Notices
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Is this a fallacy?

  1. #1 Is this a fallacy? 
    New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1
    A Christian was accusing a non-Christian of judging Christians because they (the non-Christian) first stated that Christians were using the word Muslim to describe someone as unpatriotic. The Christian retorted, "aren't you just judging Christians as you claim they judge you?"

    I have seen variations of this claim, when a person claims that Evangelicals are intolerant. It was actually used by Campbell Brown in her interview with Charles Barkley today. Is her claim a fallacy?

    " Barkley: Well, because they are so judgmental. And you know what is really interesting about that? I was actually defending John McCain when I said that, because they were saying when he first got nominated that he is not part of the evangelicals. You got to respect Sen. McCain. What I meant by that and I still stick by it -- my idea of religion is we are supposed to encourage people to love other people. I am a big pro-choice guy. I am a big gay marriage guy and they are so divisive and that is not my idea of religion. My idea of religion is we are supposed to bring people together. We are not supposed to judge other people.

    Brown: But aren't you judging them?"


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    No this is not a fallacy. This is the argument of the new fascists against tolerance and religious freedom to justify their efforts to destroy a free society and force their wackoid ideas on everyone in the creation of a theocracy.

    Every society must impose something on citizens. A theocracy imposes the religious beliefs of one religion on them. A free society imposes the ideas of tolerance and religious freedom on everyone. It is a matter of deciding what kind of society we want to live in. The argument that tolerance is unsupportable because you cannot have tolerance unless you tolerate everything is complete nonsense. Everything is quite naturally and logically limited by its opposite. Tolerance must include an intolerance of intolerance for a tolerance of intolerance is called passive intolerance and a free society cannot tolerate this.

    The decision to have a free society and thus to impose the ideal of tolerance on its citizens is a decision that intolerance will not be tolerated. The citizens of a free society will not stand idly by while restaurants decide they will not serve people of a certain race. We will not stand idly by while people assault and terrorize a group of people just because they believe differently. It is the principle of religious freedom that people are free to believe as they choose and are free to practice those beliefs AS LONG AS these do NOT deprive others of this same freedom. Thus there are indeed religions that will not be compatable with a free society and will not be tolerated in such a society. The religion of human sacrifice practiced by the Aztecs is a good example.


    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    8,795
    Everybody is judgemental. The alternative is to have no opinion on anything.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Masters Degree organic god's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    London
    Posts
    567
    Indeed but we should not always voice our judgements.
    everything is mathematical.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    (Q)
    (Q) is offline
    Forum Isotope (Q)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,650
    There's nothing wrong with judging an ideology, shred it to pieces if you will. Judging people themselves is another story.

    The problem is that many people, especially thiests, are unable to distinguish between ideologies and people, unless it suits their agenda, of course.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Somewhere near Beetlegeuse
    Posts
    205
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Everything is quite naturally and logically limited by its opposite.
    Wouldn't it be oh so nice if only this were true?

    What about those things that don't have opposites?

    For example, suppose I were to go on a murderous rampage shooting every third person I see. The opposite of this is obviously not simply to not go on a killing spree, you would have to be able to create people at the same rate as I am killing them. Even supposing this were possible, would your creation of these extra people truly represent you tolerating my murderous rampage?

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Thus there are indeed religions that will not be compatable with a free society and will not be tolerated in such a society. The religion of human sacrifice practiced by the Aztecs is a good example.
    And there are many more. Many people in the world believe that the creator of the universe has written a book. Unfortunately, we have many such books. Each of these books urges its readers to adopt a variety of customs, beliefs and practices, some of which are benign and some of which are not. All are in perverse agreement on one fundamental point of dogma; “respect” for other faiths, or for the views of unbelievers is not an attitude endorsed by god. The central tenet of every religious tradition is that all others are merely repositories of error, or omission. Intolerance is therefore intrinsic to every such creed.

    I am, incidentally very interested in the point that (Q) made. Is s/he saying that we should not judge people by their beliefs, and could you please expand on your reasoning a little bit?
    Everything the laws of the universe do not prohibit must finally happen.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Everything is quite naturally and logically limited by its opposite.
    Wouldn't it be oh so nice if only this were true?

    What about those things that don't have opposites?
    What about them? If nothing is their opposite then cannot you say that they are limited by nothing? Of course it would be clearer to simply say that they have no opposite to limit them. In any case, I think you need to distinguish what I said from: "Everything is naturally and logically limited by an opposite." Thus you cannot really complain that what I said is not true unless you have an example of something with an opposite where the opposite does not limit the thing it is the opposite of. In that case I would have to limit the scope of my statement, which is not only easy to do but already implied by the context in which the statement was made. There is no obvious intent to make a universal statement about things being limited by their opposite because that is not the topic of discussion. The topic was concerning ideals which a society commits itself to, in general, and more specifically that the fascist argument against tolerance in the OP is fallacious rhetoric.



    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    And there are many more. Many people in the world believe that the creator of the universe has written a book. Unfortunately, we have many such books. Each of these books urges its readers to adopt a variety of customs, beliefs and practices, some of which are benign and some of which are not. All are in perverse agreement on one fundamental point of dogma; “respect” for other faiths, or for the views of unbelievers is not an attitude endorsed by god. The central tenet of every religious tradition is that all others are merely repositories of error, or omission. Intolerance is therefore intrinsic to every such creed.
    That is incorrect. Tolerance does not mean that we cannot believe that we are right and others are wrong - that is in fact a contradictory idea of tolerance for the very purpose of tolerance is to foster, preserve and protect the right of people to a diversity of belief. It certainly does mean that religions cannot practice their beliefs in any way that interferes in the right of others to believe as they choose. Tolerance requires us to agree to disagree and conduct public afairs on the principle of compromise. What is not tolerable in a free society is the attitude by some groups that no compromise is acceptable but that their belief and ideas of morality must be imposed upon everyone.

    The abortion issue is an important example. People are certainly free to believe that a fertilized egg is a human being and that abortion is evil and thus free to decide that they will never to resort to such an option in their own life. They are free to believe that anyone having an abortion is a murderer in the eyes of God. But imposing this dubious metaphysical philosophy and peculiar morality on everyone else is quite theocratic. For I cannot see how we can logically distinguish this from a belief that cows are equal in value to human beings and that killing them is murder. People are certainly free to believe that as well, free to refrain from killing cows and eating beef, and free to believe that those who do are murderers in the eyes of their god or whatever. But we cannot respond tolerantly to the intolerance implicit in the refusal of some groups to compromise on an issue like this.

    We cannot concede to them the right to say what is human and what is murder (for in a world where killing is ultimately necessary in war and police actions this is unavoidable), because this is a very dangerous concession to people with a theocratic mindset, for then they are free to decide who is and isn't human and free to decide that killing those people isn't murder. Which is something which they cannot avoid doing because a direct consequence of the imposition of their pecular ideas on everyone are the possible execution of women as supposed murders and at the very least the passive execution of women by saying that those who resort to back alley abortions in their desperation just deserve what happens to them.


    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    The problem is that many people, especially thiests, are unable to distinguish between ideologies and people, unless it suits their agenda, of course.
    I am, incidentally very interested in the point that (Q) made. Is s/he saying that we should not judge people by their beliefs, and could you please expand on your reasoning a little bit?
    I believe he said that we should distinguish between judging their beliefs and judging the people who hold these beliefs -- sparing nothing in the denunciation of their beliefs, but... and here is where Q is a bit vague on how this not judging the people themselves should be practiced, but to fill in and make what Q is saying much more concrete, I would say that however much we would denounce their beliefs which we may believe are wrong and harmful, we would nevertheless defend their right to believe them as long as they can adequately defend that the practice of their belief does no harm to others and does not infringe on the same rights of others to believe as they choose.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Somewhere near Beetlegeuse
    Posts
    205
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    What about them? If nothing is their opposite then cannot you say that they are limited by nothing?
    Quite apart from the fact that you have (subtly) changed what I said, no, you cannot logically say that.

    I said that there are things that have no opposite. Your reply implies that you agree with this part.

    Let A be a thing that has no opposite.

    If A has no opposite then you cannot magically conjure one up simply by calling it "nothing"; spelling it "no thing" instead might make my point more clearly.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Thus you cannot really complain that what I said is not true unless you have an example of something with an opposite where the opposite does not limit the thing it is the opposite of.
    I'm sorry, but that isn't logically true either.

    All I would have to do is show that there is a thing that has no opposite. That thing cannot, logically, be limited by its non-existent opposite.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    There is no obvious intent to make a universal statement about things being limited by their opposite...
    Well, that is exactly what you said. I won't presume to know your intention, all I can work with is what you actually said. You said Everything is logically... which reads exactly as a universal statement about all things being limited by their opposite. If you want to modify that statement in some way then maybe you should do that first, then we can discuss what you have to say.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    ...because that is not the topic of discussion. The topic was concerning ideals...
    I agree, that was the topic of your discussion with OP. What I am trying to discuss with you is the logic in your argumentation. I am not really too concerned with which conclusion you come to, but I do get animated by logical arguments that aren't quite as logical as their posters might like to believe. (I get animated by other things too, which we might come to).

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    ...for the very purpose of tolerance is to foster, preserve and protect the right of people to a diversity of belief.
    I could not agree with this more, nor could I have put it better. However...

    Suppose you and I subscribe to different creeds, each of which teaches that belief in its own particular god and adherence to its tenets, rituals and practices will ensure everlasting joy in the glorious bosom of our own particular god, whilst also teaching that non-adherence results in an everlasting everafter of ritual misery, pain, and suffering. This is not a very unlikely supposition since tens of millions of people throughout the world actually believe things coterminous with this.

    As long as we consider only you and I then the ideal of tolerance is almost pleasantly appealing. My belief does not infringe your right to believe whatever you want, and vice versa; we both can be in everlasting bliss. But this isn't genuine tolerance; it is a kind of smug arrogance that I am right and you will pay in hell for being wrong.

    Religions don't work on this model anyway. They are not happy to remain in static isolation one from the other because they must all receive new converts. Each generation of people who die and go to heaven must be replaced, so it is inherent in each of these religions that they persuade. Which means, effectively, that you are trying to persuade my child to subscribe to your religion.

    For tolerance to continue, I would now have to tolerate you persuading my child to commit to an everlasting everafter of unrelievable pain and suffering. Or put it the other way. How tolerant would you be prepared to be should I persuade your child to undergo an eternity of excruciating agony? You can be as smug as you like about me going to hell, but how do you feel about the fact I have persuaded your daughter to join me?

    Belief in happiness in the everafter is not compatible with tolerance in the here and now.

    In responding to my question of (Q) you added a quote. Unfortunately, you chose the wrong part of what (Q) said.

    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    There's nothing wrong with judging an ideology, shred it to pieces if you will. Judging people themselves is another story.
    Perhaps it would have helped if I had done that myself the first time round.

    What I am interested in is how we separate a believer from his ideology. If a person consistently believes in "silly" things (for some definition of "silly") can we not conclude that he is silly?

    In any event, your attempt at elucidating (Q)'s meaning merely highlights the points that cause me to wonder.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    ...as long as they can adequately defend...
    What does adequately defend mean and who decides when a belief has been adequately defended?

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    ...the practice of their belief does no harm to others...
    There are obviously many ways to harm people that don't require us to stab them with a knife. So who decides what constitutes harm?

    One of life's useful precepts is that we learn from our mistakes. We learn from them because they have undesireable consequences we would rather not repeat. Who decides whether these undesireable consequences are beneficial because we can learn from our mistake, or harmful and should be proscribed?
    Everything the laws of the universe do not prohibit must finally happen.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •