2 replaced http://academia.stackexchange.com/ with https://academia.stackexchange.com/
source | link

As EnergyNumbers already correctly notedEnergyNumbers already correctly noted, this is trolling and if ignoring that guy or dismissing him with a single statement is an option, that’s probably the best way. However, given his acceptance in the group or similar, this may not always be possible. Also, the fact that this guy actually manages to derail discussions indicates that he has some support or people are falling for his “arguments”. Under these conditions, it may be an option to outwit him with short arguments that hopefully derail his approach and the continue.

As EnergyNumbers already correctly noted, this is trolling and if ignoring that guy or dismissing him with a single statement is an option, that’s probably the best way. However, given his acceptance in the group or similar, this may not always be possible. Also, the fact that this guy actually manages to derail discussions indicates that he has some support or people are falling for his “arguments”. Under these conditions, it may be an option to outwit him with short arguments that hopefully derail his approach and the continue.

As EnergyNumbers already correctly noted, this is trolling and if ignoring that guy or dismissing him with a single statement is an option, that’s probably the best way. However, given his acceptance in the group or similar, this may not always be possible. Also, the fact that this guy actually manages to derail discussions indicates that he has some support or people are falling for his “arguments”. Under these conditions, it may be an option to outwit him with short arguments that hopefully derail his approach and the continue.

1
source | link

As EnergyNumbers already correctly noted, this is trolling and if ignoring that guy or dismissing him with a single statement is an option, that’s probably the best way. However, given his acceptance in the group or similar, this may not always be possible. Also, the fact that this guy actually manages to derail discussions indicates that he has some support or people are falling for his “arguments”. Under these conditions, it may be an option to outwit him with short arguments that hopefully derail his approach and the continue.

Your examples share some common approaches (some more, some less):

  • They are true to some extent.
  • They are irrelevant to the discussion at hand.
  • They attack the fundaments of science or discourse.

Thus, a general short reply could start with of briefly acknowlegding the truth of his statement, if applicable (“Yes, but …”; “Indeed, however …”). If you can come up with a good argument quickly, use it; otherwise you can resort to the undeniable success of using abstractions, science, probabilistic statements, etc, in short: “Science – it works, bitch.” (and probably also pays both your bills). As a last resort, “so what?” seems to be a valid response to all of your examples.

Some examples:

  • The evidence may seems to be true but it could be wrong and you can’t know that for sure. You can only believe in evidence. Therefore to make claims about anything with or without evidence is meaningless.
    — And that’s why all claims we make are not absolute but implicitly probabilistic.

    Alternative, more aggressive answer:

    And fortunately, so is your claim. Where were we?

  • The human senses and the human mind are limited and fallible, and to say that an idea is more correct than another idea is just your opinion based on a fallible experience.
    — Indeed, however, as opinions are all we have, we have to stick with them; moreover, since as I just tried to argue, I have reasons to consider my opinion an informed and substantiated one.

  • I define X as something different to how you defined X, and according to what I think of X, I am right. You can think of X how you want but it doesn’t matter to me.
    — Fortunately, reality does not care about what words we use to desribe it.

    (Note, that his last sentence is also a good hook for ignoring him outright.)

  • “X” only means X because humans defined “X” to be X. But “X” is just a subjective idea that doesn’t exist in reality. Therefore, anything you say about X, your ideas are on based on something non-objective and arguable.
    – True, but on the other hand, humans have faired pretty well with using the concept of X [alternatively: defining X as ”X”], so I stick with that.

  • To say that I’m inconsistent with my argument or to say that I’m wrong is just a perspective. There are many perspectives and just because from one perspective I’m a certain way, doesn’t mean I really am.
    – True, but as I just tried to argue, my perspective is well-founded and thus there are increased chances that you are really wrong.

A final note: It looks as if this guy operates by attacking one’s philosophical foundations and his continued doing so indicates that he does indeed succeed on some people. Thus it may also help to inforce your philosophical foundations and not let him shake them a single bit. Relatedly, it might probably help to answer to him in a self-concious manner.