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Two contradictory arguments

  1. Mar 19, 2003 #1
    I'm supposed to write an persuasive essay. I want to do something physics-sy or philosophical. I was thinking of doing it on my grandfather paradox thread. Do you think that would be worthwhile?
    My second idea is on my disagreement with the current edu. system.

    Which sounds most worthwhile?(and cool)
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 19, 2003 #2

    Tom Mattson

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    You will want to choose a topic about which you can write persuasive arguments both for and against the point of contention.

    So, for which topic(s) can you do that?
     
  4. Mar 19, 2003 #3
    How about whether or not tv is a waste of time!?

    Can a paradox have counterarguments and supporting arguments too?
     
  5. Mar 19, 2003 #4

    Tom Mattson

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    That depends on the argument.

    The following, I think, would be too broad:

    Resolved: TV is a waste of time.

    Pro: TV is a waste of time because there is so much junk on.

    Con: TV is not a waste of time because there are also educational programs on.


    In this case, you almost have a fallacy of equivocation, because two very different things are meant by "TV". The disagreement is, I think, only apparent because of a trick of language. If the term were more sharply defined to a subset of programming (either "junk" or "educational"), I think the two debaters would agree with each other on both!

    Alternatively, this one could be good:

    Resolved: TV is a waste of time, even when it is educational.

    Pro: TV--even educational TV--is a waste of time because the time could be much better spent interacting with live human beings discussing the same subjects.

    Con: TV--in particular educational TV--is not a waste of time because it is professionally done and educationally authoritative, the subject matter having passed stringent quality requirements. This is not guaranteed with Pro's alternative, in general.


    Somethin' like that, I think.

    Perhaps. It depends on the resolution on the table, I think.
     
  6. Mar 19, 2003 #5
    Should that be my goal?
     
  7. Mar 19, 2003 #6

    Tom Mattson

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    No, you want an actual disagreement, not an apparent one. The whole point is for you to analyze two contradictory positions. If the two positions really aren't contradictory, then you aren't meeting the assignment head-on.
     
  8. Mar 19, 2003 #7
    Do you know about any sciencey debates going on right now?maybe i could use those.
     
  9. Mar 19, 2003 #8

    Tom Mattson

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    You bet--the hottest one is global warming (pun intended )
     
  10. Mar 20, 2003 #9

    Bystander

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    See Am. Sci., v91, p 150, March-April 2003, for a foundation of one alternative argument; this should give you a different perspective on the global carbon cycle.
     
  11. Mar 20, 2003 #10
    seriously, though? is it?
     
  12. Mar 20, 2003 #11

    Tom Mattson

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    Probably.

    It's already started here at PF.
     
  13. Mar 20, 2003 #12

    Njorl

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    If you want a real challenge, write in support of a nearly insupportable stance. You have to be careful though, if your teacher is not open minded, or is dim he or she may think you believe in that stance.

    Njorl
     
  14. Mar 20, 2003 #13

    FZ+

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    Hmm... Njorl.... Didn't Sagan propose that once?
    I wonder if it will work in PF. I'll give it a go...
     
  15. Mar 20, 2003 #14

    Njorl

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    He might have. I was actually inspired by Swift's essay on "The Irish Problem".

    Njorl
     
  16. Mar 20, 2003 #15
    Like um, the paradox of existence? Just kidding!

    I think I'll do one on whether or not the universe is infinite. There is a thread on that already, so it'll give me an idea of counter arguments. And so, it is decided...thank you to every one who participated on this thread.
     
  17. Mar 21, 2003 #16
    lol, good one!

    impact points would be great!

    I may post the essay here, so I can get your comments(and to make it full proof or someting) if you guys want?
     
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