The 10 Commandments of Rational Debate

1. Thou shall not attack the person’s character, but the argument itself. (“Ad hominem”)

2. Thou shall not misrepresent or exaggerate a person’s argument in order to make them easier to attack. (“Straw Man Fallacy”)

3. Thou shall not use small numbers to represent the whole. (“Hasty Generalization”)

4. Thou shall not argue thy position by assuming one of its premises is true. (“Begging the Question”)

5. Thou shall not claim that because something occurred before, it must be the cause. (“Post Hoc/False Cause”)

6. Thou shall not reduce the argument down to two possibilities. (“False Dichotomy”)

7. Thou shall not argue that because of our ignorance, claim must be true or false. (“Ad Ignorantiam”)

8. Thou shall not lay burden of proof onto him that is questioning the claim. (“Burden of Proof Reversal”)

9. Thou shall not assume “this” follows “that,” when “it” has no logical connection. (“Non sequitur”)

10. Thou shall not claim that because a premises is popular, therefore, it must be true. (“Bandwagon Fallacy”)

11. Thou shall not appeal to an outside party to claim support. (“Appeal to Authority”)

12. Thou shall not claim moral authority. (“Moral high ground fallacy”)

Here, why don’t I just put up the Wiki link to the list of fallacies:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies

Basically, climate alarm and the greenhouse effect comprise almost ALL of these fallacies.  I used to believe in CAGW and the GHE, but it only took a few hours of looking to realize that the entire thing is based on fallacies of logic and reasoning, and of thermodynamics and science, etc. etc.  And then you get the insults and the temper tantrums at you, when you ask about it, which is of course just more fallacy, lol.  Kind of giving themselves away.

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45 Responses to The 10 Commandments of Rational Debate

  1. johnmarshall says:

    If only.
    Debate with the alarmists is impossible because to them the ”cause” has descended into religeous dogma.

  2. James says:

    What about: “There is only one way forward and it is this…”

    I call it the blinders approach. I remember being exposed to the concept of brainstorming which seems to have it’s roots in advertising, yet used in engineering. Why this is important is that our problem is mainly political, that is convincing people of an assumed truth, away from their cherished beliefs.

    It will be hard to get there if we ourselves cannot consider new ideas or paradigms, preferring to dismiss them out of hand, since we know better. I see the gate keeping approach as somebody else mentioned, ably enforced on this blog.

    Here’s a cut and paste of the concept of Creative Problem Solving:
    ~

    Creative-problem-solving techniques can be categorized as follows:

    Mental state shift: Creativity techniques designed to shift a person’s mental state into one that fosters creativity. These techniques are described in creativity techniques. One such popular technique is to take a break and relax or sleep after intensively trying to think of a solution.
    Problem reframing: Creativity techniques designed to reframe the problem. For example, reconsidering one’s goals by asking “What am I really trying to accomplish?” can lead to useful insights.

    Multiple idea facilitation: Creativity techniques designed to increase the quantity of fresh ideas. This approach is based on the belief that a larger number of ideas increases the chances that one of them has value. Some of these techniques involve randomly selecting an idea (such as choosing a word from a list), thinking about similarities with the undesired situation, and hopefully inspiring a related idea that leads to a solution. Such techniques are described in creativity techniques.

    Inducing change of perspective: Creative-problem-solving techniques designed to efficiently lead to a fresh perspective that causes a solution to become obvious. This category is especially useful for solving especially challenging problems.[2] Some of these techniques involve identifying independent dimensions that differentiate (or separate) closely associated concepts.[3] Such techniques can overcome the mind’s instinctive tendency to use “oversimplified associative thinking” in which two related concepts are so closely associated that their differences, and independence from one another, are overlooked.[4]

  3. Arfur Bryant says:

    And, of course, there is the argument of “Appeal to Authority”, or “You’re not a scientist so you know nothing…”.

  4. geran says:

    Well stated, and highly informative. A Warmist usually breaks at least one of these in every debate.

    Also, there is the “seeking the moral high ground”, as in “Don’t you care about your grandchildren (or polar bears, or the planet, etc.)”. (Although, that is possibly a subset of “ad hominem” or “strawman”?)

  5. Hey thanks for the addition you guys – will insert them to the OP!

  6. Peter Weggeman (Petrus) says:

    Good list! Nowhere the word CONSENSUS. Perhaps the favorite of green dogma propagandists. #10 Bandwagon and #11 Authority could be subheadings.

  7. A C Osborn says:

    Joe, you are on shaky ground with number 1 LOL.
    How about Not answering the opponents Question by asking another or more questions ie avoidance. Could also include the change of subject, used a lot by warmists.
    How about Repitition, saying essentially the same thing a hundred different ways.

  8. Greg House says:

    Joe, maybe the topic should be slightly modified to “how you win the debate with a liar who uses all those logical fallacies and demagogic tricks and tactics”. Because what is going on is not really an honest scientific debate. It is “bad guys intentionally fooling people vs. essentially helpless and naive good guys”.

  9. Greg House says: 2013/12/20 at 11:22 AM
    “Joe, maybe the topic should be slightly modified to “how you win the debate with a liar who uses all those logical fallacies and demagogic tricks and tactics”. Because what is going on is not really an honest scientific debate. It is “bad guys intentionally fooling people vs. essentially helpless and naive good guys”.

    Good self description “Greg house a liar who uses all those logical fallacies and demagogic tricks and tactics”
    Added an amateur at both politics and science trying to compete with the so called Climates scientists, who have extensive training in both!

  10. *Joseph please add “The logical fallacy “Denying the Antecedent”. This is the one that gets you hung up. It is all the “if / than” logic. in this case it is denying the if, and preceding with your own version of the ‘than”! Case in point your revisiting the Steel…. was just ths falacy!!

    You denied a fixed power input called flux times x area. You did not challenge this premise which in thermodynamics is very unlikely.!!! Instead you claimed this cannot be because of your belief in your Colder cannot warm a warmer object. This is a good example of equivocation. Both “warm” and “wamer” have many many meanings most having to do with earthling feelings,. rather than anything scientific or “physical” (that can be observed and/or measured). Technically “to warm” or “warming” always means adding heat energy to, but never implys any increase in temperature. Tthink boiling water.
    To avoid this equivocation, simply demand a defin\on, “adding heat energy to” or “increase in temperature. Do not accept “whatever”
    Demand a definition of every word! If acceptable, Then you must also stick with that definition. For example Your claim of “cold cannot warm warm”. the most horrable englitch.
    resolves into two opposites A low temperature object can transfer, no heat energy, by any spontanious means to any object at a higher temperature. This is the falsification of the origional GHG theory.
    .The Clowns recovered from that. They now claim that anything that can restrict the dissipation of thermal energy will result in a higher temperatuire of the dissipator, as it can only dissapate to something at a lower temperature. They are correct, but they have no clue as to the method of dissipation. From the surface it is all convective heat transfer. There is no radiative transfer from the surface that CO\2 can interfere therewith!
    Joseph, do not fight the new claims, they are correct, but the words are,meaning-less.
    Joseph, With careful analysis of the writing of the top ten active participants in this monumental Fraud, It is likely that we can get 6-7 in jail for life. Very hard work, I hope I can contribute. If not multiple convictions. this nonsense will propagateto medical Doctors who now have some personal integrity left. If this goes that way, we are only left with fortune tellers, witch doctors, and our own knowledge (none) combined with personal integrity.
    All need practice in saying “I do not know” with the new response “me neither”. Then the useful question ” Wad jue tink1″. Are there any usefull answers left?”

  11. @AC

    Yah, definitely with #1. See I’m not that strong of a person and I do have feelings which can be hurt and I can get angry, so when these morons throw insult after insult and then LIE about their results and LIE about what I might have said, etc., yep it catches up to me and eventually I reduce to THEIR standard, and then THEY win.

    When I act like them they I am the one that loses. They win when I act like them.

  12. Yes agreed Greg, great point.

  13. Greg House says:

    Joseph E Postma says 2013/12/22 at 3:50 AM: “Yes agreed Greg, great point.”
    ======================================

    Another thing is “invalid argumentation – correct conclusion” package. Here it is difficult to differentiate between just inability to see the fallacy by a “follower” and the intention to provide people with the argumentation that is easy to debunk by the other side.

  14. Joseph,
    Please read and understand the meaning and explanation of the word “equivocate” at http://www.fallacyfiles.org/equivoqu.html. The best definition I have seen. In formal debate,, The reply of “You are using equivocation”, is the most formal and non-accusative form of challenge, that informally would be, “huh” or “I have no idea of what you are speaking of” , both that invite the accusation of ignorance. The accusative form of “equivocation” is,, “You are using doublespeak”.
    Most all of is use equivocation, mostly inadvertently when using the wishy-washy Englitch.
    Consider the so called Climate scientist word “warming”. In an unabridged Englitch dictionary it has over 100 distinct meanings. The Krauts would have 100 different words! Words are cheap,
    understanding is precious! Intentional confusion abounds!

  15. Arguing with a “warmist” is like arguing with a drug war groupie. It’s all religion to them, not facts or science, and anyone questioning their religion needs to be burned at the stake.

  16. Climate alarm and the greenhouse effect is indeed entirely a new religion.

  17. Russ Jimeson says:

    “Never argue with an idiot. They’ll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”
    That’s a quote, but I don’t know who said it originally. Anyway, here’s an example of warmist mat (think 240+240=15).

    http://tinyurl.com/le2fdjw

  18. AndyG55 says:

    Joseph, An idea I have been interested in, you may know how to proceed.
    The 33°C that the climate scientist (lol) need to use to create CO2 as an evil molecule is based on surface energy transfers. on a flat rotation Earth.. The apparent global average surface temperature is 15°C, and they reckon it should be -18°C without the evil CO2.

    So, here is my question…
    Is there any way of calculating the average temperature of the atmosphere below the tropopause.?
    (I’m betting it would come out somewhere pretty close to -18°C)

  19. I saw these 10 commandments on a few other websites and it struck me as one sphere of society I really try to avoid, because it excludes intuition or uncommon thinking that doesn’t hold up the status quo. (Whereas the God Series books occasionally place MBTI information in their text, championing intuitives). Anything that does that sets off the crowdthink red flag in my mind, because on this level we are always being explicit about what we support, and there had obviously been enough time there to include intuition.

    “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”
    ― Albert Einstein

    Also, while it deserves its own discussion space, I would comment on the climate change issue here. Instead of name-calling, can we indeed have a rational debate? I appreciate it can be emotionally strenuous for all of us, but please review this information:

    http://guymcpherson.com/2013/01/climate-change-summary-and-update/

  20. Fred Acer says:

    Joseph E Postma says: ‘Climate alarm and the greenhouse effect is indeed entirely a new religion’. 2013/12/23 at 11:00 AM

    Hey. Are you some kind of post-modern ironist. It’s hard to believe that a professional physicist doesn’t accept the physics of the greenhouse effect. Why is Earth so much warmer than a ‘bare’ planet would be at the same distance from the Sun?
    RedAcer

  21. The Earth is not “so much warmer than a ‘bare’ planet would be at the same distance from the Sun”.

    https://climateofsophistry.com/2013/12/04/a-tale-of-two-versions/

  22. @Andy, if we knew the net emissivity of the atmosphere and its radiant output, then we could calculate the effective temperature. However, it isn’t even clear that “average temperature” means anything physical.

    What we do know however is that below the tropopause, where the gas is mostly ideal, there will be a natural lapse rate gradient, going from cool at the top of the tropopause to warm at the bottom, with by definition having an average in between these two ends. The point being that the bottom of the troposphere, the air nearest the surface, will be/has to be warmer than the global average temperature, however that should be rationally defined.

  23. AndyG55 says:

    HI Joseph… I know all about lapse rates etc ..
    I concur that your method is how it could be calculated

    However, I think you missed the point I was trying to make.
    The climate bovines use the difference between the -18C they like to calculate and the 15C that they measure at the surface to get their 33C difference to require the greenhouse effect.

    What I’m saying is that the -18C is not what it “should ” be at the surface, but what the average atmospheric temperature below the tropopause “should” be, because in essence, the surface of our planet actually includes this thin atmospheric skin.

    A quick brain rattle seems to indicated that this actual value may be very close to -18C, thus negating completely the need to add any random 33C from a mythical greenhouse effect.

  24. AndyG55 says:

    @Fred Acer… seriously ?
    “Why is Earth so much warmer than a ‘bare’ planet would be at the same distance from the Sun?”

    The sunny side of the Earth is heated by the direct sun to quite high temperatures.
    Go to a desert someday and find out !!!
    If it weren’t for the atmospheric COOLING it would get a lot hotter,
    The Moon reaches 123C on its day surface
    The Moon also drops to -153C on its dark side

    Aren’t you glad we have an atmosphere !!

    The atmospheric pressure allows the Earth to retains heat on the dark side, as does all that lovely water. The atmosphere also tries to distribute that heat more evenly around the surface.

    The atmosphere is a temperature regulator, controlled by atmospheric pressure difference.

    Venus is a classic example of this where the huge atmospheric pressure allows it to retain the same very high temperatures even on the non-sunward surface. But even on Venus, the PRESSURE regulates the temperature . so much so that at pressures equivalent to Earth’s atmospheric pressure it is almost exactly the temperature it should be relative to its distance from the sun. It is the ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE and incoming radiation and other buffering effects, (one particularly that Earth has one huge amount of) that control the final global surface temperature.

  25. Greg House says:

    AndyG55 says: “The climate bovines use the difference between the -18C they like to calculate and the 15C that they measure at the surface to get their 33C difference to require the greenhouse effect. What I’m saying is that the -18C is not what it “should ” be at the surface, but what the average atmospheric temperature below the tropopause “should” be, because in essence, the surface of our planet actually includes this thin atmospheric skin.”
    =======================================

    This won’t work. The calculation of that -18°C is false.

    What they say is that the sunshine can only warm the surface up to -18°C on average, so since we have like +15°C there must be another more powerful source of energy. Well, there is none, because their “greenhouse effect” (which is in fact self-heating of the surface, the “greenhouse gases” serving only as passive reflectors) is impossible and “greenhouse gases” are not a stand-alone source of energy.

    If you look at their calculation closely, you will possibly find the error.

  26. Greg House says:

    AndyG55 says: “But even on Venus, the PRESSURE regulates the temperature.”
    =================================================

    I do not see how it can be correct.

    If you mean laps rate, then we can indeed observe decrease both in temperature and the pressure with increasing altitude, but this does not mean causality.

  27. AndyG55 says:

    Of cause there is causality. They are inextricably linked by the combined gas laws. Everything that happens in the atmosphere is driven by temperature and pressure differences (and other differences). If there is too much energy at one level of atmospheric pressure, the atmosphere attempts to even itself out, that is what lapse rate, convection, wind etc etc is all about.
    Venus has the fact that its atmosphere is 97% CO2, which makes radiative transfer very much more efficient, hence the temperature “spreads” at a pressure level very efficiently and the day and night surface temperatures are therefore pretty much the same.

  28. AndyG55 says:

    “The calculation of that -18°C is false. ”
    Actually, if you look at the Moon’s day and night temperatures, its probably not far out at all.

    The average , with no atmosphere, is about -15C on the moon.

  29. Fred Acer says:

    The greenhouse effect is a theory of physics explaining how certain gases cause the atmosphere the warm up. It is based on thermodynamics and radiative transfer theory. Please show where it “comprises almost ALL of these fallacies”.

  30. Actually the radiative greenhouse effect is a theory of climate science, not physics, that was invented to replace the physics understanding of an actual real greenhouse, so that it could use the warming in a real greenhouse to pretend support for the radiative reinterpretation. The radiative greenhouse effect is not a feature of thermodynamics or radiative transfer theory – climate science alarm just pretends it is:

    https://climateofsophistry.com/2013/12/04/a-tale-of-two-versions/
    https://climateofsophistry.com/2013/12/08/revisiting-the-steel-greenhouse/

  31. Fred Acer says:

    AndyG55 says:
    2014/01/06 at 9:36 PM @Fred Acer… seriously ?
    There is virtually no physics in your post so it is hard to comment on it. It is not hard, using Stefan-Boltzmann, to calculate the average temperature of a black body in earth orbit. E.g. if your figures are correct then the average T of the moon is very approximately(integration needed) -30C. The average T of the Earth is higher than that. This is due to the effect of greenhouse gases. No scientists who understand thermodynamics and the QM of tri-atomic molecules dispute this.

  32. Internal IR, being the same temperature or energy flux density as it is internally, as it is radiation from its own internal source, thus has no thermal energy gradient relative to itself and hence heat cannot flow from itself into itself and thus cannot change its own temperature.

    If it could, then the maximum temperature inside a greenhouse should well-exceed that of the maximum solar input; however, this does not occur. The simple prevention of convection is what occurs in a real greenhouse, and the radiative trapping postulate, while it should also occur in a real greenhouse given its postulate, is empirically demonstrated to not occur; of course if it doesn’t occur where it should, then it doesn’t occur anywhere. And the reason is of course due to the limits of thermodynamics – to make temperature increase you need heat flow, but there is no heat flow between a source and its own radiation, as they are the same temperature.

    The radiative greenhouse effect is not a feature of thermodynamics or radiative transfer theory.

  33. Fred, there are no scientists who understand thermodynamics that believe in the radiative greenhouse effect… Temperatures governed by radiation have only two factors which affect them: absorptivity and emissivity. If greenhouse gases emit then they have higher emissivity than O2 and N2 (99% of the atmosphere) and higher emissivity means lower temperature since there is less resistance to heat flow. O2 and N2 being radiatively inert are what have high resistance to radiative heat flow, hence allow for higher temperature. And CO2 is green plant food that we should have more of, not the same or less of. We need to get it to about 1500ppm, up from the 400ppm it currently is. We’re doing a fairly good job and Gaia would congratulate us if she could. We just need to make sure CO2 won’t cause too much cooling. And the average radiative T of the Earth is -18C in any case…exactly what it should be.

  34. Greg House says:

    AndyG55 says: “Of cause there is causality. They are inextricably linked by the combined gas laws. Everything that happens in the atmosphere is driven by temperature and pressure differences (and other differences).”
    ===========================================

    Again, your “But even on Venus, the PRESSURE regulates the temperature” is apparently incorrect, because e.g. on the Earth surface you can have different temperatures at the same pressure.

  35. NoMoreNogForYou says:

    LoL. A theory
    has testable attributes.
    A magic story about a sphere heated to stable temp T with a light in vacuum having surface sensors
    indicate immersion of said sphere
    into frigid thermally conductive, and convective nitrogen/oxygen coolant compound
    made every sensor on the sphere
    show a rise of average, 90F/30C
    is not a theory.

    It’s a hypothesis built on bullsh** and based in a gas chemistry research scam pioneered by James Hansen, Tom Wigley, Phil Jones and a couple more guys.

    Problem for them is that’s impossible.
    Vacuum provides solely for radiant energy export.
    Immersion spinning in frigid nitrogen bath can not make an object heated in vacuum
    anything
    but colder.
    Period.

    It can’t make your planet warm at night after the sun goes down.

    When you put a two liter soda in the refrigerator and the light shines heating the soda,
    the air cooling the soda when the light is on,
    is still cooling it when the light goes off.

    If you shut the door, but have an outside switch for the light,
    when you turn the light off, the temperature of your soda will still go down, Fred.

    The temperature goes down, when you wash warm objects in cold fluid gas.

    No matter how many physicsbillies told you the cold atmosphere warms the earth when the sun goes down.

    A sphere heated spinning in vacuum
    had frigid nitrogen bath placed around it,
    and the additional conduction and convection
    along with phase change refrigeration from water,
    and the additional, physically reflective nature of the water/co2
    removing 20% energy from even arriving
    made every heat sensor on the planet
    show more energy arriving
    than
    when more energy
    was arriving.

    The phase change refrigerant H2O and reflective gas compound CO2
    by physically eliminating 20% energy getting to the sphere
    are the main cause of more energy getting to the sphere
    than got to the sphere
    when 20% more energy
    got to the sphere.

    It’s not MY story Perfesser Bore Hole, it’s yours. You explain it.

    It better sound exactly
    like the many principles I mastered many years ago, and use daily, now,
    as an Electromagnetic Radiation Communications Electronic Engineer
    as you relate in granular, scintillating clarity, how the
    frigid reflective refrigerated, compound gas bath

    is a
    “Big ol’ giant heetur way up thair.”
    “Ya’LL.”

    For obvious reasons –
    express as clearly as you can
    what fundamental, underlying principle
    tells you
    it must be true
    that reflecting away 20% energy in
    can make more energy arrive
    than when more energy arrived.
    =======
    Do you really understand what it is you’re trying to say you think must obviously be true because 25000 government employees said it had to be true?
    ————–
    Do you recognize the same pattern of government insisting marijuana is like heroin, claiming
    it must obviously be true,
    because 25000 government employees said it had to be true?
    ————–

    If you want to express your testimony of why you believe in the warm atmosphere religion
    Fred Acer
    you go ahead.

    But don’t you try to tell me that
    because 25000 government employees said

    it must be true,
    then
    it must be true.

    You’re gonna have to say something that reflects personal thought about why you believe
    in a religion teaching the atmosphere is warm
    when that same religion admits the atmosphere is cold
    but denies you have the right to teach the atmosphere is cold.

    I invite you to express your testimony of why you believe in your religion.
    =======
    Fred Acer says:
    2014/01/07 at 9:33 AM
    The greenhouse effect is a theory of physics explaining how certain gases cause the atmosphere the warm up. It is based on thermodynamics and radiative transfer theory. Please show where it “comprises almost ALL of these fallacies”.

  36. NoMoreNogForYou says:

    “and based in a gas chemistry research scam pioneered by James Hansen, Tom Wigley, Phil Jones and a couple more guys.”

    refers to their resurrection of Arrhenius’ research Acer; I’m sorry that wasn’t clear.

  37. RChavez says:

    How do you know that all these “thou shall not” are really correct? How about one more “thou shall not”? Thou shall not appeal to the 10 commandment of rational debate!

  38. Pingback: The 10 Commandments of Rational Debate by Joseph E Postma - AETHERFORCE

  39. Mark says:

    This is the dumbest abuse of logic I have ever seen.
    Lists fallacies, and declares GW is fallacious ?
    Fallacies are bad forms of argument, mistakes in our thinking.
    Global warming is an objective fact, look at NOAA and see the charts /
    The rise corresponds with mans mass Farming and Automotive industry.

    “Basically, climate alarm and the greenhouse effect comprise almost ALL of these fallacies”
    Global warming is an observable fact- thus this cant be a fallacy let alone all fallacy.

    I will point you to 2. Thou shall not misrepresent or exaggerate a person’s argument in order to make them easier to attack. (“Straw Man Fallacy”) and point out your hypocrisy.

    “I used to believe in CAGW and the GHE, but it only took a few hours of looking to realize that the entire thing is based on fallacies of logic and reasoning, and of thermodynamics and science, etc.”

    3. Thou shall not use small numbers to represent the whole. (“Hasty Generalization”)

    “etc. And then you get the insults and the temper tantrums at you, when you ask about it, which is of course just more fallacy, lol. Kind of giving themselves away.”

    1. Thou shall not attack the person’s character, but the argument itself. (“Ad hominem”)

  40. Yes Mark, we have looked at the NOAA and other temperature charts. There is no indication in those charts that there is climate change (let alone alarming climate change) occurring as a result of CO2, a greenhouse effect, and man’s influence. The NOAA and all other temperature charts show that the climate is currently behaving in an extremely stable way.

    So, your very intro exposes you as another sophist, as an abuser of reason. You are taking a perfectly normal, un-alarming, safe, benign, temperature chart, and then creating a sophistry around it pretending that it is alarming. It is classic sophistry. Arguing that black is white, etc.

    We are sorry that reason eludes you, that hysteria consumes you, and that these commandments are anathema to you.

  41. Right, Mark, there’s nothing in that plot that shows alarming climate change or climate change caused by humans or CO2. I don’t know what it is you think you see there that gets you so hysterical and so wound up! That plot basically itself refutes the postulate of alarming climate change and climate change caused by humans. Welcome to reason!

  42. Pingback: The 10 Commandments of Rational Debate by Joseph E Postma – AetherForce

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