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View Poll Results: What is your preferred style of argument? (Please see descriptions in post #1)

Voters
31. You may not vote on this poll
  • Attack

    5 16.13%
  • Defence

    7 22.58%
  • A bit of both

    16 51.61%
  • Don't know or don't care

    3 9.68%
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Thread: Attack or Defence?

  1. #1
    DON'T PANIC! Tsuyoiko's Avatar
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    Attack or Defence?



    What is your preferred style of argument?

    Attack
    • You point out the holes in the arguments of others
    • You don't often describe your own opinions
    • Sparing others' feelings is not a priority
    • You are not easily upset
    • You get straight to the point
    • Your replies are usually short
    • You don't often use smilies
    • You quote other posters to show where they are wrong
    • The pronoun you use most is 'you'
    • You don't reveal a lot about your personal life
    • You're not afraid to be a bit sarcastic, or to take the piss sometimes


    Defence
    • You avoid pointing out the faults in others' arguments
    • You almost always describe your own opinions
    • You try not to hurt anyone's feelings
    • You can be over-sensitive
    • You try to explain in as much detail as possible
    • Your replies can get long
    • You often use smilies
    • You quote other posters to contrast against your own arguments
    • The pronoun you use most is 'I'
    • You like to talk about yourself
    • You can be a bit too serious or overly polite


    This is just for a bit of fun really, and purely my opinion on the two styles of argument that I am aware of. They may overlap a bit more than my descriptions indicate. But I think most people argue more one way than the other. I am definitely more defensive.

  2. #2
    Horizon Rider Kinsao's Avatar
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    Interesting that this is only about style of forum posting, and not style of "arguing" or debating/discussing in general! Because I think I am very different in the two things... I guess because when you are writing something down, it's easier to take more care...

    I have a feeling I definitely come across as more "defence" on this forum. Strange really... *thinks about verbal style*

    I guess I find the most effective way of "arguing" (in any form) is to question the other person and get them to think. Because if they think of something for themself, or arrive at the conclusion their own way, they can accept... whereas if you just behave like shouting "I'm right and you're wrong!" you will just antagonise them. Like the old fable of Aesop, with the wind and the sun getting the man to take his coat off!

    Of course, a good argument should be backed up by your facts, too! Although some issues like moral/ethical questions, that's more difficult, but you still need to give considered reasons.

    I would say on balance I have the following points:
    attack
    You point out the holes in the arguments of others
    You are not easily upset
    You get straight to the point (err... that doesn't mean I always keep to it... )
    You quote other posters to show where they are wrong - well, yeah. Doesn't mean you have to be bitchy about it.
    You're not afraid to be a bit sarcastic, or to take the piss sometimes

    Your replies are usually short
    You don't often use smilies
    These can be variable for me. I often post very short replies (hence the ridiculous post count!), but also quite often take consideration to write a long one. Again, I use loads of smilies! - but when I'm writing for... a particular "audience", for want of a better word... I tend to avoid them.

    defence
    You almost always describe your own opinions
    You try not to hurt anyone's feelings (as I've said somewhere else, that just seems like common courtesy to me)

    You try to explain in as much detail as possible
    Your replies can get long
    You often use smilies
    You like to talk about yourself
    Again, it varies. Like here, I go into lots of detail now! But sometimes I 'fire and forget'.

    I don't know that I like to talk about myself, exactly. It just sort of happens. I guess... when people talk of their own experiences, it seems fair to reciprocate; also your own experiences can be useful in illustrating a point or explaining why you feel a certain way.

    EDIT: I just hit the button and thought "I can't believe I was sad enough to actually spend ages answering that...." What are things coming to?!?

  3. #3
    DON'T PANIC! Tsuyoiko's Avatar
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    You made a good point there about getting people to think. I suppose then there could be a third style, something like 'Questioning', which might include "You are open-minded", "You like to know what others think", stuff like that.

  4. #4
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Clearly more "defence" in my case. I don't make troubles to others as long as they don't start bothering me.
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  5. #5
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    Attack
    • You point out the holes in the arguments of others
    • You are not easily upset
    • You get straight to the point
    • You don't often use smilies
    • You quote other posters to show where they are wrong
    • You're not afraid to be a bit sarcastic, or to take the piss sometimes


    The last is usually in response to someone who takes the piss out of me, and in that case, I have no qualms about returning the favor.

    Defence
    • You almost always describe your own opinions
    • You try not to hurt anyone's feelings
    • You try to explain in as much detail as possible
    • Your replies can get long
    • The pronoun you use most is 'I'
    • You can be a bit too serious or overly polite


    Half and half. Well, a bit more defensive if one takes into account that I rarely get sarcastic.
    "The whole purpose of religion is to facilitate love and compassion, patience, tolerance, humility, forgiveness."
    --H.H. the Dalai Lama

  6. #6
    DON'T PANIC! Tsuyoiko's Avatar
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    These are the ones that apply to me:

    • You avoid pointing out the faults in others' arguments
    • You almost always describe your own opinions
    • You try not to hurt anyone's feelings
    • You can be over-sensitive
    • You try to explain in as much detail as possible
    • Your replies can get long
    • You quote other posters to contrast against your own arguments
    • The pronoun you use most is 'I'
    • You like to talk about yourself
    • You can be a bit too serious or overly polite


    I am completely on the defensive, the only one that doesn't apply is
    • You often use smilies
    as I only use them occasionally. This style of argument is a conscious choice for me, and it's what gave me the idea for the thread.

  7. #7
    Horizon Rider Kinsao's Avatar
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    I usually find that not much is achieved by pissing people off (on the internet or face to face both). My general policy is to respect people, even if they seem like total jerks.

    In 'real life' this strategy works quite well for me. Most people I meet seem to like me, and out of liking stems some mutual respect and that means usually people treat me OK. A noteable exception to this, are people who feel threatened by me. I'm not talking knives here! It's just that some people will take an instant dislike, and my guess this is probably due to feelings of insecurity in themselves (I can't think of another explanation why someone would dislike a person before they even speak together O_o).

    In short, I find that kindness breeds kindness.

    Maybe that makes me give the impression of being so much of a mug? I sometimes wonder that. But people who think that, get a surprise... I am stubborn as hell and ruthless, too. But, only in certain circumstances, when something is important enough to me to get worked up about.

    Oh, but I do love the smilies!

  8. #8
    Where I'm Supposed to Be kirei_na_me's Avatar
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    I would say I'm more on the defensive side, but maybe others would say different. I don't know...
    You have bewitched me, body and soul...

  9. #9
    Villain Iron Chef's Avatar
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    I subscribe to that age-old adage "the best defense is a good offense..."
    FYI: I am out of town and offline for the time being until further notice.

  10. #10
    DON'T PANIC! Tsuyoiko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinsao
    It's just that some people will take an instant dislike, and my guess this is probably due to feelings of insecurity in themselves
    I do this. Whenever I meet someone new I decide in seconds whether I like them or not, and you're right, it is because of my own insecurities - I just don't really like being around people! But I do try to keep my feelings to myself as I know I am not being fair. If I get to know them better I sometimes change my mind though. I find myself liking a much higher proportion of the people I meet online, probably because I can pick and choose who to talk to and when!
    Quote Originally Posted by kirei
    I would say I'm more on the defensive side, but maybe others would say different. I don't know...
    I would agree with that. You always seem open and kind, and I don't think I've ever seen you disagree with someone without putting your own view across.

    The most difficult thing for me about the 'attack' style is when people say you are wrong without stating their own opinion (other than that you're wrong!). Like if I say "The sky is blue", and someone answers "The sky is not blue", I just want to scream "Well what colour is it then?!"

  11. #11
    DON'T PANIC! Tsuyoiko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Chef
    I subscribe to that age-old adage "the best defense is a good offense..."
    I tend to feel the opposite way - that attacking someone else is an easier option than formulating a good argument of your own - it takes the onus off you and puts it onto your 'opponent'.

  12. #12
    Horizon Rider Kinsao's Avatar
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    *looks out of the window*
    It's red, of course. What on earth is the weather doing where you are?!?

  13. #13
    Horizon Rider Kinsao's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsuyoiko
    I tend to feel the opposite way - that attacking someone else is an easier option than formulating a good argument of your own - it takes the onus off you and puts it onto your 'opponent'.
    Ah, but "attack" doesn't necessarily equate to "senseless attack". I think a person who has "attack" discussion/argument style, to not necessarily just post many disagreeing statements. I would think of them as a person who is simply not too shy/quiet/whatever to disagree with people posting before them. If they can back up their own arguments with considered reasoning, that's more intelligent. But someone who simply disagrees only (without backing up) or who disagrees in an offensive way (unnecessarily offensive comments), to me that is just ignorant and stupid. It doesn't mean they're more on the attack side; just that they have a more limited way to express themself.

    On the "defense" side, I would say that people with that style often still make disagreements of course, but that they tend to be "peacekeepers" in the sense of posting something pacifying when they can see things getting heated in a thread (I do this sometimes!).

    It's actually very difficult to analyse it on this forum, because generally in polemic discussions there are several people arguing on both sides, so if you're disagreeing with one person there's usually someone agreeing with you, too. (If you follow me...)

  14. #14
    Chillin' HomicidalMouse's Avatar
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    Im more on the attack side. Or at least i ticked most of the attack definitions. But i can be a very defencive person...
    Well now... thats something new...
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  15. #15
    DON'T PANIC! Tsuyoiko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinsao
    *looks out of the window*
    It's red, of course. What on earth is the weather doing where you are?!?
    Cool. So how is the Inferno treating you these days? I thought of visiting, but the inscription over the door put me off
    Quote Originally Posted by Kinsao
    Ah, but "attack" doesn't necessarily equate to "senseless attack". I think a person who has "attack" discussion/argument style, to not necessarily just post many disagreeing statements. I would think of them as a person who is simply not too shy/quiet/whatever to disagree with people posting before them. If they can back up their own arguments with considered reasoning, that's more intelligent.
    True. But if they do so without stating their own opinions they aren't opening themselves to criticism in the same way as someone who says what they personally feel. So actually, IronChef is right, attack is the ultimate form of defence.

  16. #16
    The Hairy Wookie Mycernius's Avatar
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    I went for a mixture of both.
    On the attack I usually go for:
    • You point out the holes in the arguments of others
    • You are not easily upset
    • You get straight to the point
    • You don't often use smilies
    • You quote other posters to show where they are wrong
    • You're not afraid to be a bit sarcastic, or to take the piss sometimes (but only if they have really started to get on my nerves


    On the defensive I am:
    • You almost always describe your own opinions
    • You try not to hurt anyone's feelings
    • You try to explain in as much detail as possible
    • Your replies can get long
    • You quote other posters to contrast against your own arguments
    • The pronoun you use most is 'I'
    • You like to talk about yourself
    • You can be a bit too serious or overly polite - a tendency I have in most conversations.
    If you disagree with me on any of these, I will hunt you down, like the mad rabid polecat that you are and burn down your cattle and eat your home (Did I get that right?)

    I have done the peacekeeping bit a couple of times. It happens when I see someone getting personnal towards people instead of staying with the subject in hand. There are people on the forum who will attack anything someone has said and try to drag it to a flame war. Fortunately these people are rare and usually vanish. There has only really been one member who got me really riled. In fact he managed to rile a few members with his narrow minded views. I will reveal his name for those who do not know who I am refering to; Jarvis (Sensuikan sans favourite member, Not). Look up his posts and you'll see why he managed to annoy a lot of members and ended up being banned

  17. #17
    THE CRAZY OLD GUY !! Frank D. White's Avatar
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    Pretty Passive !!

    You have to go WAY overboard to get me angry enough to attack. I think in 2 years, I have attacked 3 members. I would rather act as mediator between members attacking each other.

    Frank
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  18. #18
    Horizon Rider Kinsao's Avatar
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    Mycernius, you may not often use smilies, but I have you to thank for alerting me to the beauties of this particular one -->

    ... sometimes actions really do speak louder than words...

  19. #19
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Here are those that apply to me :

    I only use the following "Attacks" in defence :

    Attack
    • Sparing others' feelings is not a priority
    • You get straight to the point
    • You're not afraid to be a bit sarcastic, or to take the piss sometimes


    Otherwise, my normal behaviour is like this

    Defence
    • You avoid pointing out the faults in others' arguments
    • You almost always describe your own opinions
    • You can be over-sensitive
    • You try to explain in as much detail as possible
    • Your replies can get long
    • You quote other posters to contrast against your own arguments
    • You like to talk about yourself
    • You can be a bit too serious or overly polite


    The use of smilies and the pronouns "I" and "you" really depend on my mood and the topic being discussed.

    The most aggressive ("Attack-type") members I have noticed on this forum are : Gaijin 06, Silverpoint and Mikecash.

  20. #20
    Regular Member misa.j's Avatar
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    Interesting thread Tsuyoiko.
    I don't think I get into arguements with people on this forum in general because I like(and try) sharing information I know or posting interesting and funny things more than argueing.

    But, I think I am a defense when I disagree with a post although most of my posts are short and don't usually have smilies. The last thing I would want to do is to hurt someone's feelings.

  21. #21
    The Wise Idiot
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    First and foremost, I love arguing for sport, sport, like a moderated debate. Although I sometimes think of how my opinions are grossly superior to some of yours, I generally make a good arguer because I can understand how you feel on the issue of debate, and therefore can see the weakness in your opinion (or mine, for that matter).

    I tend to preffer neither offence or defense. Instead I observe the contest at hand until I can assure myself that my input would further the progress of your thinking process and ideals. ^_^

    But every once in a neon pink moon, I blow up and completly disregard one's emotions and point out every single idiotically stupid point in their flimsy argument. Then, if I'm feeling particularly heated, I will show you exactly how to fix your opinion and show you why you didn't see the loopholes in the first place!

    Anywho, I'm rambling, back on topic here. I generally won't argue my point unless it is challenged, but if it is challenged, I will try to see what is wrong with it, and I can't see anything, and you don't tell me what's so wrong about it, I'll argue. But I'll do it with surgicall precision. Attacking where your walls are weak and defending where your attacks are strongest. For each arguement has different points to them, and you must know which points to seek out and conquer, and which to let fall to wind.
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  22. #22
    Silent Assassin Doc's Avatar
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    Interesting thread indeed.

    I tend to be more of the "Questionable" type as I like to see all points of view on an issue, and have an undeniable thrist for information. When I do get into an argument I tend to be in the "Defensive" category because I really do not like tossing flames around. Very rarely do I get into the "Attack" category, and when I do I usually ignore the person who pissed me off. The reason is because they are too ignorant, over-opinionated, offensive, aggervating (a.k.a s*** distruber as we like to call them here in the States), or all four to bother wasting my time with. There are a couple of members on here as on any board I have visited that fit into that category for me, and I just ignore them rather than having to deal with them. Hell I don't even bother giving them negative reps points either most of the time because they are not even worth it. I have to be in an extremely pissed off mood to reply back, and that is a rarity. So for me I am in the "Questionable" and "Defensive" category more than anything.

    Doc
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  23. #23
    Regular Member Sensuikan San's Avatar
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    I answered "a bit of both".

    It depends who is arguing; how they put their case; what the argument is all about .... and the mood I'm in.

    Just the same in "the real world".

    ..... I sometimes end up apologising ... or getting shafted .... !

    (....Just the same in the "real world" .... !)

    .... I like the smilies, though! There a a few nasty ones as well as the humorous ones!

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  24. #24
    Mike Cash
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    I'll plead guilty to eight items on the "attack" side of the ledger, though I wish there were a better descriptive term for it. "Reasoned" vs. "Emotional", perhaps, though how much of an improvement that is over "Attack" and "Defense" is certainly debatable.

  25. #25
    オウーマケスコンバイネヅ AllMakesCombined's Avatar
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    Neither, really. I do like to point out holes in the opinion of my opponents, but I also don't care if I hurt their feelings. I don't insult my opponents nor their intelligence. I admit I may come off as a little condecending once in a while, but I don't think anyone is an idiot unless they prove it themselves. I'm using the pronoun "I" a lot in this particular post because the subject of the thread is "What is your". I'm usually very sensitive about the topic at hand, but not toward opinions that conflict with mine.

    I'm one of those annoying "post-facts-statistics-and-articles-from-various-news-sources-from-around-the-world" people. If someone makes a generalization based on their own experience (and it's inaccurate) I will usually reply with one or more links to studies or polls that show otherwise.

    I have a distaste for extremists whether they are right-wing, left-wing, athiest, or religious, as they are usually very wrong. I like to call myself a libertarian or independent (not quite sure which) with a slight lean to the left. Since I live in Texas however, many of my aquaintences will tell you I'm a pinko-commie, liberal, wussy (Texas being a very red state) -- but we all know what name calling proves in the midst of any kind of serious debate.

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