We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The source article makes it clear that the purpose of the hierarchy is to allow better online debate in a forum.
Which illustrates my point: the article should property be titled, "Hierarchy of reasoning and disputation in an online debate forum." otherwise, standing alone, its high school debate level.
It is misleading to leave out the most important items: (1) the purpose of argument is to win, (2) who are you arguing against, (3) who are you arguing to (court, voters, wife, (4) who else are you arguing to or for (court of appeals, client), (5) what does "winning the argument" mean? (6) know all of the flaws of formal reasoning, so you can address them or use them, (7) exploit procedure, as in, manipulating roberts rules, due process, or just knowing which deputy DA is more overburdened, (8) know the formal structure of the argument appropriate for the forum and know how to write, (9) know how to bluff and semi-bluff.
example: every successful defense attorney knows how to argue by contradiction (as defined above), ad homs and name calling (in a non-contempt manner). read transcriptions of parliamentary debates to see how this is done in the upper echelons, see also, Eastwooding.
example: stephen hawking himself could refute the central point of a creationist, but if the venue is a tent pole revival, and his opponent is Preacher Brother Joseph, then they're going to take hawking out in a wheel barrow.
"refuting the central point" effectively never happens in public debate because partisans stake out ground won't find any merit in the opposition (this is also called splitting). this is common on this forum, as in, any dispute which has generated numerous well litigated cases, congressional inquiries, talking head debates, etc., with the contribution from the constitutional experts online is to partially quote an amendment or a 18th century politician (ProTip: ipse dixit is a fail). in fact, the central point typically can't be refuted conclusively.
The Poetry of Violence
If it's on-line, winning is not possible. I mean, that's against the rules! Gotta be a knock-down, drag-out, lying, spitting hate-fest, or nobody's having any fun!
When I argue online I am seldom trying do persuade my opponent. Typically we are both too entrenched, like WWI, to achieve victory. And I don't even argue to persuade those watching. Most of them have vague "feelings" from exposure to the MSM. I argue so that people see there ARE arguments for positions against those of "The Daily Show". I win when someone says, "I never thought of that before."
"Arguing to win" may well be the case for most people. But a large minority do not argue to win they argue to learn. You state and defend what you believe and yur opponent does the same as the discussion progresses ech of you must look for more facts to suport your belief. The research is enlightening and sometimes it will convince one of the two sides that they are in fact wrong in their belief.
It can also be useful to argue with someone where you cannot change their opinion but in fact your intent is to direct your arguement to others who will be convinced by your facts and dissauded by your opponents lack of facts. You may never win over your opponent but still achieve your goal.
Learning from a debate or learning in preparation for a debate is good. It can also enure you from being susceptable to much of the misinformation that is circulating on the internet.