another post on logical and arguments
June 8, 2012
Those who know me well on tumblr know that I have a lot to say about logic and rationality. I’ve written a bunch about how calls for it are both sexist and racist. And, now that I think about it, I could probably use a post about how it is ableist. Other people (cruelestyouth and Riley come to mind) have written about these calls can often be seen as coded abuse.
Today, I’m gonna talk a little more generally. About one aspect that many of the white dudebros constantly begging us to be logical/rational consistently fail to grapple with: truth.
Logical arguments require two things to be valid: the premises of the argument must entail the conclusion and the premises must be true. (alternative: the truth of the premises must entail the truth of the conclusion such that if the premises are true the conclusion cannot be false). – these comments only refer to deductive logic.
Now. Please, please, please, keep your eye on that very key word: truth.
Your premises must be *true* if your argument is to be valid.
Whenever a white person steps up and says something like, ‘racism happens to white people, here is x, y, z reason’ and a poc responds with ‘fuck off’ to which the white person replies ‘why won’t anyone be rational and engage me logically.’
You fail to realize that ‘fuck off’ *is* a logical response. Since it is false that ‘racism happens to white people’ any argument with that as its conclusion is also invalid. Because you cannot have a valid argument with a false conclusion. Thus, there is no point in engaging with someone with invalid arguments.
White people don’t want a debate or discussion. Rather, they wish to have battles over matters of fact. Yet, you cannot argue about matters of fact. They either are true and, thus, are facts or are false, thus, not facts. But how do can you determine what is a fact and what isn’t? Age old question that I’m not going to address, because these requirements can change and shift depending on context. But it really just seems that white people only interested in distorting and lying about reality.
More on truth and arguments, though.
Another common premise in white people’s arguments is using the dictionary. I’ve elsewhere written about about how this is a fallacy. White people also like to use stories like, “I got beat up by a group of Black girls everyday when I was a teen.” This actually just instantiates a statistical fallacy. In case you are curious, if one of your premises is fallacious, that means it is false. If false, then your argument is invalid.
So, white people, abide by your rules (and these really are the rules of white logic and/or rhetoric). Those poc with their own traditions of logic and arguments can abide by theirs, or just not follow yours. But you must, *must* follow your own rules. Don’t be surprised if we have zero desire to ‘rationally’ or ‘logically’ engage your argument if it contains a false premise or has a false conclusion because you’ve already failed to meet that requirement yourself.