Sunday, 24 June 2012

So Matt thinks he can debate now...

The other day I came across a thread on Personality Cafe asking for tips on how to debate. I wouldn't say I am particularly good at organising an argument, but at the very least I thought I could help with how someone should argue, even if I wouldn't consider myself particularly adept at it. I wrote quite a lot and I had the intention of leaving it there; but last night someone asked me how I got so good at arguing. Aside from being a fat boost to my ego, I thought this would be a nice chance for a blog post; so I just copied and pasted my reply. I did add a little here and there, though.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Empty Appeals to Emptier Traditions

The appeal to tradition is probably one of my favourite fallacies in debating, mostly because of how completely ridiculous it is. It's one of those arguments which should be absurd regardless of what side of the debate you're on, but people still insist on using it. I don't intend to change much with what is really quite a narrow base of readers, but I still feel a need to expose idiocy where I can. 

Anyway, the argument usually comes in forms like this:
"Things have always been like this, so that's how it should be." Basically, if you do something for long enough it becomes acceptable. If you're the type which isn't inclined to thinking, then this argument might be something slightly convincing, but anyone else is unlikely to be fooled.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

My thoughts on Dark Souls

Dark Souls infuriating and sadistic level of difficulty brings me dangerously close to self harm. I enjoy a challenge and I love to push myself. But Dark Souls presents an unfair one, where the concept of everything being out to kill you is taken to a ridiculous and obscenely powerful degree. After being killed in one hit far too many times by regular enemies and being forced to waste such a massive amount of time going through areas I've already been through, I came to the conclusion that this game is simply not worth playing.

EDIT: I lied. I have returned to Dark Souls and have now beaten it. As I got further into the game, it actually became a lot easier and a lot more fun - particularly on my second run when I decided to play as a Sorcerer. With that said, I stand by most of my comments in this post, but I'll admit it mostly applies to the first half of a New Game. There will be a few amendments in bold throughout the post.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Why I'm disagreeing with Richard Dawkins

I rather like Richard Dawkins; I think he's a brilliant man who usually presents very clear and comprehensive arguments when dealing with Religion. He's also... you know, an excellent biologist, but that's by the by. Anyway, about two weeks ago, Dawkins wrote an article for the Guardian explaining why he believes that children should read The Bible. Before the religious among you start celebrating that a well-known and respected Atheist has seen the light, he has motives which are not what you might expect. 

He has not converted to Christianity and he certainly isn't out to indoctrinate young children. Indeed, he believes that by getting children to read the Bible, the exact opposite will be achieved, and we will have even fewer Christians to deal with. I agree with him that the King James Bible should be knocking about somewhere in every schools library and I agree with his reasons, but something tells me that his diabolical plan isn't going to work.