Two contradictory arguments

  • Thread starter RuroumiKenshin
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  • #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)
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
quantumdude
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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?
 
  • #3
How about whether or not tv is a waste of time!?

Can a paradox have counterarguments and supporting arguments too?
 
  • #4
quantumdude
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Originally posted by MajinVegeta
How about whether or not tv is a waste of time!?

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.

Can a paradox have counterarguments and supporting arguments too?

Perhaps. It depends on the resolution on the table, I think.
 
  • #5
I think the two debaters would agree with each other on both!

Should that be my goal?
 
  • #6
quantumdude
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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.
 
  • #7
Do you know about any sciencey debates going on right now?maybe i could use those.
 
  • #8
quantumdude
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You bet--the hottest one is global warming (pun intended )
 
  • #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.
 
  • #10
Originally posted by Tom
You bet--the hottest one is global warming (pun intended )

seriously, though? is it?
 
  • #11
quantumdude
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Probably.

It's already started here at PF.
 
  • #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
 
  • #13
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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...
 
  • #14
Njorl
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He might have. I was actually inspired by Swift's essay on "The Irish Problem".

Njorl
 
  • #15
Originally posted by Njorl
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

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.
 
  • #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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