Sorry, Tom, but the Nazis were such outliers that using them as a parallel to almost anything is simply hysteria. It short-circuits any rational argument. That's the point Godwin was making. Let's see, AikiWeb is like Nazi Germany how?
The problem I have with all these arguments is that they confuse what people may do with what it is wise to do. Yes, you have every right, using the term colloquially, to show up here and spout off on subjects you know nothing about. People have been known to do that. And everyone else has the right to tell you what a fool you're making of yourself. If that doesn't make you happy, consider that you're the one who let yourself in for it.
As for the role of expertise... if we were talking mathematics, and kept insisting that the PhD mathematicians repeatedly walk novices through basic algebra, they'd have some right to be annoyed. And that's in a theoretical realm, where such an online review is possible.
Our topic is not entirely amenable to rational analysis, which is, Tom, where your argument breaks down. Most of what we're talking about can only be worked out on the mat. And even where it's not an IHTBF problem, much of it is simply about experience. If I'm told weightlifting is going to make my MA less effective, what rational basis am I going to argue from?
So yeah, argument and debate is fun. But when the chips are down, what really matters is who's got the goods--and who's willing to teach it. There's the folks I respect, and the folks who have the respect of the folks I respect. There are folks who respect the folks I respect, which indicates good taste and possibly that they are trying to achieve something similar in their abilities. And then there are a few who don't fit into that network but sound like rational people, so I'm inclined to consider their opinions seriously until given a reason not to.
All very messy and irrational. But in the end, that's what a community is.
Thank you for coming back to me and the discussion.
I never even intended to go even remotely into the direction of AikiWeb is like ...
As I said, it is the piling up of statements that were way too similar to that period that brought that point up. I wish that I had come up with another example.
Most interactions between human beings are messy, irrational and even downright silly. Only once in a while we meet someone with whom everything seems to be going smooth from day one. And some are more lucky in that then others. Off all the animals humans are the most aggressive. A lot of people even in modern times answer violence with more violence. Some have found ways to cope with it in a different way. The reigi of the samurai are a good example. By practicing politeness set in a particular form the samurai managed to control violence and to communicate with a each other, even with potential adversaries. The reigi was only meant for samurai, not for common people. Very much like the rules of conduct of the European knights.
There are many different ways of dealing with physical or verbal violence. The principles that we use for dialogue are an example of a way of proper conduct in order to communicate with each other. It is no coincidence that the original principles were for a large part formed by warriors.
I am well aware that these principles have their limits. They are based on the idea that dialogue is kept rational and logic. That people try their best to give a good and valid formulation. Previously I already stated that some people by behaving like a filibuster, deliberately try to undermine the dialogue. If we leave the last example aside, then in general it should be possible to have a proper dialogue where we accept valid reasoning and discount invalid arguments on just about every subject.
Up till now I have not found a single subject on AikiWeb where these principles would not apply.
Because of this there is no need to bring in an a priori invalid principle as one person who has more validation then another. Of course there are persons with more skills and knowledge then others. But that makes them only more capable to deal with the arguments of those who have less experience.
And sure, I have seen people come up with ideas that were wrong, misinformed, opinionated, or not wise to make. I myself have had to admit to a few mistakes. But why would that bother you? That is the way a dialogue is supposed to work.
As far as the limits of dialogue or rationality goes; there are things in life that are difficult to express in words, things where an argumentative approach does not work, things that we should not even try to put into words, let alone bring them up in a debate. Things that we should be silent of, to repeat Wittgenstein.
If we want to express these things then we should search for other means; poetry, painting, sculpting, singing, giving an Aikido embu,...
Some of the things that are talked about here on this forum are better to be experienced on the tatami - I completely agree with you!
But then why bring it up on this forum? For then you are subject to reasonable en logic argumentation.