Motte and Bailey Doctrine

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Re: Motte and Bailey Doctrine

#21  Postby Spearthrower » May 15, 2019 2:00 pm

At least in the topics of which I gave examples, this is not going to net any desired result. All you'll be doing is helping them lend legitimacy to their bailey argument.
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Re: Motte and Bailey Doctrine

#22  Postby proudfootz » May 16, 2019 9:51 pm

Spearthrower wrote:To exemplify that... go back to an earlier cited example:

bailey: white nations are being subjected to genocide by immigration
challenge delusional racism
motte: why is it racist to want to preserve our history and culture?

It's easy to get stuck responding to the motte argument. You might start trying to define culture or talk about historical events which are racist... and thereby basically let them defend their motte.

You don't want to attack that motte, so stay in the bailey rampaging...

bailey: white nations are being subjected to genocide by immigration
challenge delusional racism
motte: why is it racist to want to preserve our history and culture?
response: it's not... but claiming that white nations are being subjected to genocide by immigration is racist because <restate challenge>

Keep doing it never letting the motte argument get any purchase. People who are using this device intentionally are going to get frustrated far more quickly than you because they're stuck waiting in a cramped space they never wanted to be in while you're going to be running around liberally plundering their bailey uncontested.


If this was completely map-able to Medieval warfare, it would be very effective to occupy the bailey and deprive the motte of its sustenance.
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Re: Motte and Bailey Doctrine

#23  Postby Spearthrower » May 17, 2019 1:30 am

proudfootz wrote:
If this was completely map-able to Medieval warfare, it would be very effective to occupy the bailey and deprive the motte of its sustenance.


It is, analogously, but I suspect most people would get bored in a metaphorical siege, eventually leaving to let the proponent come out and reclaim their bailey once you've gone.
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Re: Motte and Bailey Doctrine

#24  Postby Hermit » May 17, 2019 7:00 am

Spearthrower wrote:
proudfootz wrote:
If this was completely map-able to Medieval warfare, it would be very effective to occupy the bailey and deprive the motte of its sustenance.

It is, analogously, but I suspect most people would get bored in a metaphorical siege, eventually leaving to let the proponent come out and reclaim their bailey once you've gone.

If all goes well, the proponent might find slightly fewer loyal and real inhabitants in his metaphorical bailiwick once you've gone.
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Re: Motte and Bailey Doctrine

#25  Postby Calilasseia » Jan 21, 2022 12:04 pm

Spearthrower wrote:To exemplify that... go back to an earlier cited example:

bailey: white nations are being subjected to genocide by immigration
challenge delusional racism
motte: why is it racist to want to preserve our history and culture?


My response would be that the motte in this case is both a strawman caricature of properly understood anti-racism and a false equivalence. Because it is both perfectly possible, and perfectly proper, to preseve one's history and culture without being racist. It's possible, for example, for a UK citizen such as myself, to appreciate the musical output of Elgar, without simultaneously entertaining the "get rid of the bleeding darkies™ " mindset that is sadly still too prevalent here. Indeed, I'm minded to note at this juncture, that some of Elgar's lesser known works are actually far more compelling to listen to, than the far more popular works that have, over time, acquired nationalistic baggage that is overdue to be jettisoned. But I digress.

Of course, the fun part about this particular motte, is that the pedlars thereof are either unaware, or choose duplicitously to forget for their apologetic convenience, that UK history is liberally leavened with well-documented instances where we changed our culture in order to address and eradicate various iniquities. No serious student of history would pretend otherwise. Unfortunately, history has a habit of being abused by the usual suspects, to try and deflect from this documented historical reality.

Indeed, one of the other documented historical realities, is that culture is not a static entity. Culture changes in response both to external influences (advent of new technologies, the output of philosophers, etc) and internal influences (such as whether or not the populace considers a tradition worth maintaining). The irony applicable to the motte in this question, is that cultures that do become static and fossilised quickly become dead cultures. Cultures exhibit at least some of the features of populations of living organisms, and while that analogy can of course only be taken to a certain extent, it's still a useful analogy provided the bounds of applicability are respected.

Indeed, I'm minded to note at this juncture, that the white supremacist/racial purity brigade are not only wrong from an ethical standpoint, but also from a biological standpoint, and that any serious student of evolutionary biology quickly learns that genetic diversity is a virtue within a population, for several very important reasons. I have, of course, not only written in scathing tones in the past here about the fatuous "monoculture" view of the typical racist, but about the lies being peddled on this matter by the usual suspects from the creationist camp, but again, I digress (and widely here in this instance).

In short, if the motte consists of a prescriptive suggestion, one elegant means of destroying it, consists of demonstrating that it's perfectly possible to implement that suggestion, whist at the same time rejecting the farce in the bailey.
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Re: Motte and Bailey Doctrine

#26  Postby Spearthrower » Feb 01, 2022 8:39 pm

Calilasseia wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:To exemplify that... go back to an earlier cited example:

bailey: white nations are being subjected to genocide by immigration
challenge delusional racism
motte: why is it racist to want to preserve our history and culture?


My response would be that the motte in this case is both a strawman caricature of properly understood anti-racism and a false equivalence. Because it is both perfectly possible, and perfectly proper, to preseve one's history and culture without being racist.


That's exactly why it's the retreat position - the actually defensible position, not the ground they want to take.

What then happens is people get tied up responding to this, so it acts as a distraction.

Of course, preserving history and culture doesn't amount to anyone being subjected to genocide by immigration - the two positions are not remotely relevant, and the former isn't a consequence of the latter.

This isn't to suggest that everyone who engages in this motte and bailey rhetoric does so with cunning intent - it's a learned response as much as anything, but some people thrive in this kind of diversionary 'reasoning' and it can be hard for people unversed in this technique to effectively counter.
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