Bad Comparison: Laundry List of “Rights”

The problem with this list is that it ignores externalities. For example, “Don’t like alcohol? Don’t drink alcohol.” This is probably fine for most people, but there are people who become violent when they drink. Such people should probably not be allowed to drink alcohol. Cigarettes are fine for people to smoke in some places, but there are good reasons not to allow them in crowds.

Unfortunately, the question of where individual rights end and effects on others begin is not as trivial as the meme makes it seem.

h/t Ian Barrs



David Preston guest post: Brief critique of a weak analogy . . .

For this analogy to be apt, you’d need to ask what Ron Paul would do if your neighbor on the other side came over and broke your windows. Would Ron sit there minding his own business? Or would he intervene?

You can take the analogy in different directions from there, some of which are pro-Paul and some of which aren’t.

Remember: An analogy is neither true nor false. It is simply more or less apt, depending on the context, on how well it is argued, on how well it would hold up over time, and so forth.

Begging the Question – Guest Post by David Preston

Note: Begging the Question is nearly always misunderstood by people who use the term. It doesn’t mean inviting a question, it means assuming as proven that which was to be decided by argument.

The meme I’ve included here is one-stop shopping for question-begging statements. Most or all of these “don’t” statements here beg the question, but let’s take the abortion one, because it’s the most vivid example. In that case, the question is: Does abortion destroy an innocent human life? –And that is a very important question, because if abortion does destroy a human life, then a woman has no moral right to do it, whether she has a legal right or not.

I’m not saying abortion does or doesn’t destroy a life . . . but if you try to summarize the case by saying, in effect: “It’s none of your business whether I have an abortion,” you are ignoring the original question and thus “begging” it to return.

If we take the “it’s none of your business what I do” logic to its absurd conclusions, then the fallacy becomes clear. Examples:
►Don’t like slavery? Don’t own a slave.
►Don’t like polygamy? Don’t be a Mormon.
►Don’t like sweatshops? Don’t apply for work in one.

And so on . . .

Oh yeah. Heh-heh. Almost forget the most important one of all . . .

Don’t agree with my opinion? Then shut the hell up!