Rules for Logical Argument

I’m keeping this post to link to from any argument space that I control, like my Facebook wall. I prefer to argue in an objective mode, even if the subject is religion, aesthetics, or politics. I wholly reject the proposition that all categorical statements are political.

This is what I expect from all participants:

1. Do not use logical fallacies, which includes argument against identity, explicit or coded in buzzwords like “mansplain” or “femsplain.” Instead of calling someone out on an obscure fallacy, say, “That’s not an argument,” and only elaborate if necessary. (Nod to Jack Raynard on this latter idea.)

2. Do not tell other people what they think or feel. As a procedural necessity, everyone must be treated as an authority over their own experience.

3. If the argument gets heated, have each person summarize the other’s point and gain their acceptance of the interpretation before moving on.

4. If you are asked if you are arguing from a certain premise, give an unequivocal answer, no prevaricating with “It’s more complicated than that” if the question must have a yes-or-no answer. You can qualify your position, but at some point, you must also commit to a premise in order to argue at all.

5. Don’t indulge in sarcasm when countering someone’s points.


About robertpkruger

Writer, editor, and software developer. President of
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