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Arcesious
05-23-2008, 12:05 AM
I bet a few of you have heard of this guy, Michael Savage, a radio talkshow host. What are your opinions of this guy? I honestly don't know what to think. He makes a lot of good points, and a few I don't agree with too. Apparently a lot of people don't like him, but a lot of people agree with him too.
I simply want to have my facts straight, as I listen this him whenever I drive around town with my father, and I often debate and discuss things with my father at those times...

Totenkopf
05-23-2008, 12:18 AM
Reminds me of the line in Private Parts where the suits are trying to figure out Stern's appeal, hoping for an avalanche of complaints, only to be stymied by the fact that the people who disagreed with Stern actually listened longer than those that liked him. Reason being that they wanted to know what he'd say next. Savage pretty much fits in this mold. He's not a "mindless right wing bushbot" and covers more than just politics. His enthusiasm is almost infectious. Btw, which things do you agree with and which things don't you?

Achilles
05-23-2008, 12:31 AM
This (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Savage_(commentator)) guy? I can't say I've ever heard of him.

A couple of general pointers though that may help you out:

1) This guy is talk radio personality. Radio stations make money by attracting advertisers. Advertisers are attracted by ratings. Therefore, someone that can draw high ratings can also attract the lucrative advertising contracts. How does someone keep high ratings? By saying controversial things. It's entirely possible that all the things that he says really are his own opinions, however someone with a streak of cynicism might suspect that he says enough liberal things to keep the liberals listening and the conservatives incensed and enough conservative things for the inverse.

Also, it is highly unlikely that he is an expert (or even educated or informed) on the topics he speaks about. He is being encouraged to share his opinion. Because he is not a journalist, there are no ethical constraints dictating that what he says has to be accurate or fair. Case in point, I don't know if he does this, but more than a few of the conservative talk show host I listen to here in Phoenix will come right out and say "Well, I got document here in front of me, and I gotta tell ya...I just can't figure it out. It doesn't make any sense to me. All this lawyer stuff and liberal garbage...I tell ya - THIS is the kinda stuff that's wrong with this country - Mike in Glendale, you're on the air".

2) Have fun with it. Get in the habit of paying attention to what he says and see if he ever contradicts himself. Pick one of the fallacies of this page (http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/) every week and see how many times he uses it (if at all). Use this as an opportunity to learn how to recognize when someone is trying to use poor thinking or hollow argument to persuade you. Which leads to #3.

3) Most importantly: Don't be afraid to think for yourself (not implying that you aren't already). Don't be afraid to disagree with someone just because their position is popular or because they have some measure of celebrity. Neither of these things have the slightest bearing on whether or not they are right (or wrong). Learn how to examine the arguments on their own merits and be able to accept the ones that make sense and reject the ones that don't. If something sounds like it makes sense, beat it up a little. Run it through the ringer. Stew on it for a few days. Attack it from all sides. If it holds up to scrutiny and if it blows your previous opinion out of the water, time to ditch the old stance and adopt a new one. But if it doesn't, don't feel as though you're required to drink the kool-aid.

I hope that helps!

Totenkopf
05-23-2008, 12:49 AM
Also, it is highly unlikely that he is an expert (or even educated or informed) on the topics he speaks about. He is being encouraged to share his opinion. Because he is not a journalist, there are no ethical constraints dictating that what he says has to be accurate or fair. Case in point....

Very sloppy analysis, considering his self-avowed lack of knowledge about this particular person. I guess we'll just have to chalk it up to his being uneducated or "merely" ill informed on this subject. I do, however, agree with the gist of his 3rd point.

Arcesious
05-23-2008, 12:54 AM
Totenkotf: I don't really agree with how he criticiszed democrats and liberalists so much, and that fact that I already noticed soem contradictiosn he's made between shows.

Achilles: I agree with you... Is there any good way to counteract the arguments my dad tends to make: "Because the bible says so, it's true." without having to admit agnosticism? What majorly hurts my debating with him is the fact that I'm forced to yield due to a lot lot of fallacies listed here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases

I have very often times seen the False Dilemma fallacy, Déformation professionnelle, and the Confirmation bias in the arguments of the people he bases his arguments on; and his own arguments...

But I fear that if I'm totally honest with him about what I really beleive, I'll be forced to yield due to use of red herring fallacies such as the Appeal to Authority Fallacy when and if I do so.

Maybe we should split this thread, retitle it, or I should start a new thread about logical fallacies, as that's where it's going...

Jae Onasi
05-23-2008, 12:56 AM
Hey, if you enjoy the guy's entertainment, and you and your dad are having some good times together because of it, that's worth a lot. Jimbo and I watch Hannity and Colmes together. We don't always agree with either of them and sometimes don't agree with each other, but it's enjoyable to watch the 2 of them spar, and we get to do something together. You only get one dad--take whatever time you can get with him.

Take any opinion with a grain of salt, including ours here. ;P

Corinthian
05-23-2008, 01:01 AM
Arcescious, are you ashamed of being Agnostic? If you're not, then why don't you just TELL him that you aren't convinced God really exists, instead of dancing behind pretexts?

Arcesious
05-23-2008, 01:07 AM
I'm not ashamed of being agnostic. I simply do not want to face them on a front I can't win due to things such as the Appeal to Authority fallacy. I want to be honest with my parents, but I don't think I really can without inciting a big, dramatic, family conflict that I'd rather avoid facing the brunt of... It gets very uncomfortable after awhile under these conditions, and the best way I can think of appraoching it is with an indirect apparoch.

Jae: I do enjoy how Savage tends to put a comedic touch on some things, whether or not he's right or not, though, is something I liek to debate, I guess.

Ravnas
05-23-2008, 01:07 AM
Eh, concerning Savage, to each his own.

Achilles
05-23-2008, 01:09 AM
Achilles: I agree with you... Is there any good way to counteract the arguments my dad tends to make: "Because the bible says so, it's true." without having to admit agnosticism? No, probably not. You could try practicing the Socratic method however because of the way religious arguments are inherently shielded from reason, you probably won't get very far. Also, if your father doesn't like being questioned, it could accomplish nothing more than upsetting him.

What majorly hurts my debating with him is the fact that I'm forced to yield due to a lot lot of fallacies listed here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases Forced to yield because you find yourself using them or forced to yield because you don't know how to counter them?

But I fear that if I'm totally honest with him about what I really beleive, I'll be forced to yield due to use of red herring fallacies such as the Appeal to Authority Fallacy when and if I do so. Well, my advice would be to put aside what you really believe for now and then decide later (when you're on your own and making your own way) whether or not this is really important enough to you to make an issue of.

Maybe we should split this thread, retitle it, or I should start a new thread about logical fallacies, as that's where it's going...I'd be happy to participate in a thread about fallacies if you'd like to start one.

Thanks.

Arcesious
05-23-2008, 01:15 AM
Forced to yield because you find yourself using them or forced to yield because you don't know how to counter them?

Forced to yield because I don't know how to counter them. Maybe it's just that I tend to like to debate. I think I want to resolve issues they don't realize that I have once and for all with people like my parents, but I'm afraid to try to. Ah yes, appeal to fear, there's one I suffer from myself...

Well, my advice would be to put aside what you really believe for now and then decide later (when you're on your own and making your own way) whether or not this is really important enough to you to make an issue of.

The problem with me is, I can't stop thinking. No matter what I'm doign, my mind always tends to drift into thinking about these kinds of things. Now, being out of school and having the summer days to myself, i have more time than ever for my 'overactive' mind to think about these things. I can't stop thinking about them, so i want to address them. But If I address them, i'll be forced to face a whole bunch of problems I'd rather avoid in the long-term...

Maybe I'll start a thread on logical fallacies, perhaps tommorow. It's getting late here.

Edit: Also, it turns out that I have somewhat been using the socratic method unknowingly already... Whether or not it's working, only time will tell.

Totenkopf
05-23-2008, 01:36 AM
Totenkopf: I don't really agree with how he criticiszed democrats and liberalists so much, and that fact that I already noticed soem contradictiosn he's made between shows.

What contradictions do your refer to specifically? As to your problems with your dad, in general, don't get too worked up b/c you're still pretty young and most of us had/have/will have problems with them. It's human. Just remember to pick your battles wisely and the "Do unto others" rule.

Arcesious
05-23-2008, 11:01 AM
Pretty much ones you've already mentioned... Mostly his double standards on Republicans vs Democrats, and Christians vs Islam, and things like that... That and his viwes on gay marriage are biased... As we've concluded in that short debate, it was a decision from constitutional law, not the people's decision. In cases like that, the Appeal to popularity fallacy should not be allowed...

So, if i start a thread about logical fallacies today, what exactly about fallacies would you all want to talk about? I can't really think of a good core basis for debate or discussion over it...

Sorry for all the asking of advice, maybe you people aren't 'the best' people to come to, but I've known you all for a good amount of time, seen the good points you make in debates and such, and consider you good people to ask for minor advice. Eh, I overdramatize things a bit sometimes... It would probably be smart if I'd just do what my signature says right now. :xp:

Totenkopf
05-23-2008, 12:20 PM
In cases like that, the Appeal to popularity fallacy should not be allowed...

The irony is that a lot of "democratic" lawmaking ends up being based on that fallacy in the first place (including how elections are often held). And popularity doesn't merely rest in overall numbers (ie general population), but sometimes within an institution itself. Such is life.

SilentScope001
05-24-2008, 02:32 AM
Yes, I heard of Micheal Savage. The following will be a long rant about his show when I listened back, in, say, 2004?

I boycotted his entire television station, because I hated everything he said. To be honest, however, I'm more shocked of what I heard...afterwards.

Micheal Savage is a right-winger, that's true. He claimed to be a former biologist and a former left-winger, true. But a right-winger who talks about the best ways to, ahem, reproduce? A right-winger who takes a cynical view of the family structure?

And then that wikipedia article, bah. Not about his speech about putting Muslims in conceration camps, that's expected of Micheal Savage, he'd say that sort of thing.

But stating that Muslims are going to Heaven? Along with the Christans? Along with the Jews? Along with the Hindus? Along with the Buddhists? Is that man out of his mind (to claim that Muslims will be going to Heaven, but that they should be sent to conceration camps anyway)? Bah.

I'm so glad I only read rants from Kavar's Corner and RealClearPolitics.