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Re: [stoics] Stoicism when argumentation and verbal fights.

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  • Nicholas Cowham
    On Tue, Nov 1, 2011 at 5:37 AM, Alexander Alvarenga ... It depends on what you understand stoicism to be. If it is the modern view that focuses almost
    Message 1 of 6 , Nov 1, 2011
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      On Tue, Nov 1, 2011 at 5:37 AM, Alexander Alvarenga <moltronstoic@...> wrote:

      Lets say you are in a argument with some person. You have tought about your stance and you know you are correct. You know you cant convince others but feel that you have to defend your stance in this situation no matter the result.

      The other person starts attacking your persona verbally and using other cheap tricks and tries to hurt you(stoic sage cannot be affected by this?) and stop saying your argument.

      Can stoicism be used in this type of situation?

      It depends on what you understand stoicism to be. If it is the modern view that focuses almost exclusively on the ethical curriculum, then it can certainly help you to not be disturbed by the situation, and will result in you simply smiling and going about your own business (ataraxia). However, that does nothing for the other person who you may have essentially "written-off" as being "beneath you". I personally, think taking such an attitude to be vicious, and an neglect of the duty expected of a philosopher; if such is how we choose to style ourselves.

      However, the fact that someone fails to reason correctly and may present a fallacy in an argument is something that must be dealt with immediately. As soon as a fallacy arises, then it is a defect in the whole production line of the argument and must be stopped - hit that big red button and bring the assembly line to a grinding halt. The focus of the argument should then move to resolving the defect or fallacy. Remember that logic (which included rhetoric) was an intrinsic part of traditional stoic education and it would be good (with a capital "G") to familiarize yourself with at least a firm understanding of informal logic and the "sophistical refutations", not only so you can detect and correct the fallacies of others, but more importantly so that you can guard yourself from assenting to your own fallacious constructions. Don't forget, not all fallacies are deliberate or malicious and in fact it is correct to assume that most are not.

      Now, it is often the case that the other person will refuse to acknowledge the fallacy that they have introduced and feel that they have "won the argument" on those grounds. That's ok, it will happen more often than not - let them have the thrill of victory, as it takes away nothing from you at all. However, it does suggest that they are either unwilling or incapable of following or constructing a well-formed argument: for whatever reason. In such cases it is futile and rude to continue the discussion, and you might as well politely segue into an easier and more amiable style of conversation that you can both enjoy. However, be very careful of "writing-off" the person as being in any way inferior - accept the responsibility for the failure to convey your opinions clearly and convincingly, and seek to part ways in peace and friendship. Then take seriously your responsibility and study a little more logic and rhetoric: or in other words focus on cultivating your own virtue.

      Regards,

      Nyk
    • TheophileEscargot
      Yes, I think this is a good situation to practice stoicism. Remind yourself that what the other person thinks is not in your power, and therefore nothing to be
      Message 2 of 6 , Nov 1, 2011
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        Yes, I think this is a good situation to practice stoicism.

        Remind yourself that what the other person thinks is not in your power,
        and therefore nothing to be upset about.

        What is in your power is the ability to make calm, valid arguments. If
        you have made these arguments and he still doesn't accept them, you have
        done all you can.

        Stoicism is also an advantage if someone is using ad hominem arguments
        against you, because you don't have to care about them.

        As a debating tactic, ad hominem insults work in two ways. First they
        make the target angry, and therefore less capable of arguing well.
        Secondly, they are a distraction: the target ends up defending himself
        rather than arguing to the point.

        But if someone tries them against a stoic, he can deal with them better.
        If a non-stoic is called an idiot, he may say something like "I'm not an
        idiot, you're an idiot", and lose the thread of discussion.

        But a stoic can say something like "Yes, I am an idiot. In fact I'm such
        an idiot I can't see what leads you from that premise to that
        conclusion, please take me through it."

        If you read Plato's Socratic dialogues, you'll see Socrates use that
        technique all the time.


        --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Alexander Alvarenga" <moltronstoic@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > Lets say you are in a argument with some person. You have tought about
        your stance and you know you are correct. You know you cant convince
        others but feel that you have to defend your stance in this situation no
        matter the result.
        >
        > The other person starts attacking your persona verbally and using
        other cheap tricks and tries to hurt you(stoic sage cannot be affected
        by this?) and stop saying your argument.
        >
        > Can stoicism be used in this type of situation?
        >
      • Stephen.
        Dear Stoics, citizens of the earth, In this situation i would recall the saying Silence will create respect and dignity Pax, Stephen On Tue, Nov 1, 2011 at
        Message 3 of 6 , Nov 2, 2011
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          Dear Stoics, citizens of the earth,
           
          In this situation i would recall the saying" " Silence will create respect and dignity"
           
          Pax,
          Stephen

          On Tue, Nov 1, 2011 at 6:13 AM, TheophileEscargot <snailman100@...> wrote:
           


          Yes, I think this is a good situation to practice stoicism.

          Remind yourself that what the other person thinks is not in your power,
          and therefore nothing to be upset about.

          What is in your power is the ability to make calm, valid arguments. If
          you have made these arguments and he still doesn't accept them, you have
          done all you can.

          Stoicism is also an advantage if someone is using ad hominem arguments
          against you, because you don't have to care about them.

          As a debating tactic, ad hominem insults work in two ways. First they
          make the target angry, and therefore less capable of arguing well.
          Secondly, they are a distraction: the target ends up defending himself
          rather than arguing to the point.

          But if someone tries them against a stoic, he can deal with them better.
          If a non-stoic is called an idiot, he may say something like "I'm not an
          idiot, you're an idiot", and lose the thread of discussion.

          But a stoic can say something like "Yes, I am an idiot. In fact I'm such
          an idiot I can't see what leads you from that premise to that
          conclusion, please take me through it."

          If you read Plato's Socratic dialogues, you'll see Socrates use that
          technique all the time.

          --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Alexander Alvarenga" <moltronstoic@...>
          wrote:


          >
          > Lets say you are in a argument with some person. You have tought about
          your stance and you know you are correct. You know you cant convince
          others but feel that you have to defend your stance in this situation no
          matter the result.
          >
          > The other person starts attacking your persona verbally and using
          other cheap tricks and tries to hurt you(stoic sage cannot be affected
          by this?) and stop saying your argument.
          >
          > Can stoicism be used in this type of situation?
          >




          --
          Stephen,
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