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SubjectRE: [OT] Re: Troll Tech [was Re: Sco vs. IBM]
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> David Schwartz wrote:

> > If I see an argument, I don't give a damn who made it. I
> > evaluate the
> > argument based upon its merits. If I'm not competent to evaluate the
> > argument on its merits, I'm not competent to have an opinion at all.
> > Essentially, you're arguing that ad hominem is a valid
> > reasoning tool, even
> > to reject arguments in which you see no flaw.

> This reminds me of when I was a "creationist" and arguing on
> talk.origins. I had, in my opinion, evaluated the evidence and decided
> that the earth was created by God 6500 years ago and there was a global
> flood, and a bunch of other stuff, and that since I could come up with a
> coherent explanation for every counter-argument people would throw at
> me, then I must have been right.

Except that my reasoning isn't based on anyone's opinions of their own
arguments.

> The truth is that I WASN'T evaluating the evidence properly. I was
> dismissing huge volumes of hard scientific data. But things made sense
> to me anyhow. What I'm trying to say is that you can use logic to
> support any argument you want, as long as you make up the right facts
> and contrive the right explanations.

What convinced you? Someone telling you that you were not competent to
evaluate the evidence or someone *presenting* the evidence?

> Your argument is logically valid. It's a nice self-contained system
> that makes sense, in its own little world. But is it SOUND? When
> compared against empirical evidence, does it stand up? Until you have
> completely weighed the whole of one argument against the whole of
> another, then you can't compare them. Until you have allowed yourself
> to experience the other side, you cannot evaluate its validity.

This is a paragraph-length version of "that's what you think". You can give
me all the reasons you want why I can't evaluate a position, all that does
is lead to the conclusion that I can't participate in the argument. But if
you're the one trying to convince me, convincing me that I can't evaluate
competing positions gets you absolutely nowhere.

This thing started because Larry advanced and defended a position. When
others responded with contrary arguments, his response was that even though
he considered their arguments, he felt free to reject them because they came
from people who didn't have the credentials he required. If his purpose in
advocating the position was merely to convince himself that he was right,
this is fine. But that was not his apparent purpose.

> So, you have a good handle on the open source side of things. Great.
> When it comes to open source theory, I'll listen to you. But your
> judgement of the closed-source side is based on reasoning in a vacuum.
> You're making up your evidence by which you are judging it. (This is
> exactly how I once treated evolutionary biology.) Thus, when it comes
> to closed-source theory, I'm going to listen to Mr. McVoy.

Because you find his arguments more persuasive or because you are more
impressed by his credentials?

DS


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