Saturday, May 17, 2008

John McCain and the Hypocrite Fallacy

So, John McCain is a hypocrite. No surprise, after all he is a politician. The problem is, this isn't a problem for his current argument that we should not negotiate with Hamas. This falls under what I call the hypocrite fallacy. Just because someone says one thing and then does another (that would include saying the opposite) this does not make their current argument wrong. 

For example. You and I are taking a math class and failing miserably because we both spend too much time on fine web sites like Skeptics & Politics. After getting back our last exam (F's for us both) I turn to you and say, "You should really study more." Your typical first reaction is likely, "Yeah, look at your grade you jerk." And of course you are right. I am a jerk. I am not, however, wrong. You should study more. 

The same fallacy applies here in saying that McCain is a hypocrite. Sure he is, but that doesn't make his argument wrong. It's wrong for a thousand other reasons, such as Obama never claiming he would talk with Hamas, but McCain having claimed differently in the past is not one of them.

The Rational Moderate

1 comment:

Julia said...

I love you! or rather I love your post.

I am starting to get annoyed at how often I either see
a) people misusing the word "hypocrite" or
b) trying to use the fact that a person is a hypocrite to disporve thier argument

Glad to see that there are some people who still understand.