Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Ad Hominem Problem

I did not play a sport in college, but nevertheless I can make a strong argument that college football players can be paid.  I can make a weak one too.  That’s because arguments are strong or weak depending on the strength of the premises supporting the conclusion, and not based upon who is making the argument. Someone who has never been a soldier can convincingly assert that a bumper sticker that says “my marine can pick off your honor student at five hundred yards” is horribly inappropriate and offensive.  A white person can author a wonderful piece on the inappropriateness of the use of the N word by Black Americans.  A man can shed light on the debate over the appropriateness of C-Sections.  They can all also sound stupid.  Of course the same exact thing can be said about a woman asserting that breast milk is the only way to go when feeding your infant or a black woman asserting that black children should only be adopted by black families.  What matters is the argument itself, not who is delivering it.  The sooner we learn that, the sooner political debates will stop sounding like something you could hear on sports talk radio.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Don't Remove the Fences

The lion at the zoo only eats you
If you remove the fences
An argument over texting during movie previews only leads to death
If you remove the fences

Monday, January 13, 2014