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Author Topic: AmeriPol thread  (Read 2453177 times)

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #21975 on: July 24, 2018, 08:25:54 pm »

Come to think of it, discrediting Democracy is a side job here. Breaking apart the alliance of democracies is a more likely immediate goal.
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Dunamisdeos

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #21976 on: July 24, 2018, 08:40:26 pm »

Come to think of it, discrediting Democracy is a side job here. Breaking apart the alliance of democracies is a more likely immediate goal.

That would certainly be a logical, and more beneficial goal.
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Lord Shonus

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #21977 on: July 24, 2018, 09:21:43 pm »

The phrasing here leaves me unable to tell whether or not use of whataboutism, or whether the word whataboutism itself, is being criticized.


Let me try a (clumsy) analogy. "Whataboutism" is a nail. "Whataboutism accusations" are the hammer used to pound that nail in so it doesn't snag your foot. Nobody's really decrying the use of the hammer for that purpose, except those who want to get money for fixing your foot wound. A hammer, however, is a multipurpose tool. What I, (and I think bloop) are criticising is people deciding to pick up that hammer and smash the hobo on the corner because they don't want to look at him anymore.


Or, in other words, there are genuine cases of "whataboutism" that are a genuine problem. But, because these problems exist, it becomes very easy to classify any argument you don't want to hear as "whatboutism" so you can justify ignoring it.
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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #21978 on: July 24, 2018, 09:44:32 pm »

I suppose the best way to look at it is in the realm of whether the "whataboutism" is actually a logical fallacy. We can break down whataboutism as effectively this:
  • We argue that P implies Q; mayor Joe embezzled money, so he should go to jail.
  • Someone else points out that R does not imply Q; "what about treasurer David who embezzled money and didn't go to jail?"

The idea is that by bringing up that R does not imply Q, we force that P also does not imply Q. However, this is not necessarily true; only if R is in some way equivalent to P does it hold.


Alternatively, the person pointing out that R does not imply Q is saying that it should. In your example, the second person is not saying "since you didn't arrest Treasurer David, you can't arrest Mayor Joe", but "Good job catching that thief Mayor Joe. I suggest you arrest Treasurer David immediately, he did the exact same thing." Arguments of that sort often get classified as "whataboutism".
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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #21979 on: July 24, 2018, 09:55:38 pm »

Quite. The problem comes in when people don't even want to hear your justification for it being a valid argument. I'm arguing that the concept is dangerous, not useless.
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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #21980 on: July 24, 2018, 10:33:08 pm »

that's right. For example some people cry "Godwin" about any Nazi comparisons, even when it's pretty relevant.

If someone supports a policy where "we really need to beef up the government's ability to ban all muslims and round up 11 million men, women and children (illegal immigrants)" then it's pretty fair to say that's getting a little "Nazi like" in thinking. Whereas saying "you know who else was vegetarian? Hitler" is clearly fallacious. Point being, people hate Nazis for specific reasons, if the thing you're comparing to the Nazis is dis-likable for the same reasons then it's a fair comparison.

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #21981 on: July 24, 2018, 10:54:07 pm »

In the case of Russian election fiddling, the "what about the Democrats who were elected because of Russia?" argument actually can hold water depending on what the Mueller investigation finds regarding collusion with Russia, and whether those Democrats followed suit. It also holds in inverse- if Trump did not actively collude with Russia, and various Democrats win due to Russian election meddling who also did not collude with Russia, the idea of punishing Trump for being helped by Russia seems to hold little ground unless they're all punished.

The only problem with that is, there is conclusive evidence of Russia deliberately and effectively meddling on Trump's behalf. The only evidence that they will meddle on behalf of the Democrats is an utterly baseless tweet from Donald Trump in an attempt to distract us from last week's shitshow. It's not an equivalency when one of the events is completely fabricated and the other is commonly accepted as fact.
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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #21982 on: July 24, 2018, 11:13:05 pm »

that's right. For example some people cry "Godwin" about any Nazi comparisons, even when it's pretty relevant.

If someone supports a policy where "we really need to beef up the government's ability to ban all muslims and round up 11 million men, women and children (illegal immigrants)" then it's pretty fair to say that's getting a little "Nazi like" in thinking. Whereas saying "you know who else was vegetarian? Hitler" is clearly fallacious. Point being, people hate Nazis for specific reasons, if the thing you're comparing to the Nazis is dis-likable for the same reasons then it's a fair comparison.
Wanting to have literally any control over immigration is different than banning a religious group, though.
Trump does both (sorta), but that doesn't make both things unreasonable.
And that's without getting into the scriptural issues of Islam at all...  Wrong thread for that.
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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #21983 on: July 25, 2018, 05:04:30 am »

TL;DR: It's the principle of shouting "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone!" only when you yourself are under threat, and being the most zealous slinger of stones the rest of the time.

That Bible verse was mistranslated, it's supposed to be "let other people who are without sin throw the first stone at me".

It must be by the way that everyone applies it to their lives.

I don't see how your variant makes any meaningful difference from the meaning of the original translation.
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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #21984 on: July 25, 2018, 05:35:33 am »

TL;DR: It's the principle of shouting "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone!" only when you yourself are under threat, and being the most zealous slinger of stones the rest of the time.

That Bible verse was mistranslated, it's supposed to be "let other people who are without sin throw the first stone at me".

It must be by the way that everyone applies it to their lives.

I don't see how your variant makes any meaningful difference from the meaning of the original translation.
(it was a joke)
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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #21985 on: July 25, 2018, 06:23:46 am »

I still find it philosophically amusing that politicians and campaign groups who are trying to "influence elections" get so up in arms when some other political / campaign group is better at "influencing elections" than they are.

Isn't the entire point of an election campaign to "influence" the population to vote a certain way?

More realistically - I feel the complaint is really one of "we didn't think of it first" or perhaps "we're just mad those meddlers didn't meddle in our favor" rather than "that sidesteps campaign finance law and/or violates sovereignty".  And the sovereignty claim is actually kind of hollow - it presupposes that any change in a population's sentiments is only valid it if comes from within without any external influence at all.
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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #21986 on: July 25, 2018, 06:29:56 am »

Influence is fine, but when it's stuff like sending black neighborhoods voting information that has the wrong date on it, that stuff is definitely over the line.

However, the idea that the entire point is to "influence the election" is kind of one of the things that's lead to a toxic situation. Things like campaign finance laws, equal time laws, and removing gerrymandering and voter suppression would have positive effects, but they'd be more noticeable over longer timespans.

In the ideal situation, the populace has both side's policy statements and commitments to compare, objectively, and they make an informed decision through debate between citizens over the issues. Not the opinion poll driven, emotional, character assassination, vote-rigging stuff that's considered "normal" ways things are "influenced".
« Last Edit: July 25, 2018, 06:36:29 am by Reelya »
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JoshuaFH

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #21987 on: July 25, 2018, 06:38:01 am »

I think we're fully at the point where we can abandon democracy, and just elect our leaders through random lottery. Just put the names of all eligible citizens into a big hat, pick one at random, and they're forced to be the president for four years. We lock them in the White House and don't let them out. Honestly seeming like a better and better idea every day.
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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #21988 on: July 25, 2018, 06:42:51 am »

It would be practical to do that, with a few tweaks. Say you're elected to state-level Citizens Assemblies, like Jurors, and shorten the time-frame a little. 4 years might be too long, 2 years too short. And you want overlapping intakes, like the Senate. So ... make it three years, with 1/3rd replaced every 12 months.

The Assemblies then select people to represent them at the state-executive and federal levels. You'd have the regular Assembly members who are appointed for their single-term, but make it so that if you're chosen to serve in the Executive or Federal level, you can serve longer with a vote of support from the regular Assembly members - this way truly talented and dedicated people can be held onto for longer. However, since the state Assemblies are refreshed by lottery on a frequent basis then the chosen Federal or Executive-level people must keep proving their worth: they can't just rely on cronies to keep them in power.

This certainly couldn't be worse than what happens now.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2018, 06:54:35 am by Reelya »
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Rowanas

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #21989 on: July 25, 2018, 06:46:13 am »

Influence is fine, but when it's stuff like sending black neighborhoods voting information that has the wrong date on it, that stuff is definitely over the line.

However, the idea that the entire point is to "influence the election" is kind of one of the things that's lead to a toxic situation. Things like campaign finance laws, equal time laws, and removing gerrymandering and voter suppression would have positive effects, but they'd be more noticeable over longer timespans.

In the ideal situation, the populace has both side's policy statements and commitments to compare, objectively, and they make an informed decision through debate between citizens over the issues. Not the opinion poll driven, emotional, character assassination, vote-rigging stuff that's considered "normal" ways things are "influenced".

I'd actually like there to be a set of literature about current policy issues created by politically neutral third parties which citizens would be tested on before being allowed to vote.  That way, you would have to be informed before you could make a decision that affects millions of other people.
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