Friday, May 23, 2008

Ideal debating and censoring of screaming

Richard posts in defense of screaming at people.

he quotes
When one appears to be acting reasonable you tend to side with them just a touch (even if on the merits they aren't as grounded).
and comments
I'm sure this is true (as a general tendency), but it seems kind of unfortunate.
he makes the somewhat valid point
But it would seem rather unjust to think badly of someone who was actually clearly in the right*

He continues
Should our attitudes towards others be governed by the principle of 'innocent until proven guilty'? Better a thousand fools be free of your inner censure, than one good person wrongly maligned? Or should we maximize the likelihood of true belief by engaging in statistical discrimination (generalizations) and using whatever evidence we've got?

given those options and the following value judgment

Even so, better to have one's thoughts be accurate...

I suggest the best answer is to use later principle "engaging in statistical discrimination (generalizations) and using whatever evidence we've got" and implementing the best strategies to process that evidence.

that leaves open the question of which strategies work but philosophers don't need to answer that question, while there are situational factors, if the objective is "accurate thoughts", it is mostly an empirical question for psychologists and sociologists.

Next step? Make use of the literature. Open up that journal search engine and type in some terms.

* My position would be that you could both think badly of their methodology and well of their argument and not have any issue with them as a 'person'.


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