Examples of Meta

Good example of why meta discussion is bad for discussion:

Lots of…

  • Asking “What is the evidence?”
  • Saying “There is lots of evidence.”
  • Ad hominem.
  • Arguing about whether it’s ad hominem.
  • Argument from authority.
  • Talking about the close-mindedness of each other.
  • Asking to accept the “scientific facts”.
  • Talking about how one side or other doesn’t have fair coverage, or is censored (which is a fair topic in itself, but I was hoping to hear arguments about the topic).
  • Disagreeing about whether something is ‘controversial’ or not. That’s so dumb — if your interlocutor disagrees, it’s controversial!
  • Talking about definitions (e.g. of ‘evidence’) — actually, it was just suggesting that the definition might be different (for no reason, and then not explaining why or what the difference is).
  • Accusing the interlocutor of argument from emotion.
  • Suggesting the interlocutor read a book to learn about the evidence, instead of just explaining what the evidence is.
  • Accusing interlocutor of living in an echo chamber and not knowing the other side’s arguments (after the interlocutor specifically asked for evidence/arguments. So instead of giving them, he said some ad hominem meta).

… Instead of arguing how DNA is evidence for evolution, or other content-related stuff.

Despite having the right conclusions, Richard Dawkins engages in far more meta than Wendy Wright. Most of the things listed in the bullet-points above were Dawkins. She mostly only did meta when he started it.