Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Except For In This Case

Well, I'm hosting the blog this week, so here's my question for all of you.

Whenever one makes an argument, people will try to poke holes in it by asking "Well, what if happened, would you still believe that?". Many times, this leads to making exceptions to our arguments. Here's my question: Does making an exception to an argument weaken the argument? Or can it strengthen it?

Hope everyone had a restful and fun break.

Rick Andrews


Rachel said...

Exceptions to a person's stance can make them seem wishy washy, as if their knowledge, ethics, or whatever is in question is weak. However, most issues are not cut and dried. For example, I support a woman's decision to have an abortion if she is not ready to support the child, if it is early on, if she was raped, or if the birth would be a danger to her own health. Compromising on these values does not strengthen my argument. It only makes it simpler. As Alfred North Whitehead said, "seek simplicity, and distrust it."

On the other hand, if someone makes exceptions to their argument because it is flawed and they are trying to avoid the punches, the argument is weak as their are no values or morals backing up the exceptions. For an exception to be legitimate, there has to be a reason.

katrina337 said...

It kind of depends on how many exceptions there are. If you need an exception for a million situations, then it's probably not a terribly strong argument.
I know with a lot of my beliefs I'll go one way to a certain extent, and past that extent it changes. To a lot of people, it makes it seem like I'm not very strong in my beliefs. But from my point of view, I've taken a great deal of care and concern in order to formulate my beliefs, and they're more firmly set knowing under what circumstances I believe something.