That’s so old school…..vs….Back in my day….

13 Sep

Sue:  I can’t wait until I can ditch this old iPhone 5 and get the latest version?

Mary: But you just replaced your iPhone 4  in June?  What’s your hurry? 

Sue:  The upgraded IOS makes this new phone quicker and besides, I just know it’s better!

Mary:  How do you  know it’s better? 

Sue:  It’s the newest!

Welcome to another Fallacy Friday!  Today we are looking Chronological Snobbery.  This fallacious defense rests on the premise that just because something is more modern, then it automatically follows that it is better.  Whereas that MAY be the case, it is not axiomatic that newer is better.  I remember when my husband purchased a computer loaded with Windows 8 , the latest operating system at the time.  It turned out to be NOT as good as the previous version.

Chronological Snobbery can also apply in the opposite direction – one can assume that ‘older is better’.  Many connoisseurs of wine will assert that red wines improve with age.  But that is not always the case.  Corking and storage conditions as well as the quality of a particular year’s harvest will affect the condition of the wine.   

So how do you avoid this faulty reasoning?  Just make sure that you have reason-based evidence to back up your claim that something new OR old is actually better.

One particular arena where Chronological Snobbery is so arrogantly employed is in the evaluation of the validity of the Old Testament.  Many so-called Bible scholars look down on the Hebrews of Abraham’ s day or the time of the Prophets and assume that these ‘primitive people’  had a misguided outlook on the world.  The ‘scholars’ then discount the writings of the Old Testament as not being accurate simply because of the time they were written.   One is ALWAYS perfectly justified to dig a bit deeper when confronting a claim that smells like a case of Chronological Snobbery.  Just ask WHY something newer or older is better.  ” Just cuz”  is not enough of an answer!

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