How To Spot Bullsh!t: Question-Sayers

Edward Current on how to spot bullshit:

“People who believe in bullshit aren’t looking to learn anything. They just want to dazzle you with the same tired old questions that have been answered more times than Alex Trebek.”

  • Michael

    This is a great video. I had never heard of this series; I’ll have to check more out.

    Talking to question-sayers is truly one of the most aggravating experiences possible. It can help a little if the discussion is on an online forum where you can keep track of the discussion and point out their constantly ignoring the questions. Generally this doesn’t dissuade them at all, but it at least shows onlookers what an idiot they are.

    One of the reasons I like policy debate (as a competitive scholastic event I mean) is that people can pretty much never get away with that kind of crap. Dropping an argument or trying to hand-wave it away pretty much guarantees a loss on that flow (hence the common adage, “silence is consent”).

  • Noelle

    I tend to give question sayers way more info than they were looking for. Act like it’s a serious question. Show no emotion.

  • David

    Harry Frankfurt has a book out named “On Bullshit,” and this video reminded me of it. Frankfurt’s argument is that bullshit is different from lying in that with bullshit, the truth is irrelevant — rather, the bullshitter is attempting to convince you of something about her/himself and not a matter of fact.

    So I’m wondering if the question-sayers really care about creationism (or whatever), or if they’re just trying to convince others of the strength or whatever.

    @Michael: it’s cool to see another debater around. Where did you debate?

    • Michael

      I debated at Hawken HS in the Cleveland district, which had appallingly low standards overall except for two and later three schools (including Hawken). We mostly went to state-level tournaments, but we went to a few on the national circuit (and didn’t do well).

      Our PFers were much more successful on the national circuit, but I don’t consider PF a real debate format. ;)

      Oh and I don’t debate in college.


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