Enthymemes (or, random thoughts on arguments I and others often find extremely unconvincing).

(It has been a long time. I started writing this post well over a year ago, and then I took a hiatus from the ‘Nacle.  I guess finishing this is as good a way as any to return).

[One meta note:  If you have made arguments similar to the ones I use in the examples here, realize I am not singling you out – others have made similar arguments.  Also, in the end, I’m trying to help you, not attack you.]

Wikipedia defines “enthymeme” as

“an informally stated syllogism (a three-part deductive argument) with an unstated assumption that must be true for the premises to lead to the conclusion. In an enthymeme, part of the argument is missing because it is assumed. In a broader usage, the term “enthymeme” is sometimes used to describe an incomplete argument of forms other than the syllogism. For Aristotle, who defined it in his Rhetoric, an enthymeme was a “rhetorical syllogism” which was based on probable opinions, thus distinguishing it from a scientific syllogism.”

The Oxford English Dictionary says and enthymeme is “An argument based on merely probable grounds; a rhetorical argument as distinguished from a demonstrative one.” or “A syllogism in which one premise is suppressed.” (If you don’t know what a syllogism is, go read up on it at Wikipedia).

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Guest Post: A proposition for being Christlike

The following guest post comes from Michelle, a long-time Bloggernacle participant. Michelle was kind enough to accept our invitation to submit a guest post on this topic, one which she has reflected on for quite some time.

I couldn’t think of much else all day. Relieved when 11:00 p.m. finally arrived, I knocked on Ben’s* door; he was finally home from work. He let me in, and we sat. We chatted about simple things at first — his current work and school activities, mostly. But then I jumped into the reason for my late-night visit.

The prayer in my heart didn’t keep me from fumbling and stumbling, trying to put words to all that I was feeling. I only hoped that the clumsy flow of emotion and fractured thoughts could be understood. I know. I care. I’m sorry it’s so hard. Continue reading

Bringin’ Down the (Lord’s) House

I wipe the sweat from my brow on the sleeve of the white jumpsuit. The red smear left behind on the sleeve is unexpected. Leaving the hammer drill on the partially-tiled floor, I stand up to look in the large mirror on a nearby wall. Sure enough, there’s a tiny nick on my forehead. I step around another brother dressed in white to reach the box of tissues concealed beneath a cover of white yarn on a matrix of plastic. Satisfied that the bleeding has stopped, I adjust my earplugs, grab the Hilti, and continue tearing up the tiles of the baptistry.

The evening hasn’t gone quite as I anticipated.

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Official Bendanian History

Note: Of the numerous micronations extant toward the end of the 20th century, few reached the same depths of obscurity and irrelevance achieved by Bendania, which consisted of the bedroom shared by two young brothers. I offer this historical document (with very little emendation, minor formatting changes appropriate for the new medium in which it is presented, some redaction and substitution of only limited consequence in order to protect the innocent, and rare clarifying comments) with the hope that it may shed additional light on some humorous attitudes prevalent among certain populations in the era under question.  -Editor


Official Bendanian History

prepared by E. B. W. Pratt, National Historian

July 4, 1776

  • The United States of America founded by some good guys.

April 6, 1830

  • Churchia founded by The King, through His Servant Joseph.

December 28, 1977

  • “Dad” and “Mom,” both dual citizens of the USA and Churchia, found The Pratt Family (hereafter TPF).

[redacted], 1980

  • Benjamin Wilcken Pratt born in the USA, near Churchian University. Raised in Churchia.

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What to Say When She’s Not Expecting

In the past few weeks, I’ve had several friends and family members bring up the subject of miscarriage. Sadly I seem to be the resident know-it-all on pregnancy loss in our family because of my own experiences with miscarriage and infertility.  Over the years I’ve also had many people ask me what to say to someone who has suffered the loss of a pregnancy.  It can be an awkward time for the couple who are grieving the loss of a child and awkward for those who want to do something but don’t know what to say or do.  This recent post about miscarriage made me think that other’s might need a some guidance in this area.

 The loss of a child is perhaps one of the single most devastating and sad experiences a family can go thru. In the same vein, when a couple looses a pregnancy similar feelings of sadness and loss are present. Unlike the loss of a child, when a couple experience a miscarriage there are no formal rituals of mourning, no graveside to visit and no pictures by which to remember this child. Many times this couple goes home from the hospital or the doctor’s office with empty arms and a lot of unanswered questions. Continue reading