So you want to play devil's advocate...

Godlikebuthumble

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I just had a pizza-inspired idea:

A website where you can collect and find counter-arguments (incl. sources and other supporting material) to any kind of popular opinion. Part Snopes, part TVTropes, part Wiki, part knowyourmeme. Just kind of like a ressource for the youtube commenter, tumblrino, troll, or such.
Now, I don't mean a bunch of common trolling phrases, but legitimate criticism/counter-arguments and such.
I'm pretty sure that by being confronted with a rebuttal (to, say, "Scrubs was a great show!"), a critical review of ones own opinions and beliefs can be quite beneficial, no?

So, anyone know of such a site? If not, I call dibs. And I swear, if anyone says 4chan...
 

Godlikebuthumble

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Well, it's not just meant for internet conversation exclusively. But let's say your friend just won't shut up about his new fitness regimen. You go to addiaboli.org, go to "health>lifestyle>sports>whycrossfitsucks", and voilá, you are ready to see whether your buddy knows wtf he's talking about or just riding the hype train straight to Getonmynutsville. Might even lead to some self-reflection.

But probably not, since he's into crossfit.
 

kris40k

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Well someone would have to curate it to prevent citogenesis bullshit from plaguing it.
The curators would be people, and people suck at curating anything that is remotely controversial[footnote]See: Wikipedia discussion pages[/footnote].
Someone, also a person(s), would be responsible for vetting those curators. This person(s) would also suck, as they would have their own worldview(s).

You end up with a site that just talks about one point of view on particular subjects.

But maybe I'm just pessimistic.
 

shrekfan246

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May 26, 2011
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But Scrubs was a great show.

Also, that's not really playing the devil's advocate. At the very least on the internet, "devil's advocate" is just a synonym for "debating in bad faith". If they're not being outright dishonest, then they're still typically not actually interested in hearing the rebuttals to their own statements; they just want to shout down opinions they disagree with.

I mean, I know it's just become another abused phrase the internet loves to overuse. But "debate" on the internet is so hilariously pointless in the first place. The only actual benefit of it is for the people who aren't actually involved and are just watching from the sidelines.

I dunno, I'm just so disinterested in arguments to begin with. I really have very little concern with "winning" or "losing" something petty like "why crossfit sucks".
 

Smooth Operator

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Godlikebuthumble said:
Well, it's not just meant for internet conversation exclusively. But let's say your friend just won't shut up about his new fitness regimen. You go to addiaboli.org, go to "health>lifestyle>sports>whycrossfitsucks", and voilá, you are ready to see whether your buddy knows wtf he's talking about or just riding the hype train straight to Getonmynutsville. Might even lead to some self-reflection.

But probably not, since he's into crossfit.
So this is the purpose of your work... find ways to destroy other peoples enjoyment, not finding relevant information but making sure you have a way to shit on their activities.
Well I can hardly claim this is surprising, but you might suggest to your friend he finds better friends.
 

lacktheknack

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shrekfan246 said:
I dunno, I'm just so disinterested in arguments to begin with. I really have very little concern with "winning" or "losing" something petty like "why crossfit sucks".
But you don't understand. Crossfit is so bad for you that the muscle damage leaks out of the participants and ruins you! YOU! YOU MUST BE INVOLVED.

OT: I don't think such a site would remain even a fraction as neutral as it would need to be.
 

FPLOON

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It sounds like making a gun shack that sells guns to both sides of the war... Groovy...

Other than that, why can't I play "angel's advocate"? That sounds like something I would totally do!
 

Ryallen

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Feb 25, 2014
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I'm often on that side, so more often than not, I'd end up going to that site more times that I would care to count in that hypothetical future. I wouldn't end up adding anything to the website, since I can never think of any counterarguments to anything in general, but I'd still use it.
 

Dornedas

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FPLOON said:
Other than that, why can't I play "angel's advocate"? That sounds like something I would totally do!
I guess you could play Serra Advocate if you really want.
insert picture of the magiccard here (I don't know how to copy paste on phone)

I am confused I always thought playing devil's Advocate means taking a Position you don't support. Wouldnt that mean looking for arguments that are pro cross fitting if you don't like it? Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Also what is crossfitting? I'm to afraid to google it because it has the word cross in it.
 

Scarim Coral

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While that would be an interesting idea but I can easily imagine it will be hard to gather the source materials since "popular" opinions can cover up to anything!
 

ItouKaiji

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I don't think anyone would want to play Devil's Advocate after Keanu Reeves got completely overshadowed by Al Pacino's scenery chewing turn as the devil.


I don't really care much for internet arguing unless it's with people I know.
 

FPLOON

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Dornedas said:
FPLOON said:
Other than that, why can't I play "angel's advocate"? That sounds like something I would totally do!
I guess you could play Serra Advocate if you really want.
insert picture of the magiccard here (I don't know how to copy paste on phone)

I am confused I always thought playing devil's Advocate means taking a Position you don't support. Wouldnt that mean looking for arguments that are pro cross fitting if you don't like it? Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Also what is crossfitting? I'm to afraid to google it because it has the word cross in it.
I never ran a deck that had [mtg_card=Serra Advocate] in it, let alone an actual MTG deck, but you'll never know...

Also, I think "crossfitting" is some kind of exercising technique or something... I mean, it has the word "fit" in it...
 

Silvanus

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Hrmm, I'm not sure I like the idea of encouraging people to develop their own critical faculties even less.
 

kris40k

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shrekfan246 said:
Also, that's not really playing the devil's advocate. At the very least on the internet, "devil's advocate" is just a synonym for "debating in bad faith". If they're not being outright dishonest, then they're still typically not actually interested in hearing the rebuttals to their own statements; they just want to shout down opinions they disagree with.
I disagree that the meaning of "devil's advocate" has changed in use. I will agree that some people use it incorrectly. I often play devil's advocate when I see someone using information that I know is false or fallacious logic to come to some conclusion that I agree with (but for reasons other than those they are stating). I'm not attacking their conclusion, so much as the method and reasoning that they used to get to the conclusion.
 

happyninja42

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There are websites similar to this already, though they are usually more specialized.

For example. wiki.ironchariots.org is one to debunk various religious statements about the bible and christianity in general, citing contradicting passages, passages where things such as slavery are endorsed by god, etc etc.

So if you want to make a really broad one, you might try sourcing out these other sites, and linking to them in a directory format. So if the person who wants to know counter arguments for say...climate change, or vaccines, you could just have a link to the site that already does that more concisely than you could.
 

Ambient_Malice

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Playing devil's advocate originated in finding reasons why a Catholic saint should be disqualified for Sainthood. It morphed into the concept of arguing on behalf of a position that is unpopular within a particular context. It's not unlike how a lawyer who isn't rubbish will argue on behalf of clients and causes they disagree with to the best of their ability.

If a person is unable to weave their opponent's views into a decent argument, their debating skills suck. Even the stupidest beliefs can make a half-decent argument with enough massaging.

Instead we get "I can't even..." and "Are you for real?" and "Eff you, random person on the internet!" and "You are so wrong! I can't coherently articulate why you are wrong in a logically consistent manner, but your wrongness is so self-evident I needn't bother because everyone agrees with me."