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    Allen Farber's Avatar
    Allen Farber Posts: 190, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Jan 25, 2018, 04:37 PM
    Meaning of subtle argument?
    What is meant by "subtle argument". "subtle" according to the dictionary means "not easily noticeable, especially of a change or distinction". So how can an argument not be easily noticed as an argument? I know what the two words mean individually but it makes no sense to me when they're together. The context is "subtle arguments are often like a sharp thin blade, cutting clean into the very heart of the question". What do they mean by "heart of the question" in this? I look it up but all I can find are meanings for "heart of the matter"
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,047, Reputation: 10852
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    #2

    Jan 25, 2018, 04:48 PM
    Look up the word NUANCED and see if that helps.
    Allen Farber's Avatar
    Allen Farber Posts: 190, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    Jan 25, 2018, 05:52 PM
    I did and that doesn't make sense either. Nuanced means "characterized by subtle shades of meaning or expression." I don't get how an argument can have many different meanings
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,047, Reputation: 10852
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    #4

    Jan 25, 2018, 06:43 PM
    The simplest way I can explain it, Allen is that every human has an opinion, regardless of topic, or even the facts, and some can ARTICULTE it better than others. Facts can be argued because some humans understand some things better than others, and if you don't know, or believe in the facts.

    So a subtle argument is but another way to articulate, or express your point of view. Sometimes you don't know why you have the opinion that you do, you just do, but others have the opinion they do, for MANY reasons.

    I don't get how an argument can have many different meanings
    Wouldn't that depend on who you argue with? Do you think YOU are right, and everyone else is wrong? With us humans anything can have a different meaning, because we are all different in our own way.

    Does that help? I hope so. Are you a gamer by chance, or play a musical instrument, draw, or paint? Curious to know what hobbies you enjoy on your time?
    Allen Farber's Avatar
    Allen Farber Posts: 190, Reputation: 1
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    #5

    Jan 25, 2018, 07:09 PM
    I understand that many people can have a different reason for why they share an opinion. But usually one person only has one intended meaning for their argument. For instance if the argument is "abortion is wrong" then the only meaning it could logically have is an anti-abortion one. And I don't really get how if an anti-abortion argument had a pro-abortion meaning (if that even makes sense) makes it "subtle" you could have used any other adjective like "wooden" or "salty" and it would have made just as much sense to me (i.e. none). As for hobbies, I like to play sports. In particular, basketball. And sometimes I play video games although not often

    I'm also confused as to what's meant by "heart of the question"
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,047, Reputation: 10852
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    #6

    Jan 25, 2018, 07:43 PM
    I understand that many people can have a different reason for why they share an opinion. But usually one person only has one intended meaning for their argument. For instance if the argument is "abortion is wrong" then the only meaning it could logically have is an anti-abortion one. And I don't really get how that makes it "subtle" you could have used any other adjective like "wooden" or "salty" and it would have made just as much sense to me (i.e. none).
    If the argument is "abortion is wrong", and your logic says they are anti abortion, then in this case, you must carry the argument to the logical NEXT step, and ask WHY is it wrong? There can be many reasons one thinks something is right, or wrong.

    I'm also confused as to what's meant by "heart of the question"
    The heart of the question refers to the reason you feel as you do on a subject. The premise is NOTHING is as simple as it seems, so you dig deeper by asking for more information.

    As for hobbies, I like to play sports. In particular, basketball. And sometimes I play video games although not often
    I asked because I was fascinated by a statement you made before about always being in a dream world is all so if I may ask if you feel that way when you engage in sports, or things you enjoy?
    Allen Farber's Avatar
    Allen Farber Posts: 190, Reputation: 1
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    #7

    Jan 26, 2018, 03:48 AM
    Okay, that's great and all. But I don't get how that makes it subtle (or not easily noticeable). There must be a reason for why they call that a subtle argument. I'm also still perplexed by your definition of "heart of the question". You say it refers to how I feel on a certain subject. Yet that has nothing to do with a question. "The premise is nothing is as simple as it seems" don't know if that's a typo or if you meant to say that but something sounds off or like broken english when I read that. It seems like there's a word or two that shouldn't be there.

    I do feel that way when I engage in sports. But it doesn't really affect anything as I don't really need to put in any mental effort. I don't even understand the rules of the game. I just guess what I'm supposed to do and by a stroke of luck, what I'm doing is right
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #8

    Jan 26, 2018, 04:37 AM
    Heart of the question is very much like heart of the matter. The middle, the core, the most important part, the source, the crux.

    I'll try to think of a subtle argument. I very much enjoy good argument. I think you just asked a good question.

    (Later) I still can't think of a good example. But I will say, in general, that most of the best arguments about life have no right or wrong conclusion. That's what I like about arguing. We can argue politics forever. Or even the bigger topic of society, and how we struggle with 'every man for himself' freedoms, vs laws and regulations that 'protect' the whole group. Or abortion. Or religion. Or meat eating vs veganism. On and on....
    Allen Farber's Avatar
    Allen Farber Posts: 190, Reputation: 1
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    #9

    Jan 26, 2018, 01:44 PM
    In your opinion would an argument ever have a right or wrong conclusion? Also, maybe instead of you coming up with a subtle argument I could give you some context where “subtle argument” has been used and you could explain it that way. Like how about this:

    ”the inference a juryman might draw from this question and answer would constitute a subtle argument upon the branch of the case”

    also, while we’re at it, here’s a quote that uses “heart of the matter” in a way I don’t understand it.

    ”at the heart of the universe is the ultimate questioner”

    thanks in advance
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #10

    Jan 26, 2018, 04:30 PM
    Yes, many arguments have right or wrong conclusions. Was last winter colder or warmer than the one before, where you live? You both remember very different winters, so you do some research, and find out which one of you is right. Facts are pretty easy to settle. But not all facts are good facts. I was just in an argument over poverty in the US. The Census rates each state by average income, but because that's not a very meaningful stat, they also publish studies of extremes of income. The trouble is that the first stat is what is used to determine state aid. So who wins the argument? No one, not really, because you can't just say ''name the poorest state.''

    LOL! ”at the heart of the universe is the ultimate questioner” is a lot of poetic mind puzzle stuff. No reason to try to decipher it. It's whatever you want it to be. A bunch of words someone thinks sound deep! Doug Adams wrote funny novels cutting such deep questions down to size, and said that the answer to the Ultimate Question of the Universe is 42.

    I have no idea what ''branch of the case'' could mean. Branch, really? I'd have to hear the Q and A too. The whole context.
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,828, Reputation: 5427
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    #11

    Jan 26, 2018, 06:29 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Farber View Post
    ”the inference a juryman might draw from this question and answer would constitute a subtle argument upon the branch of the case”
    Allan, are you reading this book?

    The art of cross-examination - Page 19 - Google Books Result

    https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1616326719
    Francis Lewis Wellman - 1916
    Fullerton then looked straight into Mr. Beecher's eyes and said, "Do you still consider that sound doctrine?" Mr. Beecher replied, "I do." The inference a juryman might draw from this question and answer would constitute a subtle argument upon that branch of the case. The entire effect of the testimony of an adverse witness ...
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,828, Reputation: 5427
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    #12

    Jan 26, 2018, 06:35 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Farber View Post
    ”at the heart of the universe is the ultimate questioner”
    Question, not questioner.

    joypulv is correct. Here's what Douglas Adams said (the part in italics):

    Many theories were proposed, including that 42 is 101010 in binary code, that light refracts off water by 42 degrees to create a rainbow, that light requires 10−42 seconds to cross the diameter of a proton. The author Douglas Adams rejected them all. He was quoted as saying - "The answer to this is very simple. It was a joke. It had to be a number, an ordinary, smallish number, and I chose that one. Binary representations, base 13, Tibetan monks are all complete nonsense. I sat at my desk, stared into the garden and thought '42 will do'. I typed it out. End of story."
    Allen Farber's Avatar
    Allen Farber Posts: 190, Reputation: 1
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    #13

    Jan 26, 2018, 08:03 PM
    I was quoting Kedar Joshi where he says "at the heart of the universe is the ultimate questioner"
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
    current pert
     
    #14

    Jan 27, 2018, 04:22 AM
    Allen, I admire all your reading, and even your questions here (frustrating though some may be to many of us), and the way you persevere in your struggles.

    One tiny note: you quoted ''the branch,'' but from Wondergirl's quote, it is really ''that branch,'' which makes it more understandable now. Try to be very sure when you quote!

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