Sunday, July 11, 2010

Despair Over Dearth of Discourse

Given a large percentage of comments recently on this blog, I note that few people fathom what a logical argument is:

Premises leading to a conclusion based on some form of reasoning.

What is usually posted instead are:

1. Emotive utterances: I hate X.
2. Ad hominem attacks: You are a jerk, idiot, etc.
3. Straw man fallacies: misdescribe a position, then tear it down.

It is all part of the death of discourse in America, and tempts one to despair. People do not study the art of argument or the forms of fallacies. Instead they watch TV and pattern themselves after the comedic, flippant exchanges they find there: John Stewart, Colbert, and their ilk. Glibness infects everything and nothing is left to critically evaluate.