Wednesday, November 16, 2016

"There's Been A Nuclear War, But Political Correctness Is The Real Problem"

   I guess this is an attempt at humor...but it isn't actually funny enough for that to be its only purpose. OTOH, it's making a stupid point if it's supposed to be serious. So God knows.
   As I've said before, I think that fallacies that aren't quite committed are among the most dangerous kind. If someone clearly commits a flaming fallacy, there's a decent chance that they'll be called on it. But just suggest it, or keep it floating insubstantially in the background...hell, it's like having a covert ops wing of your argument. It might never be rooted out. And even if it is, you have plausible deniability.
   What's going on here is basically a straw man. The suggestion is that those who are against PC think it's the most pressing problem we face. Which is a dumb thing to think, whichever thing you're thinking of there. I doubt any sensible person thinks that PC is the biggest problem we face.
   But that, of course, doesn't mean that it isn't a big problem. There ought to be a name for this specific fallacy, incidentally. Goes like so:
   x is not the biggest problem we face; so x isn't a problem.
   Were that reasoning even vaguely valid, it would mean that we only ever have one problem at a time--whatever the biggest one is. (As if there were always a determinately worst/biggest problem... What's our biggest problem? Global warming? Trump? Death? Man's fallen nature?) Nobody would ever reason like that if they weren't dead-set on defending x, and blinded by the project. Two seconds thought shows how dumb the argument is.
   This is about the tenth time I've seen this dopey argument in defense of PC, incidentally.

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