argument

A Quote by Carl Edward Sagan on liberty, opinion, truth, error, opportunity, stale, rote, understanding, and argument

'In his celebrated book, 'On Liberty', the English philosopher John Stuart Mill argued that silencing an opinion is "a peculiar evil." If the opinion is right, we are robbed of the "opportunity of exchanging error for truth"; and if it's wrong, we are deprived of a deeper understanding of the truth in its "collision with error." If we know only our own side of the argument, we hardly know even that: it becomes stale, soon learned by rote, untested, a pallid and lifeless truth.'

Carl Sagan (1934 - 1996)

Source: The Demon Haunted World

Contributed by: bajarbattu

A Quote by Lewis Carroll on speaking, politeness, rules, children, seen not heard, speak when spoken to, logic, argument, and conversation

'Speak when you're spoken to!' The Queen sharply interrupted her.
'But if everybody obeyed that rule,' said Alice, who was always ready for a little argument, 'and if you only spoke when you were spoken to, and the other person always waited for you to begin, you see nobody would ever say anything, so that -- '
'Ridiculous!' cried the Queen.  'Why, don't you see, child -- ' here she broke off with a frown, and, after thinking for a minute, suddenly changed the subject of the conversation. 

Lewis Carroll (1832 - 1898)

Source: Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, Pages: Chapter 9

Contributed by: Tsuya

A Quote by Spanish Proverb on quarrel, takes two, fighting, argument, and peace

It takes two to quarrel, but only one to end it.

Spanish Proverb

Contributed by: mimi

A Quote by Robert Nozick on philosophy, argument, and rationality

The terminology of philosophical art is coercive: arguments are powerful and best when they are knockdown, arguments force you to a conclusion, if you believe the premises you have to or must believe the conclusion, some arguments do not carry much punch, and so forth.  A philosophical argument is an attempt to get someone to believe something, whether he wants to believe it or not.  A successful philosophical argument, a strong argument, forces someone to a belief.

Though philosophy is carried on as a coercive activity, the penalty philosophers wield is, after all, rather weak.  If the other person is willing to bear the label of "irrational" or "having the worse arguments," he can skip away happily maintaining his previous belief.

Robert Nozick

Source: Philosophical Explanations, Pages: 4

Contributed by: philosojerk

A Quote by Count Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoi or Tolstoy on reason, attachment, ideas, stubborness, thought, and argument

I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.

Leo Tolstoy (1828 - 1910)

Contributed by: Ryan

A Quote by Arthur Schopenhauer on argument, deluding, ad auditores, and debate

This is chiefly practicable in a dispute between scholars in the presence of the unlearned. If you have no argument ad rem, and none either ad hominem, you can make one ad auditores; that is to say, you can start some invalid objection, which, however, only an expert sees to be invalid. Now your opponent is an expert, but those who form your audience are not, and accordingly in their eyes he is defeated; particularly if the objection which you make places him in any ridiculous light. People are ready to laugh, and you have the laughers on your side. To show that your objection is an idle one, would require a long explanation on the part of your opponent, and a reference to the principles of the branch of knowledge in question, or to the elements of the matter which you are discussing; and people are not disposed to listen to it. For example, your opponent states that in the original formation of a mountain-range the granite and other elements in its composition were, by reason of their high temperature, in a fluid or molten state; that the temperature must have amounted to some 480 degrees Fahrenheit; and that when the mass took shape it was covered by the sea. You reply, by an argument ad auditores, that at that temperature - nay, indeed, long before it had been reached, namely, at 212 degrees Fahrenheit - the sea would have been boiled away, and spread through the air in the form of steam. At this the audience laughs. To refute the objection, your opponent would have to show that the boiling-point depends not only on the degree of warmth, but also on the atmospheric pressure; and that as soon as about half the sea-water had gone off in the shape of steam, this pressure would be so greatly increased that the rest of it would fail to boil even at a temperature of 480 degrees. He is debarred from giving this explanation, as it would require a treatise to demonstrate the matter to those who had no acquaintance with physics.

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 - 1860)

Source: http://coolhaus.de/art-of-controversy/erist28.htm

Contributed by: Ryan

A Quote by unknown on reason, argument, and irrational

You can't reason someone out of an argument they didn't reason themselves in

unknown

Contributed by: Wholesum

A Quote by Scott Berkun on intelligence, logic, argument, and self-deception

The problem with smart people is that they like to be right and sometimes will defend ideas to the death rather than admit they’re wrong. This is bad. Worse, if they got away with it when they were young (say, because they were smarter than their parents, their friends, and their parent’s friends) they’ve probably built an ego around being right, and will therefore defend their perfect record of invented righteousness to the death. Smart people often fall into the trap of preferring to be right even if it’s based in delusion, or results in them, or their loved ones, becoming miserable. (Somewhere in your town there is a row of graves at the cemetery, called smartypants lane, filled with people who were buried at poorly attended funerals, whose headstones say “Well, at least I was right.”)

Until they come face to face with someone who is tenacious enough to dissect their logic, and resilient enough to endure the thinly veiled intellectual abuse they dish out during debate (e.g. “You don’t really think that do you?” or “Well if you knew the <insert obscure reference here> rule/law/corollary you wouldn’t say such things”), they’re never forced to question their ability to defend bad ideas. Opportunities for this are rare: a new boss, a new co-worker, a new spouse. But if their obsessiveness about being right is strong enough, they’ll reject those people out of hand before they question their own biases and self-manipulations. It can be easier for smart people who have a habit of defending bad ideas to change jobs, spouses, or cities rather than honestly examine what is at the core of their psyche (and often, their misery).

Scott Berkun

Source: Why Smart People Defend Bad Ideas: http://www.scottberkun.com/essays/essay40.htm

Contributed by: Ryan

A Quote by Dr. Samuel Johnson on argument and yelling

You raise your voice when you should reinforce your argument.

Samuel Johnson (1709 - 1784)

Contributed by: Brian

A Quote by Fortune Cookie on idiot, argument, and fortune cookie

Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.

Fortune Cookie

Source: via Silk Road Fortune Cookie

Contributed by: ~C4Chaos

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