In the context of debate centred on a statement, how to validate arguments given to confirm or disconfirm that statement in a logical manner?


Let's say we have the following statement to serve as a starting point around which a debate can be centerd.

Man is immortal

Someone could say that man is mortal according to accepted scientific fact but that isn't actually an argument in itself.

A supportive argument playing on interpretation might be to say that man can be immortal through his works and influence.

One disconfirming argument might be to say that man is not immortal because of aging and in turn it should be proven that advanced aging can have mortal consequences.

So how can one check the validity of these arguments and any examples you might be able to come up with?

James P.

Posted 2016-09-09T06:40:23.353

Reputation: 395

1An argument needs one or more premises and a conclusion; thus, it is correct to say that the single statement "Man is immortal" is not an argument. – Mauro ALLEGRANZA – 2016-09-09T07:06:03.667

The assertion "Man is immortal" is not empirically supported, due to the fact that nobody knows man living or that live more than e.g. 200 years. – Mauro ALLEGRANZA – 2016-09-09T07:07:25.393

Man is immortal is an assertion rather than an argument; and by itself it makes no real sense since we see men live and die every day; where it can make sense is the context of some doctrine, say within Islamic or Christian notions of the soul; but you make no mention of this... – Mozibur Ullah – 2016-09-09T09:26:06.560

Hi all. Sorry but it seems that I introduced a red herring here. The statement Man is immortal is the starting point or given statement to debate about. The actual arguments I'm asking about and their validity is those that confirm or disconfirm that statement. – James P. – 2016-09-09T11:25:53.530

@MauroALLEGRANZA Empirical findings are along the lines of scientific fact but they could serve to express something which can be tested logically. Something like saying that all people that have a registered birth are also registered as deceased. This might countered by saying that there is at least one exception. – James P. – 2016-09-09T11:31:43.227

@MauroALLEGRANZA The assertion "Man is immortal" is not empirically supported, due to the fact that nobody knows man living or that live more than e.g. 200 years How could that be defended logically? If I said that "nobody knows" that would imply I asked everyone and they were factual about it. – James P. – 2016-09-09T11:35:25.913

1An logical argument does not "confirm or disconfirm" an assertion; a logical argument proves an assertion; of course, it proves is on the ground of some premises. We "verify" every day that heavy bodies fall on ground, but we prove that they do so deriving the law of free fall from the Newtonian axioms (sorry for the very rough example ...). – Mauro ALLEGRANZA – 2016-09-09T11:36:29.280

@MauroALLEGRANZA If a logical argument or reasoning proves an assertion then what does one call something that disproves it or proves the opposite? We can indeed verify that gravity works using experiment to gather empirical findings but the mention of Newtonian axioms makes it sound like gravity can be proven logically? – James P. – 2016-09-09T11:40:01.430

@MoziburUllah Man is immortal is an assertion rather than an argument Exact, and what I wish to do is find out how this can be debated and how to evaluate the arguments given. Faith is another matter and touches on belief which does not require proof. – James P. – 2016-09-09T11:42:10.993

No answers