Features of Ideological Reasoning
Read/review the following resources for this activity:
- Textbook: Chapter 13
- Minimum of 1 scholarly source (in addition to the textbook)
At the very end of Chapter 13, there is a Group Exercise that asks: What ideals would you go to war to defend? We are not going to ask you to go to war, but we are going to ask you to think about what ideals or values you believe would be worth defending – even to the point of risking your life in their defense.
When Nazi Germany overtook Europe in the early 20th Century, resistance movements sprung up in the occupied countries, and many civilians risked – and lost – their lives against Nazisim. Today, in Saudi Arabia, women who protested restrictions on the rights of women imposed by that country have been jailed, and remain jailed, even after some of the rights they asked for have been granted.
Initial Post Instructions
For the initial post, address the following:
- What core values would you risk your life and freedom to defend?
- Could a nation going to war be appropriate in certain circumstances – or is war never an appropriate response?
This is not a group exercise – post your thoughts, considering the scenarios proposed in the text or any others you find important. Be sure to give your reasons for your answer.
Notice that this exercise requires deductive reasoning. You are stating a position and supporting it with “top down” reasoning. Be sure to review Three Features of Ideological Reasoning. Apply these concepts as you create your own arguments and evaluate those of your peers.
Remember that you are using ideological reasoning here. Is your post structured like an ideological argument, beginning with a general idea (opinion, belief, or principle) and moving down from these abstractions to their specific applications?
The text warns us that ideological arguments often fail the test of Truthfulness of the Premises. Have you tested the truth of your premises?
You will be writing here about what you value highly. Others may not share your values. Indeed, you may find that someone will write something that is entirely opposed to your values. As critical thinkers and reasoners, we do not take offense because someone disagrees with us. Critical thinkers examine their own argument, and the arguments of others, objectively, rationally, and logically. Critical thinkers and reasoners do not find the opinions of others “right” or “wrong” – they find them well-supported or not well-supported.
Respect the opinion of your classmates. If you feel the need to disagree, do so respectfully and acknowledge the valid points in your classmate’s argument.
Do not write anything that sounds angry or sarcastic even as a joke, because without hearing your tone of voice, your peers might not realize you are joking.
The real objective here is discovering what values and beliefs are important to you and whether or not you have a sound basis for those beliefs.