precision in argument.

I believe it was Descartes who broached this subject most eloquently. He sought to uncover the one and only formula, method by which Philosophy could be streamlined_ standardized so that it too many grow in girth and application. Of course whether this was just another flexing of muscles by the great academic is not verifiable neither should it matter because by then philosophy had taken an altogether miserable existence, resembling more of sophistry or sleight of hand, the pursuit of its salvation had dimmed acutely and it was an open secret that all the other budding subjects of Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Economics and Arts had developed a great deal more and surpassed it in all manner of ways.
He was one of the few who thought to save the dying subject, and with good reason. Philosophy is by far the most important science there is, its laboratory being common life experience, its application being real life as it is the field of all men. I dare say we are all philosophers each on our own treacherous path to discovering ‘the self’ and truth and what is more important than study of self? It is the only discipline that succinctly tries to explain the human person which is the only question worth answering really, after all without the human what else is there?
In the wake of the legalization of gay marriage in Ireland, Britain and the United States of America much of the debate in the western world has grown silent, by well, the laws of the land and while this chapter may have been closed there the debate in the Eastern world has just taken its first baby steps.
And as to be expected in the infancy of such sensitive discussions, things are all over the place, the battle of supremacy between the faithful and atheists has awoken, opinions are raw, disgust is rife, everyone is angry and it appears more like the arranging of peace talks because the stench of war is in the air.
Though I understand the initial blow of shock is yet to settle the one thing I have learnt is that as a people we do not know how to argue. Most have resigned to silent dissent as this is generally a shameful subject and ‘we need not argue about it’ has always been the norm after all we aren’t lawyers and the lawyering should be left to the lawyers.
Truth is arguments especially the most significant ones, those that truly shape our lives and direction we are to take don’t actually feature in the courtroom,they are the ones that happen in the bunk beds of siblings, at dinner on Christmas, at a friends’ party you name it. These commonplace interactions are absolutely critical and it follows that we must be informed on how to handle them appropriately if we are to ever find any clarity on our cultures, taboos, norms and laws. And we must muddle through them and all the issues they present, we must argue, agree, disagree and even agree to disagree but like in every process there is in fact a code that we must follow very similar to that method Descartes wrote of in his famed Discourse on Method. This code must be followed to the letter, a sort of a vaccination to avoid impasses being arrived at ,a common augury of war that is about to revolt given the sensitivity of matters at hand.
Rules of logic must be observed, sources of evidence and reference must be agreeable and concrete, the tools of bias, inexplicable disgust, ire, intolerance and mental warfare must be discarded. Both tradition and modern thoughts must be laid on the table and be defended clearly starting with the definition of terms and explanations of meanings and a willingness to clarify the impugning of positions. Impartiality and focus are key because it is truly a scientific process and we must proceed with as much openness to results and caution to avoid tainting the entire exercise with mention of irrelevant instances and baseless correlations.
The implications of these arguments especially demand that this ‘code’ so to speak be followed and even amended with the utmost caution lest we revert to blinding rage, disgust or worse yet cowardly quietude as if we weren’t built to deal with just this kind of monstrous situations. I mean we have carved this earth to our liking and why should this be any different? And for the sake of our descendants we must stop enjoying this dreadful swim in the murky waters of utter confusion whose tides keep pushing us farther away from the island of truth, a truth we simply cannot survive any longer without.
Only in times like this do we really begin to see the entire spectrum of colors that characterize all of us all wrapped up in each other, beautiful as a peacock’s plumage except that in this instance without proper care it could be a catastrophic kind of aesthetic. We should focus on the white light from which all these colors originate and try best to get back to that focal point of unity going forward. Although this particular white light is hard to coax from the rainbow it is worth trying to get there ,it certainly beats the alternative that is secret lives, violence and descent into even more misconception.

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2 thoughts on “precision in argument.

be sure to purge (thoughts,ideas,complaints) if at all you feel the nudge

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