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March 2018



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Chasing down an idea

J warned me last night that I was obsessing about this defining Wicca thing.

He is right, people get sick of arguing things, or hearing or seeing things argued, very quickly. That is probably why a lot of decisions are made by the people who are stuborn enough to stick it out, and not by the best arguments.

I now have examples of me arguing with two people about the same issue
"You're not Wicca because I said so" with silvertree just kept going round in circles and getting no where. I honestly feel that she has no idea how to frame a logical argument.

The BTW Perspective with windwriter is just as drawn out but much more productive and satisfying to me. I feel I have a clear understanding of what his position is. He wasn't saying that his position is objective truth he was saying that it was the position of a particular group. I have no evidence that the group does not hold those views. The views are consistant, as far as he was able to defend them. The only way to challange a claim that a group of people hold a particular belief is to give an example of the group stateing otherwise.

If someone said "A Christian is someone who believes in the divinity of Christ." I would say "No, Unitarians consider themselves Christians and they don't." ... I just realized that is this a Description versus Prescription definition issue.

De-scription versus Pre-scription - and other Ethical Confusions
Peter Voss, 25 Jul 00

Looks very similar to the emic/etic distinction but not quite.

I just found the wonderful quote. He is right that academics don't accept the authority of dictionaries for the terms they use in their fields. But most people think that dictionaries are authorities on meaning.

"I suspect that very few people consult dictionaries and accept their authority on meaning or grammar."
"The Language Teacher and descriptive versus prescriptive norms: The educational context" by Richard Hudson, Paris 17/3/00. Professor of linguistics in the Department of Phonetics and Linguistics at University College London.

Sorry, I got side tracked there. What I was saying is that although I frequently argue with people I would much rather have productive arguments like the one with windwriter or this feed back about my Sci-Fi definition with kukkurovaca or this discusion about Covens and marriage issues with waterfall_sh (who I really took a liking to.)

I usually win my arguments because I try not to make claims that I can't support or haven't thought out.

Someone I was reading today accused someone else of Conversational Terrorism. of course accusing somone of Conversational Terrorosm is an Ad Hominem attack. The problem I have with that essay is that it ascribes motives to acts. I much prefer to stick with Stephen's Guide to the Logical Fallacies there you just have to show that a fallacy has occured without attacking the person.

I love the Appeal to Popularity (argumentum ad populum): "Everyone knows that the Earth is flat, so why do you persist in your outlandish claims?"


Wow... what a circular argument. What the hell is Neo-Wicca? Sounds like a term you'd only hear in Britain used by Gardenarians...

you got it in one try

You are essentially correct. Silvertree lives in the UK, she trained for 2 years with a Gardnerian coven. She left because they were too dogmatic, but she still uses their definitions.