Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The 30 Most Common Ways You Can Lose an Argument

The 30 Most Common Ways You Can Lose an Argument


  1. Thanks, this is very useful when debating.

  2. Intro To Logic - One of My Favorite Courses

    1. I took that course my first full year in college(Kent State). The only course more difficult during my time in college was Calculus. I had to take Calc. four times....yes....four...I kept dropping it before I'd get the bad grade recorded on my transcripts...the last two times I had tutors, and I received a "C" when I finally passed, probably because the 3rd time the professor I had liked me, and told me to take it again with him on the 4th time. It might have been a "mercy" C.

      The only thing I can say about Calc is that when I took Quantitative Business Analysis(Business Statistics) after Calc I got an "A" and it was a wash out the actual application of Calc. seemed to go better for me.

      Anyway, when I took Phil 101 I found it not just challenging, but interesting. I was a borderline "A" throughout the semester...until the finals. I never had good study habits until later in life because I almost didn't graduate high school...and at 19 even though I was motivated, unlike high school, I was till learning how to arrange my time and study effectively...when it came to the "final" which was weighted substantially(on the order of 33% or so), I had been up without sleep during finals week for two days in a row and went in at 8am on the third day to take the final with several cups of coffee in my system.

      After the test I literally slept 24 hours. I stopped by the professors class a few days later before leaving campus to see how I did because the class was so difficult even though I enjoyed it.

      I asked him, "Did I get the "A"?" He said tersely, "No."

      "Really, I did that badly on the final?"

      "Yes, you did, you're lucky I gave you a "B+". Do you take drugs son?" (this was Kent State remember)

      "Nothing major(I smoked pot now and then at the time). Can I see the test?"

      When I read my test, which was nothing but pages of proofs...I literally could not understand my own sentences. My brain was so fried,it literally it looked like random words on a page...with no cognizance what so ever.

      I remember being so humiliated, I explained to him my lack of discipline/time organization skills and how I took the test without sleep for 2 days...he didn't give me any slack and just looked at me with disappointment. I shouldn't even have had the "B+" most likely....but he was kind in that regard I suppose.

      It was a good life lesson for me.

      Regardless of all that, I'm with you, I loved that logic course. It was the toughest course I ever liked.

    2. Kent State?! Ha Ha. I took my courses a few hours south at Ohio State.

      Even with your "poor organization skills", you did better in that class that me. Tough stuff but very interesting. It helped that I had a really good professor, something that I cant say about a few of my other "instructors".

    3. College was mostly a joke for me. The Western Humanities portion was helpful to gain a perspective on how/why the world stands today, & my one accounting the class was very helpful(which I took at Akron University). I enjoyed history of Japan & China(at Kent) as well.(but I can't say either of those classes helped me make a living, neither did the philosophy of logic course really)

      But when I look back on it, the years I spent going at night(I only did full time 1 year at Kent) at Akron while working during the day were mostly wasted.

      Every valuable skill I use today to make money in my business: sales(learned from my Dad-old Xerox/IBM sales training stuff), computer/software integration into mechanical & mechanicals in general....were all self taught as a boy. (I played around with a Vic-20 @ 10 yrs old, built RC cars, & then tore down engines on my own a little later-all self taught through books)

      College in my case added very little- maybe it helped with being able to negotiate in "educated" circles...but really when it comes down the brass tacks in terms of what I get paid did nothing.

      Heck, there were some large LER's (Kent was 35K student at the time!) where I kid you not, I attended three times & got an 'A' or 'B'.

      I'll never forget Kent's "Computer Information" course I took back in 1990. Everyone would bitch about how difficult it was and the grade was dependent on two tests. Mid & final. I went to the first class and picked up the syllabus, looked over the textbook, knew everything in it from messing around with computers as a boy and attended twice more to take the mid & final examine and got an "A" and that was that. (you can do that in a 300 person class)

      Total waste of money/time even for the three days I was there.

    4. I played rugby at Kent btw & played against Ohio State-it was a crazy time...I think Ohio State was 60K in student at the time(1990)...just huge even compared to Kent.

  3. 3. The argument from ignorance is basically when the justification used for a claim is that no evidence has been provided to the contrary.

    "No one's ever been able to prove that ghosts exist, so it's obvious that they don't."

    Yes, this is an argument from ignorance fallacy. But notice that it's also a shifting of the burden of proof. There is no reason for a person to claim that "no ghosts exist." The person should simply say, I don't believe that ghosts exist because no one has demonstrated that they do. The person who doesn't believe in ghosts is perfectly justified provided they don't make the further claim that "no ghosts exist."

    The justified argument looks like this:

    You have not demonstrated that ghosts exist
    Therefore, your claim that "ghosts exist" has not met the burden of proof and I am justified in not believing they exist.

    It is only when the person makes the further claim "No ghosts exist" that s/he gets into trouble. This is because it is an additional claim that needs its own justification.

    Thanks for posting this! It's one of my favorite subjects.