after reading the entry on dialectical arguments

by Andrea Elizabeth

Good dialectical arguments result in both parties discounting each other’s premise and ending up with nothing.

I don’t agree.

You have to have a counter.

They may end up agreeing to disagree.

Then they both walk away with nothing.

They can keep their original premises.

But if they were intellectually honest, and equally good at debate, then they would both have to back down from their premises.

Unless one or both thought that absence of further argument doesn’t mean there isn’t a better answer. They could agree to wait for a better answer.

But some people are ready to test the argument and act on the conclusion if they believe in the process. Used to be, people believed answers were more available and if it couldn’t be seen, it didn’t exist. Nowadays people are ready to resign without a conclusion.

So I’ll agree with the moderns and you can agree with the traditionalists. That’s not nothing, is it?

It depends on the goal. If you believe in human rationality, then both should be able to agree. Disagreement can result in one person thinking the other person is less than human. If you like and respect the other person, you don’t want to think of them that way. If you can’t agree, you may end up disbelieving in rationality. Then it seems degenerative chaos is the only answer.

Some people don’t mind chaos. They like random variety.

That gives me a sick feeling.

So feelings triumph over rationality?

Maybe so.

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