that christianity in inherently dishonest. The christians on Ray's blog are rightly denounced for using dishonest tactics. I've done a lot of the denouncing myself. Do you really think that I am being unreasonable because I hold Dimensio to the same standard? Is it unreasonable when I hold the christians to that standard. Dimensio's broken record looks, to me, a lot like Sye's. Was I unreasonable for calling out Sye's deception?

     By the way, I don't think that Dimensio is getting frustrated. I think he simply found something that he found a line he can cut and paste as a response to anything and doesn't even need to read what his respondants say.