10 June 2013

The Worst Argument In The World

Scott at Jackdaws Love My Big Sphynx of Quartz offers us what he calls The Worst Argument In The World.

I declare the Worst Argument In The World to be this: “If we can apply an emotionally charged word to something, we must judge it exactly the same as a typical instance of that emotionally charged word.”

Well, it sounds dumb when you put it like that. Who even does that, anyway?

I propose that an outright majority of the classic arguments in American politics, and no small number of arguments in religion, philosophy, et cetera, are in fact unmodified examples of the Worst Argument In The World.

I'm not sure whether it qualifies for its colorful title — it seems a pity to sacrifice the equally colorful name The If-By-Whiskey Fallacy — but Scott offers enough examples from political discourse that it may well qualify as The Most Common Bad Argument In The World, at least.

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