Friday, January 25, 2013

The Stupid! It Burns! (knee-jerk edition)

the stupid! it burns! Apparently, Cassie Gray is burningly stupid. In a comment added today to a post I wrote more than four years ago, this complete idiot writes (and I reproduce her comment in full, unedited):
Americans have a knee jerk reaction to the word "Communism" because they know history. Over 150 MILLION people murdered at the hands of communist regimes in the 20th Century. Enslavement of 1/3 the population worldwide. Communism cannot work because it views humankind as parts in a machine and makes life decisions for its people based on budgetary costs. Ironic that a system that claims to care so much about people care less than than the people themselves. If its so brilliant, then explain why the last 100 years have shown people trying to escape it? It is stunning to me that any of you would even attempt to legitimize the brutality of such a system. What do you think that says about your character when you defend government sanctioned mass murder? You all are either masochists, sadists, or the epitome of ignorance! Just goes to show that most of the institutionalized so-called professors in America and Europe should be on trial for treason.


  1. Typical brain damaged person, probably republican too.
    He Has no idea of Communism, or what it is. Russia was about as communistic as America is democratic.
    Russia was and China is not communist but a dogmatic totalitarian dictatorship. And dogmatic "ANYTHING" is bad as it does not think or reason properly. Even in a democracy think how FUBARed this country would be if we all followed the dogmatic BS religious driven DEMOCRACY of the south!
    A SciFi author once stated that it takes the same type of intelligent caring person to be in a good communism as it does for a democracy because if the people stop thinking or caring in either it will become a dogmatic dictatorship.

    1. Granted I am not a philosopher but this looks like a no true sportsman fallacy to me. I believe it was Austin Klein at "ATHEISM. ABOUT.COM" who wrote about Christians denying the proclaimed Christianity of others whom they disagreed with.

      Christianity is as Christianity does. If the old CCCP claimed to be communist and did then I think the same principle has to be adhered to. Communism IS as communism DOES. Modern feminists may be embarassed by Andrea Dworkin but that doesn't change the fact she was a feminist.

    2. Sorry my droids auto correct makes me look like an illiterate

    3. Granted I am not a philosopher but this looks like a no true sportsman fallacy to me.

      I don't usually worry about spelling errors, but, as an English tutor, I will point out your use of the ambiguous demonstrative pronoun, "this."

      Are you labeling as a NTS fallacy:
      a) L.Long's comment, to which you are replying,
      b) my post of Cassie Gray's comment in "The Stupid! It Burns!" category,
      c) Cassie Gray's comment,
      d) the original post, "Implementing Communism"?

    4. Sorry for the sloppiness.
      I was commenting on the comment from Cassie Gray in the "The Stupid! It burns"

    5. Again sorry. Trying to edit on a smartphone is tedious. My "THIS" refers to your comment reply to Cassie. Specifically your dismissal of Soviet or Mao style communism as not true communists. It becomes all too easy for whatever one dislikes to fall into the category of not a true ______________. We can disavow the actions of others or claim they are not adhereing to the tenets of the faith but unless we can prove a false flag motivation, it may be incorrect to damn the other as an imposter.

  2. Ben: I assume you mean L.Long's reply.

    His reply is not a NTS fallacy, although he might be incorrect for other reasons.

    The NTS fallacy is a specific kind of equivocation fallacy, where the argument does not include some component in the definition of the term in one part, but then does include the component of the definition in a different part. The term in question thus has different meanings in different parts of the argument. In technical language:

    A) Being a Scotsman synthetically causes not putting sugar in one's porridge. Not putting sugar in one's porridge is a result of being a Scotsman, not part of the definition of Scotsman.

    B) But Angus is a Scotsman, and he puts sugar in his porridge.

    C) Angus is not a counterexample: by definition, a Scotsman does not put sugar in his porridge, therefore Angus cannot be a Scotsman.

    That's the fallacy proper. Note that if you don't equivocate the definition, you may be using a weird or useless definition, but not using fallacious logic.

    Thus, if we change A to: By definition, no Scotsman puts sugar in his porridge.

    Then we might wonder what use this definition of "Scotsman" might have, but the argument is not fallacious. Similarly.

    A) A function has at exactly one y value for every x value in its domain

    B) The function for a circle (x^2 + y^2 = r) has two points for most x values in its domain.

    C) Well, the relation for a circle is therefore not a function.

    No fallacy there.

  3. The underlying substantive question is: what is a communist? There are good arguments that Stalin and Mao should be included in the definition of communist, and good arguments why they should not. Since there's no underlying objective truth to the matter, as long as the definition is consistent and explicit, any given argument can use either definition.

    Personally, I think the arguments whether or not Stalin and Mao were true communists is not particularly useful. Some communists do argue that we should do what Stalin and Mao actually did, and that argument does not hinge on whether or not Stalin and Mao were true communists; it hinges on whether or not we want a society like Stalin's and Mao's. Some people, such as me, argue that we should have a society where the means of production are publicly owned, but that is otherwise substantively dissimilar to Stalin's and Mao's. That argument also does not hinge on whether or not Stalin and Mao were true communists; it hinges only on whether or not what we do not want from their societies follows necessarily or inexorably from their public ownership of the means of production.

  4. Regardless of any other considerations, the argument that consists only of:

    (A) Stalin and Mao were communists
    (B) Stalin and Mao killed many people*
    (C) Communism entails the killing of many people

    is an obvious post hoc fallacy that has nothing to do with arguments against (1) as a NTS fallacy.

    *That they killed 150 million people is the very high end of a number of obviously biased estimates using extremely unreliable methodologies.


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