Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course

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“She was asking for it” by Ashlee

After countless nights of pondering, and an infinite amount of research, the vital factor that really helped me solidify my topic was the conversation I had with my good friend, Ben (shout out to you!). The question, “What’s one topic that irks you? Without hesitation, my reflex answer was rape culture and its discriminatory traits. So, why do these thoughts occur? Where is the foundation of such beliefs? It’s time to dissect what has constantly been bothering me: why is there fear generating from the victims, when what’s been done had an absence of consent? Maybe a step by step analysis will help me (and whoever is reading) at least understand the root of such logic.

 

Premise #1: women dressed provocatively evoke men’s sexual urges

Premise #2: men cannot control their sexual urges

Conclusion: Therefore, men aren’t to blame for sexual assault

Let’s start with validity. The definition of a valid statement is a one that has a conclusion that follows from its premises. Considering such definition, the premises above technically lead to the final conclusion. The argument is structured, putting aside its lack of truth or consideration. If the way women dressed did provoke sexual arousal from men, and if men had a difficult time controlling such desire, then men shouldn’t be the ones to blame. It’s as simple as which party pried it out and which party has less control over their vulnerability. As much as I think it’s quite unprofessional to incorporate personal opinions into my work, I will! Personally, I value the “truth” part of a deductive argument more than its validity; anything can be valid because validity is mostly about its structure. For instance, the argument:

Premise #1: all dogs are astronauts

Premise #2: All astronauts are Spanish

Conclusion: Therefore, all dogs are Spanish

aw ye boi

With common sense, most people can detect that such argument is blatantly false (although, never take away a dog’s right to become an astronaut). The way that this argument is structured however, is completely valid. This example can be used to prove the importance of both aspects of an argument: validity and truth.

Let’s dissect the truth aspect of such argument:

The first premise that states, “ women dressed provocatively evoke men’s sexual urges” not only comes straight from the ancient prejudice of labelling men to be more aggressive and sexually active, but is false. This generalization is an attack to not only the reputation and characterization of men, but the safety of women (or any sexual assault victims).

The second premise, “men cannot control their sexual urges” is a biased cliché, and there are countless reasons as to why it isn’t factually correct, but let’s state some of the obvious. The real question here is, what is the difference between the sexual desire of a man versus a woman? The common belief that men have a stronger sexual longing than woman, to mark them as “the gender that has the uncontrollable crave to reproduce” is a myth. This myth exists due to the fact that men generally tend to place the emphasis on the outcome of the relation (in this case, sex), while most women might value the relationship, mood, or their partner more. Although this is also a societal image formed over a period of time. There is no solid answer as to how exactly specific genders feel about sex and the amount of control they have; it’s solely dependant on the person. Being aware that many studies have proven that in fact, men do have a stronger sex drive than women, that can never be an excuse to sexual assault. Everyone, no matter the gender, is entitled to a right to safety; it’s unfair for their rights to be taken away because of someone else’s lack of self-control. A more truer statement would be, “some people cannot control their sexual urges”.

With two false (and biased) premises, it’s impossible for the final conclusion to be sound. “Therefore, men aren’t to blame for sexual assault” is technically valid, but far from being factually correct, therefore, not a sound argument. After reading many articles, my ultimate conclusion was that the main cause of rape are the rapists. There might be a higher statistic in a certain cohort or a recurring similarity in sexual assault cases, but that does not change the fact that what potentially caused it was the mindset of the rapist.

It should never be okay to normalise rape culture. Although, the argument stated above, unfortunately is still the perception of some. I do not aspire to brainwash every single existing misogynist into considering gender equality, yet I do think it’s possible for me to get some people thinking, or at least myself. These things should infuriate us; one of the biggest benefits to such arguments is that it gets us thinking. I do not believe I am doing this “because I’m a woman”, but because violation against other’s rights should never be tolerated. Some might say that this argument is completely sound, but even being the frankly neutral and indecisive person I am, my answer to that is, and will stay in a strong disagreement. 

 

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Morality of Capital Punishment- Jessica Lewis

The argument i’ve chosen for the Truth,Validity and sound assignment is the video attached regarding Barack Obama’s opinion of the death penalty and the morality behind it. During the clip, a question asked directly to Alan Keys  from a reporter in the audience   brought up the topic of Christianity and how could a christian, ( Alan keys) Support the idea of death penalty and abortion. In the clip there are two arguments mentioned; Abortion and Capital punishment. For this assignment id like to highlight the argument for the death penalty.

 

“I believe that the death penalty is appropriate in certain circumstances. There are extraordinarily heinous crimes, terrorism, the harm of children, in which it may be appropriate. Obviously we’ve had some problems in this state, in the application of the death penalty and that’s why a moratorium was put in place and that’s why I was so proud to be one of the leaders in making sure that we overhauled it, death penalty system that was broken. For example, passing the first in the nation videotaping of interrogations and confessions in capital cases. We have to have this ultimate sanction for certain circumstances in which the entire community says this is beyond the pale.”

 

     – Barack Obama, 2004

 

Barack Obama’s argument of the death penalty  is factually correct and valid. Barack Obama’s argument is factually correct due to the facts he use to support his argument. During the argument Obama states how in the past the process of applying the death penalty has been broken and unfair, therefore he mentioned  of when interrogations for  capital cases used to  videotaped and how it affected the cases. Obama recognizes that the death penalty is an extreme punishment and reasons that the application of the death penalty needs to be fair which too is a fact. Obama goes forward to mention (1) The death penalty is acceptable under extreme circumstances, (2) in The past , the application of the death penalty hasn’t always been fair, therefor (3) We need to be collectively certain as a society that its the right decision.

 

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Basic Concepts of Logic – Preliminary Definitions

Here is a prezi that was created to explain lesson 6 in the basic concepts of logic package. Enjoy!Preliminary Definitions

 

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Discussion Synthesis Soundbytes

Sea to Sky Outdoor School

Positive / Negative Freedom

For those following online, here are the pieces of conversation synthesized by different groups following last week’s reading on Positive / Negative Freedom. Topics covered included political correctness, religion, and the aforementioned freedom:

Note: Group six’s share will take place at the beginning of class on Tuesday and be posted shortly thereafter.  

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Music’s Universal Language: The Art of Sound

Listen to this video as you read through the post.

The history of music is beyond the age of books and literature.  Most people would agree that dates back to the beginning of humans and tribes. Music was used during wars to signal raids and also to create peace treaties in the time of the tribes. One of the most beautiful things man has created to expand their musical abilities is the guitar, specifically the acoustic guitar. Although there’s different kinds of guitars for different sounds, in my own personal opinion I think that steel stringed guitars sound the greatest with their twang added and harmonizing effects. The “Imperial Guitar marketed by the John Church company .. in 1891, may have been the first guitar advertised as being built specifically for steel strings”. Although there had already been guitars around that used steel strings before, these were the first guitars designed specifically for them.

It’s not the actual guitar though that I consider art, it’s what the guitar creates, and the story that it tells. The guitar is the paint brush, the notes are the paint, and the guitarist is the source of creativity; the painter. When a guitar produces music, it jumps over our walls of emotions and can change how we think within seconds of listening. It’s the one language that everybody understands. In the video, it shows just three kinds of notes from guitars; the strings, tapping, and harmonics. You take these 3 kinds of notes and you become the worlds greatest artist ever known, you take them and you keep on striving for more. The most beautiful thing about playing the guitar is that it’s an art that is impossible to perfect therefore causing the guitarist to continuously grow into a greater painter, and a better story-teller. The power of music is greater than any kind of government, it’s richer than the million dollar man. These notes from guitar’s crawl across every border of both our mind and our world. They tell stories and guide rituals. Now that to me is art; the art of the human mind, shown through the guitar’s notes as the story we all need to hear.

 

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High Altitude to be Blamed – Presidential Debate

“During a post-debate analysis on Current TV, Gore went out on a limb and questioned if Denver’s environment had something to do with the president’s flop.

‘I’m going to say something controversial here,” Gore started, “Obama arrived in Denver at 2 p.m. today, just a few hours before the debate started. Romney did his debate prep in Denver. When you go to 5,000 feet, and you only have a few hours to adjust. I don’t know… Maybe.’

…Altitude sickness is a proven illness.”

~Huffington Post

The reason for President Obama’s dismal debate was altitude sickness according to Al Gore.  For him to come to this conclusion, he used Abductive Reasoning to explain the president’s poor performance on Wednesday night.  So how high does someone have to go to before his reasoning affected?  At least 6,000 feet as some studies have suggested that the first signs of short-term memory problems begin to appear at about 6,000 feet.  However, according to Gore’s information, the president had only reached 5,000 feet.  True, altitude might have been a factor that affected Obama in that debate, but to blame a lost debate on altitude?  Seems a bit far-fetched.  There are many factors that could justify the “flop”, for example, unexpected set-up by Romney, unpreparedness, fatigue, stress…etc.  Thus Al Gore’s statement cannot be proved sound.

 
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