Monday, 29 August 2016

Logical Fallacies of Mass Immigration Supporters: The Appeal to Emotion.

The Appeal to Emotion.

If you’re opponent isn’t calling you the next Hitler then they’re most likely asking you to think of the Syrian refugee children.  As common as is the ad hominem is the appeal to emotion fallacy.  They are arguments that seek validation by making us feel a certain way but just because an argument makes us feel a certain way doesn’t make it an argument because feelings aren’t arguments.

One way is to appeal to our sense of compassion.  This was most evident in the case of Alan Kurdi.  Photos of his lifeless body lying on a Mediterranean shore became an argument for Canada opening its borders to Syrian refugee resettlement.  Dismissing the fact that little Alan’s death had more to do with paternal negligence than it had with the Syrian refugee crisis his death is not an argument to bring in 50,000 Syrian refugees.  Allowing 50,000 Syrians to effectively immigrate to Canada won’t accomplish much aside from allowing Canada’s virtue signaling class to parade like moral peacocks on social media and make them feel good about themselves.  Syria is still a destabilized country that, according to the UN, has produced an estimated 6.6 million internally displaced persons and has sent over 4.8 million to seek refuge abroad primarily in camps in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan. Removing 50,000 of them won’t make much of a difference.  The money and resources being spent to resettle a select 50,000 people would have gone further and benefited more had it been utilized in the camps.  This would allow the refugees to stay in the region and hopefully return to rebuild their country and lives at a future date.  Indeed, what are we really accomplishing if what we are doing is removing the very skilled people Syria is going to need to rebuild itself?  It seems we’re doing more harm than good when you look at it that way but then again poaching the developing the world of its skilled talent is what Canada does best.  While Canada is committed to helping the refugees of the world resettling them in Canada is not necessarily the best option since doing so introduces a new set problems such as integration challenges, job skills training, language training, stresses they place on the communities they settle in, and so on. 

Another way our emotions are tickled is to flatter us by saying how a wonderful, tolerant, accepting people we are and variations on that theme.  While it’s nice to be called those things they're completely irrelevant.  It shouldn’t distract us from the fact that there are problems with the immigration system and that there are legitimate concerns of the host society that need addressing.  Ignoring those will make us wonderful, tolerant, and accepting to a fault.


In essence arguments advanced whose only purpose is to make us feel pitiful or prideful or angry are arguments seeking to appeal to our emotional and therefore irrational self which is where they draw their strength from.  They aren't arguments because, as I wrote earlier, feelings aren't arguments.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Logical Fallacies of Mass Immigration Supporters: The Ad Hominem.

When the current Minister of Immigration, John McCallum, announced Canada was opening its border even wider to immigrants while the rest of the world seemed to be closing theirs part of his reasoning was that Canada was continuing a tradition of immigration based on compassion.  In doing so he committed two logical fallacies in one sentence.  Logical fallacies are commonly employed by the pro-mass immigration crowd so I figure I might as well tackle the ones I’ve encountered over the years.

My feelings on logical fallacies are mixed because in debates about any topic the one who incessantly points out logical fallacies tends to be some pedantic twerp who cares more about pointing out the fallacies than actually discussing the issue.  I think they believe doing so makes them look smart.  It gets annoying, inviting your fist to their mouth as the only satisfactory retort to their nitpicking.  However, it doesn’t mean they’re wrong and they do have a point.

Furthermore, I intended this to be a single post but in writing it I found it becoming quite lengthy so I decided to break it up into a series of posts addressing one fallacy at a time.  I’ve found that there is nothing more off putting to the short attention span, tl;dr, internet age that we live in than a lengthy blog post, a crime I've committed many times before and appear to be in the act of committing right now.  So let’s get started.

The Ad Hominem

Let’s get this one out of the way first because it’s one of the most common logical fallacies readily employed by mass immigration proponents too intellectually lazy or too intellectually ill equipped (by which I mean stupid) or just too cowardly to discuss the issue as mature adults.
 
The ad hominem fallacy is the name calling debate tactic.  Its purpose is to discredit the message by discrediting the messenger.  Hopefully it will derail or shut down the debate by forcing the messenger to defend his or her character to the satisfaction of the arbitrary criteria of the name caller instead of arguing their position.

When it comes to discussing immigration ad hominem attacks encompass accusations of being a racist, xenophobe, Islamophobe, bigot, redneck, right-wing extremist, nationalist, white nationalist, white supremacist, and so on.  The fallacy of the ad hominem is that it seeks to conflate the merits of what is being said with who is saying it even though one is not dependent upon the other.  The Big Bang Theory is not invalidated by the fact a devout Catholic Priest was the one who first proposed it giving way to early criticisms of it of being "creationism in disguise.” Likewise, valid criticisms of the immigration system are not invalidated if presented by the most unrepentant racist ever to walk the planet. 

If you find yourself in a debate and your opponent can do nothing but hurl ad hominem mud then consider yourself the victor.  It’s also best not to further engage this person because you’ll just be wasting your time.  Just give them a lollipop and a colouring book and direct them to their safe space where their fragile world view cannot be challenged, where they’re always right, and where everyone gets to ride the rides for free except for you, of course, because you’re a f**king racist.