Friday, July 30, 2010

Non sequitur

A letter to my paper by one Gary Walker makes this statement on behalf of Glenn Beck makes this point:

For boldly exposing corruption/evil and telling the truth, Beck (says he) has so many serious death threats against him and his family that he has to have the equivalent of a private security SWAT team around him at all times.

Put aside for a moment the point that this is not a verified fact, merely Beck's self-serving statement. The fact that Beck receives lots of death threats is utterly irrelevant to the merits of anything he says or does. It is an absolute non sequitur. It does not follow from the "fact" that Beck has had death threats against him that he is therefore a noble warrior in the battle against evil. Obama has had more death threats against him than any other President in history; that hardly proves he's a great or even adequate President.

To illustrate the absurdity of Mr.Walker's argument, let's use a controversial issue–global warming. Both advocates and deniers of global warming have received death threats. They both can't be right, of course, but by Mr.Walker's argument they would have to be. We've reached a logical absurdity.

You know, I bet Hitler got a few death threats in the 1930s...

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