I recently began a computer driven course run by Duke University, for external students. The course subject is basically how to argue, how to use language tools, how to identify false premises, how to respond, what key words to look for – stuff like that. Besides the lectures and exercises, the course also offers students a series of discussion groups, some of which include the lectures, working groups, problem solving and more. One of the discussion “groups” is open to any and every subject, so someone began a discussion on the Arab-Israel conflict.
Yes, the Arab-Israel conflict is being discussed by students in a course on the tools of arguments. At first sight it might even seem logical; use the tools of argument on this thorny issue. The opening premise presented by the ‘someone’ immediately took an anti-Israel slant. I looked forward to a high level intellectual debate, until I saw the level of some of the arguments: “facts” created by thumb sucking, theories based on false premises and biased media reports, and even offerings on the level of “the Jews use the blood of innocent Christians...More >>