Esoteric Dissertations from a One-Track Mind

July 10, 2007

“Conservative” Argument Properties

Filed under: culture — codesmithy @ 8:38 am

I’ve noticed a few peculiarities when browsing forum discussions in people who proudly state their conservative opinion against obvious liberal bias.

The first peculiarity is the setup of a false dichotomy. Every view expressed in the thread comes from a liberal or conservative idealogical background. For example, it is impossible to be a liberal hawk, like Thomas Friedman, or a conservative dove, like Ron Paul. Most likely every view that disagrees with them is “liberal” and any view they agree with is “conservative.” Despite, the fact that pardoning individuals convicted of crimes isn’t something a “conservative” usually does.

Secondly, both the “conservative” view and the “liberal” view are on equal standing. It doesn’t matter if one side has better evidence for its case. It doesn’t matter how many people favor one view over the other. Both sides are supposed to have equal time, except for those “liberal” views that are way outside the mainstream.

Third, there is not difference between “rationalized” arguments and “reasoned” arguments. For example, there is no difference between a Christian archaeologist who goes looking for the Ark, and surprise, surprise, there is a mountain that kind of, sort of fits the story, some petrified wood, so it must be part of the Ark. Eureka! As opposed to looking at all the available evidence, and seeing what conclusions you can logically draw from them. Basically, if the “conservative” argument cannot be disproved, it is true, and on equal footing with any “liberal” argument.

Fourth, Clinton is hero of all “liberals.” If the current President does something remotely similar to what Clinton did during his presidency, then it immediately justified and all “liberals” are turned into immediate hypocrites because their hero did it also.

I don’t participate in forum discussions anymore. I had the particular displeasure of a thread warrior saying that the “My Lai Massacre” in Vietnam, was in effect, an isolated incident. From that point, I was soured on the whole experience. It became obvious that people were more willing to argue than to think.

That isn’t to say I don’t respect conservative opinions. I have a great deal of respect for Ron Paul. One reason is that he is remarkably ahead of the curve on a number of issues. Although, I happen to disagree with him on a number of points. I can usually account the differences to different base principles. The fact that he has had a very consistent voting record, I feel is a product of his strong convictions, and as I’ve posted before, he is not afraid to go into a lion’s den to voice his ideas.

However, I’m disgusted with those people who inject “conservative/liberal” labeling as a crutch to make their argument seem more valid. It doesn’t, it just poisons the group thought process and attempts to stunt progress and enlightenment. The fact that this tends to maintain the status-quo is not lost on the “conservative” thread warrior; to these thugs, a battle a “conservative” does not lose is a victory.


1 Comment »

  1. […] is. It usually has many of the trimmings of a reasonable argument, but as I pointed out in ““Conservative” Argument Properties,” the argument usually isn’t that the conclusions best fit the evidence, it is that one […]

    Pingback by U.S. Demonstrates Poor Strategy in the Middle-East « Esoteric Dissertations from a One-Track Mind — August 1, 2007 @ 7:59 am

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