Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Richard recaps the zombie "debate"

Richard asserts his position again regarding Assessing Arguments and Begging Questions. Please follow the link for context. But he seems to still be misunderstanding Richard Brown even though RB has been reasonably clear in his position.

as per Richard B
To beg the question in this sense is to beg it against someone
So we need to ask who is Richard talking to?
the obvious answer is Richard B (surely I don't need to justify that assumption) in which case it is straightforwardly question begging.

Further as Richard states in the comments to RC's post
It is that I do not accept one of the premises which is itself unargued for; in fact I even presented an argument against said premise using premises which you do in fact accept. When I ask for an argument for the unsupported premise no one gives one and when I ask for a response to said counter argument again no one gives one. So what makes the argument 'crappy' is not simply that I reject one of the premises. It is that no one can support the rejected premise and no one can show that the counter-argument against it is itself no good (or at least no one has bothered to do so).

The more complicated possibility is that even in the mist of directly answering RB's questions he is still talking to physicalists in general, asking them to change their position.

Richard C seems to confirm this position in his belief that the following provides justification for his position

there are at least a fair number of materialists-by-default, like my past self, who are disposed to find both premises very plausible

This may seem plausible to a non-physicalist but remember we are not involved in a debate about how one should understand words and how one should debate so it is analogous to say to Richard C something like :

"Qualia are not consistent with the theory of the soul - therefore qualia don't exist."

That argument might be convincing to some people, but to me it is a breach of standards to use it even if my intent was to speak to a general audience.

Further, the hypothetical materialist would appear to be a much easier to attack sort of materialist. As Richard C highlighted before
most prominent opposition is from anti-intellectual rubes and intellectually bankrupt religious apologists ... From a purely sociological perspective, it's no surprise that intelligent people might initially be drawn to [the opposite opinion]... But that's no substitute for assessing the strongest arguments.


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