Saturday, May 19, 2012
Ad Hominem and other logical fallacies
I read a lot of different blogs and websites on a daily basis and lots of other articles and postings that I come across throughout my daily reading. Typically what I read is addressing abuse in one form or another. Some blogs and website are considered safe sites that don’t allow dissenting comments and other places thrive on discussion, debate, arguments, banter, whether friendly or not. No matter the website I find the comments usually the most interesting and I see a lot of logical fallacies being used.
We all use logical fallacies and my purpose is not to explore what comments are using what kind of logical fallacy but to make some general comments about some of the things that I read. If you want to explore logical fallacies, I suggest you visit thou shalt not commit logical fallacies. I think it’s a great and helpful website.
It bothers me when people wonder why the person is spending so much time addressing the abuse in Baptist fundamentalism and not the abuse in the catholic church or some other organization that is also known for abuse. I can only guess at the purpose of this but maybe it’s like being pulled over for a speeding ticket and having other cars obviously speeding past you while the police officer writes you a ticket and you’re wondering why they aren’t going after them or trying to catch a murderer or thief. You think there are bigger fish to fry other than you.
My thought is that people addressing abuse in Baptist fundamentalism, Southern Baptist, Catholicism, or anywhere else are doing it in the area that they are familiar. People know abuse is elsewhere but he/she focuses on his/her small part of the world that affected them. This would be like wondering why the neuro-surgeon won’t operate on the heart. I mean, he’s a doctor and he knows people have heart disease and he/she shouldn’t just work on the brain when hearts need fixing too. You’re a doctor and you’ve heard people’s hearts need mending. You shouldn’t just specialize on one part of the body.
It bothers me when I read about a person’s abuse and, especially when we know it’s true, instead of accepting the person, he/she is attacked and any mistake or misjudgment the person has done or is perceived to have done, whether real or imagined, is criticized and critiqued as if that makes the abuse any less real. People are not perfect and no matter who or what the person is or has done, he/she does not deserve to be abused and they especially don’t deserve to be abused again by spectators.
It also bothers me when people assume the motivations, reasons, or circumstances that led to what happened or why something happened the way it did and dismiss, discard, or ignore the abuser’s statements of what happened and why. It’s like being at a baseball game and yelling at the ump that he got the call wrong because we all know that the person in the stands or the person on the couch watching the TV can see it so much better than the umpire who’s standing at the bag a couple feet from where the action is happening.
It makes me sad when the abused are told to be quiet so they don’t hurt the name of Christ but in reality God was hurt when that person was abused. God was hurt when that sin was covered up. God was hurt when the abused don’t get justice. God is honored when the light shines on darkness, when sin is exposed, and when sin is defeated and the abused is victorious and people stand up for and with the abused. The name of God is not an institution. It’s not a church. It’s not a religious affiliation.
Jesus is a great example of standing up for the abused. He took a stand against the “holiest” people of His day. Jesus called the leaders and followers of the holiest, most righteous, and pious looking religious organization and Temple attendees of His day abusers and hypocrites. Jesus was concerned about His name. He couldn’t be quiet when He saw abuse. They even attempted to quiet Him a few times but they couldn’t and He couldn’t let them. He had to do what was right and that was to stand up for the little person. The person who couldn’t stand up for themselves.
Let’s be like Jesus and stand up for the individual who’s trying to stand up for what is right. Let’s help them find their voice and comfort them like Jesus would and not cast the stones of the “righteous” religious leaders who want to protect the “name of God” and not the true God of the Bible.