View Full Version : how to argue philosophically

solomon levi
03-25-2013, 01:44 AM
These are here because they are just my observations, not rules for the forum.
I just think it's entertaining. Most of you will be familiar with these tactics.

There are arguing tricks that people use to win.
The desire to win or be right or better is one of the first signs that
we are not dealing with a "sane" person.
Sane means whole, healthy, and winning is not whole as it fractures and separates from the "loser".

Relativity... the rules of an argument must be presented clearly so we have a relatively objective
measure to judge by. It doesn't make it truth or right. Poker rules work for poker but not for
blackjack... these are games. Arguing can be fun and useful as a game, as investigative science, etc.

Agreement... without agreement on these objective measures, no argument will bear fruit.
Thus there is a lot of arguing necessary to begin an argument. :)

Real argument is fun only relative, in proportion to the objectivity... unless cheating and doing
whatever it takes to win is fun to you.

What makes something objective is the agreement that it is objective. Without this agreement, the
argument should not begin.

Hopefully it is clear that we want to argue the actual/objective and not our personal/subjective
interpretations of things. When things are personal, the agreement cannot be there, as no two
people experience something the same or with the same knowledge and experience. So the ability
to ignore subjective knowledge and experience and see a thing as it is is a prerequisite of fine
arguing that is usually overlooked.

Anyone misquoting another or misrepresenting their words via personal interpretation automatically
forfeits the argument, not having the ability to argue objectively... go back to school and learn to
read. I once posted on facebook a pic of a happy dog and I wrote above it, "it's a dog's life".
My ex, obviously emotional, with motive, subjectively messaged me: "so you're living a dog's life"
followed by some jabbing remarks. Please people, LEARN TO READ WHAT IS OBJECTIVELY
THERE ON THE COMPUTER. "It is a dog's life" is not the same as "I am living a dog's life."
People who can't read what is in front of them are obviously not capable of arguing in the name
of truth/science and lose credibility.

Assumptions must be avoided and are signs of motive/attachment. We're here, having a conversation...
just ask me... don't assume. If you don't quote directly, there is motive in translating/interpreting.
Motive in arguments must be truth/objectivity - not winning. A philosophical argument loves the
truth. If greater understanding is reached, both people win.

Any use of theories must be agreed upon, otherwise arguments should be demonstratable.

Quoting others is evidence, but not conclusive. Let's face it, anyone can say anything and have it
quoted. Even using "science says" is not proof. Science is changing its mind all the time. Such things
must be agreed upon to be admitted as evidence. This is why Socrates would ask questions, or make
statements followed by "isn't that so?" And then if the other guy says, "that's so", then they proceed.

...I'm distracted. I'll add more later. Feel free to contribute or criticise.

solomon levi
03-25-2013, 07:31 PM
the blank slate is the ideal forum for an argument. that's a paradox /contradiction and it's meant to be... the two guidelines... that knowledge which you are presenting to be argued, and knowing nothing. it may seem counterintuitive that such schizophrenic position is sane. perhaps. i dont make the rules, i just notice them and write about what i notice. maybe this is related to "diplomat"... "double science" "con-science"...
i was always impressed by Krishnamurti's ability to stay new/present/zen beginners mind with his audience... "let's explore this question together...", like he hadn't already been asked the same question a hundred times. People call it patience, but it just appears so... really there's no time/history involved. such philosophers would make an ideal republic as Plato envisioned, if government were ideal. just saying it would be a huge improvement for america.

03-25-2013, 07:42 PM
I agree a lot of this. It almost always starts out over nothing. There are a lot of different ways to interpret words and a lot of people develop pride after learning a bit about alchemy. It's easy to do and I'm sure at some point we've all had embarrassing thoughts. I think most eventually come to their senses and just let stuff go. I guess it's easy to understand. After all Paracelsus was super arrogant but considering how vastly superior he was to everyone who surrounded him it's not like he didn't have a good excuse.

Things are so much better these days especially now that we have the internet. So there's no excuse for bad behavior.

I actually don't mind the arguments so much but the fact that it distracts people from learning, takes up forum space, and in general disrupts the vibe of the forum. Thankfully I believe the majority of our members are well behaved.

I have always been impressed by people who can truly master zen. I think some people have a natural feel for it maybe due to a past life experience.

When it comes to letting stuff go it's easier said than done but if we don't strive to be better then progress won't be made.

solomon levi
03-26-2013, 02:23 AM
quote lunsola, "When it comes to letting stuff go it's easier said than done but if we don't strive to be better then progress won't be made."

yeah, i'm finding a balance with this too. if one takes every event as Godsent, one can't dismiss another or ignore them. is that then in conflict with letting go?

03-26-2013, 04:17 AM
That's one of the reasons. Another thing would be that sometimes I see some of our more adept members offering a different viewpoint to which others think it's an insult. It's funny how pride can blind normally coherent minds.

Honestly I think there's a little bit of (he who can not be named) in all of us. We just can't let success, knowledge, or rude people turn us sour like them. We must be calm, infinitely patient, and wise so that we may convert them to our mindset. In this way we raise their value and our collective value so that we all benefit.

solomon levi
03-26-2013, 08:27 AM
lol. i'm a coyote. i don't want to convert anyone to my mindset. i just want to take them out of theirs for a second... to breathe some air never breathed before. i have no idea what that breath will be like. i'm just a messenger.

03-26-2013, 08:32 AM
Lol after going back and reading that it almost sounds cult like. Yeah I don't want to force anything on anyone, I just want people to know there's a better way or at least another way.

You're right about snapping people out for just a bit. That's basically what we can do without going too far, everything else has to be up to them.

solomon levi
03-26-2013, 08:48 AM
yeah. i've seen my conditioning is like everyone else's, meaning compared to the unconditioned there is no good/better conditioning. for most of my life i idealised christ consciousness as the goal. but i've seen that even that is conditioning... there's things a christ won't do... i know they're all "bad" things, but this is still the definition of conditioning. and i have seen the unconditioned, his consort. since i was conditioned so long without my beloved, it's only natural i want to spend more time with her and get caught up. :)