Showing posts with label frameworks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label frameworks. Show all posts

Monday, April 19, 2010

Presuppositions, Frameworks, and Argumentation.

Video on this topic:

And yes, I was having a horrible hair day that day, sue me ;)

Okay, so I have been intermittently been thinking about this topic for some time. The thing of which I am speaking is debate on the subject of relgion. Now, while this could actually pertain to any subject, I would like to frame this within the context of religious discussion. Namely, that which takes place beteen believers and non believers.
So, believers and non believers have two completely different worldviews, or frameworks, from which their arguments on this subject are deployed. Each of these viewpoints, or frameworks, contain beliefs that are fundamentally subscribed to. They are presupposed. For example, the believer will pressupose the existence of god(s). Any discussion regarding religion always takes place with this presupposition in effect.

An atheist will pressupose things as well. For example, if I am to discuss evolution with someone, I absolutely enter the debate with the presupposition that evolution is a fact. Or, to tie in with the example I gave for the theist, an atheist will pressupose that certain arguments for the existence of a deity are false. Speaking for myself, I outright reject the TAG, cosmological, and teleological arguments for the existence of god, and thusly enter into any discussion about them with the idea in mind that they are insufficent/flawed/unacceptable.

So just what the fuck am I driving at here?

Well, presuppositions can change, although it is (notoriously) difficult. So my question is as follows:
Which do you think is the more effective method of argumentation? Working within people's given frameworks, and trying to change their mind on enough non pressuposed issues until one day the presuppositions themselves naturally come under scrutiny (or they are willing to actually consider them)

aka The Top Down Approach (as it was named by my friend and excellent Youtuber


Going right for the presuppositions, knowing that if you strike right at the heart of the matter and are successful, everything else will presumably fall in line?

aka The Bottom Up Approach (also named by my friend and excellent Youtuber

To elucidate this, as an atheist, would you think I'd have more success refuting a theists' notions on several different particulars until their very belief in god comes into question, or going right for the presupposition, knowing that if I can remove the certainty, the rest will crumble the second the belief in god does?

This of course, as I stated, can be applied to anything. Politics is another big one. This does not have to be about religion.

One thing to add was something I stated in the video: Does the fact of whether or not the ideas that follow from the presuppositions are logically consistent/follow from the belief (aka not non sequitors) change the ideal approach? I would think that it does, in that, if Y follows from X, it might be more prudent to go right for X, since you will have a harder time attacking a position which is seemingly steeped in solid logic. And of course, the opposite would be true (in my view, of course). If Y does NOT follow from X, then it is easier to tackle Y. So, if Y and Z both do not logically follow from X, and you strip them away, X is more susceptible to scrutiny (aka the top down approach).

I would love to get some feedback on this, both from theists and atheists. I think this is an interesting topic than could benefit from anyone, on both sides of this debate. Actually, forget that context, anyone, period, in terms of ANY debate. Sometimes I get too steeped in the theist/atheist thing, but what can I say? It's the area of discussion with which I am most fascinated, opinionated, and well, according to a few people.....obsessed.