[ExI] Striving for Objectivity Across Different Cultures

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Thu Aug 21 10:05:59 UTC 2008

On Thu, Aug 21, 2008 at 9:31 AM, Stefano Vaj  wrote:
> Yes. Whatever the case, while personal attack or "disqualification by
> association" are mostly a rhetoric trick aimed at the public (what I
> called ad hominem sofar), the ex concessis argument actually
> represents a way to expand or one's views or have them reviewed, since
> most of us do strive for consistency.
> Of course, what you do with such arguments, besides possibly "winning"
> the debate :-), is to help people to think fully and to the bottom
> what they really think.
> Say that I have a bioluddite agreeing to an apparently banal and
> common-sense stipulation that the ability to live is absolutely better
> than death, and then persuade him ex concessis that this implies that
> longevist therapies cannot be refused. We now have two possible
> outcomes: either he drops his opposition to longevist therapies, or -
> and this is a distinct possibiity - he is there thus led to revise his
> previous opinion that life is an uncondtional goal.
> In either case, we have clarified the issues - and most often cornered
> the other party in positions that may be much less acceptable to the
> "public" of the exchange.

That doesn't sound quite right to me.

As Damien quoted above:
The fallacy of Ex Concessis mimics the reasonable demand for logical
consistency, but it errs by demanding "consistency" on points that go
beyond the truly logical.

So your bioluddite believes that life is better than death, but there
is no logical connection to make him believe in longevity therapies.
He might believe that the amount of life we get is God's will. Or
humans should not interfere in some areas. Or death is a necessary
evil. Etc. etc.

None of these beliefs directly logically contradict the 'life is
better than death' belief.

"There is no use in trying," said Alice; "one can't believe impossible things."
"I dare say you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I
was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes
I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast".
Lewis Carroll (from Through the Looking Glass)


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