Logical Gal is surprised at ubiquity of genetic fallacy

28 Oct

You’d think that if people did not want to reason and argue from evidence……..

…..that they would at least employ some VARIETY among their fallacies!

Au contraire mon frère!  That over-used Genetic Fallacy keeps cropping up!  You remember that tactic – instead of careful analysis of your opponent’s point of view, you simply dismiss it in one fell swoop by saying, “What did you expect?  He’s from Virginia….or France!”  as if that matters a hill of beans!

This is pure laziness on the part of the man or woman who defaults to attacking the origin of his opponent.  The honorable and thinking approach would be to offer a persuasive alternative to your opponent’s views.

Four months ago we moved from Virginia to Western North Carolina.  We landed near a very liberal city whose daily newspaper reflects a left-leaning perspective.  The irony is that the governor of this state is Republican.  After reading mostly negative name-calling thought-less diatribes that pose as letters to the editor, I wrote in to offer my observations. I suggested that since the majority of the state elected a conservative governor, maybe the results reflected the actual will of the people. And if that were the case, I continued, couldn’t the newspaper be a bit more balanced?

One man responded that I should go back to Virginia.  Another called me a biased infiltrator and then castigated the governor because he, TOO, was tied to Virginia by virtue of his birth.

Furthermore, (continued the letter-writer) Mark Meadows ( a congressman who has become a lightening rod for liberal attacks because of some remarks before and during the government shutdown in October) is from France!!!

Wow!  I had no idea that where you were born automatically disqualifies you from a place at the table!  Funny, how your origin must mean you are incapable of clear thinking, that you are born with an unshakable bias!  Virginians and the French are genetically engineered to be ________ (you fill in the blank with whatever attribute!).

What is sadly humorous is that the letter writer doesn’t even know that the majority of Virginians voted twice for Barack Obama and that France is a more socialist country than America!

So here is the gist of my accuser’s ploy – just call someone a name and disparage where they are from and you can avoid dealing with their argument!

If I were to see him face to face and questioned his lack of substantive reasoning, I imagine he might jab back at me, “Well, that’s my opinion!  And I’m entitled to voice it!”

Yes, dear man, you are entitled to your opinion, but it is worth nothing unless backed up with reasons that all can examine. Stop hiding and have the guts to think through your position!

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