Page 1 of 8 [ 113 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 8  Next

Awesomelyglorious
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 13,157
Location: Omnipresent

31 Dec 2010, 8:01 pm

Ok, I started a thread like this a long time ago (in a galaxy far away no less), however, it was a great idea, and because I am not a necromancer, I say we start this up again!

Now... normally, I would ask that a person volunteer themselves in arguing for a position. However, people can ask that other people on the forum argue against a position that they've held in the past. In this case, while last time I volunteered myself, I know that I have enough public positions that somebody surely will have the audacity to ask that I make an argument against one of those earlier positions, and ask that this person stand up.

Here are the basic rules though:
1) You have to argue against your own position.
2) You need to try to create the best argument you can.
3) Try to maintain intellectual discipline while making this argument(for instance: don't lie, avoid logical flaws... etc)

The ultimate goal of this is not to show how "foolish" the opinion you disagree with is, but rather to stretch your own abilities, and to show how capable you are of expressing an opinion you disagree with in a fair and honest manner.

So, here we go!



danandlouie
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 27 Jul 2010
Age: 74
Gender: Male
Posts: 796
Location: rainbow bridge

31 Dec 2010, 8:11 pm

wish i could help.......but......being from fury, it's impossible for me to be wrong.



Philologos
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Jan 2010
Age: 77
Gender: Male
Posts: 6,987

31 Dec 2010, 8:17 pm

So - we are talking a past position.

Arguing from NOW against THEN - or arguing from THEN against NOW?

The former would be slightly easier. But of course I am constantly arguing my old and new positions.



Awesomelyglorious
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 13,157
Location: Omnipresent

31 Dec 2010, 8:22 pm

Philologos wrote:
So - we are talking a past position.

Arguing from NOW against THEN - or arguing from THEN against NOW?

The former would be slightly easier. But of course I am constantly arguing my old and new positions.

No, we're having you argue against a current position.



Orwell
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 8 Aug 2007
Age: 30
Gender: Male
Posts: 12,518
Location: Room 101

31 Dec 2010, 8:35 pm

Philologos wrote:
So - we are talking a past position.

No, a position you hold now. It is an exercise in understanding other viewpoints; for instance, a liberal could argue in favor of deregulating industry and privatizing government functions, or a conservative could argue in favor of gay marriage.

I nominate AG to argue for Christian theism, specifically of the Arminian variety that maintains both human free will and God's perfect foreknowledge. I also nominate Master_Pedant to argue against the social safety net, and Dox47 to argue in favor of gun control.

I will argue against a reduction in military spending:

Although the Cold War is over, America still faces serious threats from a variety of sources, including a resurgent Russia under Putin eager to re-assert its place on the world stage, an ascendant China which desires to stake its claim as a superpower, and not least the growing threat of international terrorism from a variety of loosely-coordinated groups. In order to maintain an effective presence around the world that is necessary to control the threat posed by terrorist groups, we must commit to maintaining a very large number of military personnel, with increasing investment in intelligence operations and other high-tech operations that will likely end up being very costly financially. Additionally, it is imperative that we maintain a super-dominant conventional force. Not only is it a matter of national prestige that is important to retaining our role as the world's sole superpower, but we do still face potential threats in Russia and increasingly China. Russia still has enough nuclear weapons to end the world, so we should invest in a massive missile defense program (a resurrected SDI aka Star Wars) that, while costly, could end the inherent instability of MAD and takes our nation's fate out of the hands of that ex-KGB lunatic, finally giving us the undisputed upper hand in any conceivable war. Further, our conventional forces must be ready and able to support our allies, especially South Korea which is continually threatened by the Communist North. Additionally, we are the muscle behind the UN and the international community. We have a responsibility to the rest of the world to reamin powerful enough to act as a stabilizing force, and that is only possible if we continue to maintain our current military might as equal to or greater than the rest of the world combined.

I am also taking requests for further arguments. I might try arguing in favor of censorship next.


_________________
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH


Awesomelyglorious
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 13,157
Location: Omnipresent

31 Dec 2010, 10:11 pm

Orwell, you are a devil. I'll have to get back to that matter later as well. I am trying to figure out how to construct the arguments according to principles I find reasonably valid. More importantly though, I have other things on my mind at the moment.



Philologos
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Jan 2010
Age: 77
Gender: Male
Posts: 6,987

31 Dec 2010, 10:48 pm

Or would it be better to argue in ways you consider INvalid - thus arguing against your standards as well.

Whatever. I will have to meditate on this.



Awesomelyglorious
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 13,157
Location: Omnipresent

31 Dec 2010, 10:54 pm

Philologos wrote:
Or would it be better to argue in ways you consider INvalid - thus arguing against your standards as well.

Whatever. I will have to meditate on this.

Well, I am not sure that arguing in ways you consider invalid works. The reason being that methodology is less flexible than other concerns. I mean, I don't know about you, but I think about methodology all the time, just like sex. :P

"Everything reminds Milton Friedman of the money supply. Everything reminds me of sex, but I try to keep it out of my papers."- Robert Solow



Dox47
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 9,671
Location: Seattle

31 Dec 2010, 11:03 pm

Orwell wrote:
I nominate AG to argue for Christian theism, specifically of the Arminian variety that maintains both human free will and God's perfect foreknowledge. I also nominate Master_Pedant to argue against the social safety net, and Dox47 to argue in favor of gun control.


I'm going to have to think a bit about how to approach that one without sabotaging my own hypothetical argument, I've spent so much time debating against gun control that an argument to which I don't have an immediate counter isn't readily springing to mind. I suppose that's a good thing for my sake, I'd like to think that I have a pretty strong logical basis for holding the position that I do.

Orwell wrote:
I am also taking requests for further arguments. I might try arguing in favor of censorship next.


If you do take up that argument, here's a good starting point: http://www.law.ucla.edu/volokh/facilitatingshorter.pdf

It's law professor Eugene Volokh's paper on crime facilitating speech discussing things like revenge books and how to be a hit man manuals, it's a dry but informative read.


_________________
Murum Aries Attigit


Awesomelyglorious
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 13,157
Location: Omnipresent

31 Dec 2010, 11:17 pm

Dox47 wrote:
Orwell wrote:
I nominate AG to argue for Christian theism, specifically of the Arminian variety that maintains both human free will and God's perfect foreknowledge. I also nominate Master_Pedant to argue against the social safety net, and Dox47 to argue in favor of gun control.


I'm going to have to think a bit about how to approach that one without sabotaging my own hypothetical argument, I've spent so much time debating against gun control that an argument to which I don't have an immediate counter isn't readily springing to mind. I suppose that's a good thing for my sake, I'd like to think that I have a pretty strong logical basis for holding the position that I do.

Orwell wrote:
I am also taking requests for further arguments. I might try arguing in favor of censorship next.


If you do take up that argument, here's a good starting point: http://www.law.ucla.edu/volokh/facilitatingshorter.pdf

It's law professor Eugene Volokh's paper on crime facilitating speech discussing things like revenge books and how to be a hit man manuals, it's a dry but informative read.

Hmm... do you read the Volokh conspiracy? Or did the name pop up elsewhere?

Censorship is not a terrible thing to argue. Really kind of easy, I think. I mean, the real problems are going to be institutional on what to censor, not that a specific statement would not be better off censored. Once you start there, just extrapolate to more and more types of speech. Also useful to attack man's freedom of the will.



Orwell
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 8 Aug 2007
Age: 30
Gender: Male
Posts: 12,518
Location: Room 101

31 Dec 2010, 11:19 pm

Always fun in these sort of things to turn people against their most passionately-held positions. :P

Dox47 wrote:
If you do take up that argument, here's a good starting point: http://www.law.ucla.edu/volokh/facilitatingshorter.pdf

It's law professor Eugene Volokh's paper on crime facilitating speech discussing things like revenge books and how to be a hit man manuals, it's a dry but informative read.

I didn't even get halfway through the introduction before being infuriated. This will be a tough one...


_________________
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH


Dox47
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 9,671
Location: Seattle

31 Dec 2010, 11:29 pm

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Hmm... do you read the Volokh conspiracy? Or did the name pop up elsewhere?


Yep, ya got me. I actually can't remember where I first came across a link to them, probably something to do with their anti campus speech code work since that's been a longtime pet peeve of mine, though they do also cover a lot of the second amendment issues that I tend to follow.


_________________
Murum Aries Attigit


Awesomelyglorious
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 13,157
Location: Omnipresent

31 Dec 2010, 11:48 pm

Dox47 wrote:
Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Hmm... do you read the Volokh conspiracy? Or did the name pop up elsewhere?


Yep, ya got me. I actually can't remember where I first came across a link to them, probably something to do with their anti campus speech code work since that's been a longtime pet peeve of mine, though they do also cover a lot of the second amendment issues that I tend to follow.

Right, they produce too much for me to read. Especially since I am only interested in a fraction of it.



sartresue
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Age: 65
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,313
Location: The Castle of Shock and Awe-tism

01 Jan 2011, 12:08 am

In a position topic

Just turned to 2011. Time to state the opposite POV! :P

Argue against my own position? Argue against existentialism? State that I think before knowing that I am? Absurd, yet Decartes did this! I suppose I did not theoretically exist before thinking about it, when I was a small child. Self awareness does not happen until the brain reaches a level of maturity (about 18 months to thirty six months, on average). Difficult to do this, since I have always argured to opposite.


Anyway, I have said it. And I will never state such a contrary view again!! May be all live long and prosper, at least in 2011!! ! :) After that, we will see!!


_________________
Radiant Aspergian
Awe-Tistic Whirlwind

Phuture Phounder of the Philosophy Phactory

NOT a believer of Mystic Woo-Woo


Awesomelyglorious
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 13,157
Location: Omnipresent

01 Jan 2011, 9:42 pm

Ok, to begin with the argument.

The existence of God is a difficult question, and it is one that lots and lots and lots of people have struggled over for a long period of time. However, what needs to be remembered is that in any exploration to find out some piece of knowledge, we always need to start with the knowledge we already have. This approach is seen with GE Moore's "Here is a hand argument", in which he assumed the existence of his hands to show that an external world existed. Well, in this case, my approach to showing that God exists will be similar, I will use the knowledge of what we already know and use it to point to the existence of a spiritual world, and extrapolate this to God.

There are multiple issues that need to be addressed:
1) The human ability to refer to concepts of "good" and "evil". People do this all the time. And by virtue of their expression of these terms, and their reaction to the concepts, we notice that human beings refer to something they consider objective, or at least solidly intersubjective. The problem is that under an evolutionary theory, an objective, or even strongly intersubjective notion of morality is not going to exist. An objective morality will be undercut by the workings of evolution, which has no regard for anything but practical benefit, a trait that is not centrally moral. An intersubjective morality, however, will not bind every person because for all of the good that standards do for maintaining cohesion, there is always a niche for violating those standards as a matter of advancing one's own interest. One can't present this as wrong, because the individual doing this would be outside of that intersubjective framework. For that reason, in order to make sense of what we already know, we have to have something outside of the known natural facts, most likely an entity with intentions and the ability to push those intentions upon the natural world, such as a supernatural being.

2) Concepts such as logic and mathematics tend to fail as formal systems, but our everyday lives rely upon them. This failure as formal systems can be seen in Godel's Incompleteness Theorem as well as Quine's attack on analyticity in his "Two Dogmas of Empiricism". This means that we continue to use these things, knowing that they work, but under a naturalist conception, without strong ability to tie these down to naturalist frameworks. Well, this problem, can also be solved using a supernatural agent, such as one to tie our rationalist conceptions to Platonic forms or perhaps anything else for that matter. And well, this kind of solution makes sense, especially given that around 60% of philosophers of mathematics believe in Platonic forms, likely driven by their subject area. (see philpapers survey online)

3) Our notions of free will play a central role in our understanding of reality. Whenever we do something, our language and frameworks for reality tend to express the notion that we, rather than the past of our physical history, are deciding to do that. The construct of free will is also found throughout various cultures. http://www.unc.edu/~knobe/cultural-universal.pdf It is also something found to be central to our human dignity and identities, not something easily removed from our background knowledge of ourselves, but central to maintaining a coherent framework, as noted from research on the issue: http://scienceblogs.com/cognitivedaily/ ... will_c.php This also pushes us towards the notion of a supernatural being interested in our behavior, as free will is unlikely to emerge naturalistically, given that our free will entails contra-causal elements that would be difficult to create and maintain.

4) Our perceptions cannot be understood naturalistically either. The problem is that naturalistic understandings of the workings of the mind tend to require that the mind be a formal system of processing variables. The problem is that "processing" and "understanding" are not the same thing. This can be seen in John Searle's Chinese Room argument, as if we had a man in a room following a process to put symbols together in response to other symbols, to simulate a knowledge of chinese. We could not say that this man understood chinese if all he knew were how to put the symbols together. Rather, nothing about this understands the meaning of the symbols, but we do. This argument is presented more formally:
1) Programs are formal (syntax)
2) Minds have contents (semantics)
3) Syntax by itself is neither constitutive of or sufficient for semantics
4) Programs are neither constitutive of or sufficient for minds (conclusion)

The problem being that under naturalism, all that we can be is a biological program. We need to be something else in order to make sense of the reality that we all perceive. This thing, outside of naturalism, can be understood as supernatural. And the existence of this is a product of evolution, only makes sense with the intervention of something outside of nature, that is a supernatural being.

Putting this together

Because of all of the problems with naturalism in explaining the basic reality that we all perceive, we need to include a supernatural entity. Well, the issue is that if we have a supernatural entity involved here, it needs to be an entity that is interested in mankind in a real fashion. This means that supernatural entities tied to religious traditions will make more sense as a possibility to a high degree, because what better way to be interested in mankind than to intervene into man's life to engage him?

Well, as an abductive move, I would argue that Christian theism makes a lot of sense of all of this.

First of all, it accounts for our moral knowledge, as it points out that we were made in God's image. (Gen 1:27)

Secondly, it accounts for the degree of sense we can make of the world. God is not a God of confusion. (1 Cor 14:33)

Thirdly, it requires our freedom of the will, in that man must choose which kingdom to live in. This is found in the effort to preach the Gospel, after all, for the preaching of the Gospel to have efficacy, man must be able to choose. And for the cry of God to be genuine to repent, man has to have an ability to repent, rather than being the result of a chain of causation.

Fourthly, the success of Christianity over time has been dramatic. It not only was a fringe movement of an empire that hated it, but from that seed it grew into the largest religion, a move that would likely be impossible to predict. The Gospel has been translated into so many languages, and its missionaries have traveled across the world, facts that make a lot of sense if there is the Christian God who would want this to happen.

Fifthly, Christianity recognizes that there is something wrong with the world. In fact, the Christian doctrine of Original Sin has been noted as one of the most clearly confirmed ideas about mankind in history. One tongue, GK Chesterton, quipped that it was the only Christian doctrine which can be proved. People make bad choices. These bad choices often don't make very much sense at all. As such, it makes a lot of sense to recognize that maybe there is something wrong with mankind.

Sixthly, compared to most other religions, Christianity has the best attested, and certainly least falsifiable notion for its origination. It originated from the work of the ministry of Jesus Christ, emerging from the much older Jewish religion. We even have writings of a leader of the early Christian movement, unlike many other theological groups, that is to say that we very likely have the authentic writings of the Apostle Paul, who converted due to the miraculous nature of the situation. Very little similar can be said for other religions.

For this reason, it is proper to believe that there is a Christian God who exists. And, of course, in accordance with Christian scriptures, this God is a God of our morality, our freedom, our knowledge, and also, and importantly, the Christian God is a God of prophecy, who has declared the end from the beginning as said in Isaiah, and who in Wisdom may see the future, as claimed in scripture.

------------

Ok, not my best writing, but are you satisfied, Orwell?



Orwell
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 8 Aug 2007
Age: 30
Gender: Male
Posts: 12,518
Location: Room 101

01 Jan 2011, 9:58 pm

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Ok, not my best writing, but are you satisfied, Orwell?

Almost. You still have to make the case specifically for Arminianism over both Calvinism and Open Theism.


_________________
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH