Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

News Debating tips - help with a response

  1. Oct 5, 2009 #1
    There are much better debaters here than I am, so I seek your advice.
    My question is, how would you respond to:

    "So you believe Obama. What do you say about this?"
    (Then the following link was supplied.)

    My first thought was to reply, 'Do you want a bulk answer or would you like to pick a specific issue to discuss?'

    Is there a better way to deal with this question?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 5, 2009 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Your instinct is correct. You can't respond to something so generic. Ask for specifics if you want but I suspect you are wasting your time.
  4. Oct 5, 2009 #3
    For me it would be difficult not to respond as a smart ***.

    Q: "So you believe _______. What do you say about this?"

    A: "Yes, you are correct."
  5. Oct 5, 2009 #4
    Thank you.
    The original question was about the 'Liar' comment made by Wilson during the health reform speech. I said I found it offensive of people to make those kind of rude comments in that situation.
    At this point I was attacked with the post I referenced. I am at a loss as to how to continue the conversation.

    I would prefer not to sink to the level of the poster and respond as a smart *** . I consider it a 'pile on' argument that holds little merit to the topic.
  6. Oct 5, 2009 #5
    Instead of merely arguing that such a comment is rude, try arguing that such comments really shows that a person has run out of viable rational arguments for his position and is stooping to pathetic character assassinations. That gives the argument a bit more logos than just patos.
  7. Oct 5, 2009 #6
    It's easy to get emotional and side tracked in the political forums. However, we must all strive to adhere to the rules and treat each other with respect, stay focused and stay on topic.

    I think you are correct in your approach.
  8. Oct 6, 2009 #7
    Thank you.
    I let the discussion carry on without me when another member compounded the issue by posting a list of Bush/Cheney lies as his counter argument.

    I want to thank PF and it's moderators. Of all the sites I visit, this one is the best I have seen at sticking to an issue and worming out the truth ( if any exists ) without personal attacks or belittling members for having an opposing view.
    Thank you to PF and our members for making discussions here entertaining and often educational.
  9. Oct 6, 2009 #8
    If your claim was that the "liar" claim was untrue, you would almost have to be specific and detailed to respond.

    If your position was only that the "liar" outburst was offensive and inappropriate, then I would only say that whether or not Obama actually lied is irrelevant, since the outburst was inappropriate and offensive either way.
  10. Oct 7, 2009 #9
    Both. I found the outburst to be offensive and inappropriate, as well as false.
    I posted this c&p as a rebuttal to the claim to be specific.

    Claim: All non-US citizens, illegal or not, will be provided with free healthcare services.

    Question ? Is replying with a c&p from these type of sites considered an acceptable way to
    dispute a claim since the bill is not in it's final form and cannot really be quoted from?
  11. Oct 7, 2009 #10
    He did not make such a claim. Obama made a claim. He claimed Obama's statement was false.

    Certainly you can can google up reasons why he would make such a statement?

    One right off the top of the head is that since enforcement was not covered, the net effect will be same as if what Obama said is not true.

    I heard that the dems moved to close some sort of loophole regarding this, which reinforces the belief that wilson's position was more correct than not.

    Would be nice for the bill to be posted online wouldn't it? The final version, before they vote on it.
  12. Oct 7, 2009 #11
    I posted this in the political forum due to the nature of the 'background' of my question.
    ( I figured it would be moved at some point anyway, so ... )

    In more general terms, I have learned several things and wish to learn more of the art of debate.
    Are these correct?
    a - stick to facts as opposed to opinions
    b - look for logical fallacies
    c - be aware of any bias in sources cited
    d - stay open to the possibility that you may be wrong

    more please :)

    As to all the issues about the Heath care reform - YES, I sure wish there was a document that could be referenced.
    But, the question I asked was, ( re worded ), Is it acceptable to reference a document that IS on-line, even if it is not the final form?

    Having just reread my posts I think I am not being clear. I seem to have asked for help on a specific response and have also asked for general guidelines for responses.
    I am more interested in generalities. Sorry for any confusion.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2009
  13. Oct 7, 2009 #12
    Wilson offered an amendment that would have required proof of legal residency before treatment. Such a proposal was defeated by Republicans in medicare part D due to the unnecessary burden placed on health care providers. Max Baucus has added enforcement to his bill, but I am not sure what form it is taking.

    As for reading the bill in it's final version????

    If you are not an attorney and have access to all the existing laws that are referenced and altered by new legislation, you would have no idea what you are reading. That is why legislation is posted online in a readable version that describes what the bill does.
  14. Oct 8, 2009 #13
    That just sounds so ... condescending.

    Let the people decide for themselves what they can and cannot understand!
  15. Oct 9, 2009 #14
    Maybe not, but I would have the info I need to make my conclusion. I'm against any law that is impossible for those that will be penalized by it to understand it.

    That's the flip side of the coin to "ignorance of the law is no excuse".
  16. Oct 9, 2009 #15
    It also depends if you want to win the debate on points or sway the listeners. These two are not always the same. The most efficient way to demonize your opponent is with a good and superficially plausible guilt by association.

  17. Oct 28, 2009 #16
    good point Mattara.
  18. Oct 28, 2009 #17
    Sorry you feel that way. I was simply pointing out that waiting for the bill in it's legal language form was nothing more than a delaying tactic, since most people won't understand it, have the time to read it, or have access to the reference material needed when the bill amends existing law. The plain language bill is what most interested people will read, because they can understand it without a law degree, and the legal reference material and infrastructure.

    http://finance.senate.gov/press/Bpress/2009press/prb101909.pdf" [Broken]. Enjoy.

    http://www.finance.senate.gov/sitepages/leg/LEG 2009/100209_Americas_Healthy_Future_Act_AMENDED.pdf" You decide.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  19. Oct 28, 2009 #18
    I'd say most people will read neither, opting instead to choose between sound bites. That being said, the bill in its "legal language" is what would actually become law.

    It's the actual law that people are subject to, and will be penalized for "failure to obey", if it's too complicated to understand without a law degree, then it should never, ever become law, on that basis alone.

    At least the parts that require compliance by the average person shouldn't become law unless they are easily understandable by an average person.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook