A Proportion of Arrogant and Aggressive Fools

Facebook’s Mr Lee Butchart writes in support of… well, all right, not strictly in support of far-right nationalist group Britain First, but at least in opposition to those who criticise the group:

There are several logical fallacies and coherence failures in this comment.  The first is in his first sent…  Oh.  The whole comment is a single sentence.  I see.  Good, angry, stream-of-conciousness flow there, in the best traditions of frothing Internet ranters everywhere.  Well done, Lee.

All right, then: the first bit of his single sentence:

‘not 1 person that i have spoken with when talking about immigration ever mentions RACE funny that yet you far leftist..’

Blah blah lefty liberals blah.

We’re left to infer that everyone he’s ever spoken to about immigration agrees with his views – since if they disagreed, we can suppose they would qualify as ‘far leftist liberal douchebags’.

But the key logical fallacy that Lee presents us with is called a ‘false dichotomy’.  He strongly implies that there are only two possible positions on this debate: that of the ‘far leftist liberal douchebag’, and that of far right extremists like Britain First.  He’s employing a standard nationalist canard: that people opposing a far anti-immigration position are not willing to engage in discussion and debate about immigration.  To this we’d have to ask, “are Britain First willing to engage in discussion and debate about immigration”?

In case you don’t want to go looking for their website – and you probably don’t – I’ll tell you that they’re only willing to discuss it as long as the discussion goes their way.

A slightly less angry comment comes from Mr John Jackson, who would like to point out that ‘Moslems’ have their fair share of idiots:

He’s right, of course.  Every population of humans has a proportion of arrogant and aggressive fools.  But this isn’t any good reason to condone hatred or discrimination against those of that population who aren’t in that bracket.  We MUSTN’T – apparently – forget that there are some ‘Moslems’ who aren’t very nice people.  No, we must keep that at the forefront of our minds so that it will make us cautious and suspicious of every ‘Moslem’.

Incidentally, it’s always interesting to see such a very reasonable point of view put forward by someone who refers to Muslims as ‘Moslems’ – this being a rather outmoded term that’s often used intentionally as a political ‘dogwhistle‘.  It might be that John has used it innocently – but coupled with the overall angle he’s taken in his comment, I rather suspect he didn’t.

I may be wrong, of course.

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