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Remember Monty Python’s “Argument Clinic,” where Michael Palin is trying to procure an argument from John Cleese? Palin is frustrated that Cleese won’t move past contradictions. He insists a true argument is “A collective series of statements to establish a definite proposition,” and Cleese responds with “No, it isn’t.” As a kid, I saw it as a bunch of funny British guys doing something with the language I didn’t understand. Today, I see it as a tombstone—a stark reminder that the art of discussion is dead.

Every time I try to engage someone in a debate or even present a challenging idea, the response is “I can’t even.” Young people are especially unable to deal and will add, “I literally can’t,” “I don’t know where to start,” and of course, “Is this satire?” The few times you can get them into the ring it’s startling to see how many logical fallacies pop up. We learned about dozens of formal and informal fallacies in high school, but the same five refuse to die. 

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“Too often... we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought," said John F. Kennedy in 1962.

The term philosophy comes from two Greek words meaning love of wisdom. Well put. Please apply it here.

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