Delilah

Phil smacked both of his hands against the steering wheel of his truck in frustration. He chewed busily on the lump of chewing tobacco, trying his best to grind the lump into nothing. His girlfriend was curled up beside him in the passenger seat fast asleep, the movement of her chest barely visible in the thin artificial light streaming in through the windows.

“I don’t know what you were expecting.” He said under his breath in a loose southern drawl.

He could barely look at her. When he came to pick her up from work was barely coherent – she spoke in tired, nonsensical run-ons, reassuring him that she was fine, she was always fine, it had just been a long day at work and she needed a break. He did what he always did, which was never quite believe her. She was on something, some sort of something. It wasn’t weed, she never had time to smoke during work hours, so it must have been pills distance. Her drug of choice.

He asked, if she didn’t mind terribly, if he could stop at a gas station to pick up some chewing tobacco. His “drug of choice.” She nodded, her eyes staring off into the distance at something he couldn’t see. In the space of time between him stopping at the gas station and coming back to the parking lot, she had fallen asleep.

He backed out of the parking spot, placing his hand on her. He sighed heavily. It wasn’t her fault, in his mind. He knew what he was getting into. Three months in, he found empty bottles of Xanax with a name he didn’t recognize, some odd European name. It was around this time that he realized she wasn’t just a space case, she was just always high. He wasn’t quite sure if it meant that she actually loved him or not, but he put that thought to the back of his mind. Of course she loved him, she loved him a lot. She was just sick, and it was no different having a habit then going to a shrink in his mind. Whatever kept her alive, he was fine with.

He wasn’t a man who believed in that sort of thing. You took care of your own problems, where he came from. He had enough foresight to figure out who her dealer was – this skinny little bastard at her job, an actual bastard who lived out in his truck between working the day shift and selling stolen prescription bottles at night. As long as he did nothing untoward to his girl, he would be fine. There was no use getting involved in things that didn’t concern you.

Phil rubbed the worn-down ridges of the steering wheel over his palms thoughtfully. A broken callous or two caught on the fraying fabric. He’d take her home, settle her into bed, curl up beside her and wait for her to sober up in the morning. She’d be fine, she always was fine.

It was about a year and he always wondered where she got the money from. She worked as a server, and he knew for a fact that she got tipped more than what she brought home, but to him it didn’t matter. She could have her pills, and he had his chewing tobacco, and that would be more than enough to provide for both of them. They could be happy together.

He pulled into the front of the little flat they shared. He inherited it from his father years ago, when he died, and he inherited it from his parents. It wasn’t fancy, but it was home, and with the way housing prices were nowadays it was better than living in some yuppie apartment. People didn’t ask too many questions out here, and his girlfriend was from the city – she didn’t know enough to realize when people were looking askance at her, and didn’t go to church. He didn’t mind what they thought about him. Half of them had their own family shames, he just kept his mouth shut and eventually they learned to do that with him.

He opened the truck door. “Delilah, I’m gon’ pick you up, right? Don’t squirm.” She never did.

He cradled her like a baby rag doll, her tiny limbs dangling from his arms. She was out like a light. At least it made things easier. He effortlessly brought her inside, past the well-worn living room and into the small bedroom they both shared. He stretched her out on the bed and let her settle. He gathered up her bedclothes and began to undress her, the nightly ritual before he got settled in himself. It was like taking care of a young child, in his mind. At least she didn’t fuss.

Something caught his attention.

Her upper thighs were covered in deep, round bruises, like someone pressed pennies deep into her skin. Her inner thighs were the color of a bruised peach, red and bloody. Not quite bloody then, but recently.

Phil choked back the bile rising from his throat. He’d dressed deer and rabbits since he was a boy, and he’d seen dogs left out by their owners that had been beat to an inch of their lives, but on a woman it made his blood churn. It took everything he could not to shake Delilah awake and demand what had happened. Part of him already knew, didn’t want to know.

“Delilah, darling, what happened to yer legs?” He placed a hand on her shoulder, and shook her as gently as he could possibly muster. He reached in to his other pocket, feeling for his keys. One of Delilah’s eyes rolled open, stared straight at him in the dark.

“Didn’t have the money to pay Jacob. We had a disagreement.”

“Ah, I see. Go back to bed, darlin’. I’m gonna go pick up some tobacco, I forgot ‘em at the store. I’ll be back soon. Sorry for wakin’ yeh.”

When Delilah woke up that morning he never got her to admit what had happened. She just bruised easily, she said. She never bruised easily as far as he could remember, but he let the matter drop.

Her temper was a lot worse the following week. Apparently Jacob had booked it out of town ages ago, or something. Someone found his truck out in the countryside, empty of money and drugs, so rumors started around town that a couple kids had robbed him blind and sent him out of the county. Nobody bothered to call the cops because nobody cared. You settled your own problems out here.

Finding a dealer out in the country was a little harder than expected. Phil suggested she go find some doctor, someone who could give her some real treatment, but she seemed hesitant and he let the matter drop. You took care of your own problems out here, and if this was how she was going to handle hers, then that was her choice and God be with her.

Later on that week he started construction on a beautiful gazebo in his backyard. Delilah was head over heels for it.

“Gotta cover a sinkhole,” said Phil, lifting a bundle of wood and staring at the soft patch of earth that had already been marked out with posts and dainty orange ribbons that flapped gently in the spring breeze.

“You’re not supposed to build over sinkholes, Phil. It’ll collapse right through it!”

“That’s how we always handled sinkholes ‘round here.”

Delilah shook her head, tossing her curls about her shoulders, and looked up at him with the most beautiful baby blue eyes Phil could ever imagine. “Can we paint it yellow? A daisy yellow?”

“We can paint it whatever color you want, darling.”

Delilah seemed to light up at the thought. She grasped the front of her blouse with one dainty, delicate hand, right over her tiny fluttering heart. “And flowerboxes? Can it have some flowerboxes too? Oh, I’d love to fill them up with daisies and all of those pretty annuals that they have down at the store.”

“It’s for you, you can have whatever you want.”

“I’m such a lucky girl to have you, Phil.”

Conversion, Obversion, & Contrapositon

Conversion involves switching the subject term with the predicate term of a statement. For example, the statement “no dogs are cats,” when converted, is “no cats are dogs.” This new statement is the converse of a given statement. If you make a diagram for an E statement, both the original and converse will be identical. This is also true of the I statement. This means that the converse of either an E or an I statement has the same truth value as the original statement.

The diagram for the A and O statements are not identical, which means that the original and converse of those statements are logically unrelated in regards to truth value. Converting an A or O statement gives us new statements whose truth values are logically undetermined in relation to their original statements. These statements commit the fallacy of illict conversion, and are invalid.

You can demonstrate this with the following statements.

All fish are aquatic animals. (True)
Therefore, all aquatic animals are fish. (False)

Some writing implements are not pens. (True)

Therefore, some pens are not writing implements. (False)

Obversion is more complicated than conversion. Obversion involves changing the quality (without changing the quantity) of a statement, and then replacing the predicate with its term compliment. If it’s all, the quality is changed to none, and vice versa. “Some” qualities aren’t changed at all. In regards to the other step, the term compliment is the word or group of words that denotes the class compliment. For terms consisting of a single word, the term compliment is usually formed by simply attaching the prefix “non.” The term compliment of “human” is “non-human,” because none of that probably made any sense.

 

For example, for the given statement “all A are B,” which is an A statement by the way, the obverse of the statement would be No A are non-B, which looks identical. The obverse of all types of statements (A, E, I, O) all look identical to the original statement, so there’s no need to worry too much about them.
Contraposition also involves two steps. The first step is switching the subject and the predicate terms and the second step is replacing the subject and predicate terms with their term compliments. If you remember from before, which you most certainly don’t, the term compliment is the word or group of words that denotes the class compliment. The term compliment of “human” is “non-human.” You may ask, “why is this different from obversion,” and that’s because you can’t remember the previous paragraph you typed in the slightest, jackass. Obversion changes the quality, contraposition just switches the subject and predicate terms.

So for the statement, “all parrots are birds,” the first step would be to change it to “all birds are parrots.” You then replace the subject and predicate with their term compliments, and end up with “all-non-birds are non-birds.” Which is weird, but understandable, in a plug-and-chug sort of way.

Go and make your own Venn-Diagrams because there’s no way in hell you’ll be able to memorize these. Except for A. All As are exactly the same. E is weird, because you scribble in the background outside of the diagram and personally I find it uncomfortable because it looks so radically different from the other Venn-Diagrams.
Like conversion, there can be illict contraposition, too!

No dogs are cats. (True)
Therefore, no non-cats are non-dogs. (False)

Some animals are non-cats. (True)

Therefore, some cats are non-animals. (False)

Valid, False, & Unsound

A valid deductive argument is a deductive argument in which it is impossible for the conclusion to be false given that the premises are true. An invalid deductive argument is an argument in which it is possible for the conclusion to be false, given the premises are true. As a result, there’s no middle ground between invalid and valid deductive arguments – an argument cannot be “almost” valid or invalid.

The validity of a deductive argument is not based on whether or not the statements are true in reality. The question is really whether or not it is easy to assume that these arguments are true. For example, in regards to the statement, “All automakers are computer manufacturers. United Airlines is an automaker. Therefore, United Airlines is a computer manufacturer.” It is possible to assume that automakers also manufacture computers, and that United Airlines also makes cars in addition to planes, even though in reality this is untrue.

An example in which the premises of a deductive argument are true but the argument itself is invalid is in the following example. “All banks are financial institutions. Wells Fargo is a financial institution. Therefore, Wells Fargo is a bank.” Although the premises are both actually true in reality, the argument isn’t valid, because it would be possible for Wells Fargo to be a financial institution but not a bank. (Remember, the argument is claiming that all banks are financial institutions, not that all financial institutions are banks.) Validity is determined by the logical relationship between premises and conclusions, not the truth or falsity of the individual statements, except in one instance.

Any deductive argument having actually true premises and an actually false conclusion is invalid. It cannot exist because if the premises are actually true and the conclusion is actually false, it is possible for the definition of a deductive argument to make the premises true and the conclusion false. The definition of a deductive argument says that this is not possible at all. Therefore, the argument is invalid.

A sound argument is a deductive argument that is valid and has all true premises. An unsound argument is a deductive argument that is invalid, as one or more false premises, or both.

A strong inductive argument is an inductive argument in which it is improbable that the conclusion be false given the premises are true. A weak inductive argument is an inductive argument in which the conclusion does not follow, probably, from the premises, even though it is claimed to. Like the validity of a deductive argument, the strength of an inductive argument does not depend on whether the premises are true, just how the premises relate to the conclusion.

A cogent argument is an inductive argument that is strong and has all true premises. The premises must also be true in the sense of meeting the total evidence requirement. The total evidence requirement means that the premises reflect all of the important factors in determining the conclusion. An uncogent argument is one in which the argument is weak, has one or more false premises, fails to meet the total evidence requirement, or any combination of these. Like with deductive arguments, determining the cogency of an argument may be impossible.

Deductive vrs. Inductive Arguments

A deductive argument is an argument incorporating the claim that is it impossible for the conclusion to be false, given that the premises are true. An inductive argument is an argument incorporating the claim that it is improbable that the conclusion be false given that the premises are true.

There are three ways to decide whether or not an argument is deductive or inductive. These include the occurrence of special indicator words (probably versus definitely), the actual strength of the inferential link between the premises and conclusion (how dependent the conclusion is on the premises), and the form or style of argumentation. However, because many arguments phrased in everyday language, such as an argument one would find in a philosophy textbook, are incomplete, determining whether an argument is deductive or inductive can be impossible. Arguers also can’t be relied upon to use language appropriately.

Deductive arguments come in many forms.

  • Argument based on mathematics, which are arguments that are based on mathematical proofs.
  • Argument from definition, which use the definition of the word involved to prove a conclusion. For example, if a certain paragraph is prolix, it is excessively wordy. This is deductive because
  • Syllogisms, which are arguments consisting of exactly two premises and one conclusion.
    • Hypothetical syllogisms, which are syllogisms having a conditional statement for one or both of its premises.
    • Categorical syllogisms, which are syllogisms in which each statement begins with one of the following words: all, no, or some.
    • Disjunctive syllogisms, which are syllogisms have a disjunctive statement.

Inductive arguments also come in many forms.

  • Predictions, which are arguments that use our knowledge of the past to make a claim about the future. Any argument that involves the future is necessarily an inductive argument.
  • Arguments from analogies, which are arguments that depend on the existence of an analogy between two things or states of affairs. For example, if my moped is a fuel-efficient vehicle, it must follow that Andrew’s moped is a fuel-efficient vehicle. These arguments are uncertain because they presume that our mopeds are similar.
  • Generalizations, which are arguments that generalize based on a small portion of a selected group. If I eat a handful of apples from a basket and they all turn out sour, and I therefore generalize that all of the apples in the basket must be sour, I am generalizing. These arguments are probable rather than definite because the rest of the apples in the basket could be just fine, I may have simply grabbed a handful of sour apples.
  • Arguments from authority, which are arguments that are presumed to be true simply because an authority in the field stays that it is.
  • Arguments based on signs, which are arguments that proceed from the knowledge of a sign to make a claim about the thing or situation that the sign symbolizes. The word “sign” here means any kind of message (usually visual, as in an actual sign) produced by an intelligent being.
  • Causal inferences, which are arguments based on knowledge of a cause to make a claim about the effect. For example, if I leave a can of soda in a freezer overnight, with the knowledge that freezing carbonated liquids can cause them to explode, I can reasonably conclude the can had exploded.

Arguments, Premises, & Conclusions in Logic

Logic is the organized body of the knowledge or science that evaluates things called arguments.

An argument is a group of statements, one or more of which are claimed to provide support for one of the others. The statements that provide the support are called the premises and the statement they are supporting is called the conclusion. Premise indicators (i.e. since, because) indicate the premises and conclusion indicators (i.e. therefore, consequently) indicate the conclusion.

A statement is a sentence that is either true or false. It’s typically a declarative sentence or a sentence component standing in as a declarative sentence.

The premises are the statements that set forth the reasons or evidence, and the conclusion is the statement that the evidence is claimed to support or imply.

An argument can be put into one of two basic groups – good arguments (those whose premises support the conclusion) or bad arguments (those whose premises don’t support the conclusion, even though they claim to).

An inference is the reasoning process expressed by an argument and a proposition is the meaning of information content of a statement.

Aristotle, the big daddy behind all that is logic, devised a concept called syllogistic logic. The fundamental elements of syllogistic logic are things called terms, and statements are evaluated as “good” (those whose premises support the conclusion) or “bad” (those whose premises don’t support te conclusion) based on these terms. He also invented modal logic, which involves the concept of possibility, necessity, belief, and doubt.

Legendary Ass

ass

Some men take their titles through glorious deeds;
earning esteem via publications and degrees
hoping one day they’d score with their American dream.

The truth of the deal is it’s all about sex appeal –
and some of us are just a bit more blessed.
I never was known for my legs or my chest,
but when it comes to ass it’s no contest.

In height, I’m three inches short of Mix-a-Lot,
but you can count on me to compensate –
God melted the mold in an afterthought
and added all the extra ’round my waist.

I was blessed from birth with a bountiful hearth
and many a doe-eyed lover has tried to compete
but they’ll realize one day I’m the heir to this throne
and that’s one that they’ll never unseat.

A Sonnet to the Cis Bus

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How does one respond when some random comes to call,
and spins us a tale that seems plucked straight from Poe’s law?
Should we question the veracity of all that they saw?
Is there a vessel of violence lurking ’round our malls,
Chugging through city streets as it carries its haul,
Of trans and gender-non-conforming folks waiting to draw
the blood of the cis with ragged tooth and claw?
Does it unload its queer cargo, all ready to maul?

Banish the thought, because it’s all quite ridiculous!
Which among us could spare the cents for bus fare?
Why must we derail the discourse for something like this,
when the author themself denies the whole affair?
Don your “Down With Cis” shirts, and finally dismiss
this amateur attempt at satire as political warfare.