[lit-ideas] John's thinking processes and Obama's

  • From: "Lawrence Helm" <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Lit-Ideas" <Lit-Ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2008 21:15:24 -0700

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to make sense of it.&nbsp; Of course John can&#8217;t either.&nbsp; 
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  • From: "Lawrence Helm" <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Lit-Ideas" <Lit-Ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2008 21:15:24 -0700
After the 2000 election, John and I were in an argument that got so heated a
few of us went off line with it.  At last I demonstrated that he held an
illogical position.  His reply so stunned me that I'll never forget it.  He
said, "logic is over-rated."


Not only is John's grasp of logic poor, but his grasp of dialogue is as
well.  And his knowledge of hermeneutics seems non-existent.  


Take his recent faux pas.  I voiced an opinion and he called it a lie.  Now
that isn't possible.  If it is indeed an opinion then it can't be a lie.
The opinion might be wrong, but it can't be a lie.  Bear in mind we are
conjecturing about the future here; so positive knowledge or evidence
doesn't exist.  We all have our opinions.  I voiced mine.  And John made an
illogical statement about it.


John didn't admit he made a mistake, he produced a spin:  "At the very
least, you are passing along unsubstantiated and demonstrably false rumor.
You do not acknowledge at all the sources that I provided that demonstrate
the falseness of your assertions, preferring instead a feeble ad hominem
diversion about whether or not I understand dialogue. I do. And, in my
informed opinion, you are not engaging in dialogue. You are lying in a
brazen and bald-faced manner and attempting to evade being called on your
lies by saying they are just your opinion. Sorry, the facts say otherwise."


Everything he says here is illogical and false.  He says I was passing along
an unsubstantiated and demonstrably false rumor.   That is false.  I was
voicing my opinion. I had never heard anyone else say what I said.  So his
conjecture about my "motive" is as false as his accusation of lying.


He then says I don't acknowledge at all the sources that he provided to
demonstrate the falseness of my assertion.   Once again, I wasn't making an
assertion (a term in logical argumentation which he is misusing here).   I
didn't read what John is referring to , but that has nothing to do with my
opinion.  I can't be held accountable for articles I didn't read.  I read a
lot but not everything.  And whether or not I read some note of his has no
bearing on my opinion.  I voiced my opinion, and opinions cannot be lies.


He said I was not engaged in dialogue.  This is the first thing he said that
was true.  I offered to engage John in dialogue and he rejected my offer.
Therefore neither of us was engaged in dialogue.   He calls my offer of
dialogue an ad hominem attack.  Ad hominem is another term used in logic -
another term he misuses.  


He calls his opinion "informed."  Since that is his personal opinion I will
accept that he believes that about himself.  


And then he ends by illogically asserting that I am "lying in a brazen and
bald-faced manner."    Once again, he doesn't understand that opinions can't
be lies.  He has no argument to the contrary; so he exerts more verbal
force.  To say my opinions are lies isn't enough.  He ups the amperage and
calls them "brazen and bald-faced in manner."  I am not just lying when I
voice my opinion.  I have a brazen and bald-faced manner; which he is able
to ascertain in some way not explained.


And then he concludes that I am covering up my lies by saying they are my
opinions.  This is so illogical that I can't begin to make sense of it.  Of
course John can't either.  


I attempt to be as accurate and unambiguous as possible in the things I
write.  If I get information from a lurker, I give credit.  If I get
information from something I read, I provide references.  But if I voice my
own opinion, I say so.   It might surprise John, but there is no one on
Lit-Ideas that I'm trying to impress or influence.  I can't even imagine a
motive or circumstance that would cause me to lie on this forum.


By the way, nothing I've read since voicing my opinion about Obama not being
big on seeking or accepting advice has caused me to change my mind.
Assuming the Tahieri article is true, and notice that this journalist lists
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari as one of his sources, my opinion is
that Obama would have done this on his own.  I can't imagine any of his
advisors advising him to do what Zebari said he did.  What Taheri said Obama
said to Petraeus can also be checked.    Yes, the Obama campaign has denied
doing these things, but what do Zebari and Petraeus say about Obama's
denials?    Will they call the journalist Taheri a liar, or Obama?


Lawrence Helm






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