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What concerns me about the McLellan, and any such, book

06/05/2008

The first and most reasonable expectation of me is to read the book, but I’ll tell you right off that I have no intention of doing so. That said, I’ll now begin.

Sources can either be appealed to or attacked. In the first case, a source is assumed as being mostly, or fully, factual; in the second, a source is assumed as being the opposite; and to question a source is to not make an assumption as to its accuracy.

When a source is assumed as factual, it becomes the predicate from which a premise and subsequent conclusion follows.

A source can be used as part of preponderate evidence, but, then, concern over the use of individually false evidence potentially arises: “is my argument supported by falsehoods”? “Is my opponent’s lesser evidence [if such is the case] superior to mine because his evidence is of infallible quality [again, if that happens to be the case], or because I am unable to refute it”?

Why does any of that matter? It goes to ethics, which asks us to ask ourselves what the fairness of our evidence is, and how should we use it?

This isn’t about McLellan, or even Bush, it’s a personal lament I have over how we, in our debates, can favor so readily the ideas we like, and dismissive of the ones we don’t, and how we in turn act as if we are not hypocritical when we tell others to not do the same.

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