Thursday, January 8, 2009


This article was very difficult for me to articulate and understand.  First of all, bulverism is a term coined by C.S. Lewis to describe a common problem when communicating with others.  Bulverism is assuming that the other person is wrong and then going on to argue about how wrong they are without respectfully reasoning out a discussion in order to reach a conclusion. 

 Lewis talks first about how people’s thoughts are tainted at the source.  This is to mean that we are so easy to think that we are right because of our knowledge and experiences.  Lewis goes on to ask whether or not ALL of our thoughts are tainted at the source.  But how do we find out which ones are tainted or not? 

 Lewis goes on to say that if he had a large sum of money in the bank, someone cannot prove him wrong by pointing out his psychological condition.  They would have to do the arithmetic with the figures to see of he was telling the truth or not.  A tainted thought would be to think that he did not have that sum of money by judging from his wealth in possessions.  You must find logical grounds to explain why a person is wrong before you tell them that they are wrong.  In other words, “ you must show that a man is wrong before you go on explaining why he is wrong.”

 One thing that we can learn from this is how to go on communicating with people.  When we are having a healthy argument with someone, we must remember to put aside our thoughts and judgments of the other person and logically explain our side of the argument.  We must never lash out in an insulting manner, but find a way to reason logically in order to find the truth.

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