Bad Comparison – Freddy Krueger vs. Police

I’m not sure there’s much to debunk in this meme. Presumably, the meme author is aware that:

  1. Not all police kills are bad. Sometimes they are in self defense, or to stop a violent criminal from hurting other people. Freddy Krueger, OTOH, never kills under justified circumstances.
  2. The police is a large group, which naturally does more than a single person. If US cops kill ten times as many people as Canadian cops, for example, that wouldn’t mean the US is ten times worse. Just that there are about ten of us for each Canadian.
  3. Freddy Krueger, not to put too fine a point on it, isn’t real.

However, this is a smart rhetorical technique. When you make a joke, nobody expect it to pass the reality filter. So the idea still sinks in, without having to pass any kind of sanity check.

h/t Patrick Richardson

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2 thoughts on “Bad Comparison – Freddy Krueger vs. Police

  1. >>However, this is a smart rhetorical technique. When you make a joke, nobody expect it to pass the reality filter. So the idea still sinks in, without having to pass any kind of sanity check.

    –Good point, Patrick. But the technique works only on those who already support the position you’re advocating. It doesn’t change anyone’s mind about the “conclusion”; it merely strengthens preexisting convictions. In the meantime, you have lost credibility with neutral listeners who might otherwise have been convinced. When I see a meme like this, I often get back to the poster and ask them: Do you realize how intellectually lazy this makes you look?

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    • Patrick is only getting a hat tip for finding this for me. I wrote the entry.

      But I think this technique can also affect people who are undecided. It wouldn’t had human beings been perfectly rational, but we are not.

      Like

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