titles take too much effort.


The veracity of conclusions can often be more immediately supported by emotional agreement among people than any logical premise made for them, and the predicate for a premise is often emotional in birth.

Civil rights would be an example.

We oppose violations of them because we feel empathy for those who’ve been violated, imagining ourselves or loved ones in like situations. The conclusion of the inappropriateness of violating the rights of others doesn’t often need to be argued to people with shared principles. But as there exists other interests which have been used to rationalize such violations, the merits of those interests must necessarily be contested. The purpose of the logical premise, or at least the attempt at it, is not then to convince some people of the moral inappropriateness of violating a given civil right, but that the violation is real and not in their interest to ignore or defend, even under circumstances which might seem to justify either. We, however, usually don’t need self-persuading arguments for the conclusions we espouse, for they are often the same as the predicates for the arguments we make from them, and both are more than enough validated to us by the weight of our emotional empathies.

H/T to Alison Rosen for inspiring me to finally write this. Then again, she might curse herself for it. Sorry, Alison.



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