2009/06/12

Proving Negatives

I'm curious as to a line of thinking someone espoused today about the economy. Apparently, things in our economy were so dire and so perilous Barack Obama and his enablers in Congress and elsewhere had to act. Stimulus had to be made! GM and Chrysler had to be saved! Otherwise, the economy would be much worse than they are now.

I'm now going to note an argument made several weeks ago by Dick Cheney about the use of enhanced interrogation techniques. Basically, he said if the US hadn't used enhanced interrogation techniques terrorist activity would have been much worse.

If the first argument about the economy is valid, isn't the second argument about terrorism also valid? So either both of these arguments are valid or they aren't if you're going to be logically consistent. I realize logical consistency isn't important to some, but many of us use it as a yardstick for whether or not you're arguing in good faith or you're just a pathetic hack.

You also need to consider if either argument is ever falsifiable in any meaningful sense. Leaving aside the internal consistency of your position, it seems that an argument for public policy or government action isn't flasifiable, then it's not a particularly strong argument. So if you're asking everybody to go along with a lot of potentially very bad ideas, you might want to have something a little bit stronger to make your point.

Or, judging by the American electorate, you might not.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Galt-in-Da-Box said...

Priceless...And damn straight on, too!

2:20 AM  

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