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Appeal to Authority

Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Under attack for his opposition to the one-person-one-vote standard, Alito has told us all to just trust him. Now Alito is a well-educated man, and I'm sure he had to take a logic course or two in school. He should therefore be familiar with the fallacy referred to as the "appeal to authority" - that you should believe someone's arguments (however weak) because that person can lay claim to some sort of privileged status. "Just trust me" statements typically fall into this category. So knowing what a weak position it is, why does Alito offer it anyway. It could be because Alito thinks we're stupid or because he can't come up with any better arguments. But it might also be due to conservatism real vulnerability to this fallacy. They love authorities, you see.

On another note, Paul Waldman has a good post over in the Gadflyer explaining why it's a mistake to view Iraq through the prism of Vietnam or WWII. What caught my attention was this statement:

Moreover, the democratic elections have all of the form but little of the meaning of democracy. Critical to the democratic process is a willingness to accept the rules of the game. The losers have to accept that they have lost and the winners have to accept that their victory is only temporary until the next election. As is commonplace in the Arab world, these principles are not really accepted by any of the major players in Iraq.

What I wonder is whether those principles are any longer adhered to by our Republican party.
Posted by Arbitrista @ 7:39 AM
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