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Rules of Engagement

Avoiding logical fallacies in civil discourse
by

julie miller

on 18 September 2012

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Transcript of Rules of Engagement

Foundations for Rational Discourse RULES OF ENGAGEMENT Critical Thinking is a MUST IDEAS HAVE CONSEQUENCES (1) The Law of Identity: P is P
(2) The Law of non-contradiction: P is not non-P
(3) The Law of the excluded middle: Either P or
non-P Laws of Logic In other words... (1) Everything is itself and not something else.
(2) A statement cannot be both true and false at the same time in the same sense.
(3) A statement is either true or false. Can critical thinking skills be applied to religious claims? COMMON LOGICAL FALLACIES False Dilemma Fallacy Red Herring Fallacy Straw Man Fallacy Appeal to Hypocrisy Fallacy WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE TOLERANT? K Questions:
(1) How do you handle the constant assault of information?
(2) Do you agree that most information is not neutral? Can you pinpoint presuppositions behind statements and claims?
(3) What does it mean to say that ideas have consequences?
(4) Give an example of 'carrying an idea to its logical conclusion' by thinking critically.
This brings us to the Laws of Logic.... What kind of thing is Logic? The Laws of Logic are the basic principles of reasoning. On the Christian world view, they reflect the nature and mind of God. The apostle John begins his gospel by saying that Jesus is the Logos, the source of reason. Therefore, it is possible to reason and have knowledge because the Creator, the ultimate ratio and logos, gave human beings rationality. The world is designed to be known, and thus all academic disciplines are possible. This is ratio Christi--the reason of Christ. Question?
How does the Law of non-contradiction relate to the topic of our upcoming debate? Which logical fallacy do you hear most in religious conversations?
Ad Hominem
Bandwagon
Antiquity
All-natural
Authority
Quantum Physics Give an example Give an example Give an example Give an example Webster's:
Permitting or allowing a conduct or point of view you think is wrong while respecting the person in the process.

Tolerance presupposes disagreement. Tolerance is reserved for those we think are wrong.

This concept has been lost in the modern distortion of 'tolerance.' Today, if you think someone is wrong, you are labeled intolerant. On the historical view, civic tolerance means that all views get a courteous hearing, not that all views have equal truth, merit, or worth. To argue that some ideas are false or immoral does not violate the standard of tolerance. The current cultural view of tolerance actually shuts down intelligent engagement on serious topics.

The classical rule of tolerance should guide our discussions. We respect people who hold beliefs different than our own; we treat them courteously and allow their views in the public discourse, even though we may strongly disagree with them and vigorously contend against their ideas in the public square. Challenge Challenge This week: Apply critical thinking and logic to evaluate ideas and information. Practice the historical view of tolerance. Last week: Hold an integrated view of faith and reason.
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