Saturday, September 10, 2016

Hierarchy of Disagreement

Secrets stolen
From deep inside
The drum beats out of time
--Cyndi Lauper

Not a bad framework for categorizing arguments.

Toward the bottom of the pyramid is name calling. This is the emotional argument of the juvenile mind that is common on playgrounds. Unfortunately, most adults never graduate from the playground as ad hominem responses dominate the rhetoric of disagreement among 'grown ups.' Witness the rhetoric of identity politics and popular responses to any behavior that rubs people the wrong way as 'racist,' 'xenophobic,' 'misogynistic,' et al.

Name calling is characteristic of fast thinking.

Toward the top of the pyramid is refutation of the central point made by the other party. Reasons obtained from reasoning. Carefully considered arguments that prove opposing arguments false.

The slow, deliberate thought process required to operate at the top of the pyramid is consummate System Two territory. It is also why arguments of this type have always been rare in the world.

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