If Aristotle is simply saying, "maintain your argument; don't get side-tracked," then I agree. If he is saying, "don't tailor your arguments to placate (to any degree) your opponants' sensibilities," then I disagree. As it pertains to purely fact-based discussions I think it's pretty simple: your facts should be clear enough to support themselves and draw the support of those you are debating. Of course this requires all parties to be more interested in facts than in "winning." Where facts seem to support the opposing view, they must be worked into forming a new argument since fact-based arguments should be concerned only with the facts.
If the presentation of empirical evidence were wholly the realm of argumentative discussion I would argee you you. However, it is al too easy to occlude a factual point. Since we are on the subject, here is a classic example of a tanget designed to occlude the issue at hand:
Person A: I believe there is a God. Prove to me there is no God.
Person B: Prove to me there is a God.
Person A offered an issue of debate and challenged B to provide evidence to support a conclusive statement. Person B responded by first ignoring the burden of proof and second offering a counter issue to tangent the argument.
If person A chooses to tailor her argument to address person B's response, she will have lost the issue at hand which will remain undiscussed; the burden of proof now shifts to person A and the initial issue is left unconcluded.
It is a shame, but too many arguments result in occlusive tactics to distract and tagent from the issue at hand. However, the nature of an argument is to present an issue and argue the merit of a conclusion derived from the argument; there is a burden of proof required to conclude an argument. If you do not present an issue to debate and assign a burden of proof to conclude the issue, you cannot have an argument. You may have a discussion, but you cannot have an argument.
It is sad that so many feel it necessary to back the debunkers, the "but one study shows" experts that refuse to see the evidence that there is a God and his Universe is a wondrous place full of marvels and life all surrounded in the Living Matrix or Ki. I hope and pray that those who choose not to see this reality will allow those who do the respect they themselves demand.
I couldn't agree more. We (the US) are obsessed with de-constructionalism. As TMX, E and other gossip outlets can substantiate, the only thing more exciting that seeing someone succeed is seeing someone breakdown. I go so far as to say that I also think we are so envious of each other we would rather destroy those beliefs which we do not share than let them co-exist. "You can believe whatever you want as long as its what we believe too."
Debunking a fact and attacking a belief are two different concepts. Facts build truths, truths build convictions, convictions build beliefs. You want to change a belief? Re-order the fact pattern to alter the truths derived from those facts and work from the ground up.