It was a pleasure to argue with you! Before finishing this interesting discussion, let me just add some more comments.
You again expect high level discussion here and I think it is funny. Really funny! We can make some effort to develop ideas, but the way you see the debate is too serious. I really reiterate my previous suggestion for you to reread what the others were discussing and how the arguments were developed. Irony and sarcasm are always there and they were in my initial post - this is why I apologised, even though I did not expect that someone would take the bait. Actually, quite often, they are full of irony and sarcasm. Mine was not an exception. Again, I do not know what you really saw in my post which was so offensive to offend me personally.There is an informative thread here that outlines many (though not all) logical fallacies.
Again, I have seen this thread to be pointed out a lot of times for someone who posted something in the same threads - I read it and found it very interesting. You suggested my argument could be arrogant if I did not agree with you. It seems that the same pattern repeats.
When you argue with someone, focus on the argument, not on the person.
Now let me turn to the fallacies.The ones I mentioned are there. To clarify the two specific fallacies I mentioned, your appeal to emotion was when you noted that book-burning has been equated to some of the worst moments in recent history (calling up emotional responses to Nazi Germany and McCarthyism, to name just a couple examples). It was not an explanation of why book-burning is inherently wrong in itself; instead, you said it was wrong and then tried to justify that with a guilt-by-association tactic. This is the essence of an appeal to emotion, and it is a fallacy. The second fallacy I mentioned was the strawman, where you refute a point that's very similar to but shakier than the point being discussed, and then consider the original point refuted because of that similarity. You did this with your "well, if books don't have meaning, neither do dead people" argument. These are, by the by, not strictly American concepts; the history of the logical fallacy dates back to Aristotle and comes forward from there.
I really liked your argument. You could have started your sentence here.
As regards the first fallacy, I have already said: you look for an academic discussion where you should not. Reread the preceding posts in the other thread. But you want an explanation, an interpretation of the post, and I think I owe you one.
Ok! I send you a question to think: Do you really think the episodes you mentioned and I referred to indirectly are different from what the pastor is doing? I was just taking a ride in the other arguments used to rebut those burnings. You can look for the arguments themselves, but most of them are voiced in the "logical fallacy" eloquence. The fact that conclusion is quoted does not mean I have to develop the whole reasoning, specially when they had already been proved. In other words, if we do what you suggest all the time, we would have to write posts with footnotes and references. Personally, I am not in the mood.
As regards the strawman argument, I humbly believe there is an error in how to apply the fallacy to my argument. Using an analogy to prove something is as old and universal as Aristotle, Romans did it much better than Aristotle. Let me get back to analogies. Analogies are used to find people guilty and not guilty among other things. Saying I used the strawman argument is only a valid criticism if there is something wrong with the comparison.
Now, we are entering the rhetoric and eloquence again. In the end, there is no right decision or conclusion. One analogy may be valid for some, not valid for others, may be valid for me now, no longer valid tomorrow - have a look at how courts decide and you will be shocked to see how chaotic the decision-making is. And they are putting a great effort in trying to make things logic (I am not talking about the US juries, but as the US Supreme Court and European courts work), applying syllogisms to facts and making decisions. There is no right answer, there is just a decision, random or not, economically influenced or not, but the appearance is always logical.
In other words, throwing the allegation at my argument assumes there is one right answer. If you think so, I think we should never have started the discussion - I am humble and democratic enough to admit there is not.
Before moving ahead, I really do not want to believe I understood what I understood when I read These are, by the by, not strictly American concepts
. Were you somehow suggesting I did not understand just because these concepts are so "American"? I felt an irony, almost forgiving my error, because you know why.I'm not a cultural relativist, by the by. I believe that killing a girl because she was raped is wrong, and I think that throwing babies of the wrong gender off of cliffs is wrong, no matter what the local culture says. Thank you for not making further assumptions about my overall beliefs from simple statements. My comment about symbolism meaning different things to different people is a statement of psychological fact. People put their own attitudes - cultural and individual - into objects which otherwise have no meaning. I assume you've heard of a Rorschach test, which is a perfect example of such a thing. It is not our eyes that actually see - it is our brains. Our eyes merely transmit color and light.
Agreed, although I do not agree with your argument about the Rorschach test. Maybe we could start another thread, but I confess I am not an expert on that topic.
One paradox which has just come to my head when it comes to cultural relativism and adds more strength to what you said: burning an American flag is a crime in some parts of the US and a national sport in the Arabian countries.Also, copyright does not free a book from being property. In fact, it takes the concept of property even farther by assigning ownership to the ideas expressed by the book. So it further illustrates that the ideas in the book are not of the book, but possessed by the author. The only thing that you can claim ownership over is the paper and the glue and whatnot. How can you burn what you don't own? Noelle made this point nicely.
It does not free a book from being a property, but it creates a right over the property for someone else. It is like a mortgage in relation to the real state (another analogy, do not accuse me of being strawman again).
Just wondering...don't you think it is possible for the author to claim moral damages if someone burns a book on the grounds that his honour was tainted? Doesn't this blur your clear-cut distinction? I think so. I am not familiar with US precedents, but the European Court of Justice has already decided such a claim is possible when eurocommunists burnt bibles.My posts have nothing to do with friendship, and have not contained any personal attacks. I don't know you, I don't know anything about you other than the views you've expressed. I criticized your post because, yes, a higher standard of posting is expected in this board. It is supposed to be for debating, though that usually devolves into arguing (and I'm not claiming innocence on that). But just because it does devolve doesn't mean we shouldn't strive against it. I meant what I have said as constructive criticism, nothing more. However, I apologize for saying you were rude; what I took for sarcasm in the previous post might simply be the consequence of not being a native English speaker. Sorry 'bout that
OMG! You take everything so literally! LOL! Sorry if I am not so serious!
Of course, I am not your friend and I don't know you. However, what I did was trying to give you a diplomatic solution for the offenses you insist not to see.
You really insist on the high standards, but I believe you are just picking on me for some argument I used and you did not like. I do not know why, but I feel it between the lines. Formally, you present a good reasoning - I am really enjoying arguing with you - but in the end you always come out with a jewel, which only takes things more personally.
Just forget that, right?Yes, actually. Yes, I can. So, perhaps if splitting up the hydrogen and oxygen is not so impossible, certainly separating the idea from the piece of paper that happens to be its carrier isn't impossible either. It's somewhat like the body and the soul, if you believe in one. They are very close, but they are not interchangeable.
Clearly separating oxygen from hydrogen is possible. However, when they are together, they are water - there is no way to deny that. Same happens to books - paper and ideas are there, you cannot split them. Just another analogy. Or would you throw the strawman fallacy against me again? If so, I would accuse of ignoring reality and falling into sophisms.