Monday, October 12, 2009

Another one for the fallacy files

This farce will only solidify in the electorate’s mind the truth of what was blindingly obvious before the election and has become Metaphysically Certain since: Obama is an empty suit with no substantive achievements to speak of, who owes whatever standing he has entirely to the ridiculous fantasies that have been projected onto him by his sycophants.

Said here.

I can't tell if this is the author's bad argument or the if the author just thinks that there are lots and lots of stupid people in the electorate who would reason from the fact that someone has been awarded a Nobel Peace Prize they don't deserve to the conclusion that someone is an empty suit. I could see it if it was true that anyone is an empty suit if they don't deserve the Nobel Peace Prize, but then we're all empty suits. (Well, all of us but Henry Kissinger.) Is the idea that it follows from the fact that you got an award you don't deserve that you have no substantive achievements? Clearly not.


Aidan said...

It hopefully goes without saying, but I'm not remotely defending the content of the quote. That said, I don't think it belongs in the fallacy files for the reason you give. Feser only says that Obama's getting the award will 'solidify' the thought that he's an empty suit. That's surely not to claim that there's any kind of entailment from his getting the award undeservedly to his being an empty suit, only that it reinforces other considerations that Feser thinks have pointed to the same conclusion.

Clayton said...

Hey Aidan,

How dare you defend the quote!

Just kidding. I take it that the award would 'solidify the thought by means of an inference that is fallacious. I don't know if it's Feser's fallacious thinking or thinking that Feser is attributing to others that would be fallacious but if you get more confident that Obama is an empty suit because someone gave him award without adequate justification for believing he deserved it, that's bad solidifying.