I have been observing the reactions from you all and the general populace to the recent action in France. I was stunned by the false rhetoric, propaganda, and fear mongering based upon nothing more than false pretenses. This got me thinking about some of the logical fallacies. We all know what they are, yet seem determined to ignore them as they fly by your FaceBeast feed in meme form and drive by comments. I decided to do a quick bit on a few of these as a refresher to those who may be otherwise mislead on current events. This will be part one in a series as we pick them apart. I’ll start with the appeal to antiquity.
When it comes to something like immigration (legal, illegal, refugee, or otherwise), many otherwise charitable people have transformed into sniveling, paranoid xenophobes. But has not migration has been the natural state of man since the beginning of civilization? Were it not for this movement of people we would all be piled on top of each other somewhere in Africa. Take the hot-button issue of Syrian refugees. You stood by and did nothing while your government wreaked havoc on their country and created their “refugee” condition, but you sure as shit don’t want them to come here. You’ll happily pay to bomb the fuck out of them for no good reason, but you don’t want to pay for the inevitably ensuing fallout. So why do we so easily dismiss people from other lands whose livelihoods, families, and homes we have destroyed? Because it’s the way we’ve always done it, so it must be right. Enter, stage right, the appeal to antiquity. Empires have historically pillaged and plundered weaker nations, therefore it must be OK.
In a fundamental sense, borders are really nothing more than markers of where two rival factions of land thieves ran out of energy to fight each other. Once these imaginary lines are staked, the members of one gang naturally want to protect their turf against anyone who is not a member of the tribe. Why do we think this way? Because it’s the way we’ve always done it that way, therefore it must be right. Enter, stage left, the appeal to antiquity.
The Huns, Vandals, Khans and Persians all performed migration by force. The Colonists by and large took the Americas by force against native Americans. The Mexicans once owned most of the US southwest, the Spanish much of he Gulf Coast, and the same for both the French and Dutch. Our current borders were by and large established by purchasing tracts of occupied territory from these nations, but just as often it was done through armed conflict; ergo, the oldest way in the book to take over any given piece of ground. Why do we justify these violent actions against others to further our well being? Because we’ve always done it that way, therefore it must be right. Enter, center stage, the appeal to antiquity.
The fallacy is that actions and ideas are not justified simply by the existence of precedence.
Feel free to either agree or not. These are just random ruminations in my head over a cup of coffee.
Remember kids, keep your friends close, your enemies closer, and your fallacies at arms length.