Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Playing the Pity Card

Mark Goldblatt, writing at The American Spectator, does a fine job of deconstructing — post-modern allusion irony meter turned on — the fallacy of the appeal to pity.
[A]rgumentum ad misericordiam, defined as a calculated appeal to pity or compassion for the sake of getting a conclusion accepted. It's a standard fallacy in that it doesn't address the necessity or practicality or even the morality of the conclusion.
The whole essay is well worth reading, particularly because he stands this foolishness on its head to argue against health care 'reform'.

But his finest moment is undoubtedly this line: "It is not the proper role of government to dry one person's tears by confiscating another person's tissues."

Now, that's good writing. Wish I'd thought of it.

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