One of the major problems, perhaps even thé problem, with discussions/debates is that most of us pick up a subject at any point and assume anyone involved is sufficiently knowledgable about the subject at hand and therefore commit the classic mistake to presume all participants know and mean the same thing when addressing the subject.
This means people, quite unwittingly, decide, in their minds, for self and others, what is known and meant - and before you know it the semantics debate occurs instead of addressing the subject.
Consensus first then: determine what is actually known and meant; do all participants mean the same? Is everybody 'on the same page'? Then, go from there.
In any serious discussion/debate -as in professional work-meetings for instance- a consensus is established first, usually the central point, then, the rest follows.
When a discussion/debate starts or is already on the way without a proper consensus and one tries to establish one, one will find accusations galore: stalling, refusing to answer questions, having no arguments, being foolish, nitpicking and so on and so forth, the list is endless, and the discussion/debate, which already turned semantics, now turns ad hominem fest.
People who engage in this, concede, without realizing, their obliviousness in respect to the importance of a workable consensus - and the discussion/debate, ironically meant to establish a consensus, will fail.
We all are fallible in whatever area(s)
i.e., no one is an expert in anything
except, of course, for ardent believers
politicians and James Bond.
rejected and denied by many, accepted and embraced by few : falsifiability
- it is not what we (think we) know that matters, it is what we can show true that does
as the maxim demands; truth is demonstrably fact and fact is demonstrably true
everything else ... mere BS -
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