Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Liberal Definitions Backfire

Democratic Underground

Be careful how you define your terms...it may bite you in the end. Case in point, Ken Sanders article in the Democratic Underground entitled "Wall Street Journal: Purveyor of Moral Relativism?" is going to help us understand that conservatives are just as guilty of moral relativism as they are. My reaction: Oh GOODY! Mr. Sanders must think moral relativism is bad. He's going to blame conservatives for doing it too. Which means that hypocrisy is bad too! By Jove! Moral absolutism may win the day yet! Let's take a peek at some key clips of his priceless wisdom:

"Last week, Amnesty International released its annual report on the state of human rights across the globe. In the foreword of the report, AI's Secretary General, Irene Khan, declared, "The detention facility at Guantanamo Bay has become the gulag of our times."

"First, it (Wall Street Journal article) is so laughably literal. The Journal notes from the outset that the term "gulag" was made famous by Alexander Solzhenitsyn and referred to the network of Soviet slave labor camps where millions died under Stalin's rule. True enough. However, as noted by the Oxford English Dictionary, the term "gulag" has come to figuratively mean a prison camp, especially one for political prisoners."

Breaking in, Hey, that's not so bad, huh? Just a prison camp! And I thought it was like a prison camp too. But it's a "gulag" prison camp. Which means it's a prison camp... for political prisoners. I thought they were prisoners of war. Silly me. I guess war is political. And, these men are just little, dark- skinned Solzhenitsyns. I hang my head in shame. America sucks. Back to the DU sage.

"Similarly, Bush and his Christian soldiers oppose embryonic stem-cell research because they claim it destroys life to save life. Thus, for Bush & Co., destroying life to save life is immoral. Nonetheless, Bush and his apologists defend torturing detainees if it leads to intelligence which saves American lives. For them, therefore, the morality of destroying life to save life is a relative question."

Some "relative" comments:

1. Mr. Sanders upbraids the WSJ for being so "literal" in insinuating that AI calling Gitmo a "gulag" grossly misses the mark if the meaning of gulag is as popularized by Alexander Solzhenitsyn. No, no, the cheeky Sanders uses the ever authoritative Oxford dictionary to define "gulag" as a prison camp for political prisoners. If that be the case, Mr. Sanders, what is so earth shattering about Amnesty International's report that Gitmo is just a prison camp? Hmmm? Did we American idiots think it was the Copa Cabana for disenfranchised Taliban? Oh, no!! The world is going to find out that GITMO IS A PRISON CAMP!! GASP!! Don't be a dunce, Sanders. Of course Irene Kahn meant gulag to mean something REALLY REALLY BAD. Otherwise, your neutered definition of "gulag" would pull the teeth out of AI's report. Fallacy of Equivocation; strike one.

2. As to torturing prisoners, just what the hell does that mean, really? Are we doing to our "political prisoners" what Saddaam did to his prisoners? Are we lopping off fingers and toes? Are we filleting them, skinning them alive, feeding them to hungry Rottweilers, dumping them in vats of acid? Hmmm? What are the "gulag-esque" atrocites that we are committing? UNDERWEAR OVER A MAN'S FACE? I bet Saddaam wished he would've thought of that one! Despicable! I'm going to puke. Don't say that...I'll have nightmares! Irresponsible dolt! Don't describe the torture, just say we torture prisoners. Let the masses fill in the blanks! Ambiguous definition; strike two.

3. He equivocates on the terms "destroy" and "life." We suck pre-born infants through a Quisinart Vacuum Blender and turn it into 'baby puree." That's destroy! We take the stemcells from these aborted humans and conduct very important scientific research. Oooooo. We sell the little pre-born pieces of meat to other laboratories so they can conduct very important scientific research too. Now I don't recall that we destroy prisoners this way; we don't destroy prisoners at all, do we? We destroy their personal plans to kill Americans, we destroy their sexual afterlife plans (which may be heaven to them, but an eternal hell for the virgins), we humiliate them, we irritate them by blaring the music of David Lee Roth (or was it Slim Whitman?) in their prison cells. Destroy? Nah! As to life...an innocent helpless baby compared to a hatefilled seething, murderous Islamo-facsist? Fallacy of Equivocation; strike three--you're out.

You can get away with such sloppy argumentation with your back-slapping liberal sycophants, Sanders, but in real life, your slippery definitions undermine your argument, which then falls to the ground like a scared little girly-man terrorist.

3 Comments:

At 10:32 AM, Blogger the Logic Monkey said...

Brilliant!

Now, if I was a lefty, I would bring up something that has nothing to do with your point, ramble on about it, feel smug and gloat how much smarter I m than you (because I'm sooo smart that I don't believe in God, blah blah, blah).

but I'm not, so I won't.

 
At 11:31 AM, Blogger Underground Logician said...

Thank you! I hope those smart people stay away. I can't out argue them!

 
At 3:47 PM, Blogger Bhakti said...

As someone who suffers from spinal disease, I fail to find the humor in your scientific research sarcasm. My neurosurgeon is one of the top stem-cell researchers around. The stem cells can be taken from the umbilical chord, you know. Thanks to this doctor, I am not paralyzed (as I sit here recovering from my three level cervical spine fusion).

p.s. Oh, I can see from your above comment that I better stay away from this one sided argument, I mean, blog.

 

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