Each day we are exposed to arguments, which are designed to persuade us to a particular
way of thinking. We can believe anything we wish, but there is no reason to use or believe
something based on incorrect information or faulty reasoning.
Using such information to support our own arguments would:
- do a grave disservice to the ideas we wish to promote,
- subject us to ridicule,
- impede our intellectual, social and technological development - or
- just make us look like idiots.
Questions we may ask ourselves to facilitate Dispassionate Analysis:
- What are the issues and conclusions?
- What are the reasons?
- What words or phrases are ambiguous?
- What are the value conflicts and assumptions?
- What are the definitional and descriptive assumptions?
- Are the samples representative and the measurements sound?
- Are there flaws in the statistical reasoning?
- Are the causal explanations adequately supported?
- Are there any errors in reasoning?
- What significant information is omitted?
- What alternative conclusions are consistent with the strong reasons?
- What are our own value preferences in this controversy?