Or, as We Say in Argument Clinic

“… that’s a label.”

Is this the right room for an argument

HJ Hornbeck offers a good explanation [reprobate] of why atheists, scientists, and skeptics should avoid using the label “postmodern” in an attempt to dismiss ideas that are confusing or counter-intuitive, especially if they are confusing or counter-intuitive because the reader has failed a “privilege check.”

[Read more…]

Argument Clinic: Dirty Deeds


Sometimes, you encounter an annoying person who is not arguing honestly with you; someone who just wants to show you how clever or tenacious they are.

Is this the right room for an argument

Actually, they are tedious, not clever, but your problem then becomes a matter of explaining that to them.

[Read more…]

Argument Clinic: The Destroying Parry

Is this the right room for an argument?

Is this the right room for an argument?

I’m going to try something here that I consider daunting: as a side effect of this module, I will attempt to offer a refutation of two important paradoxes/arguments that bedevil philosophers and skeptics. Not one, but two! In the interest of Argument Clinic, however, I am willing to fail in the attempt even though it may leave me covered with shame and ripped to pieces by The Commentariat(tm)

In fencing, a destroying parry is one in which the defender’s blade kills the momentum of the attacker’s blade, leaving them in a known position for a riposte.

[Read more…]

Argument Clinic: Calling People “Racist”

This is an emergency public service announcement from Argument Clinic!

Is this the right room for an argument?

Is this the right room for an argument?

I see a lot of discussion on various news sources as to whether or not so-and-so is a racist, or such and such. It is poor strategy to engage in such a discussion unless you plan to win it. To explain further… [Read more…]

Sunday Sermon: The Five Modes

Sextus Empiricus’ “Outlines of Pyrrhonism, Part 1” Chapter 15:

Of the Five Modes

The later Sceptics hand down Five Modes leading to suspension, namely these: the first based on discrepancy, the second on regress ad infinitum, the third on relativity, the fourth on hypothesis, the fifth on circular reasoning.

[Read more…]