Sunday, September 07, 2008

Why a Fellow POW won't vote for McCain

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why fellow democrates won't vote for Obama:

http://www.democrats-against-obama.org/

Mike Darus said...

Is this another example of "They used a flawed argument so I can too?"

Argument 1: I was a POW so I have character.

Argument 2: I was a POW longer so I am an authority on the character of other POW's.

And Victor gets to hide behind: "I am just innocently posting links without comment. You can't accuse me of supporting the argument or taking a position."

I expect a teacher of logic to support good arguments and challenge the tenuous ones.

Anonymous said...

Mike, you need to learn what it means to answer opponents on their own grounds. You need to understand that testing arguments by counter-example is a recognized way to show invalidity. It's in all the logic text books.

Eric said...

This is without question one of the most poorly argued pieces I’ve ever read. The entire argument can be summed up in this way: McCain wasn’t the only POW, therefore he shouldn’t be elected. Pathetic. Not only that, but the notion that McCain hasn’t publicized the fact that others suffered with him (remember all those fellow POWs at the convention?), or that he’s portrayed himself as the only hero (how many times has he denied having acted heroically?) are patently false.

Victor Reppert said...

On one level the argument makes a fairly trivial point, that being a POW doesn't provide much in the way of qualification to be President of the United States. One must evaluate policies and plans, even where there are interesting stories to be told concerning the person.

But do Republicans actually expect us to vote for McCain for that reason? It's weaved into the rhetoric, but do they really claim that?

Ilíon said...

Did I miss an actual *explanation* of why he's not voting for McCain?

Well, to be honest, I don't plan to vote for McCain (*uggh*), either. However, I *do* plan to vote against the hate-mongering anti-American radical-left racist.


But then, so long as the Democrats are the Party For Abortion, I generally can't see myself voting for a Democrat for any office, even the proverbial Dog Catcher. Though, considering the important and dangerous things happening in the wider world, I suppose if the Democrats were to actually run a serious and pro-America candidate and the Republicans were to run the blatant anti-American and/or vapid candidate, I'd hold my nose and vote for the Democrat.

Anonymous said...

"Well, to be honest, I don't plan to vote for McCain (*uggh*), either. However, I *do* plan to vote against the hate-mongering anti-American radical-left racist."

I wonder why Republicans so often portray their political opponents as being anti-American. Do they really think they are the only true Americans?

Anonymous said...

Victor,

Why are you trying to "rationally scrutinize" the rhetoric politicians use to garner support? And, why only criticize the Republican side? It's like, GEE WHIZ!!

You write: "But do Republicans actually expect us to vote for McCain for that reason? It's weaved into the rhetoric, but do they really claim that?"

But you do not write: "But do Democrates actually expect us to vote for Obama for that reason [he's black]? It's weaved into the rhetoric, but do they really claim that?"

Mike Darus said...

Anonymous,
Thank you for sending me back to Wikipedia. One of the benefits of posting here is that I am driven to learn things.

I don't think the correct term is counter-example. In classic form that argument would have been:
1) All POW's have the character needed in a president.
2) McCain was a POW that exhibited character.
3) McCain is qualified for president

Counter example: POW (X) exhibits poor character, therefore being a POW does not provide evidence of character necessary to be president.

This was not the counter example provided.

The other method you suggested is "to answer opponents on their own grounds." This is what I was critisizing. Political rhetoric seems to be filled with poor arguments countered by other equally poor arguments. I am already a little tired of it.

normajean said...

OFF TOPIC--ALERT!!!

Victor, have you seen this headline news?

http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/09/biologists-on-t.html?npu=1&mbid=yhp

normajean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I'd pay good money for somebody to define the term "Anti-American". What does it mean for someone to be Anti-American?

Somebody, anybody, give examples of positions taken on the left that are "Anti-American" and explain why this is the best term to describe the position.

Ilíon said...

Anonymouse: "I wonder why Republicans so often portray their political opponents as being anti-American. Do they really think they are the only true Americans?"

Well, you know, Anonymouse, it seems we must all be subjected to wondering something from time to time. Offhand, the only person I can think of who I am certain does not suffer this imperfection is God.

For instance, I myself sometimes wonder why it is that leftists are so rarely honest about, well, about much of anything at all.

Ilíon said...

Anonymouse: "I'd pay good money for somebody to define the term "Anti-American". What does it mean for someone to be Anti-American?"

Like I really believe that you simply want to understand something which has so-far eluded your (apparently) leftist mind-set. Anonymouse, while it's true that I was born at night, it wasn't *last* night.

Anonymouse: "Somebody, anybody, give examples of positions taken on the left that are "Anti-American" and explain why this is the best term to describe the position."

The man is not even truly an American. It's not *merely* that Mr Obama does not love America -- and, after all, one has the right as a human being (and as a US citizen) to not love the nation [*]. It's not *merely* that he's embarassed because his fellow countrymen speak only English (as does he, right?). It's not *merely* that he seems to think himself better than his fellow countrymen. It's not *merely* that he (and certainly, many of his supporters) appears to imagine that being US President would be "slumming." It's not *merely* that he is a racist, and a radical leftist, and a "community organizer" who appears never to have actually worked a day in his entire life.

In his heart of hearts, the man is not even an American, in the first place.

[*] Though, at the same time, someone daring to put himself forward as a candidate to be our President -- much less our Obamessiah -- ought to at least put on a good act of loving the nation.

Ilíon said...

NormaJean: "OFF TOPIC--ALERT!!!

Victor, have you seen this headline news?

Biologists on the Verge of Creating New Form of Life
"

The first sentence of the amusing article:
"A team of biologists and chemists is closing in on bringing non-living matter to life."

Ilíon: All matter is "non-living." There is no such thing as "living matter," anywhere.

What there are are living organisms -- and which, definitionally, are made of matter.

But, matter no more *defines* what an organism is than marble defines what David is. David is not merely a hunk of marble, and organisms are not merely matter-in-motion.

What differentiates David from mere marble -- what makes David davidly -- is the act of a mind.

And, should these amusing fellows ever actually make good on their outlandish claims, what will differentiate their "new life forms" from mere matter is likewise the act of a mind.

It is a Law of Reality: "Life comes only from Life." Should atheistic/materialistic (*) scientists ever manage to "create life," they shall not have contravened this Law. Nor shall they have given even a hint that the Law can be broken -- and, after all, it is logically impossible for any living being to *demonstrate* that he can break that particular Law.



(*) I make an explicit point of saying that because the primary motivation behind such OoL research, and the wild claims spawned by it, is generally to try to make God redundant. The whole point is to try to prove that living organisms can create themselves from nothing but mere matter -- in an earlier time, this amusing conceit was called "spontaneous generation" -- and, of course, they seem always to overlook that they themselves are living organisms manipulating this mere matter attempting to get "come alive all on its own."

Fools! Intentional and willful fools.

Anonymous said...

I'd pay good money for somebody to define the term "Anti-American". What does it mean for someone to be Anti-American?

Nowadays, 'anti-American' has devolved to meaning little more than 'having doubts about the current Administration'. God forbid that we should question our leaders. It's not like that was one of the main reason we separated ourselves from England's church and monarchy. It's not like disagreement and difference of opinion goes hand in hand with democracy. Oh, wait....

I'm sure all the conservatives will keep their mouths shut if they happen to disagree with Obama, should he turn out to become president. Yeah, right. We won't find the implicit identification of criticizing the President with "anti-Americanism" then, just as we didn't when Clinton was in office, and it was criticism of Bill 24-7 by the "liberal" media.

Anonymous said...

"The man is not even truly an American."

Ah, the True American fallacy.:-)

Anonymous said...

"The whole point is to try to prove that living organisms can create themselves from nothing but mere matter."

No one is claiming that living organisms create themselves.

Nor is there anything defective in the term "living matter". It is often quite useful to distinguish living matter from non-living matter. Just as it is useful to distinguish biochemistry from inorganic chemistry.

Anonymous said...

Mike, counter-examples take the same _FORM_ of reasoning, and then include either obviously false premises, or premises your opponent at least thinks are false. You don't need to use the same _TERMS_, as you suggest.

Anonymous said...

I'm the anonymous who asked about anti-americanism. I'm sorry, I shouldn't have opened the question up to "anybody". So let me revise: will a serious thinker attempt to seriously define "anti-Americanism". Someone with some philosophical acumen and too much respect for serious thought to engage in rampant propaganda.

Steven Carr said...

How many planes did McCain crash?

Ilíon said...

How may PT boats did JFK sink? How may careers did "Reporting For Duty" Kerry besmirch?

So many questions there are in this old world!

Ilíon said...

Ilíon: "I make an explicit point of saying that [i.e. using the term "atheistic/materialistic"] because the primary motivation behind such OoL research, and the wild claims spawned by it, is generally to try to make God redundant. The whole point is to try to prove that living organisms can create themselves from nothing but mere matter."

Anonymouse: "No one is claiming that living organisms create themselves."

Studied ignorance is so unappealing.

Perhaps the reader has heard the expression: "So-and-So doesn't suffer fools gladly?" Well, this particular So-and-So doesn't suffer fools. Period.

Anonymouse: "Nor is there anything defective in the term "living matter". It is often quite useful to distinguish living matter from non-living matter. Just as it is useful to distinguish biochemistry from inorganic chemistry."

Deliberate and studied ignorance is so unappealing.

There is no such thing as "living matter." There can never *be* such a thing as "living matter." There is no distinction to be made between "living matter" and matter.

The distinctions are between living entities and other things. Including matter.

This was all explained previously in sufficient detail (and simple enough terms) for any normally intelligent and intellectually honest person to both grasp and accede to.

Ilíon said...

Ilíon: "The man is not even truly an American."

Anonymouse: "Ah, the True American fallacy.:-)"

Ah, the false accusation of logical fallacy fallacy. Much belovéd of certain classes of disputants.

Anonymous said...

"Deliberate and studied ignorance is so unappealing."

Yes, it is. You've done an excellent job of illustrating that in your posts.

Ilíon said...

Anonymouse-Serious-Thinker: "I'm the anonymous who asked about anti-americanism. I'm sorry, I shouldn't have opened the question up to "anybody". So let me revise: will a serious thinker attempt to seriously define "anti-Americanism". Someone with some philosophical acumen and too much respect for serious thought to engage in rampant propaganda."

I can assure you (and everyone else) with confidence, Anonymouse, that your key problem lies elsewhere than in having "opened the question to 'anybody'" ... as though you have any say in who responds to your dishonesty [explanation below], or how.

=======
There are three ... and ony three ... general categories of explanation for why some person does not understand some thing (whatever the thing is). This is, of course, not to say in some particular specific circumstance there may not be a complex, and even multi-level, interplay of these categories of explanation. The categories are:

1) Inability: the person quite simply is truly incapable of understanding the thing.

2) Ignorance: the person lacks some requisite knowledge without which he cannot understand the particular thing at issue.

3) Disinclination: the person has not ... or will not ... make the effort to understand the thing at issue or to understand some requisite knowledge upon which understanding of the thing depends.


The astute reader will notice that 2) is inherently recursive (and the others may be recursive in context).

NOW, the particular thing at issue here is the understanding of the term "anti-americanism," and our Anonymouse's claim to not understand the term's meaning.

1) So, is our Anonymouse incapable of understanding the meaning of the term? Which is to say ... given the context of a not-too-complex compound term and of a person who clearly does understand written English ... are we to believe that our Anonymouse is stupid? I, personally, cannot accept that as a valid explanation.

2) So, is our Anonymouse ignorant of some requisite knowledge which he requires before he can understand the meaning of the term? Admittedly, one cannot as confidently and instantly reject this potential explanation as the previous. However, again the context: a not-too-complex compound English term [anti-[america-n]-ism] and a person who clearly does understand written English. I, personally, will have a very difficult time accepting this as the correct explanation for our Anonymouse's claimed ignorance.

3) So, is our Anonymouse disinclined to understand what the term means? Which is to say, given the context and subject matter, is our Anonymouse intrellectually dishonest?

=======
Anonymouse-Serious-Thinker: "So let me revise: will a serious thinker attempt to seriously define "anti-Americanism". Someone with some philosophical acumen and too much respect for serious thought to engage in rampant propaganda."

Learn honesty, and how to think rationally and logically ... and get a name ... before you try making this sort of accusation against me.

Ilíon said...

Ilíon: "Deliberate and studied ignorance is so unappealing."

Anonymouse: "Yes, it is. You've done an excellent job of illustrating that in your posts."

Well, then, Delicate Creature, you would do well to stay clear of me: for I am not at all nice and it is neither my job nor my interest to nurture your fragile self-esteem.

Anonymous said...

"Well, then, Delicate Creature, you would do well to stay clear of me: for I am not at all nice and it is neither my job nor my interest to nurture your fragile self-esteem."

Nah, you didn't hurt my feelings or my self-esteem. Only people I admire can do that. :-)

Ilíon said...

Ilíon: "... and it is neither my job nor my interest to nurture your fragile self-esteem. "

Anonymouse: "Nah, you didn't hurt my feelings or my self-esteem. Only people I admire can do that. :-)"

How does the song go? "Can't think. Can't read. What do you do, Goody Two-Shoes?"

Anonymous said...

Hello again illion, from the anonymous asking about anti-americanism.

Well, you speak as though anti-Americanism is a straight-forward term that should be read literally. So am I to understand that to be anti-American is to be against America or Americans? In order for me to interpret the general use of the term that way, it would seem to me I'd have to attribute the person I'm issuing that accusation toward of having actual ill intent towards the country. Thus, it would seem to apply to Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. But a literal interpretation of the term wouldn't seem fairly applied to people who are well-meaning but support policies that are, unwittingly, harmful to America.

If I'm pro-choice, for example, or against the Iraq War, and I take these positions because I believe these are the positions that are best for the country, then it seems to be nakedly propagandistic to label me "anti-American", even if I'm dead wrong on these issues. On a literal reading, to be "Anti-American" is to be consciously and intentionally against America and its well-being.

So, tell us, do you think that Obama is literally anti-American in the sense that he is against America, literally and physically? You think he harbors actual antagonism for the country and hopes for its immediate and calamitous collapse?

Let's pray that you're not that stupid, and assume that you know that a literal, basic English-proficiency reading of the term "Anti-American" won't capture its use as applied to Obama or his supporters. From the context of your quotes, it seems to me like by "Anti-American" you simply mean "unpatriotic". But, you know, there's already a word for that. That word is unpatriotic. Why not just use that word?

But I think "unpatriotic" doesn't have enough bite to get the Conservative Pavlov dogs mindlessly salivating fast enough, so some New York ad-man came up with the term "Anti-American". It seems to me a naked attempt to associate dissenters, and people (like myself) who don't see much point in romanticizing their native country, (and even less point in keeping an eye on our neighbors to make sure they're romanticizing it enough) with people like Bin Laden and Hussein, people who actively wish our country harm.

Your problem, illion, is that you assume that the term "Anti-American" entered the lexicon innocently, naturally and without malicious intent. But I've worked in and around advertising enough to know that many such words, like (welfare queen, crack baby, soccer mom, etc.) were invented by ad agencies on commission from the various political parties.

Ilíon said...

Ilíon: "The man is not even truly an American."

Anonymouse: "Ah, the True American fallacy.:-)"

Ilíon: "Ah, the false accusation of logical fallacy fallacy. Much belovéd of certain classes of disputants."

I'd meant to say to this Anonymouse (and, of course, to Gentle Reader) about his comment. As I am now directly addressing Gentle Reader, rather than the Anonymouse, I shall refer to the Anonymouse in the third person (this is not to be taken as me talking *at* the Anonymouse).

Regardless of the truth-status of the Anonymouse's accusation of a logical fallacy on my part, what the Anonymouse is asserting here is that no one is ever in a position to question (much less determine to his own satisfaction) whether anyone else measures up to being a "true American." Leftists of most any stripe are fond of that assertion -- until, of course, it is *they* who want to question (or besmirch) another's bona fides.


Being a "true American," is, of course, quite a different matter from being merely subject to the laws of the United States. One may even be a citizen of the US and not be a "true American." One may even be a candidate of the presidency of the US and not be a "true American."

And, likewise, one may be a non-citizen of the US but nonetheless be a "true American." Many, (non-yet-citizen) immigrants are indeed "true Americans."