History is above all else an argument. It is an argument between different historians; and, perhaps, an argument between the past and the present, an argument between what actually happened, and what is going to happen next. Arguments are important; they create the possibility of changing things.
John H. Arnold
The argument for collectivism is simple if false; it is an immediate emotional argument. The argument for individualism is subtle and sophisticated; it is an indirect rational argument. And the emotional faculties are more highly developed in most men than the rational, paradoxically or especially even in those who regard themselves as intellectuals.
The notion that somehow or another they'll (Iran) put it in a picnic basket and hand it to some terrorist group is merely an argument that may be convincing to some people who don't know anything about nuclear weapons. I don't find that argument very credible, I'm not sure that people who make it even believe in it. But it's a good argument to make if you have no other argument to make. The fact of the matter is, Iran has been around for 3000 years, and that is not a symptom of a suicidal instinct.
I don't make a Bible argument in the ad, nor have I made a bible argument in the public space. My argument is simple, which is, that for several thousand years in Western civilization, marriage has been the union of one man and one woman. Research is overwhelming that children need mothers and fathers,
The compelling argument is on the side of homosexuals. We're Americans. We just want to be treated like everybody else. That is a compelling argument. And to deny that, you've got to have a very strong argument on the other side. And the other side hasn't been able to do anything but thump the Bible ... I support civil unions, I always have. All right, the gay marriage thing, I don't feel that strongly about it one way or the other.
The terminology of philosophical art is coercive: arguments are powerful and best when they are knockdown, arguments force you to a conclusion, if you believe the premisses you have to or must believe the conclusion, some arguments do not carry much punch, and so forth. A philosophical argument is an attempt to get someone to believe something, whether he wants to beleive it or not. A successful philosophical argument, a strong argument, forces someone to a belief.
It is commonly said that if rational argument is so seldom the cause of conviction, philosophical apologists must largely be wasting their shot. The premise is true, but the conclusion does not follow. For though argument does not create conviction, the lack of it destroys belief. What seems to be proved may not be embraced; but what no one shows the ability to defend is quickly abandoned. Rational argument does not create belief, but it maintains a climate in which belief may flourish.
I was asking if unwinding kills you, or if it leaves you alive somehow. C'mon""it's not like we haven't thought about it." (...) What do you think, Connor?" asks Hayden. "What hap pens to your soul when you get unwound?" Who says I even got one?" For the sake of argument, let's say you do." Who says I want an argument?
History is the art of making an argument about the past by telling a story accountable to evidence. In the writing of history, a story without an argument fades into antiquarianism; an argument without a story risks pedantry. Writing history requires empathy, inquiry, and debate. It requires forswearing condescension, cant, and nostalgia. The past isn't quaint. Much of it, in fact, is bleak.
You can make a very good argument that society would be much worse off if you let 10 rapists and murderers free rather than put one poor, wrongly accused accountant in prison. And so my only point on that is that it should open up an argument. It should not sort of settle one, because nobody disagrees with it.
What I should have said is that he thinks that there is a conflict between evolutionary biology and theism. Dennett thinks that evolutionary theory shows that it is irrational to believe that God exists; he thinks that the theory has this consequence because he thinks that the Design Argument was the only remotely plausible argument for God's existence and evolutionary theory destroyed that argument.
Try to find someone with a sense of humor. That's an important thing to have because when you get into an argument, one of the best ways to diffuse it is to be funny. You don't want to hide away from a point, because some points are serious, but you'd rather have a discussion that was a discussion, rather than an argument.
What it means to be a 'better person', then, must be concrete and practical - that is to say, concerned with people's political situations as a whole - rather than narrowly abstract, concerned only with the immediate interpersonal relations which can be abstracted from this concrete whole. It must be a question of political and not only of 'moral' argument: that is to say, it must be genuine moral argument, which sees the relations between individual qualities and values and our whole material conditions of existence. Political argument is not an alternative to moral preoccupations: it is those preoccupations taken seriously in their full implications.
Who gave the decisive deathblow to the argument from design on the basis of biological complexity? Both philosophers and biologists are divided on this point (Oppy 1996; Dawkins 1986; Sober 2008). Some have claimed that the biological design argument did not falter until Darwin provided a proper naturalistic explanation for adaptive complexity; others maintain that David Hume had already shattered the argument to pieces by sheer logical force several decades earlier, in his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (Hume 2007 ). Elliott Sober has been among the philosophers who maintain that, as Hume was not in a position to offer a serious alternative explanation of adaptive complexity, it is hardly surprising that 'intelligent people strongly favored the design hypothesis' (Sober 2000, 36). In his most recent book, however, Sober (2008) carefully develops what he thinks is the most charitable reconstruction of the design argument, and proceeds to show why it is defective for intrinsic reasons (for earlier version of this argument, see Sober 1999, 2002). Sober argues that the design argument can be rejected even without the need to consider alternative explanations for adaptive complexity (Sober 2008, 126): 'To see why the design argument is defective, there is no need to have a view as to whether Darwin's theory of evolution is true' (Sober 2008, 154).
All liberty required was that the space for discourse itself be protected. Liberty lay in the argument itself, not the resolution of that argument, in the ability to quarrel, even with the most cherished beliefs of others; a free society was not placid but turbulent. The bazaar of conflicting was the place where freedom rang.
A good argument diluted to avoid criticism is not nearly as good as the undiluted argument, because we best arrive at truth through a process of honest and vigorous debate. Arguments should not sneak around in disguise, as if dissent were somehow sinister... For it is bravery that is required to secure freedom.
A rationalist, as I use the word, is a man who attempts to reach decisions by argument and perhaps, in certain cases, by compromise, rather than by violence. He is a man who would rather be unsuccessful in convincing another man by argument than successful in crushing him by force, by intimidation and threats, or even by persuasive propaganda.
If you want to save capitalism there is only one type of argument that you should adopt, the only one that has ever won in any moral issue: the argument from self-esteem. Check your premises, convince yourself of the rightness of your cause, then fight for capitalism with full, moral certainty.
The assumed instinctive belief in God has been used by many persons as an argument for his existence. But this is a rash argument, as we should thus be compelled to believe in the existence of many cruel and malignant spirits, only a little more powerful than man; for the belief in them is far more general than in a beneficent deity.
Dawkins's problem is that he doesn't know the difference between probabilistic empirical theorizing and strict metaphysical demonstration, and thus misreads an attempt at the latter as if it were the former. That is not to say that Aquinas might not be mistaken at some point in the argument "" though obviously I don't think he is "" but if you're going to show that he is, you first need to understand what kind of argument he is giving, and thus what kind of mistake he'd be making if he's made one at all.
Adam thinks that you two are in an argument." My body zinged into alert mode. My mind didn't know what Mrs. Vader meant, but my body already did. Even Sean glanced over at her with a cautious look. "He does?" I asked faintly. "A bad one, " she confirmed. "How could we be in a bad argument without me even knowing about it?
Right is not right; so is not so. If right were really right, it would differ so clearly from not right that there would be no need for argument. If so were really so, it would differ so clearly from not so that there would be no need for argument. Forget the years; forget distinctions. Leap into the boundless and make it your home!
Now when naturalists observe a close agreement in numerous small details of habits, tastes and dispositions between two or more domestic races, or between nearly-allied natural forms, they use this fact as an argument that all are descended from a common progenitor who was thus endowed; and consequently that all should be classed under the same species. The same argument may be applied with much force to the races of man.
There is nothing - no program, no hobby, no vice, no crime - that does not 'create jobs'. Tsunamis, computer viruses and shooting convenience store clerks all 'create jobs'. So that claim misses the plot; it applies to all so is an argument in favor of none. Instead of an argument on the merits, it is an admission that one has no such arguments.
If it were true that conservatives were racist, sexist, homophobic, fascist, stupid, inflexible, angry, and self-righteous, shouldn't their arguments be easy to deconstruct? Someone who is making a point out of anger, ideology, inflexibility, or resentment would presumably construct a flimsy argument. So why can't the argument itself be dismembered rather than the speaker's personal style or hidden motives? Why the evasions?
They say that 'history is an argument without end.' In Thompson's skillful hands, this momentous argument between two old friends on the most critical issue of the last century is thus history at its best. Thompson's judicious and delicious depiction of Nitze and Kennan will fascinate anyone who cares about the Cold War or the ways that human beings shape the future.
One salutary development in recent ethical theorizing is the widespread recognition that no short argument will serve to eliminate any of the major metaethical positions. Such theories have to weave together views in semantics, epistemology, moral psychology and metaphysics. The comprehensive, holistic character of much recent theorizing suggests the futility of fastening on just a single sort of argument to refute a developed version of realism or antirealism. No one any longer thinks that ethical naturalism can be undermined in a single stroke by the open question argument, or that appeal to the descriptive semantics of moral discourse is sufficient to refute noncognitivism.
The Republican argument that raising the debt ceiling encourages additional future spending is logically irresponsible. The debt ceiling has to be raised to authorize spending already approved by Congress. Despite that fallacy, the GOP has been able to score political points with its argument.
It has often been argued that absolute scepticism is self-contradictory; but this is a mistake: and even if it were not so, it would be no argument against the absolute sceptic, inasmuch as he does not admit that no contradictory propositions are true. Indeed, it would be impossible to move such a man, for his scepticism consists in considering every argument and never deciding upon its validity; he would, therefore, act in this way in reference to the arguments brought against him.
Charles Sanders Peirce
Both law and comedy are heavily focused on thought and viewing all angles. To write a good joke, you have to look at a premise every way possible. And with a good legal argument, you have to see all sides to get the best line of argument for your client. Law school made me a better comic, and comedy has made me a better public speaker.
The so-called paradox of freedom is the argument that freedom in the sense of absence of any constraining control must lead to very great restraint, since it makes the bully free to enslave the meek. The idea is, in a slightly different form, and with very different tendency, clearly expressed in Plato. Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. - In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.
Karl R. Popper
I shall not convert you at the end of my argument. I think the argument is sound. I hold that belief in God is not merely as reasonable as other belief, or even a little or infinitely more probably true than other belief; I hold rather that unless you believe in God you can logically believe in nothing else.
Cornelius Van Til
I am afraid that those comments go back to the late 80's. At that time I was a skeptic - the argument based on Koch's postulates to try to distinguish between cause and association. ... Today I would regard the success of the many antiviral agents which lower the virus titers (to be expected) and also resolve the failure of the immune system (only expected if the virus is the cause of the failure) as a reasonable proof of the causation argument .
I am afraid that those comments go back to the late 80's. At that time I was a skeptic - the argument based on Koch's postulates to try to distinguish between cause and association... Today I would regard the success of the many antiviral agents which lower the virus titers (to be expected) and also resolve the failure of the immune system (only expected if the virus is the cause of the failure) as a reasonable proof of the causation argument.
The standard argument is that civilian deaths in Afghanistan were the regrettable consequence of military action that was needed to destroy Al Qaida bases and thus prevent further terrorist attacks. But this is a spurious argument since it is obvious that Al Qaida is a decentralised network. The counterargument - that bombing Afghanistan has made it more likely that terrorists will attack - is equally plausible. Most of the September nth hijackers were from Saudi Arabia,
Religion... has certain ideas at the heart of it which we call sacred or holy or whatever... If someone votes for a party that you don't agree with, you're free to argue about it as much as you like; everybody will have an argument but nobody feels aggrieved by it. If somebody thinks taxes should go up or down you are free to have an argument about it. But on the other hand if somebody says 'I must [not] move a light switch on a Saturday', you say, 'I respect that'... Yet when you look at it rationally there is no reason why those ideas shouldn't be as open to debate as any other, except that we have agreed somehow between us that they shouldn't be.
There is something distinctly odd about the argument, however. Believing is not something you can decide to do as a matter of policy. At least, it is not something I can decide to do as an act of will. I can decide to go to church and I can decide to recite the Nicene Creed, and I can decide to swear on a stack of bibles that I believe every word inside them. But none of that can make me actually believe it if I don't. Pascal's Wager could only ever be an argument for feigning belief in God. And the God that you claim to believe in had better not be of the omniscient kind or he'd see through the deception.
The vulgar modern argument used against religion, and lately against common decency, would be absolutely fatal to any idea of liberty. It is perpetually said that because there are a hundred religions claiming to be true, it is therefore impossible that one of them should really be true. The argument would appear on the face of it to be illogical, if anyone nowadays troubled about logic. It would be as reasonable to say that because some people thought the earth was flat, and others (rather less incorrectly) imagined it was round, and because anybody is free to say that it is triangular or hexagonal, or a rhomboid, therefore it has no shape at all; or its shape can never be discovered; and, anyhow, modern science must be wrong in saying it is an oblate spheroid. The world must be some shape, and it must be that shape and no other; and it is not self-evident that nobody can possibly hit on the right one. What so obviously applies to the material shape of the world equally applies to the moral shape of the universe. The man who describes it may not be right, but it is no argument against his rightness that a number of other people must be wrong.
The issue here is this, that the Government's argument at the present moment is the argument that now the war is over, terrorism is defeated, we have to focus on economic development which in the north and east particular, being the areas where the war was fought, development has to proceed at a pace. That people from those parts of the country are leaving seems to suggest a lack of confidence and certainty in the trajectory of this kind of economic development.
There are two kinds of comprehensive doctrines, religious and secular. Those of religious faith will say I give a veiled argument for secularism, and the latter will say I give a veiled argument for religion. I deny both. Each side presumes the basic ideas of constitutional democracy, so my suggestion is that we can make our political arguments in terms of public reason. Then we stand on common ground. That's how we can understand each other and cooperate.
I shall not assess arguments and evidence for competing views about when human extinction will occur. We know it will occur, and this fact has a curious effect on my argument. In a strange way it makes my argument an optimistic one. Although things are now not the way they should be-there are people when there should be none-things will someday be the way they should be-there will be no people. In other words, although things are now bad, they will be better, even if they first get worse with the creation of new people. Some may wish to be spared this kind of optimism, but some optimists may take a measure of comfort in this observation.
Ove e§ould not in all honesty remember how it all started. It wasn't the sort of dispute where you did remember. It was more an argument where the little disagreements had ended up so entangled that every new word was treacherously booby-trapped, and in the end it wasn't possible to open one's mouth at all without setting off at least four unexploded mines from earlier conflicts. It was the sort of argument that had just run, and run, and run. Until one day it just ran out.
Any comprehensive doctrine, religious or secular, can be introduced into any political argument at any time, but I argue that people who do this should also present what they believe are public reasons for their argument. So their opinion is no longer just that of one particular party, but an opinion that all members of a society might reasonably agree to, not necessarily that they would agree to. What's important is that people give the kinds of reasons that can be understood and appraised apart from their particular comprehensive doctrines.
You all know the argument from design: everything in the world is made just so that we can manage to live in the world, and if the world was ever so little different, we could not manage to live in it. That is the argument from design. It sometimes takes a rather curious form; for instance, it is argued that rabbits have white tails in order to be easy to shoot. I do not know how rabbits would view that application.
It is so hard for an evolutionary biologist to write about extinction caused by human stupidity. [...] Let me then float an unconventional plea, the inverse of the usual argument. [...] The extinction of Partula is unfair to Partula . That is the conventional argument, and I do not challenge its primacy. But we need a humanistic ecology as well, both for the practical reason that people will always touch people more than snails do or can, and for the moral reason that humans are legitimately the measure of all ethical questions for these are our issues, not nature's.
Stephen Jay Gould
A delusion that encourages belief where there is no evidence is asking for trouble. Disagreements between incompatible beliefs cannot be settled by reasoned argument because reasoned argument is drummed out of those trained in religion from the cradle. Instead, disagreements are settled by other means which, in extreme cases, inevitably become violent. Scientists disagree among themselves but they never fight over their disagreements. They argue about evidence or go out and seek new evidence. Much the same is true of philosophers, historians and literary critics.
This was the argument put forward during the War when the expenditure on the army and navy had to be met; and this was the argument put forward in Germany and Austria after the War when a part of the population had to be provided with cheap food, the losses on the operation of the railways and other public undertakings met, and reparations payments made. The assistance of inflation is invoked whenever a government is unwilling to increase taxation or unable to raise a loan; that is the truth of the matter.
Ludwig von Mises
Yes. The original argument is defective. Substitute the word 'male' for 'gay,' and you'll see the flaw: 'Male people cannot be normal. If everyone were male starting tomorrow, the human race would die out, so being male cannot be nature's intended way.' Or you could substitute the word 'female.' In either case, the argument makes no sense: Being male or female is perfectly normal.
Marilyn vos Savant
So far as this argument is concerned nonhuman animals and infants and retarded humans are in the same category; and if we use this argument to justify experiments on nonhuman animals we have to ask ourselves whether we are also prepared to allow experiments on human infants and retarded adults; and if we make a distinction between animals and these humans, on what basis can we do it, other than a bare-faced - and morally indefensible - preference for members of our own species?
It is not at all coincidental that Darwinian psychology has the same difficulty explaining the unity and integration of human reasoning as Darwinian biology has explaining the unity and integration of irreducibly complex functions. Practical and theoretical reasoning is often irreducibly complex. A given argument has several well-matched, interacting reasons, and the removal of any one of them makes the argument break down.
My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such a violent reaction against it?... Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if i did that, then my argument against God collapsed too-for the argument depended on saying the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my fancies. Thus, in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist - in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless - I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality - namely my idea of justice - was full of sense. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never have known it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.
There's a fascinating frailty of the human mind that psychologists know all about, called 'argument from ignorance.' This is how it goes. Remember what the 'U' stands for in 'UFO'? You see lights flashing in the sky. You've never seen anything like this before and don't understand what it is. You say, 'It's a UFO!' The 'U' stands for 'unidentified.' But then you say, 'I don't know what it is; it must be aliens from outer space, visiting from another planet.' The issue here is that if you don't know what something is, your interpretation of it should stop immediately. You don't then say it must be X or Y or Z. That's argument from ignorance. It's common. I'm not blaming anybody; it may relate to our burning need to manufacture answers because we feel uncomfortable about being steeped in ignorance.
Neil deGrasse Tyson