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Monday, October 28, 2013

Airy dismissals

There's nobody more annoying than the snob who sniffs, "Oh, I wouldn't listen to anything that so-and-so says."

The message they're trying to convey, of course, is, "I'm better than that person."

But what they're really saying is, "I need desperately to prove that I'm superior -- oh, and I'm very close-minded to boot."

Just about every time I've ever heard such an airy dismissal, I've wanted to reply, "Why not? So-and-so is a lot smarter and more realistic than you."

An argument should always be judged on its merits, not on the credentials of the person advancing it. And anybody who wants to judge a position on the basis of the education, or political stance, or job of the person advocating that position is only showing himself to be close-minded as well as dumb.

It's a little like the old Hitler-said-that line of logic: if a liberal hears a hate-fact, he says, in a suitably outraged voice, "Hitler said that!"

To which the best reply is usually, "Well, Hitler was a socialist, too. That doesn't seem to have shaken your political beliefs."

Or, "Should one not believe something just because Hitler said it? Well, Hitler believed in gravity. Should you therefore not believe in gravity?"

For some reason, airy dismissals, like Hitler logic, are things I hear only from liberals.

(Hadn't started out intending to make this post political, but somehow it ended up that way. Couldn't help myself.)


Glen Filthie said...

Why does everyone pick on Hitler?

I mean sheesh - Uncle Joe Stalin was an even bigger socialist than Adolph...and he killed more people too.

And our universities are cranking out socialist morons like they were sausages. It has been my experience John, that you CAN judge the validity of an argument based on the cretins taking part in it quite often!

It's unfortunate, but the political left has become mentally ill.

John Craig said...

Glen --
Liberals don't like to invoke Stalin because he was a Leftist.

And now now, let's not be close-minded. That was sort of the point of this post. The original point, at least.

lowly said...

Just about every time I've ever heard such an airy dismissal, I've wanted to reply, ... "

And have you?

John Craig said...

Lowly --
You got me. I'm afraid I've only used the "So-and-so is a lot smarter than you" line once. Using it is pretty much a declaration of war, or even an end to a relationship.

I have, however, used that Hitler reply on several occasions.