Sunday, August 21, 2005

On Arguments
I was having a discussion in a thread in this blog and typed a comment that is worth posting an excerpt from here.

Arguments in the blogosphere, particularly the right-wing of it, seem to take these two forms:

First argument:
A. You are disagreeing with me.
B. You are claiming that your statements are correct.
C. Thus you are implying that my statements are wrong.
D. (fallacious) Thus you are implying I am generally wrong and stupid.
E. (more fallacious) Thus you are a condescending person who thinks you're smarter than everyone else.

Second argument:
A. It would seem that any outrageous acts committed by the right have an equivalent on the left.
B. (fallacious) Because it would seem so, it must be true.

The first argument treats all disagreements as personal feuds. And the second argument assumes the truth of some "common sense" statement, even though the empirical steps to verify it haven't been taken.


Anonymous Brad K. said...

Your pronouncements would be comical, Chris, if you weren't so serious.

Here's your argument.

1. It's completely understandable that I disparage those who disagree with me, because my truth is certifiable.
2. Disparage, disparage, disparage.
3. Here's some examples of idiotic views on your side. QED.
4. What? You're not convinced I'm absolutely right based on my innumerable examples that mean what I say they mean? Excuse me while I go post a self-serving analysis of your stupidity on my blog, which, BTW, is called "Intelligent Life." Says a lot about me, don't it?

You don't want to argue. You want to preach.

11:38 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Disparage? Have another look at the comments thread. Did I refer to anyone as stupid? Did I call anyone a moron? Did I tell anyone that they would be better off working in a mattress factory?

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Brad K. said...

No, most of your disparagement was in your first post--those with whom you disagree tend to be moral hypocrites, grossly politically ignorant, harbor irrational hatred to those elsewhere in the country, are uninformed, and want their opponents dead. Maybe you say that's being blunt, but I say you're incredibly presumptuous about people you really don't know. Judge not lest you be judged.

12:38 PM  
Blogger WestEnder said...

I've found that the points you describe in the post are characteristic not of the right wing per se, but of extremist thinkers in general.

I've found similar attitudes on left wing people as well.

That is not to say that they balance each other out, or that the points are moot. In fact, quite the opposite on both points.

The far right controls government (at all levels) and commerce, and is thus the primary force shaping our society and culture. Because they "have the floor" we hear their perspective most of all. And because the ones who have the floor are extremists, we hear this type of faulty reasoning all the time.

But we would hear it just as much if we had one-party domination from a far left group. The key thing is that leadership should never be in the hands of extremists of any kind.

11:31 AM  

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