Re: virus: Pedigogical value of fallacious argument

David Leeper (
Sun, 27 Oct 1996 21:55:17 -0500

Kevin O'Connor,

: >The question I'm asking is would the martyrdom meme have any effect if
: >the
: >situation of these
: >people were not desperate? If the answer is "No", then the martyrdom
: >meme
: >is not what is
: >affecting people, but rather it's the desperation of the situation.
: >"Martyrdom", then, becomes
: >an attractive wrapper around the truth.
: >It must have been written in Seattle then!
: >Like most of Lewis Vaugn's work, this is a third-rate argument.
: Wow. Fallacy of the single cause, the genetic fallacy, and an ad
: hominem attack all on the same day. You used an appeal to fear as well,
: but that seemed to be used as intentional humor. Do you have some
: pedigogical motive behind this string of fallacies? If so, I'm anxious
: to see how you bring the lesson to fruition.

I'm a mean son of a bitch, ain't I! : )

1] Fallacy of the single cause:
Not so if it actually _is_ the only cause, which is my argument.
IMHO, the martyrdom meme is an effect of desperation, not a cause
of bombings. In another posting on this topic you write:

: Sure, the Palestinians have it bad. They have been deprived of their
: political autonomy and are subjects of a government in which they are not
: represented. But for the most part, they aren't starving. They're not
: dropping dead from disentary. Lot's of people are, but they aren't the
: ones turning themselves into human bombs.

...which I'd say actually supports my argument. As you recall, I've
believe that both the PLO and the IRA have arisen due to threats on
their homeland from outside forces. No such threat exists for the
starving people you offer as a counter-example.

2] It must have been written in Seattle then!
This was a joke (and a damn funny one). I was Seattle before Seattle was

3] Like most of Lewis Vaugn's work, this is a third-rate argument.
Allow me to defend this with some circular definitions:

Pseudo-Intellectual: See Lewis Vaugn.
Pseudo-Spiritual: See Lewis Vaugn.
New-Age Loser: See Lewis Vaugn.
Feces-Encrusted Thought Process: See Lewis Vaugn
Can't Get A Date: See Lewis Vaugn.

Lewis Vaugn: A Pseudo-Intellectual, Pseudo-Spiritual, New-Age Loser
with a Feces-Encrusted Thought Process who Can't Get A Date.

David Leeper
Homo Deus