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Syllogisms or Contentions

Microsuck
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2/24/2012 6:27:47 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Which one do you prefer in debating and why? Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
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Newsflash: I doesnt matter if you think you do or not.....You do - SD

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000ike
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2/25/2012 4:55:29 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
syllogisms. A syllogism is far easier to argue since the conclusion is FORCED to be true if the other 2 premises are true. So all you have to do is argue for the validity of 2 things to win the debate. Contentions are often open to dispute, you need several to have an effective argument, and even if they're all true, if your opponent can come up with his own contentions in equal amount and significance, then the winner is unclear.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Zaradi
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2/25/2012 5:03:37 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Both have their pro's and con's in debating. I'm more used to using contentions, since that what all LDers use in LD debate, but I realize the usefulness of a syllogism. It really just depends on the topic and the opponent.
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Stephen_Hawkins
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2/25/2012 5:23:14 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/25/2012 4:55:29 PM, 000ike wrote:
syllogisms. A syllogism is far easier to argue since the conclusion is FORCED to be true if the other 2 premises are true. So all you have to do is argue for the validity of 2 things to win the debate. Contentions are often open to dispute, you need several to have an effective argument, and even if they're all true, if your opponent can come up with his own contentions in equal amount and significance, then the winner is unclear.

No, because a competing syllogism, if valid, can be adequately more important.

For example:

P1 - the invasion of undemocratic countries by America makes American citizens happy.
P2 - Syria is undemocratic.
P3 - America wants its citizens to be happy
C - Therefore, America should invade Syria.

This does not need to be refuted: If someone puts forth a cost argument, then you (voter) have to come to a judgement of which is more valued.

In addition, if you stick to "syllogisms", you have to keep making a syllogism bridge which can be used to compare the two syllogisms. However, if you make your own argument in contentions, then you can compare the value a lot easier.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

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darkkermit
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2/25/2012 7:24:42 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/25/2012 5:23:14 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
At 2/25/2012 4:55:29 PM, 000ike wrote:
syllogisms. A syllogism is far easier to argue since the conclusion is FORCED to be true if the other 2 premises are true. So all you have to do is argue for the validity of 2 things to win the debate. Contentions are often open to dispute, you need several to have an effective argument, and even if they're all true, if your opponent can come up with his own contentions in equal amount and significance, then the winner is unclear.

No, because a competing syllogism, if valid, can be adequately more important.

For example:

P1 - the invasion of undemocratic countries by America makes American citizens happy.
P2 - Syria is undemocratic.
P3 - America wants its citizens to be happy
C - Therefore, America should invade Syria.

This does not need to be refuted: If someone puts forth a cost argument, then you (voter) have to come to a judgement of which is more valued.

In addition, if you stick to "syllogisms", you have to keep making a syllogism bridge which can be used to compare the two syllogisms. However, if you make your own argument in contentions, then you can compare the value a lot easier.

the above is not a valid syllogism.
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000ike
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2/25/2012 7:30:37 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/25/2012 7:24:42 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 2/25/2012 5:23:14 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
At 2/25/2012 4:55:29 PM, 000ike wrote:
syllogisms. A syllogism is far easier to argue since the conclusion is FORCED to be true if the other 2 premises are true. So all you have to do is argue for the validity of 2 things to win the debate. Contentions are often open to dispute, you need several to have an effective argument, and even if they're all true, if your opponent can come up with his own contentions in equal amount and significance, then the winner is unclear.

No, because a competing syllogism, if valid, can be adequately more important.

For example:

P1 - the invasion of undemocratic countries by America makes American citizens happy.
P2 - Syria is undemocratic.
P3 - America wants its citizens to be happy
C - Therefore, America should invade Syria.

This does not need to be refuted: If someone puts forth a cost argument, then you (voter) have to come to a judgement of which is more valued.

In addition, if you stick to "syllogisms", you have to keep making a syllogism bridge which can be used to compare the two syllogisms. However, if you make your own argument in contentions, then you can compare the value a lot easier.

the above is not a valid syllogism.

well the only way that's invalid is because he assumed that America should do what it wants. But, you can sometimes make that assumption that want = should depending on what the debate entails.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Stephen_Hawkins
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2/25/2012 7:34:46 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/25/2012 7:30:37 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 2/25/2012 7:24:42 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 2/25/2012 5:23:14 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
At 2/25/2012 4:55:29 PM, 000ike wrote:
syllogisms. A syllogism is far easier to argue since the conclusion is FORCED to be true if the other 2 premises are true. So all you have to do is argue for the validity of 2 things to win the debate. Contentions are often open to dispute, you need several to have an effective argument, and even if they're all true, if your opponent can come up with his own contentions in equal amount and significance, then the winner is unclear.

No, because a competing syllogism, if valid, can be adequately more important.

For example:

P1 - the invasion of undemocratic countries by America makes American citizens happy.
P2 - Syria is undemocratic.
P3 - America wants its citizens to be happy
C - Therefore, America should invade Syria.

This does not need to be refuted: If someone puts forth a cost argument, then you (voter) have to come to a judgement of which is more valued.

In addition, if you stick to "syllogisms", you have to keep making a syllogism bridge which can be used to compare the two syllogisms. However, if you make your own argument in contentions, then you can compare the value a lot easier.

the above is not a valid syllogism.

well the only way that's invalid is because he assumed that America should do what it wants. But, you can sometimes make that assumption that want = should depending on what the debate entails.

No, by all characterisations it's valid. Is it logical? Maybe. Is it true? I'd argue no. But is it valid? yes. I could have presented the argument:

2+2 = 5. Therefore the Yanks won the superbowl.

And it would have been valid by the definition of what a valid syllogism is (any argument where the premises are inconsistent is valid). Unfortunately, people would almost certainly start screaming that's not valid due to loads of misconceptions. Oh well.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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2/25/2012 7:37:08 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/25/2012 7:30:37 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 2/25/2012 7:24:42 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 2/25/2012 5:23:14 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
At 2/25/2012 4:55:29 PM, 000ike wrote:
syllogisms. A syllogism is far easier to argue since the conclusion is FORCED to be true if the other 2 premises are true. So all you have to do is argue for the validity of 2 things to win the debate. Contentions are often open to dispute, you need several to have an effective argument, and even if they're all true, if your opponent can come up with his own contentions in equal amount and significance, then the winner is unclear.

No, because a competing syllogism, if valid, can be adequately more important.

For example:

P1 - the invasion of undemocratic countries by America makes American citizens happy.
P2 - Syria is undemocratic.
P3 - America wants its citizens to be happy
C - Therefore, America should invade Syria.

This does not need to be refuted: If someone puts forth a cost argument, then you (voter) have to come to a judgement of which is more valued.

In addition, if you stick to "syllogisms", you have to keep making a syllogism bridge which can be used to compare the two syllogisms. However, if you make your own argument in contentions, then you can compare the value a lot easier.

the above is not a valid syllogism.

well the only way that's invalid is because he assumed that America should do what it wants. But, you can sometimes make that assumption that want = should depending on what the debate entails.

I want a billion dollars =/= I should get a billion dollars.

Anyways the above is not valid because you have to follow certain logical rules (modus ponens, modus tollens, disjunctive syllogism, etc.), the following below:
http://en.wikipedia.org...
in which I did not see.
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Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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2/25/2012 7:47:07 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/25/2012 7:37:08 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 2/25/2012 7:30:37 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 2/25/2012 7:24:42 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 2/25/2012 5:23:14 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
At 2/25/2012 4:55:29 PM, 000ike wrote:
syllogisms. A syllogism is far easier to argue since the conclusion is FORCED to be true if the other 2 premises are true. So all you have to do is argue for the validity of 2 things to win the debate. Contentions are often open to dispute, you need several to have an effective argument, and even if they're all true, if your opponent can come up with his own contentions in equal amount and significance, then the winner is unclear.

No, because a competing syllogism, if valid, can be adequately more important.

For example:

P1 - the invasion of undemocratic countries by America makes American citizens happy.
P2 - Syria is undemocratic.
P3 - America wants its citizens to be happy
C - Therefore, America should invade Syria.

This does not need to be refuted: If someone puts forth a cost argument, then you (voter) have to come to a judgement of which is more valued.

In addition, if you stick to "syllogisms", you have to keep making a syllogism bridge which can be used to compare the two syllogisms. However, if you make your own argument in contentions, then you can compare the value a lot easier.

the above is not a valid syllogism.

well the only way that's invalid is because he assumed that America should do what it wants. But, you can sometimes make that assumption that want = should depending on what the debate entails.

I want a billion dollars =/= I should get a billion dollars.

Anyways the above is not valid because you have to follow certain logical rules (modus ponens, modus tollens, disjunctive syllogism, etc.), the following below:
http://en.wikipedia.org...
in which I did not see.

Look, someone can use wikipedia.

OK, read the first sentence:

Although there are infinitely many possible syllogisms, there are only a finite number of logically distinct types.

Syllogisms have a series of known distinct types, classified as the BARBARA sets. However, these are the categorical syllogisms.

First sentence of article:

A syllogism (Greek: συλλογισμός – syllogismos – "conclusion," "inference") is a kind of logical argument in which one proposition (the conclusion) is inferred from two or more others (the premises) of a certain form.

A syllogism can have more than two premises. I'd dispute the author that it cannot have one.

On top of this, my argument would be using modal logic to justify premise one and three.

Finally, the naturalistic fallacy is not a logical fallacy. It's something I wholeheartedly adhere to, but it's not a logical fallacy, unfortunately (and you should have seen the work some people put into trying to prove that it is!)
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
wiploc
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2/25/2012 11:22:13 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/25/2012 7:30:37 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 2/25/2012 7:24:42 PM, darkkermit wrote:
the above is not a valid syllogism.

well the only way that's invalid is because he assumed that America should do what it wants. But, you can sometimes make that assumption that want = should depending on what the debate entails.

No, it's not valid, period. You can recognize a valid syllogism because if the premises were true then the conclusion would have to be true. This group of assertions isn't like that, so it isn't a valid syllogism.
000ike
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2/25/2012 11:25:01 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/25/2012 11:22:13 PM, wiploc wrote:
At 2/25/2012 7:30:37 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 2/25/2012 7:24:42 PM, darkkermit wrote:
the above is not a valid syllogism.

well the only way that's invalid is because he assumed that America should do what it wants. But, you can sometimes make that assumption that want = should depending on what the debate entails.

No, it's not valid, period. You can recognize a valid syllogism because if the premises were true then the conclusion would have to be true. This group of assertions isn't like that, so it isn't a valid syllogism.

You mind pointing out what makes it invalid?
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
darkkermit
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2/26/2012 12:16:04 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/25/2012 11:25:01 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 2/25/2012 11:22:13 PM, wiploc wrote:
At 2/25/2012 7:30:37 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 2/25/2012 7:24:42 PM, darkkermit wrote:
the above is not a valid syllogism.

well the only way that's invalid is because he assumed that America should do what it wants. But, you can sometimes make that assumption that want = should depending on what the debate entails.

No, it's not valid, period. You can recognize a valid syllogism because if the premises were true then the conclusion would have to be true. This group of assertions isn't like that, so it isn't a valid syllogism.

You mind pointing out what makes it invalid?

I suppose if you do the translation out and add the premise "all things that make Americans happy are things that America should do" then it would be valid. However, the problem is that there is no real quantifier, so it's unclear if it is meant that "all undemocratic nations". If you add the quantifier "all" then it works out.

Eh, it was also difficult to translate to formal logic which makes it annoying.
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wiploc
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2/26/2012 9:17:28 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/25/2012 11:25:01 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 2/25/2012 11:22:13 PM, wiploc wrote:
At 2/25/2012 7:30:37 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 2/25/2012 7:24:42 PM, darkkermit wrote:
the above is not a valid syllogism.

well the only way that's invalid is because he assumed that America should do what it wants. But, you can sometimes make that assumption that want = should depending on what the debate entails.

No, it's not valid, period. You can recognize a valid syllogism because if the premises were true then the conclusion would have to be true. This group of assertions isn't like that, so it isn't a valid syllogism.

You mind pointing out what makes it invalid?

I did that, above.

I'll try going at it from a different angle.
Take this syllogism:

P1: All men are mortal.
P2: Socrates is a man.
C: Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

Is there any detail you can add that will make the conclusion not-necessarily-true if P1 and P2 are true? How about,

P3: Socrates' real name is George.

or

P3: It is cloudy.

or

P3: My birthday comes in January.

No, nothing changes the outcome.

But there are endless facts we could add to the Syria syllogism that would affect the outcome.

P1 - the invasion of undemocratic countries by America makes American citizens happy.
P2 - Syria is undemocratic.
P3 - America wants its citizens to be happy
C - Therefore, America should invade Syria.

P4: Americans aren't so stupid that we don't repent of invading countries after awhile, and become unhappy in the long run as a result of such invasions.

P4: Syria has nukes. Being nuked makes Americans unhappy.

P4: Americans only like to invade a few undemocratic countries at a time, and we already have our hands full.

P4: Americans like Syria, so it is not one of the undemocratic countries we want to invade.

You could go on and on. But one is all it takes. If you can find any way in which the conclusion does not necessarily flow from the premises, you don't have a valid syllogism.
Stephen_Hawkins
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2/26/2012 11:53:22 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/26/2012 9:17:28 AM, wiploc wrote:
At 2/25/2012 11:25:01 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 2/25/2012 11:22:13 PM, wiploc wrote:
At 2/25/2012 7:30:37 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 2/25/2012 7:24:42 PM, darkkermit wrote:
the above is not a valid syllogism.

well the only way that's invalid is because he assumed that America should do what it wants. But, you can sometimes make that assumption that want = should depending on what the debate entails.

No, it's not valid, period. You can recognize a valid syllogism because if the premises were true then the conclusion would have to be true. This group of assertions isn't like that, so it isn't a valid syllogism.

You mind pointing out what makes it invalid?

I did that, above.

I'll try going at it from a different angle.
Take this syllogism:

P1: All men are mortal.
P2: Socrates is a man.
C: Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

Is there any detail you can add that will make the conclusion not-necessarily-true if P1 and P2 are true? How about,

P3: Socrates' real name is George.

or

P3: It is cloudy.

or

P3: My birthday comes in January.

No, nothing changes the outcome.

But there are endless facts we could add to the Syria syllogism that would affect the outcome.

P1 - the invasion of undemocratic countries by America makes American citizens happy.
P2 - Syria is undemocratic.
P3 - America wants its citizens to be happy
C - Therefore, America should invade Syria.

P4: Americans aren't so stupid that we don't repent of invading countries after awhile, and become unhappy in the long run as a result of such invasions.

P4: Syria has nukes. Being nuked makes Americans unhappy.

P4: Americans only like to invade a few undemocratic countries at a time, and we already have our hands full.

P4: Americans like Syria, so it is not one of the undemocratic countries we want to invade.

You could go on and on. But one is all it takes. If you can find any way in which the conclusion does not necessarily flow from the premises, you don't have a valid syllogism.

I honestly don't care anymore, so I will add a premise to make it blatant.

P1 - the invasion of undemocratic countries by America makes American citizens happy.
P2 - Syria is undemocratic.
P3 - America wants its citizens to be happy
C1 - Therefore, by invading Syria, American Citizens would be happy.
C2 - Therefore, America should invade Syria.

It is valid as should/want are both conditional non-prima facie qualifiers. This makes the argument logically valid.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
wiploc
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2/26/2012 3:07:43 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/26/2012 11:53:22 AM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
I honestly don't care anymore, so I will add a premise to make it blatant.

P1 - the invasion of undemocratic countries by America makes American citizens happy.
P2 - Syria is undemocratic.
P3 - America wants its citizens to be happy
C1 - Therefore, by invading Syria, American Citizens would be happy.
C2 - Therefore, America should invade Syria.

It is valid as should/want are both conditional non-prima facie qualifiers. This makes the argument logically valid.

You've got a kind of argument there. An inference. That's different from a valid syllogism.

Suppose we added these premises:

P4: Mexico is also undemocratic.
P5: America can only invade one undemocratic country.
P6: American citizens would be happier about invading Mexico than about invading Syria.
P7: America wants its citizens to be as happy as it can make them.

Then you see that we shouldn't necessarily invade Syria.

With a valid syllogism, we couldn't add premises to make the conclusion false, because the syllogism establishes that the conclusion is absolutely true.
Stephen_Hawkins
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2/26/2012 3:20:19 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/26/2012 3:07:43 PM, wiploc wrote:
At 2/26/2012 11:53:22 AM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
I honestly don't care anymore, so I will add a premise to make it blatant.

P1 - the invasion of undemocratic countries by America makes American citizens happy.
P2 - Syria is undemocratic.
P3 - America wants its citizens to be happy
C1 - Therefore, by invading Syria, American Citizens would be happy.
C2 - Therefore, America should invade Syria.

It is valid as should/want are both conditional non-prima facie qualifiers. This makes the argument logically valid.

You've got a kind of argument there. An inference. That's different from a valid syllogism.

Suppose we added these premises:

P4: Mexico is also undemocratic.
P5: America can only invade one undemocratic country.
P6: American citizens would be happier about invading Mexico than about invading Syria.
P7: America wants its citizens to be as happy as it can make them.

Then you see that we shouldn't necessarily invade Syria.

With a valid syllogism, we couldn't add premises to make the conclusion false, because the syllogism establishes that the conclusion is absolutely true.

That's a competing syllogism, and you can add syllogisms to any syllogism to make it false via inconsistency.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
wiploc
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2/26/2012 3:31:21 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/26/2012 3:20:19 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
That's a competing syllogism,

It's more information, additional premises.

and you can add syllogisms to any syllogism to make it false via inconsistency.

Sure, you could change

P1: All men are mortal.
P2: Socrates is a man.
C: Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

to

P1: All men are mortal.
P2: No they aren't.
P3: Socrates is a man.
C: Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

and have it be messed up due to inconsistency. But that's not what I did in my example. I didn't contradict; I just added information.

You can't do that (without either inconsistency or irrelevancy) in the Socrates example because it says ALL men are mortal, and Socrates is a man. If your argument said we should attack ALL undemocratic countries, and Syria is an undemocratic country, then you could have a valid syllogism.
Stephen_Hawkins
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2/26/2012 4:09:27 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/26/2012 3:31:21 PM, wiploc wrote:
At 2/26/2012 3:20:19 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
That's a competing syllogism,

It's more information, additional premises.

and you can add syllogisms to any syllogism to make it false via inconsistency.

Sure, you could change

P1: All men are mortal.
P2: Socrates is a man.
C: Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

to

P1: All men are mortal.
P2: No they aren't.
P3: Socrates is a man.
C: Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

and have it be messed up due to inconsistency. But that's not what I did in my example. I didn't contradict; I just added information.

You can't do that (without either inconsistency or irrelevancy) in the Socrates example because it says ALL men are mortal, and Socrates is a man. If your argument said we should attack ALL undemocratic countries, and Syria is an undemocratic country, then you could have a valid syllogism.

P1: All men are mortal.
P2: Socrates is a man.
P3: Socrates was originally a cat
P4: We do not know if the law stating "all men are mortal" applies for men that were originally cats
C: Therefore, Socrates may or may not be mortal.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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2/26/2012 4:12:37 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/26/2012 4:09:27 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
At 2/26/2012 3:31:21 PM, wiploc wrote:
At 2/26/2012 3:20:19 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
That's a competing syllogism,

It's more information, additional premises.

and you can add syllogisms to any syllogism to make it false via inconsistency.

Sure, you could change

P1: All men are mortal.
P2: Socrates is a man.
C: Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

to

P1: All men are mortal.
P2: No they aren't.
P3: Socrates is a man.
C: Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

and have it be messed up due to inconsistency. But that's not what I did in my example. I didn't contradict; I just added information.

You can't do that (without either inconsistency or irrelevancy) in the Socrates example because it says ALL men are mortal, and Socrates is a man. If your argument said we should attack ALL undemocratic countries, and Syria is an undemocratic country, then you could have a valid syllogism.

P1: All men are mortal.
P2: Socrates is a man.
P3: Socrates was originally a cat
P4: We do not know if the law stating "all men are mortal" applies for men that were originally cats
C: Therefore, Socrates may or may not be mortal.

This doesn't seem right. C is that Socrates is mortal regardless of that addition you put,...if P1 is true and P2 is true and Socrates MUST be mortal. Otherwise, if you know that the addition that he was once a cat complicates the situation, that would mean that P1 is false and you must revise it to say that All men that have always been human are mortal.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Illegalcombatant
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2/26/2012 4:13:03 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/24/2012 6:27:47 AM, Microsuck wrote:
Which one do you prefer in debating and why? Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

1) If syllogisms are better than contentions in debates then syllogisms should be used
2) Syllogisms are better than contentions in debates
C) Therefore syllogisms should be used in debates
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
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2/26/2012 4:14:45 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/26/2012 4:09:27 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
At 2/26/2012 3:31:21 PM, wiploc wrote:
At 2/26/2012 3:20:19 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
That's a competing syllogism,

It's more information, additional premises.

and you can add syllogisms to any syllogism to make it false via inconsistency.

Sure, you could change

P1: All men are mortal.
P2: Socrates is a man.
C: Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

to

P1: All men are mortal.
P2: No they aren't.
P3: Socrates is a man.
C: Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

and have it be messed up due to inconsistency. But that's not what I did in my example. I didn't contradict; I just added information.

You can't do that (without either inconsistency or irrelevancy) in the Socrates example because it says ALL men are mortal, and Socrates is a man. If your argument said we should attack ALL undemocratic countries, and Syria is an undemocratic country, then you could have a valid syllogism.

P1: All men are mortal.
P2: Socrates is a man.
P3: Socrates was originally a cat
P4: We do not know if the law stating "all men are mortal" applies for men that were originally cats
C: Therefore, Socrates may or may not be mortal.

Because of the tenses of P1 and P2, P4 is contradictary. He is a man. All men are mortal. Those premises don't allow for qualifiers which make any men mortal regardless of their original state.
thett3
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2/26/2012 4:39:07 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
P1: if kittens are adorable, contentions are better
P2: Kittens are adorable
C: Contentions are better
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16kadams
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2/26/2012 4:42:56 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
1) if Obama has big ears he should get a second term
2) he has big ears
C) he deserves a second term
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imabench
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2/26/2012 4:54:03 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/26/2012 4:42:56 PM, 16kadams wrote:
1) if Obama has big ears he should get a second term
2) he has big ears
C) he deserves a second term

Oh please can I quote this?? Pretty pleeeeeeeeease?
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wiploc
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2/26/2012 5:09:18 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/26/2012 4:09:27 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
P1: All men are mortal.
P2: Socrates is a man.
P3: Socrates was originally a cat
P4: We do not know if the law stating "all men are mortal" applies for men that were originally cats
C: Therefore, Socrates may or may not be mortal.

You have introduced a contradiction. It can't be true that all men are mortal and some men aren't mortal.

I'm no syllogism expert. I can recognize that the argument about Syria is not a valid syllogism, but I can't give you a jargon name for the error, "denying the consequent," or whatever.

Wikipedia probably explains it. You could ask people in the philosophy forum at freeratio.org. I don't have any more information for you than that I recognize that as not being a valid syllogism.

I don't know why you're arguing the point. I thought you'd be glad for the information.