Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
Sign in to follow this  
Guest ginzershop

Reason is futile?

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

Guest ginzershop

Hey...

I recently made the mistake on another Discussion Board of engaging a poster who claimed that "terrorists could be reasoned with"

I thought it would be a quick KO... All I had to do was show that terrorists operate on a model of force or fear and therefore by definition can not be reasoned with..

But the response was a challenge to present a situation where ANYONE with an opposite viewpoint changed a course of action due to "reasoned discussion"

I am wondering what the most significant bulletproof historical argument might be.

Any ideas?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You needn't look for a historical example. It happens every day. Your girlfriend wants to go swimming with you, you want to go skating with her--so do you pull a gun and force her to go with you to the ice rink? Does she threaten to blow herself up unless you accompany her to the pool? Or do you just talk about it and one of you persuades the other?

Of course, your terrorist-supporting discussion mate will reply that relationships between nations are different from relationships between people. Not because he actually thinks so, but because it is a convenient way to counter your argument. Irrational people are just like that: they don't care about the truth, they just care about upholding their pet fallacies. It's a waste of time to argue with them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Guest

Or... it couldn't be because relationships between nations are different than relationships between people? Nah.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So he went from saying that terrorists can be reasoned with, to saying that no one can be reasoned with. He's wrong on both counts, but obviously he's already conceded the first argument.

And I agree with CF that it's an every day occurrence, so there's no need for historical examples. Although you could probably find hundreds of them, since it's so common.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

His argument would have to be that, since reason is futile, there's just as much point reasoning with a terrorist as with anyone else. And we reason with other people; therefore, we should also reason with terrorists.

The mistaken premise is that reason is futile. And it doesn't make much sense to reason with someone who holds such a premise. If you're going to respond, then, this is the thing to point out, that there's no point in your continuing the discussion if he does not admit the possiblity of being persuaded by reason, followed by an inquiry into his motives for entering conversation in the first place. For his very act of conversing implies either that he thinks one side will be persuaded or that he is engaging in something that has no purpose at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest ginzershop

I think it most likely that the response to any daily situation I present would be

If daily situations are so similar to state-state or historically significant situations it would be easy to name one, which one should I name??? (Where the two figures had OPPOSITE views or paradigms)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Constitutional Convention. Not all of our nation's Founders agreed on everything that should be in the Constitution, so they discussed it and made changes until they were all more or less satisfied. (Of course, this is a case in which the best of them shouldn't have compromised on some points; but they did, and thus it serves as a historical example of rational persuasion as opposed to the use of force.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bet he is going to claim these weren't opposite viewpoints - that one Founding Father didn't want a dictatorship where others wanted a constitutional republic. Therefore he will claim the example does not meet his criteria and is thus invalid.

I believe your poster is trying to set you up, and is doing so by NOT defining his terms or proposition clearly.

Let me know if I am right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest ginzershop

Rad Cap....

I think you are correct he is trying to set me up..... But Ill see what he does.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am wondering what the most significant bulletproof historical argument might be.

Didn't Ghandi partly force the English withdrawl due to the Indians lack of cooperation?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×