Logical Gal asks why when faced with bold claim

13 Nov

Another letter to the editor of our local Asheville paper.  Thankfully, I never seem to run out of material to consider for a logic column!

Here’s the startling statement to consider:

“Good healthcare ought to be a right here as it is in the rest of the world.”

So where does a Logical Gal or Guy start in dissecting this conclusion?

Let’s start at the very beginning!

Logical thinking starts with an examination of terms.  Remember, that HE who makes the claim MUST defend it.  The burden of proof is on the claim-maker to explain his terms and his reasons for how he arrived at his assertion.

Don’t be afraid – you don’t have to know ANYTHING about the intricacies of healthcare to engage with someone like this letter writer.  Asking questions will immediately shift the burden and you will not feel any pressure at all.

Here are a few to get us started:

1. What do you have in mind when you talk about ‘healthcare’ ?  Does that include just emergency services like if you break a leg?  Does it include preventative care like annual check-ups?  How many tests should be provided? Are medications part of healthcare?  What limits, if any, do you envision?

2. And who gets to decide what is ‘good’?  How do you define ‘good’ ?  Are there different tiers of quality or the quantity of services provided?

3. What do you mean by ‘right’ ?  Like civil rights?  Would this be a federal right that would need to begin as a constitutional amendment?  Or are you talking about a state’s right?  Would citizens get to define the right?  vote for the right?

4. Where is ‘healthcare’  a right in other parts of the world?  What kind is provided?  How is it paid for?  What is the tax situation like in those countries?  Are their citizens ‘content’  with the quality, delivery and cost of healthcare?

5. How did you arrive at your conclusion that ‘good healthcare ought to be a right in the US’ ?   What are your reasons?  what research did you conduct?

Do you see how easy it would be to conduct a GENTLE (not a pounding/hounding/beat you into the ground) conversation?

Anyone can write a letter or make a claim.  Opinions are a dime a dozen:

That works out to .83 cents per opinion…

But reasoned, thoughtful discourse is invaluable (and rare).

PS:  Greg Koukl in his book  Tactics Book Link   walks his readers through more questioning practice.  It’s worth studying and internalizing.

One Response to “Logical Gal asks why when faced with bold claim”

  1. Michael Cochrane November 13, 2013 at 11:56 am #

    Good advice, but for someone like me… still hard to get the negative emotion out of my “gentle” questioning!

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