Daily Departures

Departing daily from the ordinary objects of my thoughts.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

You think you've argued a lot!

I want to share an internet gem. A site that has brought smiles to the faces of millions. A site that can only be described by one acronym; namely, ROFLMAO.

So, the site is Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About. After mentioning a few arguments like: "How to cut a kiwi" (that's the fruit, not the person) and "How to eat a Kit-Kat bar," we are given classics like the following:
Margret doesn't like to watch films on the TV. No, hold on - let me make sure you've got the inflection here: Margret doesn't like to watch films on the TV. She says she does, but years of bitter experience have proven that what she actually wants is to sit by me while I narrate the entire bleeding film to her. 'Who's she?', 'Why did he get shot?', 'I thought that one was on their side?', 'Is that a bomb' - 'JUST WATCH IT! IN THE NAME OF GOD, JUST WATCH IT!' The hellish mirror-image of this is when she furnishes me, deaf to my pleading, with her commentary. Chair-clawing suspense being assaulted mercilessly from behind by such interjections as, 'Hey! Look! They're the cushions we've got.', 'Isn't she the one who does that tampon advert?' and, on one famous occasion, 'Oh, I've seen this - he gets killed at the end.'
There are many many many more to explore and enjoy

So now that everyone is laughing and happy, let me quell that feeling by saying something about the term 'argument'--a term which is, very near and dear to my heart. An argument, as is suggested by the site I linked to is not synonymous with 'heated debate'. Although arguments can be heated, they are not essentially so. An argument is a set of statements, some of which are premises and at least one of which is a conclusion. The premises purport to show that the conclusion is true. So, here's an example:
P1 - George Bush is an evil president.
P2 - All evil presidents are remembered.
C - George Bush will be remembered.

That is an argument. Furthermore, it is an argument that was presented in a non-heated manner by someone who is indifferent about the truth of the matter. Really, I don't have an opinion on whether George Bush is evil. Really... I don't... think... that...


  • At 1/05/2006 05:06:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan said…

    Keeping to the movie theme, I think I am able to disprove your thesis that George Bush is evil using SpaceBalls. Observe:

    P1 - "Good is dumb"
    P2 - George Bush is dumb
    C - George Bush is good :-)

  • At 1/06/2006 02:10:00 AM, Blogger Mark said…

    I'm sorry... you've made a grave mistake Jonathan. The 'is' in P1 is the 'is' of predication and not the 'is' of identity. If it were the 'is' of identity then your argument would go through (i.e. it would be valid). But even if it was valid, it would still not be sound because P1 is false... funny yes, but false nonetheless.

    The distinction is nicely explained here:

    The ‘is’ of Identity and the ‘is’ of Predication

    The morning star is the evening star, “is” of identity: they are the same object.

    The apple is red: the “is” of predication, has the property of being red.


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