Originally posted by captainplanet
reply to post by Areal51
The quote you state to be fallacy is fact. Not because Ron Paul said it, or because someone else said it, or because of a statistic, but because
logic makes it true. What would you check to see if the rioter's reasons were true? They said they were destroying private property and attacking
people because of police brutality. Is police brutality a valid issue? Yes. Should we ignore the crimes committed by the rioters because Rodney
King got beat up by the police? No. They are separate issues, the article addressed the issue of the rioters.
Using the Ron Paul quote that we are discussing, if you can state it logically, I'd like to read it. Please do so, if you can. But I can tell you,
and thus save you some time, it cannot be done. The two invalid statements it contains makes it an illogical argument, therefore logic does not make
it true. I really didn't want to get into an argument at this level, where I have to explain why the statement is false, but if we are to understand
each other then I have to. But first, I will answer your questions.
To check if the rioters reason were true, I would simply survey a sample of the rioters and ask, "After the Rodney King verdict, what was your reason
for rioting?" Perhaps I would have hired and sent pollsters out to ask that simple question. I would also ask the rioters a question referring to
what I thought the real reason behind the riots were. For example, the survey would look something like this:
Screener Question: Did you participate in the riots after the Rodney King verdict?
3.) Not sure.
If "Yes" is answered to the screener question, please continue the survey.
If "No" or "Not sure" is answered to screener question, TERMINATE survey.
Question: After the Rodney King verdict, what was your reason for rioting?
A.) You rioted because you were frustrated over the acquittal of four L.A. policemen accused of using excessive force when arresting Rodney G.
B.) You rioted because you were looking for an excuse to kill, burn, and loot.
C.) You rioted because of A and B.
D.) None of the above.
Going about finding the truth of the rioters stated reason in this way would provide me more insight to INFER whether or not it was true that the
rioters rioted for the reason that they gave, or for the reason that I suspected. And I would have the survey results to back up my claims, or to
prevent me from making false claims.
(Personally, I would structure the survey to address the complexity of the situation of the riot. It wouldn't be as polarized as the example I gave
above. However, I used Ron Paul's comments as the source for the questions, not my own understanding of the L.A. riots of 1992.)
You see, it is possible to say that the rioters rioted. It's possible to say that they killed people. It's possible to say that they started
fires. It's possible to say that they robbed people and burglarized retail establishments. All the evidence needed to support those claims would be
provided by media reports and police reports. It is not possible to state that the reason given by the rioters is a lie without furnishing proof. It
is not possible for Ron Paul to state that the reason he gives is fact, and therefore true, without furnishing proof. I trust that you can see this
Now for the breakdown of the two fallacies contained in the following Ron Paul quote:
The rioters said they were acting out their frustration over the
acquittal of four L.A. policemen accused of using excessive force when
arresting Rodney G. King, but in fact, they were looking for an excuse to
kill, burn, and loot. Nonetheless, it is important to understand why the
jury decided not to convict, whether or not we agree with their verdict.
Ron Paul implies that the reason given by the rioters to riot after the Rodney G. King verdict is a lie. Therefore, the rioters were lying.
Ron Paul implies that the reason given by the rioters to riot after the Rodney G. King verdict is a lie. Ron Paul states that it is a fact that the
rioters were looking for an excuse to kill, burn, and loot. Therefore, what Ron Paul states is factual and true.
Both arguments are invalid. Only if Ron Paul furnished supportive evidence or proof to conclude the arguments, or to use as the premise of the
arguments, could the logic of the arguments become sound. Ron Paul's argument rises out of the obvious fact that he wants the audience to
two things. One, that the rioters were lying about their reason for rioting. Two, that Ron Paul knows for a fact that the rioters
were lying and that he knows what the true reason behind the riots were. He uses his position of authority as the implied authority on the matter,
but he does not, in fact, reveal the origin of the authority that informs his "factual" assertion. Persons in authority use these tactics all the
time to persuade individuals and groups to subscribe to the views offered by that authority. Politicians and lawyers are adept at these tactics.
Small wonder that politicians oftentimes are also lawyers. Small wonder that these tactics are used in the dissemination of propaganda.
To address a comment that you made, you said, "The rioters were in fact just violent, disgruntled people, whether the thought they were in the
right or not."
That is your opinion delivered with the force of a factual statement, especially with its inclusion of the word "fact".
However, it is not a factual statement. If you further assert that it is a factual statement, what authoritative source, other than the opinions of
other persons or your own opinion, would bear the statement out to be true? If you cannot answer this question, then your statement is only a strong
opinion. I, however, understand that you believe what it is that you say, and that that is a fact about you.
Hopefully this post doesn't come off as being confrontational, I don't mean it to be.