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Qualifiers.

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by Justanatheist, Jul 29, 2021.

  1. Justanatheist

    Justanatheist Well-Known Member

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    Across the many debates I have had on this forum it appears to me that a lot of people do not understand what a qualifier is in a sentence.

    Qualifiers and intensifiers are words or phrases that are added to another word to modify its meaning, either by limiting it (He was somewhat busy) or by enhancing it (The dog was very cute). Qualifiers can play an important role in your writing, giving your reader clues about how confident you feel about the information you’re presenting. In fact, “hedging” (as it is sometimes called) is an important feature of academic writing, because academic writers need to clearly indicate whether they think claims are certain, likely, unlikely, or just false.

    It’s also very important to distinguish between absolute or universal claims (in which you are asserting that something is true always and everywhere) and more particular claims (in which you are asserting something but recognizing that your claim has limits).
    Qualifiers – The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    So if I write, Danish people can be blond I am not saying all Danish people are blond.. Simples.
    Maybe if people understood the use of a qualifier in a sentence we might have even more reasonable debate around here.
    Or maybe some people understand qualifiers anyway and they just want to mis represent what the other is saying and strawman the argument.

    Your thoughts?

    Ps, mods I was very unsure of where to actually put this debate.
    Edit
    I have edited my original statement to make it less contentious it was not meant to be the subject of the debate but just an example.
    Another Edit
    I have edited it again to make it even less contentious, please be aware I am not having a go at Danish people or blond whether natural or not.
     
    #1 Justanatheist, Jul 29, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2021
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  2. Snow White

    Snow White Veteran Member

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    I may have understood what you were saying that one thread. What happened later was that I matched your rhythm and dished it back in the form of a similarly worded argument, because it became a debate, then you kind of more or less, seemed to go on a rant about how "religious people" were being unfair or unreasonable, and that you wouldn't respond to religious people for that reason in the thread.

    As far as you clarifying things goes, though, consider yourself forgiven should any "offenses" have been commited, as because I don't see you having done anything particularly wrong, I don't feel I need an apology or much clarification on the matter.
     
  3. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Meghalayan Ape

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    One small thought. English is not the first language of all the posters on RF. Qualifiers may not always be included because of this perhaps? And of course there's the Americans, who can barely even spell. :D
     
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  4. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    Nuance seems to be [note the qualifier;)] an alien concept to some of the people here.

    Black-and-white, for-or-against propositions are far easier to handle, especially when you can make something tribal out of taking sides over it. This appears to have been the story of N American cultural discourse for the last couple of decades, and the resulting coarsening of thinking seems to have infected almost everything.

    But @Secret Chief also makes an excellent point about contributors for whom English may not be their mother tongue.
     
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  5. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Meghalayan Ape

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    Rubbish! :p
     
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  6. Justanatheist

    Justanatheist Well-Known Member

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    Yes of course, which is why I so often ask if English is their first language when it appears that people do not understand a qualifier I have used.
     
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  7. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Shadow Wolf's Aspie sibling

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    That is a part of it, but not all. As for words go, because what is what we are playing here, that is not the only feature relevant..

    P1: ..., Religious people can be dangerous ...

    Questions: Why Religious and not religious? What is religion? What is dangerous and how certain are you of what dangerous is? Now if you answer that, we can decide if it is true and how it is true depending on how you use the word "true"?

    So P1 accepted as true: Some religious people can be dangerous.
    Now what follows from that? I mean, what is the conclusion that follows if true that some religious people can be dangerous?
     
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  8. Justanatheist

    Justanatheist Well-Known Member

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    No we are talking about qualifiers, do you understand how they work? Definitions are not related.
     
  9. Justanatheist

    Justanatheist Well-Known Member

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    Do you have anything to say about qualifiers?
     
  10. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Shadow Wolf's Aspie sibling

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    You just gave the definition of the meaning of the word "qualifier" and explained its usage. Now do the same with true, religion, dangerous and so on.
     
  11. Snow White

    Snow White Veteran Member

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    Maybe. The statement "Religious people can be dangerous" is pretty meaningless as no one knows whether you're talking 1 percent, 10, 30, 50, or 80.

    So it's possible I don't fully understand it - either that, or I just don't understand the wording of the above-mentioned statement.
     
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  12. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Shadow Wolf's Aspie sibling

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    Further is meaningless as per the OP, because we don't know that status of the truth of what religion is or what dangerous is and what makes that true?
     
  13. Justanatheist

    Justanatheist Well-Known Member

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    I have edited post to avoid confusion please see, hopes this helps.
     
  14. Justanatheist

    Justanatheist Well-Known Member

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    See edit in op, by blond I mean hair colouring.:rolleyes:
     
  15. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    I think people could also use their common sense a bit more and give the benefit of the doubt to the poster and assume the sentence was implicitly qualified (unless clear from context that it wasn't).

    I see people getting worked up when it's quite obvious the poster was referring to 'some' of a group rather than all.

    Reading with good faith to understand the point is better than reading with intent to malign their view or quibble some grammatical imperfection.
     
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  16. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Shadow Wolf's Aspie sibling

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    So you have edited your post.
    I will start anew.

    So how confident are you about what religious people are, what dangerous is and how true that is?
     
  17. Snow White

    Snow White Veteran Member

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    I see.

    Well, I've been on the forum a couple years. I agree with using qualifiers, actually, and I probably need to use them more. However, it may be best not to say "religious people can be blond" - it may stir the hornets nest in the same way I do sometimes by accident with my broad statements. I'll give another example:

    I can say "Religious people aren't atheists" and it might make sense initially, but it doesn't, and it isn't perfect language. It'd be better to weigh the nuances more, if you can, and say "Religious people mostly aren't atheists, but it depends on how you factor subjects like Hinduism in, whether it's a religion or a culture".

    Trying to frame religious people is extremely difficult. Sometimes it's better to name the religion. For example, I'm Hindu and Left Hand Path. I'm almost nothing like a Christian, even if I have deep respect for some on here whom are.

    So you have a couple or more options to have a good discussion. Try to reflect more and understand the nuances. Or let people correct you, and listen to them when they do.
     
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  18. Justanatheist

    Justanatheist Well-Known Member

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    Anything that leads to more reasoned discussion suits me fine.
     
  19. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    To answer that on this thread would be to re-run the thread that gave rise to this one.
     
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  20. Justanatheist

    Justanatheist Well-Known Member

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    See second edit, maybe I should start a thread on here to explain why an example is not necessarily the subject of the conversation.
     
  21. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Shadow Wolf's Aspie sibling

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    How certain of "more reasoned" are you and how it is true/false on your own scale as per the edited OP?
     
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