The Anti-Postion Paper


by: Frank Korzeniowski
New Castle, PA

The Anti-Position Position.

My introduction, Mr. Johnson. The original idea of my position was to disprove the divinity of Jesus Christ. I still feel I can do that, but it wasn't ridiculous enough, and because I'm lazy, the new topic of my position paper is:

I don't like writing position papers.

So, with my quasi-punk lifestyle and ideals, this gave me an interesting idea. The idea of the "anti-position" paper. As I understand it, a good position paper has an introduction, an argument for something, an argument against it, and a conclusion, all the while citing facts from reliable sources and personal testimony relevant to the topic.

The topic of a position paper is a real issue with doubt and debate, an issue that addresses controversy. So, to write the most effective "anti-position" paper, I must do as much of the opposite as possible.

My position, or anti-position, is that position papers are pointless. I will first argue against my position and then argue for it, in that order, then leave my argument for this position weaker than the one for it. I will not cite an experience of mine to this issue through personal testimony. Because there is none. In writing a position paper, you should ask, "Is this a relevant issue chosen as a topic?" This topic is way beyond that. The fact that this is not the assignment, the fact that this is a different concept, makes the topic (i.e. position papers), in this context, all the more confusing and labyrinthian. This is, quite arguably, stupid. This issue is not one I can strongly identify with, nor do I wish to advocate a stance either way. Because the topic is nonsense. Position papers suck.

To better understand why this is a totally absurd argument, we should first analyze what a position paper is. A position paper is an essay written by students when assigned to do so, wherein the students create an arguable opinion about an issue. An important issue.

The purpose of the position paper is to persuade the reader to favor the position taken by the author. It is an effective tool for educators to teach their students the importance of dialectical inquiry and debate. The practical use of the position paper is for students to develop skills in reasoning and proper writing, and to exercise their minds in abstract thinking. The "position" taken here, which is not really one at all, the statement that position papers are pointless, has no merit. Position papers require research and clearly documented facts that can be verified through sources. If one is trying to present a rational argument for or against something, he should hold some appearance of reason. There is no explanation to the statement, "position papers are useless", only the statement itself. The author of this position is insane. Only an insane person could conceive the concept of an "anti-position" paper. In addition, the method of writing this very paper, a man debating himself in written form, exhibits pure insanity. The idea that the argument against the issue of topic should outweigh the argument for it serves what function? If the idea is to dissuade the reader from what is being advocated, why advocate it in the first place?

Even the most effective reasoning can not be used in the context of an "anti-position" paper, because the concept itself is irrational. This makes both the position and the structured form in which it is written flawed beyond the most complicated circumstances.

The argument against the position makes perfect sense. It has logic behind it, which is why it fails in the conceptual form in which this paper is being written. The anti-position, so far, has become less about the original position but more about the structure of this paper.

Has the anti-position failed in its purpose? No, because right now it's questionable what that purpose is, if there is any at all. One argument in the anti-position form could be, "position papers are pointless, because I say they are." The anti-position paper is everything the position paper is not. A position paper is clear and concrete in its design. This paper, however, is not.

Do I need to present facts proving my argument? No, because this is not a position paper. I could say, "I'm right, because flying pink elephants defecated in the clouds and, therefore, it rained gold coins, causing leprechauns to dance." Because of all of that, I'm only right due to the fact that the leprechauns danced. If they had not, then I would have been proved wrong.

The argument against my position states that there is no legitimate purpose for an "anti-position" paper. This is not true. Mr. Johnson: you always say, "I want to know what you know, and not what you don't know." So I ask you these questions:

Can a student know and understand something just as well, by learning what something is not, to understand what something is? A position paper demonstrates how to make a rational argument. So why can't an anti-position paper do the same when it demonstrates an irrational argument?

Another question for you is, can philosophy be an art? Isn't it, in a way, an art of arguing? If not, why not? Augustus Caesar saw politics and oration as a game that is to be played. They contain fallacies, manipulation, and lies as much as they contain logic and reason, if not more. The skills needed to master this "game," can be compared to artistic abilities. This is where I compare philosophers to artists. Both are a perfect marriage of the right and left hemispheres of the brain. And, much like artists of other art mediums, to expand that art form, these artists (philosophers) took the established rules and challenged them with experimental distortion of those rules, first by knowing what the rules were, and then by breaking them; All in the pursuit of the abstract.

A position paper must be a certain way. Why? Who came up with that idea? Is it similar to the way someone said that there is a God, or a pantheon of Gods? The rules were explicit to state that any new ideas must conform to any established rules already set in place. Was it not the philosophers throughout the ages that challenged the conventional ideas of the time? Was it not these philosophers that challenged the authorities? Is it not, to a degree, the goal and the purpose of the philosophically-minded to challenged authority always?

I'm challenging your authority with this paper. Why shouldn't the idea of a position paper be challenged? The idea of the anti-position paper even challenges it's own structure and idea. Is not my assumption, that ideas should always be challenged, correct?

Regardless of your answer, I'm right, because flying pink elephants defecated in the clouds and, therefore, it rained gold coins, causing leprechauns to dance.

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