Of arguments

I love to argue. I find it the best way to understand something. Because your argument is the sum total of your understanding. If someone points out a flaw, and if it’s valid than it improves your understanding as well. I do understand that all things cannot be argued using logic, but these I find are the topics which I see as beyond arguments. Topics like, “Bitter gourd (karela) is the worst vegetable of the world, cannot be brought to any conclusion. I had previously written here about objective and subjective issues.

But for all my love of arguments, i find it difficult to find a good partner. Egos get hurt really fast and I have had many difficulties in my friendships because of these. Recently I found in a mail by D.R.Nair, posted in a newsgroup, what all not do in an argument. It seems there are standard mistakes commited by many debaters. And when I read it I realized myself of having committed a few. I hope someone will benefit from these. And let the arguers thrive.

a) Argumentum ad hominem – A fallacy seen in most discussions where the person is attacked rather than his arguments.

b) Straw man fallacy is when you misrepresent someone else’s position so that it can be attacked more easily, knock down that misrepresented position, then conclude that the original position has been demolished.It’s a fallacy because it fails to deal with the actual arguments that have been made.

c) Argument from Personal Incredulity- I don’t know something or i find it difficult to believe. So it should be wrong.

d) Red herring- Introducing irrelevant material to the issue being discussed, so that everyone’s attention is diverted away from the points made, towards a different conclusion.

e) Fallacy of the excluded middle- Seeing everything as only two alternatives. To quote Bush, “Either you are with me or with them”.

f) Anecdotal evidence- Using personal experience to generalize facts. If I have a good Hindu/Christian/Muslim neighbour, then all
Hindus/Christians/Muslims are good neighbours

g) Theorizing the consequences than the causes and arriving at wrong conclusions.

1 thought on “Of arguments”

  1. Hey commmon what are u saying…U cannot sit and think prerequisites of an argument… 😉

    Now u get a partner for arguing….!!!

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