Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Internet, We Need to Have a Talk

Hi Internet, can you sit down for a second? We need to have a talk. We seem to have cross purposes. See, when I make a claim, I provide proof or links. When you make a claim, you provide cat pictures, if that.

So, I think we should sit down and explain how debate works. See, if you make an assertion, you can let it stand on its own. But, if it is not a strong enough assertion, it will fall. This is sometimes called the burden of proof, I won't go into the actual technicalities. But, think of it this way. If you say: "Yo man, I can totally make that jump," then you better go try and make that jump. Or you will have wussed out (that is a technical term; Plato used it in what Aquinas translated as "On wimps.")

Likewise, if you make an assertion, let's say, I dunno, that someone has not paid taxes for 10 years or was really born in Kenya, it behooves you to provide supporting statements. For example, if you say we have not been to the moon or that 9/11 was an inside job, you need to provide proof.

Ok, Internet. I see I lost you. Let's circle back. Think of an argument like a meme. The assertion is the text of the meme. "Can i haz cheezburger" has no meaning without its accompanying cat; think of your supporting statements as the cat. It gives your outlandish statement context. Maybe, once I see Ceiling Cat, your statement will not be so outlandish. Then, I will be forced to counter your assertion with supporting statements of my own! Yes, verily, we will -both- be trolling for cat pictures to prove our points.

So, Internet, can we try again? This time, for at least a little bit, can we agree: No crazy statements without proof? Or at least, cats?


  1. But I REALLY can haz cheezburger & kitties are cute, you big poopie-head meanie.

  2. Down with kittens, up with puppies.


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