How to evaluate an argument February 15, 2014Posted by Ezra Resnick in Belief, Reason.
- If the argument’s bottom line agrees with what you already believe, go to 8.
- Else, begin reviewing the argument in detail.
- If you find anything that is just too offensive or counter-intuitive to entertain, go to 8.
- Else, if you find anything that could be given a label known to be bad (such as “socialism” or “scientism” or “reductionism”), go to 8.
- Else, if you’re able to rebut a simplistic, caricatured version of the argument, go to 8.
- Else, conclude there must be something wrong with the argument that escapes you at the moment. (If you’re curious, google “why X is wrong”.) Go to 8.
- Turns out you were wrong — change your mind! Go to 9.
- Turns out you were right! There’s no need to change your mind.
- Congratulate yourself for being rational.