Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Grief and Validity
One of the most observed fallacies in liberal logic today is that of ad hominem attack, or more specifically "ad hominem circumstantial". Cindy Sheehan is a perfect example of this. She and her supporters purport that anybody who disagrees with her should be dismissed out of hand because they have not lost a child in the war and she has. While this may be true, it has no bearing whatsoever on the merits of either Mrs. Sheehans argument or the argument of he/she who would oppose her. Likewise this applies to Sarah Brady, the fact that her husband was tragically wounded by a madman with a gun does not lend any credance at all to her arguments in favor of gun control. Furthermore, the fact that I have not had a loved one killed or injured by gun violence does not invalidate my arguments against it. There was a politician in Kalifornia a while ago (her name eludes me) who had been shot by a so-called "assault rifle". Whenever anybody attempted to then debate her on the issue she would reflexivly ask them "Have you been shot by an assault rifle?" implying that they had not and therefore were not qualified to debate her on the issue and should just shut up. Of course this is utter tripe, any first year philosophy student can tell you that an argument stands or falls based on its premises and conclusion being sound, the circumstances of the person who presents the argument are completely irrelevent.