Logic Takes a Back Seat to Fear

It seems like at least 90% of the time, people who “disagree” with me don’t bother arguing against what I actually said. Instead, they throw out some tangent or irrelevant assertion or claim. It makes it rather difficult to have a rational debate when the “other side” isn’t actually saying anything about the original point.

For example, I might express the principle that it’s wrong to use violence against a huge category of people, based on what you think some of them might have done, or might later do. (The principle could be applied to “gun control,” to random searches, to interrogations of suspects, to spying on people, etc.)

In response to me stating that principle in the context of immigration, a statist might respond with something like, “But if we let Muslims come here, we’ll all be raped, killed and eaten!!!” (Okay, slight exaggeration of their fear-based emotionalism, but only slight.) They don’t seem to notice that such a response, whether factually true or not, is logically irrelevant to what I actually said. They don’t even bother to say things like, “Well if we’re really scared, then it’s okay to use violence against entire groups based on what some of them might later do,” even though that’s at least half implied in their response.

Of course, if that mentality was applied against those same people (e.g., “We’re really scared of what some people might do if they have guns, so we’re disarming everyone!”), they would be whining and screaming the loudest. So instead they don’t even address or attempt to refute the principle; they just proclaim how scary things are, as if that should make everyone abandon all logic or thought of morality.

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Larken Rose is an anarchist author best known for challenging the IRS to answer questions about the federal tax liability of citizens, and being put in prison with no questions answered. He is the author of The Most Dangerous Superstition.