“Without good support, not only is it a ‘bad argument’, it’s merely opinion.” — me
Welcome back! (Or, just “Welcome!”, if this is the first part you read in this series.)
So far, we’ve been learning some fundamental ideas in what is known as “informal logic”. We looked at the three foundational laws and four logical relationships, as determined by four categorical propositions. They sound boring and maybe a little scary at first. But, they weren’t that bad, right? (Quiet in the peanut gallery!) Taking my cue from Kenneth Samples (whose book inspired this series), I decided to sidetrack just briefly, before getting into argumentation proper — or, proper argumentation.
As seen in the subtitle to this post, the first matter I’d like to address is “logical suicide”. It involves the making of self-refuting, or “self-referentially absurd”, statements. It’s not that these statements are made often, but they are so ridiculous — careless, really — that it is a wonder they are made as often as they are. In essence, a self-refuting statement is one which makes a claim — philosophical or otherwise — which, when applied to the statement itself, makes it a contradiction. That is, the claim contradicts itself. Thus, it commits logical suicide.
A few simple examples:….