Friday, May 21, 2010

elements of argument

Ironically, as a prof who has to teach argumentation now n then, it is interesting to see fallacies and logical problems so rife among people who otherwise seems well-educated and/or rational.

I happen to be a member of a few not-always-well-respected groups (including educators) and am always astonished how insecurities and fear drive knee-jerk responses to them. Im sure a few MSers who happen by this blog might think "uhuh, dyke spic bitch fuck", but think about it: from whence comes the reaction? 'cause I'm not agreeable or accessible to someone?

I live in America. In AZ, where it's legal to carry a concealed weapon without a license. Into bars, even, unless posted. I'm not hugely fond of AZ, but should I choose to carry a gun (and I've even had law enforcement training for the feds), I imagine some people who have knee jerk verbal responses to my existence might be quieter.

But I don't want to carry a concealed weapon. I'd like to hope one day our American brains become as fast as our mouths. We're still reading as a nation at about 8th grade level. Many of us argue like a pingpong game-- back n forth, did not-did too style.

Argument fallacy 101-- Begging the question: treating an opinion that is open to question as if it were already proved or disproved. (thank you, LB Handbook, 11th edition)

Non sequitur: 'it does not follow'-- drawing conclusions from irrelevant evidence (ibid).

Anyway, desire springs eternal for my countrypeople. As does desire for a MS cure. But until then, civil discourse on all sides would be of value.

Health and love to all!

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