Thursday, August 17, 2006

Arguments

Okay, there is one argument I am entirely sick of hearing/reading. To put it in syllogism form:

Premise: No people with choice will choose to be despised.
Premise: All gays are despised.
Conclusion: No gays are people who choose.

As my logic professor stamped into my brain, when there is a valid syllogism, if the premises are true, the conclusion cannot possibly be false. The syllogism is valid, so it must be true, right? We can accept the second premise as generally true--through most of history and in most locations they have been despised. The first premise, however, is fallacious. People do routinely make choices that will cause them to be despised.

I put forward the following examples: there are Palestinian Christians, who suffer the same loses as the Palestinians from Israeli incursions, and meanwhile life as segregated, second-class citizens in a society that often persecutes them. All it would take is a simple conversion to Islam, and half their problems would disappear, yet the choose not to.

People choose to become all manner of criminals, drug dealers, pimps, hit men, etc. They are despised by society at large, yet the consciously choose to engage in those activities.

People also choose to enter secret societies such as the Ku Klux Klan, whose goals, ideology, and tactics and condemned by almost every non-member, yet they continue to belong.

Thus I think we should forever consign that argument to the graveyard.

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