Thursday, December 16, 2021

The hypocrisy fallacy

 (W)e live in an idiotic age where people believe that the alleged hypocrisy of a critic nullifies the merit of criticism. A parent who smokes is a hypocrite for telling his kid not to smoke—but that doesn’t mean the kid should therefore smoke.--

Jonah Goldberg. 


Here. 

43 comments:

Kevin said...

The "Here" link goes to a page that does not exist.

bmiller said...

Its another anti-Trump rant.

But regarding the sentiment, it is true that just because someone is a hypocrite doesn't mean his argument is invalid. It simply means that he holds double standards which is a different type of fallacy.

Something like arguing that it's OK that Biden grabs women by the *** but it's not for Trump to say that women allow it.

One Brow said...

This link might work.

bmiller,

It's very disingenuous to say this is anti-Trump, when it's clearly anti-F0x-News-opinion-shows. Perhaps you can't tell the difference.

One Brow said...

bmiller,
Something like arguing that it's OK that Biden grabs women by the *** but it's not for Trump to say that women allow it.

Who argued for that? I know several people that said they didn't believe Reade, none that believed her and said what happened was OK.

Kevin said...

This sort of argument doesn't nullify the criticism, it simply reveals that the critic is not operating on an actual principle. If you say it's very bad for a political or media figure to lie, and you criticize Republicans and Fox for lying but ignore Democrats and CNN lying, then everyone knows you are simply looking for ways to attack the right and support the left. Your hypocrisy doesn't invalidate your criticism, but it does invalidate you as a source of the criticism.

If Goldberg stopped contributing to Fox because he is disappointed in his fellow conservatives for poor behavior, that's one thing. If he continues to contribute to other programs that do the exact same thing, then we know this standard doesn't actually exist for him.

Limited Perspective said...

The accusation of hypocrisy is the least influential form of argument. I'm still trying to figure out the best way to influence people toward the good.

Hypocrisy is the easiest thing to find in people. That's why it's the least influential way to argue a topic.

bmiller said...

I agree that most all of us fall short of our ideals and that makes us hypocrites.

But if you're arguing that talking about or actually grabbing a *** disqualifies a candidate from being president and both are guilty, but you castigate one and promote the other, then it's more than just a person failing to live up to his own personal standard.

Limited Perspective said...

As far as presidential politics, the break for me came with Bill Clinton. I still idealized World War II veterans like George HW Bush (left Yale to be a pilot in the Navy, shot down over Chichi Jima fighting Japan) and Robert Dole (shoulder blown off fighting Germany). Honorable men and good Republican stock. It was a mistake to think so highly of any man. However when they were mocked by the new media compared with smooth talking horn-dog Clinton who was sure to get some in the White House (which he did), I lost respect for the critics of decent men. After that, I never paid attention to the moral preening of the Dem's

bmiller said...

Was there ever a Republican president in your lifetime that recieved balanced press coverage?

Starhopper said...

"I still idealized World War II veterans"

It is a mistake to idolize veterans. Being one myself, I know all too well that we are not superior to anyone - not nobler, not wiser, not more honest, not more deserving of honor or praise (individual cases excepted, of course). What does distinguish the veteran is his or her perspective on things. Once you have exposed your all too frail body to enemy fire, the world never looks the same again. And once you have used deadly force against another, you cannot help but take that into account in every decision you make thereafter.

My father died several years ago, but he had mentally died years before his body did. For the last 5 years of his life, he had no idea who I was. For the last 1 year, he had no idea who my mother was. For the last 3 months or so, he had no idea who he was. When we first realized that my dad's mind was going, my brother and I sat down with him and basically "interviewed" him about his entire life story. Eventually we got to WWII, and he told us about his 3 years aboard the destroyer U.S.S. Dallas. He was radio operator on the ship, so it turned out that during the entire war, he fired a weapon against the enemy only one time, as a member of the crew operating the ship's forward 3-inch gun. For a good hour or so, they traded shots with shore batteries firing in turn on them. (This was in the Mediterranean.) In the middle of his story, he fell silent, and was still for so long that my brother and I had thought he had fallen asleep. But he eventually looked at us with tears in his eyes, and said (and I will never forget this), "I hope we didn't hurt anybody."

Think about that.

This was WORLD WAR TWO, and he was remembering this 60 years after the events. And his only thought was how senseless it was to try to kill your fellow man. Those few moments were a major step on my own way to joining Veterans For Peace, and it is why I firmly believe that NO ONE who has not himself placed his insanely vulnerable body into the line of fire should ever be allowed to send Americans into harm's way - ever.

Starhopper said...

"Was there ever a Republican president in your lifetime that received balanced press coverage?"

In my lifetime, Eisenhower, Ford, and the 1st Bush, all received favorable coverage.

Nixon, the 2nd Bush, and our most recent former president received more negative press than positive, but for them... that was balanced (and accurate). To give them nothing but positive coverage would have been unbalanced.

Starhopper said...

Are you equating "balanced" with "favorable"? If so, then why isn't FOX giving favorable coverage to President Biden?

Victor Reppert said...

"The media" somehow, and mysteriously, always excludes FOX, the number one cable news network. Somehow, they are NOT the media, or the mainstream media, or what have you. We don't have a liberal media anymore, we have a smorgasbord media, where, depending on your political preferences, you can get the news for the point of view of your own political preferences, and never have to listen to a word from people on the other side unless it's sandwiched into a presentation of the other guys' media outlet for the sake of attack. Talk radio is a media outlet. Ever tried getting a left-wing perspective on talk radio? There used to be some, but it's gone now.

Victor Reppert said...

In any event Jonah Goldberg is a right-winger. If you think criticism of Trump makes you a left-winger, then put down the Kool-Aid and drink some water.

Limited Perspective said...

FOX news didn't exist when Clinton ran against Bush or Dole. The media I took in at the time were my local paper, The LA Times, and McNeil Lear NewsHour (the later being the most balanced). Endorsements and the vast majority of the editorials favored Democrats. The majority of negative straight news stories we're against Republicans. However, Kool-Aid did exist, but I can't remember drinking any at the time.

And since Victor is speculating about Trump, I will speculate about Clinton. If Clinton got a young woman pregnant and she refused an abortion, I'm sure Mrs. Clinton would have arranged a "suicide."

Limited Perspective said...

https://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/biden-ryan-work-hard-avoid-wimp-label-article-1.1181648

There were also news magazines I would read at the local library. Here's a picture of the cover of Newsweek during that time.

Limited Perspective said...

I know who Jonah Goldberg is. He's a good writer. I wish he had had a wider audience back in the day when people would be challenged by his ideas. Now he just seems to be used by those who agree with a particular point of view.

bmiller said...

Limited,

So it seems to you that even before Fox News came about you could tell the media was biased toward Democrats.

Guess which period this is about?

historian Chilton Williamson writes of this period, “The presentation of facts simply as facts, editors and writers reasoned, cannot accomplish the exalted goal of saving civilization. To do that, facts needed to be presented according to those rhetorical patterns of thought we call opinions, patterns pointed in some particular direction of convincing an imagined jury.” This “jury” included the opinion-makers, politicians, and citizens who needed guiding by their betters in order to understand and choose the policies necessary for improving society.

Here is the article.

There may have been a slice of time when it was goal of journalists to present facts objectively in the US or maybe that was just what they portrayed while they intended to slant things.

Now, as always really, you can't necessarily trust any source to be balanced. The article concludes that newspaper writers used to come from the "lower" class and so were biased toward lower class concerns. Now all writers are trained at leftist universities and so the slant favors leftist university professor's ideology.

Limited Perspective said...

Miller,

I read the quote and thought about my personal (not historical) perception of when the media changed. The change for me came when they portrayed combat pilot, genuinely decent man, George HW Bush as a wimp. When the reprobate pro-life governor of Arkansas, turned pro-choice smooth talking, sexual-harassing presidential candidate Clinton became a darling of the media (before FOX news), I knew it was all bullshit.

I looked it up, the quote is from President Obama's term.

Right now I'm hearing constantly about the January 6 insurrection from the legacy media. Many people have been arrested for the January 6th riot, if not one person is convicted in a court of law of insurrection it will confirm to me once again they are just bullshitting us. Let's watch the trials together with Victor and condemn those convicted of inserection, if none are convicted of the accusations, then it, like Muller investigation, will confirm to me the bogus narrative. If people are in convicted of inserection, I will change my view.

Starhopper said...

Limited,

I'm not a legal expert, but I don't think that insurrection is a crime per se, so don't expect anyone to be convicted of it. There are many other charges (e.g., assault, trespassing, destruction of property, etc.) for which the insurrectionists will go under.

As for the Mueller investigation, the report said that "collusion" wasn't a crime, but it did not say that they found no collusion. In fact, quite the reverse.

Limited Perspective said...

Star,

LII U.S. Code Title 18 PART I CHAPTER 115 § 2383
18 U.S. Code § 2383 - Rebellion or insurrection
U.S. Code

Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

Limited Perspective said...

Starhopper,

Please list for me the people convicted of crime regarding Russia collusion.

Starhopper said...

Zero, because collusion was deemed to be not a crime - which of course does not mean there was no collusion.

Limited Perspective said...

If you accuse someone of a crime, you better be able to convict them in court. Otherwise, you are bearing false witness.

Limited Perspective said...

Okay, give me your best example of collusion.

Limited Perspective said...

By the way, why would the Justice Department pour so many resources into something that is not a crime?

Starhopper said...

"why would the Justice Department pour so many resources?"

They didn't. That's why "collusion" was relegated to basically a footnote in the Mueller Report.

"give me your best example of collusion"

Well, there are more than I can count, but how about these two for starters?

1. The meeting in Trump Tower with the Russian agent (I forget her name).
2. "Russia, if you're listening..." (that alone ought to have been a felony)

Limited Perspective said...

Goodness Starhopper, that's it? If there is more than you can count you have lead with your best. I'm guessing those are your best. Sorry I have laugh at that collusion.

Natalia Veselnitskaya was her name. She was working on trying to get Russian orphans adopted into the United States. Jared and Don Jr took the meeting to see if there was anything of value. You take a meeting with people who have information and then decide whether it's worth going to the justice department for criminal prosecution. There was nothing.

Trump's joke about Russia listening? I find that about as criminal as Victor saying he likes witch-hunts (tracking down sinister looking women to be burned at the stake). It's a one liner. No different than Obama talking about droning men who wanted to date his daughter.

Would you consider Obama a felon for threatening to use US military force against anyone who would date his daughter?

I'll try this, "Hey Russia, if you are you listening? Give me the formula for Coca Cola."

Am I felon?

$32 million of taxpayer money for that?

Starhopper said...

If it isn't a crime to publicly solicit help from a foreign government in an election, it should be. (And, as a matter of fact, it is.)

And no, the "I was just kidding" defense doesn't pass the smell test. In fact, it stinks.

Limited Perspective said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Starhopper said...

I've heard so much contradictory "information" about that report that I honestly do not know what is true, and cannot make an authoritative statement about it. Everyone who comments on it seems to have an axe to grind or a spin to bolster. The whole issue has been weaponized, and no one speaking of it, or even bringing it up, can be trusted to be objective - including you.

Limited Perspective said...

This terrible horrible outrage of foreign influence in our election was used against Trump and you shrug. Got it.

Starhopper said...

I'm not shrugging, not at all. I am saying I do not know enough about the allegations to have a meaningful opinion. It's all contradictory and very self-interestedly biased opinion and speculation.

My question to you is why are you still obsessing about Clinton? She is no longer a player or person of influence in current affairs. I haven't given her a nanosecond's thought for years now. And once our former president is firmly in our collective rearview mirror, I will not give him any further thought as well. He will fall down the memory hole faster than you can say "Donald who?"

But for now, to our great national shame and peril, he remains a very real threat, so it would be most imprudent to ignore him.

Limited Perspective said...

If you cannot discern between a one-liner joke about Russia and actual Russian intelligence used by Trump's opposition (the Clinton campaign and the Democratic party), calling the former a felony and the latter just politics, then the rest of what you have to say about our threats I take as gibberish.

Starhopper said...

I do not believe that he was joking. I think he was deadly serious. When you watch the tape, there is not the least hint of levity, no sense of his making a joke. All one sees is absolute seriousness.

Limited Perspective said...

Sorry you don't get dead pan humor. It's has to make people difficult to negotiate if you're unable to discern a one-liner from paying a foreign agent to investigate Trump.

Do you really think the Russians (I'm old Cold Warrior like you) were just waiting for a signal to hack Hillary Clinton's private server? She was doing classified government business from her computer in her basement? There's the felon you are looking for.

I'm not obsessed about Clinton as you are about Trump. I'm thankful for the sake of our wonderful country that the Clintons are gone. I'm just staying on topic and challenging your narrative with a counter narrative based in facts.

Kevin said...

I don’t think we need a counter narrative so much as a co-narrative. The country is better off without a Clinton or Trump in office.

Limited Perspective said...

Kevin,

I think Trump had a place and time. He was never my guy, but when I saw the reaction to him it opened my eyes to a fraudulent delusion in the country, in our media, government bureaucracy, and academia. He had his place and time and like Obama, the Clintons, and George Bush I wish they would just go do their thing.

Starhopper said...

I (partially) agree with Kevin here. Yes, Hillary Clinton would not have made a good president, but she would not have been the existential menace to our democracy that the person she lost to was (and still is).

And Limited, it is not an obsession to oppose with all your strength a lethal threat to everything one holds dear. If you have cancer, is it an "obsession" to not ignore it?

Limited Perspective said...

That's fine Star if you want to devote your energy to that fear you have. I have my own list of things that I see causing great harm in our country and with our fellow Americans. You focus on yours and I'll focus on mine, perhaps together we will help make our country better, or at least keep it functional for our grandkids.

Starhopper said...

What a wonderful note to end this conversation on!
Yes, let's all do our best to improve this world.

Limited Perspective said...

Merry Christmas Starhopper

Starhopper said...

To all,

C Рождеством!