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IELTS Writing Task--Fatherhood ought to be emphasised as much as motherhood


kirin 4 / 7  
Mar 25, 2009   #1
hi, everybody!
i want to improve my islts writing, but i have no idea whether my essay has any grammar errors, inappropriate sayings. can someone help correct my essay? thanks a lot!

Fatherhood ought to be ...

In all ages, it is a common conception has been that women should take on the major responsibilities of children rearing, not only because of the mother's role in child-birth but also because of maternal instinct. Yet, this view seems to be at odds with progressive feminism, and it also undermines the significance of men in parenting. Speaking for myself, I make the assertion that both men and women should be responsible for children rearing, although roles within the partnership differ, fatherhood should not be ignored.

Undeniably, women do dedicate much more in bringing the children up. As mentioned above, the connection between women and children is determined by nature. Meanwhile, women's more tender character, sensitive insight and better communication skills, which, according to some researches, help a great deal in children's building up personality and social skills, make them a better parent. Moreover, this is not the only talent God gives them. Nowadays, a host of successful great women from diverse fields have shown off the truth that there still wait brave new worlds for women to explore, where they can finally get away from the house, take up the financial burden that men excuse from children rearing and achieve life value.

Admittedly, men play an increasingly key role in nowadays upbringing, which has been a general awareness. In the past, it was acknowledged that men went out to fight for their career and helped to cover the basic financial outcome of the whole family, never to think about raising the children up. However, that situation changes, resulting from the gradual cognition of children's future project, curiosity about adventure, braveness and persistence when facing life obstacles. In these aspects, men can do better jobs, as well as in fostering sporting interests, providing full information about the roles of both sexes and so on. So it dose, a father becomes a more important partner in today's children rearing.

As for today's children rearing, it is not a task for women or men unilaterally, but a construction that requires both men and women's devotion. Since women have proven themselves the abilities outside, why not men exhibit the aptitudes in children rearing? Both men and women should take up different but irreplaceable jobs in this construction.

On the basis of the above discussion, I conclude that men and women together provide better love for the children. Only by integrated parenting can physical, mental and emotional development be promoted. Therefore, in light of the fact that fathers make unique contributions of time and energy, fatherhood definitely should be equally emphasized.

EF_Kevin 8 / 13,335 129  
Mar 25, 2009   #2
In all ages, it is a common conception has been that women should take on the major responsibilities of children rearing, not only because of the mother's role in child-birth but also because of maternal instinct. Yet, this view seems to be at odds with progressive feminism, and it also undermines the significance of men in parenting. individual coming to realize. In this essay, I would like to talk about the argument and put forward my own attitude. (Right here, make an assertion instead of just saying that you are going to put forward your attitude. Say your main point here.)

Undeniably, women do dedicate much more in bringing the children up. However, this is not the only talent God gives them. ...

...

On the basis of the above discussion, I would like to conclude that men and women together provide better love for the children. Only by integrated parenting can children be promoted physical, mental and emotional development be promoted . Therefore, in light of the fact that fathers make unique contributions of time and energy, fatherhood definitely should be equally emphasized.
Gautama 6 / 133  
Mar 25, 2009   #3
Admittedly, men play an increasingly key role in the raising of children in the modern day , of which there has been an increase in general awareness.

Compared with women, men are most necessary if children are to appreciate fully the roles of both sexes, seek blindly for the sense of obligation or competition and get ready for adventure ahead of them.

The above sentence sounds really strange to me. You say men are compared with women here and then you say that men are "most necessary". As if women are not necessary? I think the point is that men are necessary in their own right because if you say that men are the most necessary in comparison to women it sounds like you are saying that men are more important than women. Also, how do men help their children "seek blindly for the sense of obligation or competition"? Don't fathers try to help give their children direction and purpose in life? A parentless child would "seek blindly" but a child with parents would recieve guidance from parents seeking to avoid having their children go "blindly" through life.
Mustafa1991 8 / 373 4  
Mar 25, 2009   #4
This is unrelated to your revision of your essay, but I reject your assertion that the relationship between a father and his child ever comes close to that of a mother and her child.

They are mountains apart. A child can survive without his father; without his mother he is forsaken to a large degree. This is reflected universally as a creed, and it's why I find it so disturbing that a terrorist state such as Israel would deliberately target a mother or her children.

Men are bestowed with a great strength, and in that they take upon some courageous distinctions. They expect that if something should happen, they take the blow; it comes with the territory.

But a mother, really?

Anyway, Good luck on your writing.
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Mar 25, 2009   #5
This is unrelated to your revision of your essay

*sigh* I know I shouldn't, but I can't resist . . . "a terrorist state such as Israel" you do know that this is not only wrong but a meaningless construction. States cannot be terrorists, per se, since terrorism is by definition violent activity carried out by non-state actors. They can fund terrorists, of course, as countries such as Iran, do, but even Iran cannot therefore be referred to in any meaningful way as a terrorist state. It is merely a dictatorial, thuggish, tyrannical theocracy that engages in morally bankrupt foreign policies. You can, if you wish, argue that Israel's treatment of Palestinian Arabs living in occupied territories makes it a Western democracy that engages in morally bankrupt foreign policies, which, while still debatable, is at least a defensible point of view that makes sense.

In any event, Kirin, your ideas seem a bit muddled in this essay. Perhaps you should revise it so that it starts out by outlining what mothers contribute as parents and what fathers contribute as parents. You could look at what both parents can provide equally well, and what each brings to parenting that is unique. That would give you a firmer base upon which to build your case that both parents are necessary to provide an ideal environment for a child.
Gautama 6 / 133  
Mar 26, 2009   #6
The problem is that we all have different family situations. For instance I am much closer to my father than I am to my mother. You may have had a personal experience where you had a closer relationship with your mother but that is not the case for everyone.

I really want Kirin to post his revision so we can see what he has done with the paper.
Mustafa1991 8 / 373 4  
Mar 26, 2009   #7
"*sigh* I know I shouldn't, but I can't resist . . . "a terrorist state such as Israel" you do know that this is not only wrong but a meaningless construction."

Sean, why is it that you say that it's "not only wrong", but a meaningless construction?"

Those are two separate concepts. One is that the term terrorist state is meaningless, and the other that it's wrong anyway to apply that term to Israel, even if they could possibly, correctly be labeled as such.

In playing devil's advocate, interpreting what you say there, it is possible that it is "not only wrong" / "but a meaningless construction", in one fell swoop, the former as a result of the latter.

But for a skilled writer like you, there is much room for doubt that you would repeat a concept that is implicit, in a redundant manner more to be expected from someone who is new to learning English, than from someone who helps others with their English. You didn't say "it is wrong on the grounds of it being a meaningless construction", as I'm sure you are capable of doing.

Let's try to untangle the hidden meaning here.

"Prostitution is not only wrong, but it's illegal."

Now we are getting somewhere. We have the same format, except in this case, more people have the capability to understand what is being said.

They would glean from this sentence, much as I gleaned from the sister sentence in your response, that the speaker's agenda is twofold.

One, to make a personal opinion on the matter, and two, to argue from a position of indifference supported by prevailing rule and notion as a means to distance one's self from the issue in question and give the false appearance of disinterest and technical correctness; merely observing and commenting as a logician might on whether or not an argument is in its correct form, as opposed to the judging the actual content.

Essentially, you mix opinion into the equation surreptitiously, not to mention in close proximty, to presumed facts.

Why must you duck behind a pretense of unattachment and correctness in the interest of form, in order to, almost undetectably, interject a strong modicum of your personal opinion?

It's an unscrupulous modus operandi that I have noticed in your writing.

Sean, you do realize what makes computers different from humans, right?

It's really all or none. If you want to project the image of neutrality and impartiality, do it all the way through, for your own sake; for the sake of openness and honesty. You're really tying your hands though, because it's not at all hard for a trained observer to spot when and where you step out of line, from the self imposed confines of your square.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you shouldn't speak your personal opinion; on the contrary, I'm urging you to speak whatever is in your heart, and don't be afraid to consign it to its correct origins [from your heart].

Most people manage to reconcile life inside of the square with life outside of the square, but it seems that the same cannot be asked of you; the reason why for which, I have in mind a few possibilities.

If you choose to portray yourself as unaffected and immutably entrenched in the good soil inside of the square, then by all means, stay in the square.

Do not, when it suits you, venture outside of it to lob a grenade, then scurry back inside.

That is, in a nutshell what you are doing.

I can't speak for whether you do it intentionally, or unwittingly as a sign of deviance from a rigorous coping method that you've decided to carry with you, and has in kind, become a part of you.

Honestly, I hope you do it purposely, because from a mental health vantage point, that is more desirable.

Another thing I've noticed is that, hypothetically, if I went on now and tried to debunk your logic on whether or not Israel is a terrorist state, which I'll leave at an impasse because >>>>, you will disregard everything I've said prior to this sentence, skirt the issue, and pick and choose which aspects you will respond to.

So, for that reason, I'll leave you nothing more to reply to than what I've said heretofore.

Good Luck.
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Mar 27, 2009   #8
"One is that the term terrorist state is meaningless, and the other that it's wrong anyway to apply that term to Israel, even if they could possibly, correctly be labeled as such." Actually, the second isn't implied at all. It is wrong, because the term terrorist cannot be applied to a state. It is also meaningless, because it does not convey any actual information about Israel, or for that matter, your reasons for being critical of it. All it tells us is that you don't like the country, that is, it only conveys information about you, not about the topic you are talking about. I suppose, then, that it is still a meaningful statement, in as much as that much meaning can be gleaned from it, but the meaning is not the meaning you intended. That is, I am assuming you didn't mean to say "I hate Israel" in your original post, or that is what you would have written. I assumed, further, that you believed that in calling Israel a terrorist state, you were saying something meaningful about Israel. However, you weren't. In terms of the discourse you were ostensibly contributing to, your statement was meaningless. It was, in essence, the equivalent of hurling racial epithets at someone, only slightly more subtle, and, in all likelihood, unintentional.

"Essentially, you mix opinion into the equation surreptitiously, not to mention in close proximty, to presumed facts." I'll ignore your use of the word presumed. Apart from that, let me rephrase what you have said in less insulting terms. "Essentially, I present my opinion backed up almost immediately with reference to facts that can be either falsified or verified by anyone reading them." Yes. It is called reasoned discourse.

"It's an unscrupulous modus operandi that I have noticed in your writing. " Reasoned discourse is not unscrupulous. I do like to consider it my modus operandi, though.

I will ignore the rest of your post, because it is essentially an ad hominem attack dressed up as pop psychology, and ad hominem attacks are not a part of reasoned discourse, and do not deserve a response.

By the way, even though you posted the reference to Israel purely in order to pick an argument, and even though I realized this, I chose to call you on the phrasing of "terrorist state" because it is the sort of thoughtless ideological rhetoric that you should really avoid at all costs in your posts, precisely because it is meaningless and needlessly provocative. I deliberately avoided a debate over whether or not Israel's foreign policies are justified, because I had, and still have, no intention of turning a thread on the importance of fatherhood into an argument over Middle East politics, for reasons that should be glaringly obvious.
Mustafa1991 8 / 373 4  
Mar 27, 2009   #9
Bwahahaha, this guy is a riot. Please, get a grip on reality.

"Actually, the second isn't implied at all. It is wrong, because the term terrorist cannot be applied to a state. It is also meaningless, because it does not convey any actual information about Israel, or for that matter, your reasons for being critical of it."

This is exhibit 1 of the prosecutor's case against this guy's bedeviling, contortionist behaviors.

It takes a lot of persistence, and painstaking meticulousness to follow his movements, but if you are genuinely interested in seeing the truth, you'll dedicate some deep, unflinching, intelligent thought to what I'm saying; otherwise I would rather you didn't read it at all.

If you can make the commitment though, please, follow me, and I'll show you the way.

First we must go back to his original post.

"I know I shouldn't, but I can't resist . . . "a terrorist state such as Israel" you do know that this is not only wrong but a meaningless construction."

He cannot resist here because, according to him, I've mislabeled Israel as a terrorist state.
Not only is that wrong, but it's a meaningless construction in his own words.

You have to drill through the semantics of the way this guy speaks in order to gain an appreciation for the misrepresentation and trickery that is his calling card.

He says, I quote, "this is not only wrong." ------------------- Let's stop here.

The fundamental question you must ask yourself here is, why is he calling it wrong?

We must, logically, as intelligent people, identify all the possible reasons before we can draw a conclusion.

There are only 2 possibilities here. 2 options to choose from.

Either it is wrong because he personally believes that it is wrong, or it is wrong because it is not correct. Specifically, there are two definitions to the word wrong here.

Something can be wrong because it is not right; again, because it is not epistemologically true.

Also, something can be wrong as a person's opinion of something.

For example, "it is wrong to steal medicine to treat a gravely sick person whom you love dearly."

One is debatable, one isn't. One is an opinion, one is fact.

"It is wrong, the way she treated him." -- "Your answer to the math question is wrong."

So, now that we are familiar with the possibilities, we have a better chance of understanding which of the two "wrongs", he was referring to.

If we can prove that it wasn't one definition of wrong he was referring to, it must necessarily follow that the other is true.

Instead of trying to make a value judgment on which of the two wrongs he was referring to, we prove that he was referring to one, by disproving the other.

So, that said, the only way it could be epistemologically wrong to call Israel a terrorist state is if it [terrorist state] is a meaningless construction. Let's move on to the second part of his first sentence.

"but a meaningless construction." --------------------------- Let's stop here.

Here he introduces, or he asserts that terrorist state is a meaningless construction.

This is good for his case that the wrong he was referring to was the factual wrong, because as I outlined above, in order for it to be factually wrong, the word itself, terrorist state, must have a meaningless construction.

However, he says "this is not only... but"

In English language, "not only, but" delineates a distinction between two separate concepts.

It is borderline syntactically incorrect to refer again to something already gratuitously implied in one part of a "not only, but" statement.

"Not only is driving without a seatbelt sometimes fatal, but it can also cause serious injury."

We tend to call these kind of statements redundant, informally.

If Sean were helping someone revise their essay, the great writer that he is, he would advise them to change that sentence.

Let's apply our understanding back to his original statement.

"this is not only wrong but a meaningless construction."

Remember, we are evaluating the possibility that the flavor of wrong he used in that statement, was the factual sort, as opposed to the wrong that has to do with opinion.

How much sense does it make as a top notch writer to say "this is not only wrong but a meaningless construction.", holding the definition of wrong here as incorrect?

Of course, if it is indeed a meaningless construction, it is incorrect!

This is as far as we can go. We can simplify the options based on analysis down to the following question.

Did Sean, the moderator, an excellent English (English is redundant here, by the way) writer, make an amateurish mistake of redundancy?

Or, can we make the leap of judgment to conclude that, you know what, I don't think it's very likely that Sean would make such a careless mistake.

If you can accept the premise that Sean wouldn't make that grammatical error, you are in effect left with no choice but to conclude that the "factual wrong", does not apply here.

Once you have disproved that it was the epistemological wrong that Sean was referring to, you can immediately conclude that Sean was making a value judgment (an opinion) that calling Israel a terrorist state is wrong.

*In condensed form, if you don't believe that Sean is capable of making such a careless grammatical error, you must necessarily believe that he is interjecting with full license of his opinion.

Now then, to clarify my gripe, it's not that Sean is making his opinion known, it's that he chooses either intentionally or unintentionally to immerse that strong opinion, in a bunch of factual sounding stuff.

You won't here Sean say, "Calling Israel a terrorist state is wrong because, say, Israel must defend itself against people who 'seek to wipe it out"

You won't hear Sean say, "Calling Israel a terrorist state is wrong because, say , Israel 'does not deliberately target civilians"

You won't hear Sean say, "Calling Israel a terrorist state is wrong because, say, 'palestinians are inferior and subhuman"

Instead you will hear this guy assert something very strongly, then watch as he ducks behind a bunch of factual sounding stuff that is demonstrably unrelated, as we have shown in one example, in one sentence here.

It's kind of sad really, that he doesn't have the guts or the fortitude to be a man about his convictions.

Instead he likens himself to "taking the high road."

What a load of rubbish.

He did the same thing in the Religion is insane argument, and thanks to this thread, I've managed to look deep within myself to find what exactly it was that irked me about his response there.

In retrospect, I didn't do the best job of explaining there, but I worked with what I could understand of my thoughts.

Now, with the benefit of hindisight, I know what really upset me about that thread. It's not that he's a moderator saying religion is insane.

"Moderator" was symbolic; my mind's way of grabbing a hold of a vase with some writing on it.

But until I could decipher the code on the vase, all I could say was this is a vase.

And being a prolific arguer that I would like to think of myself as, and some of you have probably noted, I was still able to make an effective argument with the vase alone, without even knowing its true base meaning.

Now, I'm very deeply satisfied to say that I know the real reason that that thread ticked me off; why it irked me.

This guy will "lob the grenade", as I referred to one post earlier in this same thread, and then he will duck and hide behind things like "Karl popper said such and such..."

or "...meaningless construction"

(The "Moderator" in my initial explanation, was a subconscious reference to his use of supposed facts, fake facts, to make his opinion beyond reproach. The moderator stature was akin to the stature of alleged facts by their strength of the irreproachability that they communicated)

Stuff that, if you take the proper time to analyze, is all part of an elaborate ruse to make a potent assertation, then cover it up 6 ways to Sunday with smoke and fog, which accomplishes two aims.

1) It makes the opinion hard to attack, since there is no way to argue against this opinion, because he won't even acknowledge the fact that it is an opinion.

2) The opinion is presented as a factual interpretation/conclusion.

In short, he presents an opinion as the logical conclusion (2)) to some facts.

Then, he makes it so that it is impossible to evaluate the veracity of that opinion (1)).

I hope that, in writing a whole essay about one sentence, written by a Chameleon who has mastered the art of circumlocution, I have helped you to gain some insight "not only" into the inner workings of his mind, "but" also how to analyze and execute the English language, which is what this forum is all about.

Of course, I can dedicate a treatise breaking apart his mindset and trickery, one painstaking piece at a time, but I don't think it is worth the effort, especially when this guy will give you the roundabout, and choose to ignore most of what you say, and I'm sure nobody is interested in overkill. If you are though, let me know. It would be productive as an exercise in mental acuity, analyzing one line at a time, and also I might prove that some of the things he is saying, which I have strong objections to, are untrue.

For example:

- the original purpose of his response that Israel is not a terrorist state as a matter of opinion.
- the other original "purpose" that Israel is not a terrorist state by measure of analyzing the word terrorist state
- his incorrect assertion that I intentionally called Israel a terrorist state to precipitate an argument. On that note, if I could prove that Israel is a terrorist state by fact (which I'm not inclined to do at this point), and that I do not even think of it as the least bit inflammatory to call them as such, this argument would fall. It's a verdict on the ignorance of some Americans that the statement Israel is a terrorist state is even a controversial statement. Certainly, I don't think it to be controversial. It's just true.

- his assertion that I'm needlessly provocative. There is a difference between being "needlessly provocative" and being pedantic and thorough. If I wasn't pedantic, I could not write about the fine tuned intricacies and inner workings of a complex language manipulator.

- that calling Israel a terrorist state is like hurling racial epithets. Again, this is based on the assumption that calling Israel a terrorist state is incorrect, much less the semantics of his twisted words. I had half the mind to start along the track of explaining precisely why Israel is a terrorist state, when I realized that perhaps it would be a difficult task with this guy, for obvious reasons, and also that perhaps first I shoud explain some other things first.

- that I made a pre-fabricated remark about Israel in a thread that had nothing to do with it. The reason this thread even stuck out to me was because of its immense relevance with regard to IDF's intentional, and barbaric killings of women and children; their dehumanization of Palestinians. Surprisingly, this stuff is common knowledge published routinely by the news agency Haaertz, available online to read. In the last few weeks or so, even the American mainstream outlets covered the news of Israeli soldiers breaking with the ranks and confessing how they targeted civilian mothers and their children on purpose. Yet, guess what, few people in America give a lick. I suppose if it was pictures of 4 year old Ashley buried beneath mountains of rubble, instead of a 4 year old palestinian girl, it would prompt some outrage. Part of it is the propaganda machine that is deeply a fixture of those whose interests are tied to Israeli interests.

The rest is his acknowledgment of his habit that he ignores most of what I say that is unpleasant, but true. There are many, many examples of this in his writing. He is discriminatingly selective.

I guess, at last I have this guy nailed down, like a screw into what was once the interior of a helium balloon, and now all the air is rushing out.

It's simple. This guy says he doesn't like to opinionate. It's true; you'll never see him articulate an honest opinion on anything that matters. He is too clever; too shrewd.

He won't lower himself to my standard; my harsh, bitter, scathing, and not that it should matter any, truthful standard.

It is beneath him to state his opinions and give his reasons. Instead he will work his web as I described, and somewhere in there if you look closely enough, will be his opinion as a mash-up of fake-factual rhetoric.

I feel I owe an apology to the creator of this thread for it getting so far sidetracked. It was not my intention to leave that comment for any other reason than the sake of it.

Only in the "creative people argument topics" thread, did I hope in any way for an argument, because that is what the purpose of that was about.

Sean is of course partly responsible for starting an argument that I can honestly say I didn't want, at that time, in this thread.

That being said, I'm glad for the result of this thread nevertheless, because I got an answer and a lot of insight.
OP kirin 4 / 7  
Mar 27, 2009   #10
Greetings All.
First of all, take my thanks for a quick response. It will definitely help me a lot for preparing.

i have revised my essay according to Kevien's and Sean's suggestions. i am desperately waiting for your valuable feedback.

------------------------------------------------------------ --------------------------------------------------

unrelated to my essay, i hope it is not my essay that caused Mustafa1991 the thinking of "terrorist state"...
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,335 129  
Mar 27, 2009   #11
In all ages, it is a common conception has been that women should take ...

The thesis statement is excellent now!!

Meanwhile, women's more tender character, sensitive insight and - according to some research studies -- better communication skills (see Roberts, 1994), which, according to some researches help a great deal in children's building up personality and social skills, make them a better parent.

Yes, excellent, you made me have a new insight into the changing times. The fact that women are being empowered in modern society goes with the fact that men now can balance it out by taking on more nurturing, parental roles. Maybe you should mention that balance -- of gender equality and equalizing parenting roles, occurring together -- in the conclusion paragraph.

Great job!
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Mar 27, 2009   #12
Kirin, your essay is looking much better. My main criticism now would be that it isn't clear if you think that having both parents involved in childrearing is objectively good, or if it is only good given trends in contemporary culture. I get the idea you want to argue the former, but at the moment, you are mostly arguing the latter. If this is the case, you should go through, and elaborate in much more detail on the points you list in your second and third paragraphs. You might even want to compare mothers and fathers point for point, rather than dealing with each in its own paragraph.

The rest of this post is going to be a lengthy response to Mustafa -- feel free to skip it if you'd like.

Mustafa, I must confess to being truly impressed, not to mention complimented. I have never before had anyone put that much time and effort into trying to insult me. Your post is a brilliant piece of rhetoric. You might want to consider writing up some of your opinions up for publication. There are plenty of newspapers that could benefit from the sort of detailed analysis that you can carry out.

That said, virtually your entire post is an ad hominem attack. It is an ad hominem attack elevated to the status of an art-form, admittedly, and as such has its own beauty, but it is an ad hominem attack nonetheless. You spend all your time parsing out a single sentence of one of my posts, which you admit you don't have to interpret negatively, but are choosing to do so because you're, well, you. You then, on the basis of that one construction, attempt to profile me as a writer variously cunning, tricky, or cowardly, depending upon your mood. In so doing, you completely ignore my own arguments that your original phrasing was both wrong and meaningless (and this, after calling me selective!) and in fact cavalierly refuse to engage with them "I could prove that Israel is a terrorist state by fact (which I'm not inclined to do at this point)"

In any event, you are quite right when you say

"You won't here Sean say, "Calling Israel a terrorist state is wrong because, say, Israel must defend itself against people who 'seek to wipe it out"

You won't hear Sean say, "Calling Israel a terrorist state is wrong because, say , Israel 'does not deliberately target civilians"

You won't hear Sean say, "Calling Israel a terrorist state is wrong because, say, 'palestinians are inferior and subhuman"

You will not hear me say any of these things in a thread on the importance of fatherhood. Ever. This is not because I wish to hide my opinions on the issue, but because this is not the appropriate place for that sort of discussion. If this were a thread on an essay discussing the nature of Israeli policies, I might say any or all of those things, especially if someone with your views were posting in the thread, in order to maintain balance. If on the other hand, the main arguments being posted were all pro-Israeli, I would argue from a strongly pro-Palestinian position. This is something I suspect you can't do at the moment, namely argue whichever side of the issue you disagree with with the same fervor and intensity as the one you agree with. You should learn how to do so, because you are certainly intelligent enough to do so, and it is the last vital component of critical thinking, the power that saves one from being no more than a particularly articulate ideologue.

I took issue with one particular phrase that you used because it was, in your own words, the lobbing of a grenade, an attempt to provoke a strong response on an issue that, by your own admission, had nothing to do with the thread topic. Even that, I could have ignored, if it weren't for the fact that it was, for reasons I have previous outlined, a meaningless piece of ideological rhetoric. If you are going to go around picking fights (and in how many threads now have people commented on your rudeness, anger, and closed-mindedness, traits I have never ascribed to you in any of my own posts. btw), then you should at least say something meaningful that is worth fighting about.
Mustafa1991 8 / 373 4  
Mar 28, 2009   #13
Sean, take a moment and listen to what you are saying.

You keep saying that I'm making ad hominem attacks.

What is an ad hominem attack?

It's a personal attack; it doesn't examine the merits of the issue in question.

Yes, in a sense, it is true that I have made an ad hominem attack against you.

Unfortunately, you fail to realize that the ad hominem attack I make against you, is relevant and pertinent to the issue in question.

You cannot obscure facts. You cannot play stupid any longer. You cannot avoid the question. I've exposed you enough already in my ad hominem attacks against you.

I don't know, but for some reason, as direct and in your face as I may seem to some people, I feel that I can be even more direct and cut off every possible escape route. I stop short of that because once I've exposed you, intelligent people should be able to use the tools I have given them to do the rest by themselves. If you force me to, I can go the whole length. I excercise self-restraint because I don't want to make you feel more uncomfortable than you have to. Once you've learned algebra, what is the purpose in solving individual equations?

Let's go back to your latest post. There is no better way to form a rebuttal. This time I will back you into a corner. This time there will be only question.

"That said, virtually your entire post is an ad hominem attack. It is an ad hominem attack elevated to the status of an art-form, admittedly, and as such has its own beauty, but it is an ad hominem attack nonetheless. You spend all your time parsing out a single sentence of one of my posts, which you admit you don't have to interpret negatively, but are choosing to do so because you're, well, you. You then, on the basis of that one construction, attempt to profile me as a writer variously cunning, tricky, or cowardly, depending upon your mood. In so doing, you completely ignore my own arguments that your original phrasing was both wrong and meaningless (and this, after calling me selective!) and in fact cavalierly refuse to engage with them "I could prove that Israel is a terrorist state by fact (which I'm not inclined to do at this point)'"

This is the crux of your response, in that it tries in some degree, a tepid degree, to actually frame some of the problems I have presented. It actually tries to respond to some of the issues I have raised.

"'That said, virtually your entire post is an ad hominem attack.'"

I admit, it is in large part an ad hominem attack.

"It is an ad hominem attack elevated to the status of an art-form, admittedly, and as such has its own beauty, but it is an ad hominem attack nonetheless."

See, I'd have to disagree here. I've heard that art is vain because it only focuses on aesthetics, which really has no purpose but to be pretty. I don't make these attacks against you for the sole purpose of trying to sound condescending or demonstrate that I know how to construct an effective attack. The attack in itself has a grand purpose which you're overlooking. It facillitates; it redirects the ball into your court :

"You spend all your time parsing out a single sentence of one of my posts, which you admit you don't have to interpret negatively, but are choosing to do so because you're, well, you."

You're right here again, so now that's 2 out of 3. I don't have to interpret it negatively, but I feel compelled to do so, because it is what I believe to be true. I took that leap of judgment which I referred to in my earlier post. I choose to interpret what you say negatively, though I don't have to, because I feel I have satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt, by my own account, that, what I've tried to illustrate and prove against you.

"You then, on the basis of that one construction, attempt to profile me as a writer variously cunning, tricky, or cowardly, depending upon your mood."

Yes, I think it takes a variety of adjectives to describe you. One word cannot adequately describe your complex manner of working; it takes a combination of words that work together in cohesion.

"In so doing, you completely ignore my own arguments that your original phrasing was both wrong and meaningless (and this, after calling me selective!) and in fact cavalierly refuse to engage with them "'I could prove that Israel is a terrorist state by fact (which I'm not inclined to do at this point)'"

Hmmm, how can I say this?

I didn't completely ignore your arguments. That's wrong to say. I wrote up a lengthy ad hominem attack to explain why I am incapable of addressing those arguments. In case you didn't get the gist, or you don't remember, or you are omitting the short and sweet purpose of that diatribe purposely, I can quickly summarize and repeat it again for you, in child-like terms.

Here's the rub.

This is what it all comes down to.

This is the skinny.

According to you, it is wrong and meaningless to call Israel a terrorist state.

Let's suppose I'm adressing those arguments.

I can only argue that it is possible to call a nation a terrorist state.

I can defend against the allegation that calling Israel a terrorist state is meaningless, by perhaps, hypothetically proving that it is permissible to call a nation a terrorist state.

I cannot however, argue that it is not morally "wrong" to call Israel a terrorist state, insofar as you refuse in the face of overwhelming evidence, to admit that that is your opinion.

Mustafa: Sean, do you admit that you think calling Israel a terrorist state is wrong as a matter of your personal opinion, and are you willing to give your reasons why you feel that way?

Sean: No, I think that calling Israel a terrorist state is wrong, because terrorist state is a meaningless construction.

Mustafa: Sean, do you admit that you won't admit that you think calling Israel a terrorist state is wrong as a matter of personal opinion.

Sean: What opinion? I repeat, these are the facts...

How can I possibly argue against him saying that it's "wrong", when he adamantly refuses to admit that that is even the position he takes.

He has one foot in the box, and one foot outside the box.

On the one hand, he wants, in some degree, to say that it is wrong to call Israel a terrorist state because [Insert your reasons here], and on the other hand, for some reason he feels that he can't take the honest track, so he argues that it's wrong as a matter of some fact.

But as I so clearly demonstrated in my post above, is is very likely that when he referred to it being wrong, he was stating his personal opinion.

Essentially, Sean feels conflicting signals within himself. He tries very hard to stick to the detached, technically correct approach. However, he cannot resist but to state his personal opinion on the matter. When I spot his personal opinion, I might try to take him up on it. He senses that somebody might do as such, so for some reason he feels that he has to back out at the last second by reverting it back to the factual approach.

I love analogies. Comparisons are the preeminent foundation of thought.

Imagine the following. Two people sit across from a table. They are having a verbal debate about some topic. The verbal debate is the technical approach. Suddenly, one person punches the other in the jaw.

The other person who likes to debate verbally and to fight (inside the square -- outisde the square analogy in my earlier post in this same thread) says ok, great.

You want to fight, we can fist-fight.

Now all of a sudden, the person that initiated the fight by punching the other guy, says "No No, I don't want to fight. What are you talking about, we are merely debating"

Person 2: but you just punched me

Person 1: no, that punch was part of our debate

Person 2: how does a physical exchange fit into a verbal debate?

First let me say that it's not my place to tell someone if they should "verbally debate" or "fist-fight"

Ideally, it would be a combination of both, but like I said, if somebody chooses to do all one, or all the other, it's not my place to tell them not to.

However, when Person 1 suddenly strikes out at person 2, then refuses to engage Person 2 in a physical manner, much less admit that he even did as such, there is a problem.

It's called a sucker punch.

Can you guess who Person 1 one is?

I guess you could think of a varying number of ways, and words, to describe person 1, couldn't you?

For example: If you punch someone and then don't admit to it, what are you?

If not only do you not admit to it, but you manage to make a halfway convincing argument that it was a verbal dialogue which they have mistaken to be a punch, what are you?

If you feel the urge personally to fist fight, and then punch someone, but for some reason you can't bring yourself to let them get their chance, and you back out, what are you?

The ad hominem attack is purely an ad hominem attack when it serves absolutely no other purpose but to wage a personal attack on someone. However, I think I have done a good enough job of showing how my attacks on Sean tie in to the topic in a big way, namely that in Sean's mind there is nothing to discuss about the topic, at least in the sense that it is wrong.

So here's what I suggest. Either retract your statement that it is wrong entirely, or redefine what you mean when you say it is wrong.

Either way, you go back into your comfortable square, and everyone is content.

Then and only then will I explain why it is not a meaningless statement to call Israel a terrorist state.

I will not go half-way and let it loom that somehow I've failed to prove what I aimed.

Withdraw your half-hearted claim so that all that is left is square speak.

So that I can show that you are 100% wrong.
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Mar 28, 2009   #14
I am incapable of addressing those arguments

Yes, exactly. That is all an ad hominem attack ever proves about the person making it, that he cannot address the arguments being made. That is why ad hominem attacks deserve no response, and why, as your last post is both an admission that you are engaging in ad hominem attacks and an extension of such an attack, I will say no more.
Mustafa1991 8 / 373 4  
Mar 28, 2009   #15
Great. We can add a few more words to the ad hominem list.

Sean is a man who likes to take words out of context. What does that make him?

Sean is a man who, after being throughly unraveled, has nothing more to say. What does that make him?

Let's add to this list.

Deceptive.
Defeated.
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Mar 28, 2009   #16
Read your last post carefully, and you will see the very crux of your problem, Mustafa. You view argumentation as a battle. You therefore want to defeat your opponent, rather than to explore ideas for enjoyment, or out of a desire to discover the truth. You are tilting at windmills, though, fighting only shadows of your own mind. I have never viewed you, and do not now view you, as an opponent. I have been trying to help you, by pointing out mistakes in your reasoning, and in your general approach to interacting with others. The only victory you can win, with your current attitude, is to successfully avoid seeing my point, and so to learn nothing new. That, I would say, is defeating yourself, rather than me.
Mustafa1991 8 / 373 4  
Mar 28, 2009   #17
Ba Ba black sheep. More of the same.

What do you say of a person who says they will respond no more, but yet, does anyway when it suits them?

_____________

You are defeated not as an opponent, but as someone who cannot respond to the issue in any meaningful way but to further entrap himself.
Mustafa1991 8 / 373 4  
Mar 29, 2009   #18
It's a classic breakdown in an argument, out of viciousness and disrepute -- failing to stay on point as honest people and reply to the others claims; the ones that comprise the argument, not the bickering.


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