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alittlelost January 18th, 2013 08:18 AM

All Things are Equal -- Logical Fallacy or Appropriately Politically Correct
I'll start with this link to logical fallacies that some of you ladies may enjoy :)
Thou shalt not commit logical fallacies

Okay, onto the discussion. Ever encounter someone who wants to be so politically correct that they say things that are just plain . . . well, not true?

Here's an example. Though I love my husband dearly, he really believes that smoking is JUST as healthy as not smoking. I'm not saying he can't smoke. I don't judge him for smoking. But he equates two things (not smoking and smoking) as being equal.

Here's where the debate comes in. Maybe some people think that scientific evidence is not evidence enough, and so maybe it's just my opinion that smoking isn't as healthy not smoking.

I just used smoking as an example with my husband (smoking as we speak!) but there are other things. For example, when my sister in law was pregnant, she was coming off off drugs. She was on methadone. She told me that it was just as safe as being on nothing. (I'm very proud of her for coming off drugs and was devastated when she lost her baby at 8 months pregnant). She was also smoking, drinking caffeine non-stop, staying up all night most nights, ate nothing but junk food. This doesn't mean I judged her, but I did encourage her to make healthier choices. Each time, she insisted that those things were just as healthy as not doing those things. Was this logical fallacy, or just a matter of opinion?

For me, I do believe that people deserve equal right to make their choices (in fact, I think a lot more things should be legal and left up to a person than currently is), but I don't think that makes their decisions equal.

I don't see a point in judging people for making a choices that are proven to not be as healthy, but I can't agree with claiming those choices are equally as healthy/beneficial/etc when there is so much mass information that indicates otherwise.

So where do you stand? At what point is it not just a matter of opinion anymore? Is there a point that claiming unequal things are equal might just come from ignorance (ie--the person really just doesn't know better?) Are there things that truly are NOT created equal? Are there choices in life that truly aren't equal to other choices? Is it still "politically correct" or "acceptable" to say when things aren't created equal? Or are all choices in life truly equally as beneficial?

If there is substantial information out there that supports one thing being better than the next, is it reasonable to say those things are created equal? At that point, is it a logical fallacy, or is it just being appropriately politically correct?

In other words, should some things just not even BE debatable?

MindyRambo January 23rd, 2013 01:08 PM

Re: All Things are Equal -- Logical Fallacy or Appropriately Politically Correct
Good topic! Too bad this board is so dead lately though.

Honestly, I think people just like to talk themselves into things. Make themselves feel better about what they are doing. I am a smoker, and I actually can't imagine anyone trying to claim that smoking is equal to non smoking. That is just ludicrous, and you can tell your husband, another smoker said that! ;)

For example, I know I've heard that people have had their doctors tell them that smoking while pregnant as long as they are cutting down until they quit is better than going cold turkey. I still think it's INSANE, but I think the doctors are trying to encourage you.

I could see the same being true for your sister in law. Perhaps she asked the doctor if methadone was safe and he told her it's absolutely as safe as not taking methadone in an effort to keep her drug free. Even though in reality it's pretty obvious that taking nothing is better than methadone... but her reality is different than a drug free persons.

A lot of unhealthy things that people do, they are very well aware they are unhealthy. But they don't want to think about that, and they don't want to think about how it might affect their longevity.

Now I hate to even bring it up, but BF/FF can be different. Yes, breast is best, it can't be denied, but all things aren't equal unless everyone is able to breast feed. Which isn't the case. Some may also argue not everyone is able to quit smoking, but that I disagree with. You just have to want it bad enough.

And I believe everything is debatable ;) Just that certain variables change depending on what logical fallicy we are debating :)

alittlelost January 23rd, 2013 05:41 PM

Re: All Things are Equal -- Logical Fallacy or Appropriately Politically Correct
I agree with you 100%

Obviously breastmilk is best IF your able to give it, but not if you aren't. Neither does that mean it's BAD to FF. That's a great example you gave and think goes to show why sometimes things like that become debatable. Some things, though, I just SMH because I don't see HOW it's debatable (even though it obviously is--such as smoking versus not). I don't look down on smokers in any way--but if they are someone I can about, I want what is healthiest for them, which undeniably is to not smoke!

jk1954 April 30th, 2013 05:32 PM

Re: All Things are Equal -- Logical Fallacy or Appropriately Politically Correct
I don't things are ever equal in every important respect. What I think your dh and some others who argue that way might be getting at is that there are trade-offs in life, and certain things may be as important to him or more important than the health benefits of abstaining from smoking; in other words, that both sides of the balance sheet have to be looked at.

ratladee May 29th, 2013 12:52 PM

Re: All Things are Equal -- Logical Fallacy or Appropriately Politically Correct
My husband and I argue over this concept CONSTANTLY. He is a HUGE Libertarian Ron Paul fan. He is always preaching constitutional rights, and the government should stay out of things. Well when it comes to 2 VERY important topics, the human all of a sudden loses it's rights to his beloved constitution.
Circumcision and Abortion.

To him, a child is his property and he doesn't have rights to his own body.
BUT, he advocates against the RFI Chip. A bit hypocritical if you ask me.

And for abortion, he doesn't care. He said if I don't like it don't do it. But I ask him, don't we have the right to life? And he says but the million dollar question is when is it life? Well, science says at conception. That DNA will never naturally be duplicated. He says it's not the government's business to intervene when it comes to abortion. But I thought they are suppose to protect our rights? Life... Liberty? Happiness? Property? He is one huge contradiction and picks and chooses which part of the constitution he chooses to follow. He also picks on me because I'm so "indoctrinated" when I support Libertarian views just like him, but yet he finds full term breastfeeding and intact boys "gross" PLEASE tell me who is indoctrinated!


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