Thursday, September 23, 2010

Denying Necessity Renders Argument Irrational

Unless necessity is a part of inference, no argument will prove anything.

When I reach a conclusion from evidence, I commonly assume I have been moved by the uniqueness of this evidence, that the relevance of the evidence and the cogency of the argument had something to do with my concluding as I did.

But if they have nothing to do with my concluding things, then no conclusions are ever arrived at because the evidence requires them.

And the assumption that I have been moved by reasons is an illusion.

I've been moved only by causes, and between those causes and their effects there is no rational connection.

So the fact that a conclusion is reached at the end of an argument, no matter how necessary each statement may seem because of the statements before it has nothing to do with its validity, since logical factors had no part in the actual causation of the of the conclusion.

But how can you even argue for that view consistently? If you do argue for it, you assume that your own belief and that of those you're trying to convince might be affected by your argument, and that the more reasonable or logically compelling you can make your case, the better your prospects of persuading reasonable minds.

If you were to act consistently with your theory, you would abandon reasoning and never seek to reason with others.

No one is really moved by reasoning to accept a conclusion, are they?


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