idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
You refuse to offer a primary source for your argument, but demand that we do so?
Almost made me fall out of my chair with that one. I hope for your sake you were being ironic, because otherwise I can only assume you need help dressing yourself and remembering to breathe.
You can try and attack me all you want, but it's actually basic logic.
My position is. The argument opposing me is fallacious though.
Read what you wrote above. Want to know why it's ironic? Because I was responding to someone who demanded that I provide a primary source for my argument while refusing to do so for their own. Get it yet?
I'm not demanding that anyone provide a primary source
. I have, in fact, repeatedly stated that primary sources in law are mostly useless in determining *why* a law was passed (or why it needed to be passed, or why the people agreed to allow it be be passed, etc). Let's examine the actual logic here and see if it stands up:
Given: For your position to be proven, you must provide a primary source.
Fact: You refuse to provide a primary source.
Conclusion: Your position is unproven.
I do not accept the given in the argument. I believe that one can argue their position in absence of a primary source as demanded in this thread. Someone else insisted that I must provide a primary source, or I'm wrong. I responded by saying that if they believe that, then if they can't provide a primary source supporting their position, then they are wrong.
My logic is to test the given in the logic above:
Given: For an assumption to be valid, it must be true in all relevant cases
Fact: The person arguing a given assumption cannot support his own argument with said assumption
Fact: The person arguing that assumption still insists that his position is correct
Conclusion: The person's argument isn't really based on the given assumption at all.
That's how logic is done. If you demand a certain condition for something to be true, you must be willing and able to apply that same condition to your own argument. If you are not, then the demand itself is false. In this case, the insistence that only by providing a primary source can an argument be valid is clearly not itself valid. Thus, it's not necessary.
I know this as the monkey-in-the-attic fallacy, but that's not its real name. I just remember it that way because its how I learned it.
You are sitting on the couch when you hear a noise upstairs. Your friend says its a monkey in the attic. You disagree, and he demands a different explanation (but you don't have one), leading him to jubilantly declare he's right.
That's what you have done, gbaji. You've told us there's a monkey in the attic, and then handed us an opinion piece as evidence for it.
Um... Ok. But you're still misapplying the logic (or unfairly applying it). You're talking about proof, not "most likely explanation". You're correct that the fallacy does not prove that the noise was made by a monkey. But the disagreement also does not prove that it's not a monkey
. It's just as fallacious for me to insist that I've proven him wrong by doing this.
Where your example fails is that I have done more than just declare that it's a monkey. I've found other people who say that the noise made is consistent with that made by a monkey. I've shown a historical pattern of monkeys being up in the attic. I've shown how the attic is a good environment where a monkey might want to hang out. I've done everything short of actually showing you a monkey to support the theory that the noise most likely was made by a monkey. If all you do in response is say "I disagree, and since you can't prove it's a monkey, you must be wrong", then while neither position is proven or disproved, mine is "strong", and yours is "weak".
To follow the analogy, if we assume that *something* must have made the noise, and if we further assume that there is some reason why me must take some action based on what we think the noise is, then the guy who says "I think it's a monkey, so we should do X", is at least proposing an idea and a course of action. The guy who can't tell you what the noise is and refuses to guess, but just sits there saying "I can't say what it is, but I don't think it's a monkey" isn't helping matters at all.
And in the real world, the absence of a countering proposal, the one put on the table does win. Just try going into a business meeting sometime and insisting that the other guys idea is wrong, but refusing to provide an alternative yourself. You'll be laughed out of the room. Or, if you prefer a more common example, you're at Disneyland, and someone proposes that you all ride on the Matterhorn, but you insist that's a bad rid, but when asked for an alternative to consider, refuse to do so. Know what's going to happen? You're going to ride the Matterhorn. Not because it's been proven to be the best ride at that moment, but because no one came up with a better alternative
Failure to provide a counter argument really does mean you lose. I know you're trying hard to pretend that's not the case, but it is.