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Conservatism and liberalism are not just differences of opinion, but different ways of thought processing.

Inductive and deductive reasoning.

started by allonzo1 on 1/21/10.

Conservatism and liberalism are not just differences of opinion, but different ways of thought processing.
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arguesreason
I have often marveled at stark differences in situation analyses and conclusions drawn by die hard conservative and liberals. I have concluded that the ultimate positions that are arrived at regarding a set of circumstances could not be solely based on beliefs and values. Moreover, there must be a basic difference in methods of processing information. I have done some research on this, but have come up empty for scholarly input. So, you will hear it here first. My basic premise is that conservative thought is guided by deductive reasoning and liberal thought is governed by inductive reasoning. I would like add that either type of thought is not right or wrong, but there are circumstances where one might be more appropriate than the other. I will submit one simple example of application and then open the discussion/argument. For example, liberal thought on welfare would start inside and extrapolate outward to a solution. That is they would look at the individuals and conclude from their analysis of selected individuals that on a personal level, if certain persons that they know were just given a break, everything would be alright. The solution is to give them any help they need and they will become productive. A conservative would start on the outside and see that billions of dollars have been provided to the underprivileged and the problem not gotten any better. They would not personalize their observations, but look inward to see trends and groupings. In their observations they would see legions of able bodied people choosing to take welfare instead of working for low pay. They would also see a whole class of welfare people who have been trapped in the system. The conservative solution is to limit welfare and make the able bodied work regardless of how they suffer by staying unproductive.

by allonzo1 (22.07) on 1/21/10.

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arguesreason
To elwoodlaw. i agree that there are many elements that go into making political decisions, with gut instinct and prejudice being right up there on the top. What drivve me to conclude that the thought process is important is that positions on issues that are far different such as environment, national defense, welfare, and school systems can be predicted based on political persuation. This consistency in varied scenarios is the key to me.

by allonzo1 (22.07) on 1/25/10.

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otm_shank
you are correct in asserting that my argument is from inductive reasoning and that i am a conservative. I do not contend that people of either political persuasion are solely restricted to a single thought process. I truly enjoy inductive reasoning more, and i have put other such arguments on this web page. The most entertaining thought process is inductive. In fact that is why i suggest that most comics are liberal. Liberal, extrapolative humor, is much funnier than conservative humor.


by allonzo1 (22.07) on 1/25/10.

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arguesreason
I believe that i have made two points. First, since political views are so starkly and consistently diametric, i think that the difference lies in the thought process. Second, the liberal and conservative positions are guided by inductive and deductive reasoning, respectively. If somehow you have interpreted me to say that a person thinks one way and one way only, you have misinterpreted what i have said. A couple more examples. Obama's campaign slogan was " Hope and change." I don't think you will ever hear a conservative say that inductive phrase when it comes to politics. Obama, in my opinion is a major inductive thinker. He came into office with an immense amount of power. Again in my opinion, only an inductive thinker could belive that congress was the best place to craft his undefined vision of universal healtcare. Regarding national defense, only an inductive thinker could think that going to Egypt and labeling the US as a "torture nation" would improve the status of the US with the terrorists.


by allonzo1 (22.07) on 1/25/10.

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Wow, Huge, don’t hold back. I do now get the quote, but must admit that I’m not an aficionado of Adam Sandler. I’ll take the quote, however as your opinion. Are you just closed minded or just so lost in your own dogma that you cannot appreciate new thoughts? I notice also that the quote speaks for the thoughts of others. This is a common tactic of the weak minded. Another tactic of the weak minded is to ignore the hypothesis and thrust ad hominem attacks rather than assert your own thesis, in this case, on how conservative and liberals can reach such diametrically opposed conclusions given the same set of facts. In addition I have to assume that your including the invocation of God in the quote is colloquial. I don’t take you as a God fearing man. Lastly, you should change your name to “Small.”

by allonzo1 (22.07) on 1/22/10.

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otm_shank
Good for you. You actually made an argument and supported your position. We are making progress.

by allonzo1 (22.07) on 1/26/10.

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argumentsdebate
I think the flaw in the analysis put forward by allonzo1 is his/her assumption that people arrive at conclusions after following a well-reasoned process. Instead, I find more people seem to reach a conclusion based upon a gut instinct, prejudice, or other less than logical manner. Then they try to justify it afterward. The particular brand of reasoning, for the average voter, is probably irrelevant.

by elwoodlaw (83.67) on 1/25/10.

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What we, as Americans, call conservatism and liberalism are so close on the political spectrum as not to justify much of a difference at all. I think we all suffer from the "narcissism of small differences" where we invent wide chasms between the two sides of our political debates that don't really exist. Perhaps, if we peer outside our America-centric blinders and see how extreme and diverse politics can be in the rest of the world we would see how close our beliefs truly are.

If an alien fell out of the sky and landed in the middle of Congress, it wouldn't see any marked difference between an American "liberal" and an American "conservative". It would only see us for our delicious BRAINS!!!!


by juszczak (68.66) on 2/18/10.

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argumentsdebate
You lay out your argument first in this: "My basic premise is that conservative thought is guided by deductive reasoning and liberal thought is governed by inductive reasoning." How are you not attempting to postulate that liberals use inductive reasoning in thought and conservatives use deductive reasoning in thought? I do not see how you can interpret your premise any other way.

My counter-premise is that sometimes the liberal thought process is guided by inductive reasoning, sometimes it is guided by deductive reasoning. In parallel, sometimes the conservative thought process is guided by inductive reasoning, sometimes it is guided by deductive reasoning. I gave you an example of how conservatives use inductive reasoning in everyday speech. To give you a more recent example one only has to look at the recent Mass. election. Conservatives are hailing Scott Brown's recent victory as indication to a referendum on Obama's policies. How is that not inductive reasoning? Furthermore, to counter your Egypt/terrorist remark, a typical conservative thinker would be more likely to conclude through inductive reasoning that all Muslims are terrorists and bent on western annihilation.

FWIW ... Obama's slogan was never "Hope and Change" but "Hope", "Change We Need", "Change We Can Believe In". Contrasting, a few of GWB's 2000 slogans included "Real Plans for Real People" and "Reformer with Results". All sweeping generalizations/inferences and just as 'inductive' as you would put it.


by otm_shank (54.55) on 1/26/10.

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Your argument is based on inductive reasoning ... and are you not a conservative yourself?

by otm_shank (54.55) on 1/25/10.

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"The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out the conservative adopts them." ~ Mark Twain

by Katzwinkel (69.39) on 2/18/10.

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I am confused as to what you are trying to argue then. The obvious answer to what I think you are trying to argue is: sometimes liberals/conservatives use inductive reasoning and sometimes liberals/conservatives use deductive reasoning.

An example of conservative (and liberal) inductive reasoning is through the heavy use and manipulation of poll data.

by otm_shank (54.55) on 1/25/10.

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argumentsdebate
Mr. Madison (allonzo1), what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

by Mr. Huge (56.99) on 1/22/10.

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Conservatism and liberalism are not just differences of opinion, but different ways of thought processing.
 
         
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