Charles Zhang

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The best test of an argument is its ability to convince someone with an opposing viewpoint.

By being forced to defend an idea against the doubts and contrasting views of others does one really discover the value of that idea.

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    Apr 24 2012: I hold an opposing viewpoint Mr.Zhang. The failure of an argument to produce converts does not invalidate, or falsify that argument. It is not the response of others that validates an argument, it is the rules of Logic. Rules are objective. People are subjective. But, I will consider, however subjectively, your defense of your argument.
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      Apr 25 2012: Thanks! Mr. Long. I think if I rewrite the argument in another way, it might be better.
      " the best test and practice of one's understanding on an argument is his ability to convince someone with opposing view point." How do you think of it?
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        Apr 25 2012: Now I disagree less Mr. Zhang. But the best persuader is not always the best promoter of truth. If you have powers of persuasion greater than mine you can convince me to abandon my position and accept your fallacious argument. The best test is conformance to the rules of Logic.
      • Apr 25 2012: " the best test and practice of one's understanding on an argument is his ability to convince someone with opposing view point."

        Now is better... but i would exclude 'argument' and replace 'someone' by 'himself/ herself'' :

        "the best test and practice of one's understanding is his ability to convince himself with opposing view point '
        • Apr 25 2012: Natasha, Bravo!! this I also think is best language to express great idea.
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    Apr 24 2012: except people don't consider arguments. they just rehash their previous opinion. most people can not convinced by facts even.
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    Apr 26 2012: Charles, This question has many facits. A argunment never achieves the desired results. Discussion, banter, dialog, discourse, etc would indicate that there is a open mind and a willingness to be heard and perhaps be receptive to change. I can not convience someone with a opposing viewpoint and would not make the attempt. That is a fools mission. I cannot defend a argument. The argument must be able to stand on its own merit. However, I would submit that there is always room for mprovement. If possible I would concede and incoperate parts of your proposition into my document. In an effort to make you an ally. If we start this all of as an argument then this will never be possible.

    Finally ... The matter of word smithing your original question. Add some words, change some, delete some ... it really makes little difference. To answer your question does not require a in depth analysis. The more definative the question is the more I suspect that the author is looking for a specific answer, more than likely "HIS CONCLUSION". That is a ego booster question and does not seek input, just agreement.

    Thanks for listening to an old man rant. All the best. Bob.
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    Apr 26 2012: Charles
    The best test of an argument is the development of new knowledge.
    http://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/19/00/65/PDF/337-348.pdf
    (gee, I hope we can cite references)

    This dates back to the ancient Greeks. See also Aristotle, Socrates, Protagoras, Plato, etc.

    I still think that knowledge development is the true measure of a good argument.
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      Apr 27 2012: Waw, Thanks for your reply. I love this kind of papers!
  • Apr 25 2012: The best test of an argument to me, is when both parties walk away understanding why the other party feels the way they do.

    I think that your second statement has alot of merit. "By being forced to defend an idea against the doubts and contrasting views of others One (I interpret this oneself/me myself) am able to really discover the value of that idea.

    Example: A friend and you argue as to whether or not to take a sweater to the movie theater. Your friend insists that she never gets cold, you state that the theater has an unusual cold environment. Still your friend chooses not to take her jacket. At the theater she is asking if they sell coffee, because she needs to feel warm...........you smile inside, but also are sad because you wish she had listened to you.

    Like Krisztian said earlier, even if you have truth, facts/ data/ proof, it is very hard to convince others. Who knows the mind of men?

    {I had written this comment before, and it got eliminated......I don't know why......I don't think I was off topic}
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    Apr 25 2012: I disagree! :P
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      Apr 25 2012: Yeah, actually I threw out a view. And I think it is better, if you can share your reasoning with me. Anyway, thanks!
  • Apr 24 2012: Having, and/or making the better arguement does not make you correct, it simply shows your abilities to debate are more competent than your "alternate contributors".
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    Apr 24 2012: Actually we can not convince someone with opposing viewpoint but only persuade him or her.