Logical Gal caught without a good argument

6 Jan

There, I did it again!  I opened my mouth, made an assertion and was surprised when my conversation partner asked me why I thought that!!!  Uhhh….I immediately went into SCRAMBLE-mode. Not a comfortable position from which to articulate good reasons for my belief.

How did this happen?  Simply because I was at a New Year’s open house with school colleagues and was trying to make conversation. I happened to mention a book we had given a family member about how Teddy Roosevelt saved college football.  I linked that historical anecdote to the topic of the ‘feminization of American men’.

Link to book

And it was THAT statement that caused my colleague to look at me blankly and respond that he had never heard such a view before.  And as his due, he asked me for my reasons to support my premise. For as Greg Koukl teaches, ‘He who makes an assertion assumes the burden of proof for defending it.’

I won’t describe why I brought up the argument, for the point of this reflection is how uncomfortable I felt MAKING the case for something I haven’t actually articulated before.

It really doesn’t matter that I’ve read articles, skimmed blog posts or heard interviews with various people talking about this issue.  If I haven’t thought through the reasons myself and at least DISCUSSED them with my husband in a safe place, then I should not open my mouth in public.

This is not the first time I’ve experienced ‘egg on my face’  .

If I have ONE logic resolution to make for 2014, it is this: If I want to discuss a topic in which I feel weak or unprepared, I can always ask my conversation partner HIS thoughts about the subject.  This questioning gains me more time to think and I might learn something, too!

Question: What area in critical thinking and argumentation do you need to work on in 2014? 

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