For the unholy love of gibbering fuck, answer the gorram question!

Alright, there’s a style of ‘debate’ that’s been making the rounds in a few places, and it’s really pissing me off. This style of debate holds that as long as you don’t actually admit to error, you’re still right, and still in the running. I am pitting the really annoying people who, when how the can reconcile position X with position Y and the like, ignore the question, or drop a pithy one-liner, or state that they don’t have to answer the question.

Yes, you motherfuckers, you do. If we’re clever enough to read the words on the page and stop our drool from shorting out our keyboards, we’re just bright enough to notice that if you’ve been asked the exact same question four or five times and you’ve never actually answered it, something’s up with your position. Moreover, we’ve also noticed that you lack the intellectual fortitude to say, “You know, I don’t really know how that would work. Let me think about that and get back to you.” or “Yes, I realize that conceding this weakens my overall point, but I believe that this and that and the other make sufficent counter-examples.” You’re not scoring points with anyone, and you’re being about as annoying as physically possible over the Internet.

So, if you’re debating someone, and you’re asked a direct question, don’t try to be cute or funny or sarcastic. At least for one single, solitary sentence in your reply, just answer the question, with no rhetorical tricks or smilies or crap. Please. The hampsters will love you for it.

Also, people who answer a question with a question without including an answer suck, as well.

I’m sorry, what was the question again?

And why is that, exactly?

You don’t know? Therefore, I win this debate.

Apologies. Minor correction: "People who answer a question with another question and not an actual answer (excepting scenarios in which the initial question asked for another question as an answer) suck. A reply question to show that one’s reply is both accurate and not relavent to the debate is fine.


“How can you reconcile a loving god with suffering in the universe?”
“How can you reconcile quantum theory with what you can observe on a macro level?”
“You suck! Answer the question!”
“You suck harder! Answer mine first!”


“How can you reconcile a loving god with suffering in the universe?”
“Ultimately, I can’t. Part of accepting the existence of God is accepting that we (or at least I) can’t understand or explain everything that goes on in the universe, simply because I lack all the relavent knowledge. Moreover, you strict rationalists can’t do so, either. Or perhaps you’d like to resolve the wave/particle dilemma, without resorting to wavicles or such things?”
“Never claimed we could.”
“So, it’s not a dashing rhetorical blow that I can’t answer the Problem of Evil.”
“I guess not. However…”

Old, old joke:

“Why do Jews always answer a question with a question?”

“So, why shouldn’t a Jew answer a question with a question?”

And, inevitably, ;j

I understand where the OP is coming from, but the lack of cites or specific examples of this happening simmer this pitting down to the level a weak complaint.


Ah, but did you also make a vegan-acceptable meat dish from your placenta?

Yawn. I knew that’s what you brainwashed idiots would say. I’m not even going to dignify that with a response.

What the hell is a gorram question?

Have you stopped beating your wife yet?


I, personally, happen to love wavicles. It’s what my testicles do in a strong breeze.

“Gorram” is Firefly for “goddamn”.

I actually thought this thread was going to be about Firefly in some way. Soon we’ll describing things as shiny and swearing in Chinese.

Ah, thanks - I had a notion that it was probably a refrence I should have known.

At the risk of being pitted, or of being told I am one of the guilty parties*, I need to say something.

Sometimes, you might see reductio ad absurdum.

However, assuming this is not the case, then only by pointing out the behavior to the poster, can you keep them from doing the same in the future.

*Which I may be.

Which I assume* you mean that you are.

assume=Scott Plaid saying he “won” a debate by not answering questions etc…

Aah, good ol’ Brutus. How I miss his evasive neo-coning. :smiley:

No shit! Now there’s a surprise.

Worked real fucking well with you, didn’t it?