Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

The Sciences

The Best Arguments for Things I Don't Believe

Cosmic VarianceBy Sean CarrollAugust 24, 2007 12:40 AM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Have you ever heard someone arguing in favor of a position with which you disagree, but their arguments are so bad that you can't help but think "Man, I could do a better job arguing for their side than they are, and I don't even agree with them!" I thought it might be interesting to do exactly that -- consider some interesting issues, and come up with my own versions of what the people who I think are wrong should be saying. The rules would be: (1) The claims would be somewhat judgmental, rather than straightforwardly empirical. I'm not going to waste my time arguing that the universe is not expanding, or anything like that. (2) I have to stick to making individual statements that I really do believe, even if I don't think they are sufficient to support the ultimate conclusion. I reserve the right to come up with more rules as I think of them. Here are some possible claims to be considered:

  1. God exists.

  2. The Iraq war was a good idea.

  3. Women scientists shouldn't complain about discrimination.

  4. Research on string theory is a waste of time.

  5. Talking about the multiverse is intrinsically non-scientific.

  6. We shouldn't worry about global climate change.

Any other suggestions? I'm sure there are lots of things I don't believe, but could come up with better arguments for than I usually hear. It'll be like being on the debate team again.

    2 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 70%

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In