Sunday, May 17, 2009

Begging is everywhere

What's everywhere? Incorrect references to the "begging the question" logical fallacy. I know, it's a little needle, but it annoys all the same.

A while back someone corrected me on my use of begs the question. I had used the phrase when "raises the question" was appropriate. Now, just like a reformed ... you name it ..., I can see the annoying begging everywhere.

Let's set the record straight with an example: Your friend is about to leave on a three-week vacation to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. He calls to tell you what he packed. He says, "Since tomorrow's weather in Sault Ste. Marie is going to be 75 degrees, I only packed summer clothes."

He comment raises a question: Did he also pack his swimming suit?

The question raised flows from the comment -- if one packs for summer weather, a bathing suit is an essential.

His argument also begs a question: What makes him believe that the weather in Sault Ste. Marie during May will stay summer-like for three weeks?

Here the premise itself is called into question. His packing argument works if you assume -- with him -- that the weather in Sault Ste. Marie is unchanging in May. Of course, that is one hefty assumption.

Remember to beg only when begging is due; raise in all other instances.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ron Paul's son, Rand, is challenging Sen. Jim Bunning for his US Senate seat. Jim Bunning is not raising money, and Mitch McConnell--the senior Senator from Kentucky--is not lifting a finger (or writing a check from his flush PAC) to help him. Nor is anyone else from the GOP senatorial caucus.

Bunning has always been out-of-touch, impersonal, and a bit of a jerk. I'd hate to be on the opposing end of thousands of Ron Paul supporters writing checks for my opponent, which is where Bunning will be in the coming months.

The current economic environment makes Ron Paul look like a sage, and by extension his son will surely cut a stark contrast to the rank and file, Laissez Faire GOP Big Spenders of the last eight years who sat idly by and let our national treasure be squandered by those in our own Party. I'm sure the apple did not fall far from the Paul Family Tree and that son Rand is solid.

Let's give Jim Bunning a big "See Ya" when Rand Paul defeats him handily this November.