25
   

Critical thinking and political matters.

 
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Aug, 2010 07:55 am
@wayne,
wayne wrote:

Nice post Ken.
I don't know about the red herring though. Seems to me more likely that his position is simply in keeping with the role of state in this matter.
If I read you correctly, I am agreed the issue is really whether it is insensitive of the Islamic community to build a mosque so near to ground zero.
Our government has no place deciding any such issue. Mr. Obama clearly stated the government's position on the constitutionality of the matter.
Any further position on the issue is not the purpose of our government, and I hope that's the end of it.

Now comes the issue of insensitivity.
Public opinion must be the arbiter of that, although, it remains to the Islamic community the final decision. They cannot be forced to cede their rights to public opinion.


If the President is arguing that the crux of the issue is whether there is the constitutional right to build, since that is simply false, and so, that is a diversion. Whether the diversion is intentional or not I do not know, but you would think that the president would know what he was doing (at least on occasion). Of course it there is the constitutional right to build, the government must abide by the constitution. But, as I just said (and have argued) that is not the issue. The issue is a moral one, namely whether it would be the right thing for the Muslim group to erect the structure. Now, the president has great persuasive power (Theodore Roosevelt called that "the bully pulpit") and, as in fact the president did, he weighed in in the moral question: not only indirectly by diverting the issue and making it appear as if the moral issue was actually a clear constitutional issue, which misleads unthinking people to say yes to the constitutional non-issue rather than no to the real moral issue, but directly by not addressing the real moral issue, and arguing that it is merely a constitutional issue, and so actually encouraging those who have the power to decide the question to decide it in the affirmative. Consolidated Edison Corp. for example may simply reason that " if the President thinks it is all right to build then maybe it is. Anyway, we do not want to oppose the president, especially if we don't care all that much anyway."

If the president did not want to do what was right, and point out that although the group did have the legal right to build, that, under the particular circumstances, it was wrong of them to build at that site, then he should, at least, have not done what was wrong, and actually mislead some into thinking that the issue was really a constitutional one, and actually encouraged the building. In other words, if it was wrong for him to say what he did say, he should have, at least kept quiet about it. But few, if any, politicians take the opportunity to shut up. And, anyway, I am not sure that Obama took the time to think things through, or was even capable of doing so.

Some years ago, when a group of Catholic nuns decided to pray for the souls of the dead at the death camp at Auschwitz where the great majority of the murdered victims were Jews, and there was a protest by Jews concerning this, Pope John told the nuns that although he understood their good intentions, he wanted them to understand the sensitivity of the protesters, and he ordered them to do their praying for the dead at Auschwitz elsewhere. Maybe the president should have learned from that example.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Aug, 2010 07:55 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:

A "red herring" is, of course, an attempt (intentional or not) to divert discussion from the real issue to an issue that appears to be the issue at hand, but is not. A shining example of that is President Obama's recent speech which supported building a mosque by a group of Muslims very near the site of the 9/11 attack which murdered so many people. President Obama argued that just as any members of a religion have the right to build a religious structure at the site, so do Muslims.

But that argument is a red herring, for no one is disputing the legal or constitutional right of Muslim (or any other group) to build whatever they please to build at that, or any other site. What is being disputed is whether it is right for them to do so. Whether they ought to build such a structure so near that particular site. And whether or not they have the legal or constitutional right to do so is clearly irrelevant. There is an important distinction between having the right to do something and its being right to do that something which President Obama's speech ignores, and it is just that distinction that lies at the heart of the dispute.

Now, for another illustration of critical thinking consider the following argument:

Either President Obama realizes that his argument is irrelevant and so, is a red herring, or he does not. If he does, President Obama is being disingenuous. If he doesn't, the President is confused. So, either the President is disingenuous, or he is confused.

The above is an illustration of what logicians call "constructive dilemma".

In a conversation with Wittgenstein reported by Norman Malcolm in a memoir, Malcolm tells of how he made some political remark to Wittgenstein that infuriated him. Wittgenstein thought that the remark was stupid and it showed a lack of critical thought. And he asked Malcolm (rhetorically) what was the good of Malcolm knowing philosophy with all of its subtleties, but when it came to thinking about real life matters, Malcolm failed miserably?

Something to think about.

There is absolutly no difference between having a right and it being right, and that is why right is the word for German and French law... What is good should be right, and it is natural that the rights one group has it would not share, but they should consider how much their disrespect of Islam played into the attack on 811..

What you want to say, and cannot, is that if a thing is not politically acceptable that it cannot be right... Well, the implications of religious and press rights are unacceptable, really; as are the implications of property rights which has divided and ruined this country, but so long as they have enough political support they will be rights... We are inclined to believe that democracy gives people the right to deny rights for minorities; but that is also where we are led to believe, and it is because we do not have true democracy, and the structure of government, the form cannot prtect the rights of minorities of any sort... So we are operating with an old view of rights, essentially from the eighteenth century, and a form of government that does not protect rights unless they are enumerated, which are few and do not result in the intended good...

Courts to not decide what is just, which is right, but only decide what is constitutional... They can judge according to the constitution, but not judge the constitution which is decrepit... And because the constitution allowed because it did not deny the rights of party, we have been misled into division, so the possiblitiy of changing the constitution in any meaningful fashion is dead... We cannot fix it and must suffer it, and the ideas of rights is wrong and old fashioned, and so the contitution cannot even meet its own goals, which are good, and clearly stated... Don't matter about anything else... Judge the constitution against its goals...
Intrepid
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Aug, 2010 07:56 am
@parados,
You read my mind.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Aug, 2010 07:58 am
@Fido,
Fido wrote:

kennethamy wrote:

A "red herring" is, of course, an attempt (intentional or not) to divert discussion from the real issue to an issue that appears to be the issue at hand, but is not. A shining example of that is President Obama's recent speech which supported building a mosque by a group of Muslims very near the site of the 9/11 attack which murdered so many people. President Obama argued that just as any members of a religion have the right to build a religious structure at the site, so do Muslims.

But that argument is a red herring, for no one is disputing the legal or constitutional right of Muslim (or any other group) to build whatever they please to build at that, or any other site. What is being disputed is whether it is right for them to do so. Whether they ought to build such a structure so near that particular site. And whether or not they have the legal or constitutional right to do so is clearly irrelevant. There is an important distinction between having the right to do something and its being right to do that something which President Obama's speech ignores, and it is just that distinction that lies at the heart of the dispute.

Now, for another illustration of critical thinking consider the following argument:

Either President Obama realizes that his argument is irrelevant and so, is a red herring, or he does not. If he does, President Obama is being disingenuous. If he doesn't, the President is confused. So, either the President is disingenuous, or he is confused.

The above is an illustration of what logicians call "constructive dilemma".

In a conversation with Wittgenstein reported by Norman Malcolm in a memoir, Malcolm tells of how he made some political remark to Wittgenstein that infuriated him. Wittgenstein thought that the remark was stupid and it showed a lack of critical thought. And he asked Malcolm (rhetorically) what was the good of Malcolm knowing philosophy with all of its subtleties, but when it came to thinking about real life matters, Malcolm failed miserably?

Something to think about.

There is absolutly no difference between having a right and it being right, and that is why right is the word for German and French law... What is good should be right, and it is natural that the rights one group has it would not share, but they should consider how much their disrespect of Islam played into the attack on 811..

What you want to say, and cannot, is that if a thing is not politically acceptable that it cannot be right... Well, the implications of religious and press rights are unacceptable, really; as are the implications of property rights which has divided and ruined this country, but so long as they have enough political support they will be rights... We are inclined to believe that democracy gives people the right to deny rights for minorities; but that is also where we are led to believe, and it is because we do not have true democracy, and the structure of government, the form cannot prtect the rights of minorities of any sort... So we are operating with an old view of rights, essentially from the eighteenth century, and a form of government that does not protect rights unless they are enumerated, which are few and do not result in the intended good...

Courts to not decide what is just, which is right, but only decide what is constitutional... They can judge according to the constitution, but not judge the constitution which is decrepit... And because the constitution allowed because it did not deny the rights of party, we have been misled into division, so the possiblitiy of changing the constitution in any meaningful fashion is dead... We cannot fix it and must suffer it, and the ideas of rights is wrong and old fashioned, and so the contitution cannot even meet its own goals, which are good, and clearly stated... Don't matter about anything else... Judge the constitution against its goals...


You mean that if I have the right to spank my child hard that I am right to exercise that right whenever I like, even if the child is, say, very ill? So if the child is dying of cancer, I am right to spank him because I have the right to spank him?
Intrepid
 
  2  
Reply Mon 16 Aug, 2010 08:01 am
@kennethamy,
You seem to think that most people are unthinking puppets who follow blindly without knowing what they are doing. You do a disservice to many Americans. I not sure if you are American. I am not.

Also, given your example of Con Edison. How could they legally refuse to sell something based on the religion of the buyer?

What you refer to as a red herring is turning into sour grapes.
Intrepid
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Aug, 2010 08:02 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:


You mean that if I have the right to spank my child hard that I am right to exercise that right whenever I like, even if the child is, say, very ill? So if the child is dying of cancer, I am right to spank him because I have the right to spank him?


Do you have a valid reason to spank the child?
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Aug, 2010 08:22 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:

RealEyes wrote:

Very interesting read! Thanks for the contribution.


Thank you. People like to say that logic is useless or too distanced from "real life" but that isn't true. Of course, logicians can refuse to address any issues other than theoretical ones. But that is up to them and has nothing to do with logic. The great theoretical mathematician, G.H. Hardy once proposed a toast which went, "To mathematics: may it never be of use to anyone". But first of all, that was mathematics, and second of all, he may have been posturing just a little.

You are an idiot, but no one can call you an illogical idiot... You must remember that ever line of reasoning has its premises, which is where most logic fails... Look at conservative and liberal opinion writers and you see their logic is correct given the presumptions they dump on the table... It is all examples of gigo, and gigo is what you are good at... If you really looked at the meaning of your words, you would never have said what you said in regard to rights.... If a thing is right it is just because rights have the support of law, and as Abalard, a logician said: Jus, Ius, is the Genus, and Law, Lex, is a species of it.... What is politically acceptible in a land deeply divided, where the people are taught to believe that the majority can abridge or deny rights, is not the same as what is right, which is what should be a right...

The enumerated rights of the constitution are behind our division when unity is a stated goal of the constitution; so IT fails... Then party rights, which are not in any sense clearly stated, divide the people and make all issues national when they are not... And because a frustrated people denied the essential ability to control events in their lives, and to protect themselves from injustice are left with the paltry ability to deny their fellows their rights based upon political considerations... -When this is the downfall of all because no government which denies basic needs and powers, as rights are, will ever have the support of the population... Those who would deny rights are not more happy with government than those who have their rights denied.... The government cannot move better when doing good than in doing harm, and individuals within government see the harm done to people when rights are denied, so they act outside the constitution; and it all means that even those sworn to defend the constitution act outside of it and have no faith in it because the form is rotten, and needs to be replaced...

Do you see what I am saying: People acting under the premise that religious freedom is good are led in that view of good to deny all manor of rights which people need because they think they need them, including the right to free assembly and religion which is their foundation....The church leaders want power, and in their desire for power they take a right which is a power, and us it to destroy the whole country... That right of religous freedom should be limited to protection from the government, as all rights are, and the government which should be the people should be able recognize right by support of law, -but never deny any right unless it can be shown to injure the people... Government should not attack the people to defend itself, but should exist to defend people and defend rights, and when a right of one group is shown to injure the whole it should be denied... A people without rights have no freedom, and it is not for the religious who have denied to themselves the faculty of reason in favor of faith to guide this nation into oblivion... Their right is their liberty and their liberty in not the right to a general attack on liberty... They need limits... And they should be taught that what is good for the goose is good for the gander... We all need rights because they are right.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Aug, 2010 08:48 am
@Intrepid,
Intrepid wrote:

kennethamy wrote:


You mean that if I have the right to spank my child hard that I am right to exercise that right whenever I like, even if the child is, say, very ill? So if the child is dying of cancer, I am right to spank him because I have the right to spank him?


Do you have a valid reason to spank the child?

An intelligent question, but also one at the heart of all our social problems since Western Law, with its recognition of the individual and denial of group responsibility has destroyed communities to the point where the family is the last bastion of the community even while stripped of real power over its own... So the question of whether one has a valid reason to spank a child is one decided by people who have no reason to regard parental, community, power over their own...

The parent may spank out of love, but no parent spanks any more without a threat from a child to call 911... These children learn they have rights and powers long before they have the good sense to use them for good, and the parent is left with only influence over their children, who can be tyrants...

Law is a racket, and the more law one has the more law one needs, and no family can police itself or correct its members without the fear of being hauled off to court, taken for all available money just to have a defense, and be judged by law when the law practioners have no reason what ever to care for the child as a human being... They are not caring for the child, but defending their preogatives... But then the child learns a lesson no child should, that he can do as he pleases, and has no reason to fear law or follow the rules so he or she is set on a course of inevitable conflict with law and for this to happen on a mass scale no society can survive...

The whole thing is retarded, but it will destroy us... And it has, because the commuities people are forced to accept or build, like churches or gangs for mutual support and defense which is the proper role of government, have no love of law or government... Churches put themselves above the law and gangs put themselves below, and law misses the mark...
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  0  
Reply Mon 16 Aug, 2010 08:57 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
A "red herring" is, of course, an attempt (intentional or not)
That is an oxymoronic contradiction-in-terms.
If something is NOT intentional, then it cannot be an "attempt".





David
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  0  
Reply Mon 16 Aug, 2010 09:08 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
In a conversation with Wittgenstein reported by Norman Malcolm in a memoir, Malcolm tells of how he made some political remark to Wittgenstein that infuriated him. Wittgenstein thought that the remark was stupid and it showed a lack of critical thought. And he asked Malcolm (rhetorically) what was the good of Malcolm knowing philosophy with all of its subtleties, but when it came to thinking about real life matters, Malcolm failed miserably?

Something to think about.
Does a wise man, does a competent logician, rise to FURY,
when he observes low intelligence and paucity of critical thought ??

If so, then he must be in continual rage whenever near lower animals,
or near the great bulk of humanity; if so, he must forever ruled by negative emotion.

If his mind is above the abhored stupidity,
then he shoud have better control of his emotions.





David
parados
 
  2  
Reply Mon 16 Aug, 2010 09:17 am
@kennethamy,
Quote:
The issue is a moral one, namely whether it would be the right thing for the Muslim group to erect the structure. Now, the president has great persuasive power (Theodore Roosevelt called that "the bully pulpit") and, as in fact the president did, he weighed in in the moral question: not only indirectly by diverting the issue and making it appear as if the moral issue was actually a clear constitutional issue, which misleads unthinking people to say yes to the constitutional non-issue rather than no to the real moral issue, but directly by not addressing the real moral issu

Except your "moral" issue is based on a false premise.
Why is it immoral for muslims to build 2 blocks away from the WTC site?

The only way to call it immoral is to blame all muslims for what a few did. Do you not see the fallacy in that argument?
parados
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Aug, 2010 09:19 am
@kennethamy,
Quote:
If the president did not want to do what was right, and point out that although the group did have the legal right to build, that, under the particular circumstances, it was wrong of them to build at that site,

That confirms my suspicions. You have decided the issue and now are attempting to attack the President because he doesn't hold your viewpoint.

That leads me to ask you again. On what basis is it immoral for them to build there?

You still haven't dealt with the Con Ed issue I raised earlier in pointing out it would violate the rights of Muslims if Con Ed refused to sell based on the fact that they were Muslims.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Aug, 2010 09:26 am
@parados,
parados, It seems contradictory when Americans love to blame a whole group of one religion for what a few did (as compared to the total), and not remember what Americans did to others around the world that goes beyond the 3,000 killed in the WTC. They either have short memories, or they're just bigoted SOBs.
0 Replies
 
Intrepid
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Aug, 2010 09:28 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote::
Quote:
If the president did not want to do what was right, and point out that although the group did have the legal right to build, that, under the particular circumstances, it was wrong of them to build at that site, then he should, at least, have not done what was wrong, and actually mislead some into thinking that the issue was really a constitutional one, and actually encouraged the building. In other words, if it was wrong for him to say what he did say, he should have, at least kept quiet about it. But few, if any, politicians take the opportunity to shut up. And, anyway, I am not sure that Obama took the time to think things through, or was even capable of doing so.


This seems to indicate that you are so much concerned with the topic of discussion as you are with your dislike of your American president.

You are not using critical thinking.
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Mon 16 Aug, 2010 09:29 am
@kennethamy,
Quote:
If the president did not want to do what was right, and point out that although the group did have the legal right to build, that, under the particular circumstances, it was wrong of them to build at that site, then he should, at least, have not done what was wrong, and actually mislead some into thinking that the issue was really a constitutional one, and actually encouraged the building. In other words, if it was wrong for him to say what he did say, he should have, at least kept quiet about it. But few, if any, politicians take the opportunity to shut up. And, anyway, I am not sure that Obama took the time to think things through, or was even capable of doing so.


Obama was right to say what he did; there is no moral, ethical or constitutional problem in the mosque being built.

I don't think you've actually put any real critical thinking into this issue, funnily enough.

Cycloptichorn
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Aug, 2010 09:39 am
@parados,
parados wrote:
Quote:
The issue is a moral one, namely whether it would be the right thing for the Muslim group to erect the structure. Now, the president has great persuasive power (Theodore Roosevelt called that "the bully pulpit") and, as in fact the president did, he weighed in in the moral question: not only indirectly by diverting the issue and making it appear as if the moral issue was actually a clear constitutional issue, which misleads unthinking people to say yes to the constitutional non-issue rather than no to the real moral issue, but directly by not addressing the real moral issu

Except your "moral" issue is based on a false premise.
Why is it immoral for muslims to build 2 blocks away from the WTC site?

The only way to call it immoral is to blame all muslims for what a few did. Do you not see the fallacy in that argument?
Are there any Moslems who do not join in the glee of an American humiliation and defeat ?





David
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Aug, 2010 09:42 am
@OmSigDAVID,
David, it has nothing to do with 'glee' at America's humiliation and defeat.

I don't even know what 'humiliation and defeat' you are talking about. 9/11 was neither. A bunch of insane assholes blew up a couple of buildings, and we retaliated by killing hundreds of thousands in their countries (and others that were conveniently located next door). I'm not sure what 'defeat' you are referring to.

Cycloptichorn
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Aug, 2010 09:45 am
@kennethamy,
Quote:
But that argument is a red herring, for no one is disputing the legal or constitutional right of Muslim (or any other group) to build whatever they please to build at that, or any other site. What is being disputed is whether it is right for them to do so.


You are right. One issue is the issue of the (legal) right to build the mosque at that location; the other issue is the issue of whether it is (morally) right to build the mosque at that location.

President Obama wants to avoid giving an opinion as to the latter, so he directs his response to the former. I believe he is being disingenuous in that regard. I doubt that he will be able to avoid responding to the latter since, as you point out, that one is the real issue at hand--it's the one being presented by those opposed to the construction of the mosque at that location--and he is being pressed to opine on it.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Aug, 2010 09:46 am
@InfraBlue,
What exactly is the moral aspect of building a mosque there?
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Aug, 2010 09:48 am
@Intrepid,
Quote:
You seem to think that most people are unthinking puppets who follow blindly without knowing what they are doing. You do a disservice to many Americans. I not sure if you are American. I am not.


Given the statistics concerning the matter, what with a heavy majority of Americas being opposed to the construction of the mosque, I would say that most of these people are blindly following their emotions and letting their thinking go by the wayside.
 

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