3 AM Philosophy

How to attack an argument…start by don’t be an idiot.

How intelligent people attack an argument:
1) Look for flaws in the logic.

Example: Other day I commuted the “fallacy of four terms” and someone noted it and I immediately thanked them for it!

If you can find the argument is invalid, by not following a rule of inference or some type of deductive reasoning the argument is defeated. However, make sure they are not giving you an inductive argument, which can not be valid and only requires cogency where it is likely >50% cogent, but less than 100% cogency.


2) Look for reasons why the premises are not true (false) and try to give defeaters. I would say “not true” or “false” rather than “bad” because “bad” is a value judgement.


3) Ask yourself if the argument is convincing. The argument from contingency for God is not logically flawed, and I would not even say it isn’t unsound…but is it convincing? No, as it is a vacuous argument which doesn’t actually explain anything even if one does accept the principle of sufficient reason.
How idiots attack an argument:
1) Post memes.
2) Just say a person is wrong by fiat.
3) Call them a troll.
Don’t be an idiot…learn how to be a better interlocutor.
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