Welcome to Atheist Discussion, a new community created by former members of The Thinking Atheist forum.

Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
The old, "can you do any better" argument
#1

The old, "can you do any better" argument
I come across this argument all the time especially when it refers to a professional who is failing at their job.    If you criticize their abilities someone often says, "can you do any better?"  But, it's not MY fucking JOB, it's THEIR JOB.   If I botch up my own work it's MY fault, not someone elses fault.  Geesh! 

What do you guys think of this argument.
                                                         T4618
The following 6 users Like Dancefortwo's post:
  • Alan V, jerryg, grympy, Tres Leches, EvieTheAvocado, Thumpalumpacus
Reply
#2

The old, "can you do any better" argument
Seems like a dumb argument because in order to improve at something you have to fail first. Also even professionals aren't perfect and make mistakes...
Reply
#3

The old, "can you do any better" argument
It's crap not argument, though I like reverse of it - as in "come and do it better". It shuts people up instantly.
The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
The following 1 user Likes Szuchow's post:
  • GenesisNemesis
Reply
#4

The old, "can you do any better" argument
(11-05-2019, 05:01 PM)GenesisNemesis Wrote: Seems like a dumb argument because in order to improve at something you have to fail first. Also even professionals aren't perfect and make mistakes...

Yes, people aren't perfect but when someone uses this argument for something way outside of your expertise then "can you do any better" is ridiculous.    

I come across this argument all the time when it comes to opera singers and ballet dancers.  Let's say a professional opera singer is consistantly below the standards of performing and someone criticizes them, is "can you do any better" a legitimate argument?   I personally don't think so.  It's THEIR job to sing on the level of other professional opera singers, not mine.  The audience pays for a professional performance.

Edit: And I would add other professionals. It's the professional plumbers job to correct the plumbing problems NOT MINE!
                                                         T4618
The following 5 users Like Dancefortwo's post:
  • GenesisNemesis, Szuchow, Fireball, Alan V, Tres Leches
Reply
#5

The old, "can you do any better" argument
(11-05-2019, 04:56 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote: I come across this argument all the time especially when it refers to a professional who is failing at their job.    If you criticize their abilities someone often says, "can you do any better?"  But, it's not MY fucking JOB, it's THEIR JOB.   If I botch up my own work it's MY fault, not someone elses fault.  Geesh! 

What do you guys think of this argument.

I have been accused of being unnecessarily negative for pointing out such problems, and it is true that our critical abilities are often far beyond our performance abilities.  But my way of looking at it is that people don't have to push themselves beyond their level of competence, as per The Peter Principle.  I resisted being pushed beyond my competence when I was working.
The following 1 user Likes Alan V's post:
  • Dancefortwo
Reply
#6

The old, "can you do any better" argument
(11-05-2019, 04:56 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote: I come across this argument all the time especially when it refers to a professional who is failing at their job.    If you criticize their abilities someone often says, "can you do any better?"  But, it's not MY fucking JOB, it's THEIR JOB.   If I botch up my own work it's MY fault, not someone elses fault.  Geesh! 

What do you guys think of this argument.

I haven't heard someone use this argument but I'm immensely judge-y anyway so maybe people figure it doesn't matter what excuse they come up with.  Angel 

-Teresa
There is in the universe only one true divide, one real binary, life and death. Either you are living or you are not. Everything else is molten, malleable.

-Susan Faludi, In the Darkroom
The following 2 users Like Tres Leches's post:
  • Fireball, Dancefortwo
Reply
#7

The old, "can you do any better" argument
I have learned that management tends to frown on employees who criticize the work of other employees, despite them constantly making the claim, "come to us with anything". It got to the point that I learned those who did not do their job to the best of their abilities were liked better by management while those in charge did not care about losing me who was doing a better job. For the last couple years I have kept to myself, done my job, and not concerned myself with the other employees, and I have found myself better off because of it.
The following 3 users Like Phaedrus's post:
  • Fireball, Alan V, Dancefortwo
Reply
#8

The old, "can you do any better" argument
Back where I used to work, we had a few employees who were so marginally capable at their jobs that I would have expected the government to send in an Inspector General to investigate. One particularly egregious case was where our organization was looking to save money on a project, and had one of our (unqualified) people do the design work on a mechanical structure. We had a group of engineers designated to design  and get that kind of equipment fabricated, but my organization tapped that dullard. It got built, and in the process of using a piece of Flight Hardware (designated for launch into space) it got damaged, to the tune of millions of dollars. Our management was able to tar the other department with the design failure, and exonerate the dullard. Crazy shit.

ETA, yes, I could and have done better than that. By the same token, I've hosed up a couple of things that cost the company in the neighborhood of $.5M USD.  Blush Flip side of the coin is that I know someone else who cost the company well over $100M USD. My contribution is somewhere better than $40M USD that the company made from my designs. I'd like to go and look at the memorabilia in some people's stuff, because I was told that some of what I did wasn't patentable, but there's nothing in the open literature like it. I suspect that I got cheated. Not a big deal, in the long run, since I managed to invest like a big dog and retire at 62, and the bonus was like $1k for a patent. Some of those shits died before they could retire. Maybe there's a lesson in there, maybe not.  Hmm
The following 2 users Like Fireball's post:
  • Dancefortwo, Tres Leches
Reply
#9

The old, "can you do any better" argument
When you're being paid to do something you have accountability. Somebody saying 'can you do any better' is them basically admitting that their work is not up to scratch. 

I've said it on occasion to my wife when she's been critical of jobs I've done, but I'm pretty unskilled and she's not paying me.

Edit: And we enjoy bickering.
He loves me?  Facepalm
The following 2 users Like NorthernBen's post:
  • Dancefortwo, Thumpalumpacus
Reply
#10

The old, "can you do any better" argument
Luckily for me, I was a checker of other people's design work, so my criticisms had useful effects even if in some cases I couldn't have done as well myself.
Reply
#11

The old, "can you do any better" argument
If it were expected of me to do better, why would they have chosen them to perform instead of me? Expecting me to perform better than them is contradicted by the fact that they were picked, not me. The expectation that they would perform clearly existed, so asking the question is simply attempting to divert attention away from the fact that they did, in fact, fail to deliver according to what was expected of them. I didn't make those expectations, and I didn't agree to perform given those expectations. They did. They have no excuse.
[Image: signature%20The-Ascension-of-Iweko.jpg]
The following 1 user Likes Dānu's post:
  • Dancefortwo
Reply
#12

The old, "can you do any better" argument
I recently read that the majority of employees at middle-management levels (or higher?) are demonstrably
incompetent.  People rise through the workplace ranks by being successful at a level below their current
level of employment—say, as a middle manager.  If they then fuck up at the next level, then they get no
more advancement to a higher level.  Which proves, in effect, that they're actually unable to competently
carry out their duties. In effect, they're proved they can't do the job.

I'd like to see—at least in the public service sector—all current middle-management employees demoted to
the next immediate position below their current one.  In most cases this would be the position they held
previously, and also one in which they (apparently) had the appropriate workplace competency.

(Yeah... I know LOL.)

Here in Australia, our public service sector is top heavy with staff incompetency, fiscal mismanagement,  
nepotism and sycophancy, a lack of integrity and openness, and a lack of due care and  diligence.  And we
have far too many public servants at all government levels—local, state, and federal.  I've worked as an
engineering sub-contractor with several government instrumentalities in three states here, and I know for
a fact that I could do many of their staff jobs more efficiently than they were doing—on the public teat.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
Reply
#13

The old, "can you do any better" argument
I'm not sure that a fuck up is a demonstration of incompetence. Even skilled people fuck up from time to time. The odds are strongly against an impeccable career. So I dispute the basic premise that being frozen after a fuckup is evidence that these middle managers are incompetent at their level of employment. On top of that, without some other evidence, this explanation is basically a "just-so" story.
[Image: signature%20The-Ascension-of-Iweko.jpg]
The following 2 users Like Dānu's post:
  • Alan V, Dancefortwo
Reply
#14

The old, "can you do any better" argument
It's a fallacy.

Namely, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tu_quoque

Assuming he's saying that you'd make the same mistakes too.

And this one: https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Not_as_bad_as

If he's saying that he's still doing a better job than you would.

His objection is fallacious in either case ... and all that is relevant is that he's the one who is going to be held responsible for the mistakes he makes when he has a job to do. You're not paying for him to make mistakes.

People make mistakes, sure. ... but that doesn't mean that when you pay somebody to do a job that you shouldn't, at the very least, be compensated when they make mistakes... because you're not paying for them to make things worse—you're paying for them to make things better. Obviously, you shouldn't be expected to give money to somebody who fucks stuff up. And sure, it's nice to give somebody the benefit of the doubt and assume that they didn't make the mistake on purpose ... that it was a genuine mistake and not sabotage ... but if they aren't willing to take responsibility for their mistakes, then they could easily get away with intentionally doing a poor job and claiming it's accidental ... because they can't be bothered to do it properly and think they'll get paid anyway.

As Stephen Fry has said ... "Give them an inch and they'll take a foot ... pretty soon you won't have a leg to stand on!".
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
The following 2 users Like EvieTheAvocado's post:
  • Alan V, Dancefortwo
Reply
#15

The old, "can you do any better" argument
Who started this thread? I could do better with my eyes closed.
The following 1 user Likes jerry mcmasters's post:
  • Tres Leches
Reply
#16

The old, "can you do any better" argument
(11-08-2019, 03:05 AM)jerry mcmasters Wrote: Who started this thread?  I could do better with my eyes closed.

I can neither confirm nor deny that my client had his eyes closed when he posted it.
[Image: signature%20The-Ascension-of-Iweko.jpg]
The following 1 user Likes Dānu's post:
  • Fireball
Reply
#17

The old, "can you do any better" argument
Usually its just an expression of annoyance and the person really isn't looking to argue.
The following 1 user Likes Red Belt's post:
  • Alan V
Reply
#18

The old, "can you do any better" argument
Anything you can do, I can do better.
I can do anything better than you.
The following 1 user Likes no one's post:
  • Tres Leches
Reply
#19

The old, "can you do any better" argument
Most of the time that argument is nothing more than pure virtue signalling.
Justaminute    Salisbury steak...... A hamburger by any other name. 
The following 1 user Likes adey67's post:
  • Alan V
Reply
#20

The old, "can you do any better" argument
(11-13-2019, 11:42 AM)adey67 Wrote: Most of the time that argument is nothing more than pure virtue signalling.

It's almost an equivocation.  People's critical abilities far surpass their practical abilities in almost every area, so to assume a criticism must be a claim of superiority is mistaken at best and an intentional put-down at worse, like you say.

Plus it misses the point.  People who do things poorly often have the option of not doing them at all.  Pointing out the mismatch between abilities and results can be doing such people a favor. But that helpful perspective is undermined if others say "You can't do better."
The following 2 users Like Alan V's post:
  • Dancefortwo, Thumpalumpacus
Reply
#21

The old, "can you do any better" argument
(11-13-2019, 11:00 AM)no one Wrote: Anything you can do, I can do better.
I can do anything better than you.

No you can't.
Don't mistake me for those nice folks from Give-A-Shit county.
The following 1 user Likes Old Man Marsh's post:
  • Dancefortwo
Reply
#22

The old, "can you do any better" argument
(11-14-2019, 10:14 PM)Old Man Marsh Wrote:
(11-13-2019, 11:00 AM)no one Wrote: Anything you can do, I can do better.
I can do anything better than you.

No you can't.

Yes I can.
[Image: signature%20The-Ascension-of-Iweko.jpg]
The following 4 users Like Dānu's post:
  • Dancefortwo, Old Man Marsh, Tres Leches, Fireball
Reply
#23

The old, "can you do any better" argument
(11-05-2019, 04:56 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote: I come across this argument all the time especially when it refers to a professional who is failing at their job.    If you criticize their abilities someone often says, "can you do any better?"  But, it's not MY fucking JOB, it's THEIR JOB.   If I botch up my own work it's MY fault, not someone elses fault.  Geesh! 

What do you guys think of this argument.

Someone who doesn't know how to cook still knows what they don't like to eat. This is a disguised appeal to authority and fails for the same reason.
"What senses do we lack that we cannot see or hear another world all around us?" -- Frank Herbert
The following 1 user Likes Thumpalumpacus's post:
  • Fireball
Reply
#24

The old, "can you do any better" argument
(11-06-2019, 04:14 AM)Fireball Wrote: Back where I used to work, we had a few employees who were so marginally capable at their jobs that I would have expected the government to send in an Inspector General to investigate. One particularly egregious case was where our organization was looking to save money on a project, and had one of our (unqualified) people do the design work on a mechanical structure. We had a group of engineers designated to design  and get that kind of equipment fabricated, but my organization tapped that dullard. It got built, and in the process of using a piece of Flight Hardware (designated for launch into space) it got damaged, to the tune of millions of dollars. Our management was able to tar the other department with the design failure, and exonerate the dullard. Crazy shit.

ETA, yes, I could and have done better than that. By the same token, I've hosed up a couple of things that cost the company in the neighborhood of $.5M USD.  Blush  Flip side of the coin is that I know someone else who cost the company well over $100M USD. My contribution is somewhere better than $40M USD that the company made from my designs. I'd like to go and look at the memorabilia in some people's stuff, because I was told that some of what I did wasn't patentable, but there's nothing in the open literature like it. I suspect that I got cheated. Not a big deal, in the long run, since I managed to invest like a big dog and retire at 62, and the bonus was like $1k for a patent. Some of those shits died before they could retire. Maybe there's a lesson in there, maybe not.  Hmm

[bold is mine]
Somewhere in another thread I posted: 
If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by. - Sun Tzu

Whistling 

-Teresa
There is in the universe only one true divide, one real binary, life and death. Either you are living or you are not. Everything else is molten, malleable.

-Susan Faludi, In the Darkroom
The following 2 users Like Tres Leches's post:
  • Thumpalumpacus, Fireball
Reply
#25

The old, "can you do any better" argument
You could also respond with a simple "I'm not the one who gets paid to do it."
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)