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August 10, 2005

Comments

Jo

When GW went to Iraq and surprised the troops over Thanksgiving, my sister in law, a left wing nut case newspaper reporter, was livid when she called us that day. Finally I said, "What don't you like about GW?" and she said, "He's and idiot!" I answered, "I hardly doubt that someone that is an idiot can graduate from an Ivy leaque school, be a 2 term governer and the president." Shut her ass up quick. Give me more words than "Idiot" etc. Great Post!

Eric

Oh yeah?! Well I don't like you anymore! Because...cause...you're right!

Excellent post. My only complaint is that I've been thinking of writing nearly the EXACT SAME THING, and I think you wrote it better than I could.

I shall now claim that you stole it from me and sue for mental pain and anguish.

Somehow I am sure you have violated my civil rights as well...so you will be hearing from the ACLU!

Dan Trabue

I agree with you 100%. Bad logic irritates me. And I'll agree with you further that I'm likely guilty of it ocassionally. As are many if not most of us. We've forgotten what we learned in Logic class or never had it.

Having said that and admitting that I see these mistakes on many websites and blogs, I'll suggest that I've seen it perhaps more frequently on conservative blogs than most places (not objective, not logical, not backed by studies, just my own observation).

Particularly, I see the false dichotomy.

A-This war in Iraq is an illegal and immoral invasion.
B-Oh really?! You'd rather have Saddam back in charge killing people?

Or:
These liberals are just protesting because they hate Bush (see that one A LOT).

Or:
Yes, it'd be nice to have a more clean environment, but it would cost too many jobs.

There are rarely only two answers.

docjim505

Thanks to all for their kind comments.

Dan's is of especial interest to me because it hints at the fact that different people simply see the world differently. We all process facts and experiences through the filters of our education, experiences, and personality, and this can make it difficult to deal with people who process the same information differently.

A common example is reaction to casualties in Iraq. For example, think of your own reaction to this simple statement:

"Five Marines were killed and another eight were wounded in Iraq today."

Various reactions might include:

A) Oh, their poor families!
B) More evidence that Iraq is a quagmire.
C) Casualties of war. Regrettable, but not unexpected.
D) This wouldn't have happened if Bush hadn't lied about Iraq.
E) F***ing media ghouls. They really like keeping score for the terrorists, don't they?

See what I mean?

Even Dan's assertion that he sees more logical fallacies on conservative blogs than on liberal blogs represents, I think, a difference of perspective. I don't think it would suprise anybody to know that I see far more logical fallacies or outright hysteria on LIBERAL blogs.

Dan's right in that there are usually not only two answers. I think that the real key to good discourse is to stay focused: what did the other person actually say? Is it true or untrue? How can I rebut without straying off-topic, setting up a straw man, or offering some other fallacious argument?

And, above all, be polite. No matter how much it hurts.

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