Comment Of The Day (2): “An Ethics Alarms Holiday Challenge! Identify The Rationalizations, Logical Fallacies, Falsehoods…”

Well, still more Comments of the Day on this post turned up today, so I better get cracking. The first one is here. Next up is adimagejim‘s excellent comment that focuses on the concept of hate speech. But first, I want to give a special honorable mention to Aleksei, who was the only reader to follow the terms of the challenge as issued, which was to identify the rationalizations used by  Noah Berlatsky in his Essay That Will Live in Infamy. 

Aleksei perused the Ethics Alarms Rationalizations List and properly identified these:

1. “Everybody does it”
1A. “We can’t stop it”
13. “It’s for a good cause”
13A. The Road To Hell
23. “I’m just giving the people what they want”
27. The Victim’s Distortion
28. “These are not ordinary times”
29A. The Gruber Variation
30. “It’s a bad law/stupid rule”
31. “Ethics is a luxury we can’t afford right now”
35. “Better late than never”
48. “Haters gonna hate”
51. “That’s in the past”
57A. “If it save just one life”
58. “I’m all right with it
59. “It’s the right thing to do”

I’m still waiting for the logical fallacies. Obviously Noah employed “appeal to authority” (I am pretty sure that a law professor or two can be found to stand for just about any proposition, no matter how bizarre), “the ends justifies the means” (speaking of Nazis!), the “straw man,” and “post hoc ergo propter hoc.” I have to confess: I don’t want to linger enough on this piece of offal long enough to do a definitive analysis myself. Reading it makes me angry—oh not the article itself: stupidity doesn’t make me angry. What I find infuriating is that NBC would give it the legitimacy publication as a “thought experiment,” leading others as weak-minded as its author to give his arguments the same level of  credibility he gave to the addled professors.

Here is adimagejim‘s Comment of the Day on the post, An Ethics Alarms Holiday Challenge! Identify The Rationalizations, Logical Fallacies, Falsehoods And Outright Errors In This Essay Advocating Limits On Speech…:

To be just and transparent, self-proclaimed conservatives such as George Will in his doctoral thesis defends the notion of excluding others, like Nazis, from the formal political process due to their explicit seeking to undermine or eliminate the constitutional rights of others. This is not classically liberal thought nor does it appropriately defend the rights of political minorities, as abhorrent as they may be.

The problematic issue is the notion of hate speech itself. Who is to determine what is and is not hateful speech? Who is to codify it? Who will enforce it? Who will adjudicate it? Who will pronounce the types of sentences for it? It is apparent those advocating for hate speech regulations wish to be all of the above. And, again, by the annals of their thoughts, move the goal posts of right and wrong, illegal and legal as they see fit.

Proponents of this kind of thought advocate for the notion of those they view as currently empowered as the only people capable of doing harm and therefore are one crucial step closer to conviction in the kangaroo court of their minds.

Has anyone seen what are proposed to be microaggressions by the hate speech law proponents? It is both amazing and unintelligible. Your job as the allegedly empowered is to unceasingly bow to the offended for offenses committed by you by your existence.

The result of all this would likely be an intellectual, if not actual, concentration camp. A camp to be run by erstwhile comic book editors.

7 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day (2): “An Ethics Alarms Holiday Challenge! Identify The Rationalizations, Logical Fallacies, Falsehoods…”

  1. to be fair, George Will’s point was that parties that advocate ending democracy shouldn’t have access to democracy. He did not advocate censorship, or banning speech. Under his argument, Fascist could talk and write all they wanted to. They just couldn’t run for office..

    I also think you have to concede that Will is a conservative, not just a “self-proclaimed” one.

    • Jack,

      Thanks for my selection.

      I would say speech and publish without access to the electoral process is a significant form of political censorship as it offers real voice to its thoughts in the form of candidates standing for election.

      If we believe in the wisdom of the electorate, we let them choose from candidates. Just as Angela Davis ran for President, who, as a communist, was no friend of the Republic or democracy.

  2. Jack, thank you for the honorable mention. Noah made it easy to list the rationalizations, since he used plenty. And it’s always fun to go through the list and refresh one’s memory!

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