Do the Twist: 1.3 ≠ 2Take the example of gummy bears. Let’s say for a moment that gummy bears have 2 grams of protein per serving. This is a pretty insignificant amount, but some gummy bears like to go around telling everyone how healthy they are simply because of this protein. I don’t approve of this. While I understand that gummy bears didn’t choose to have 2 grams of protein per serving (and there’s nothing wrong with having only this amount), I don’t think they should go around bragging about it and telling everyone that it’s healthy to eat them. This is called disapproval. It looks something like this:
(Sadly, that’s about 2-3 days’ growth on my chin. Pinocchio, some day you’ll be a real man.)
Now, some gummy bears don’t like this disapproval. They think that because they have 2 grams of protein per serving that it follows that they must promote themselves based on their healthfulness. In fact, the gummy bears have seen fit to call this minimal amount of protein their defining characteristic. And because I disapprove of the way they go around being dishonest, they call this persecution. Persecution of gummy bears would look something like this:
(Three gummy bears were harmed in the making of this photograph. They gave their lives, submitting to crucifixion, so that I could make a point.)
As you can clearly see, persecution is not the same thing as disapproval. The difference may seem subtle, but it’s there, as you can see either from the illustrative photos or from the linked dictionary definitions. Extreme disapproval could, surely, lead to persecution, but those who understand that all tasty treats are God’s children would refrain from actual persecution of gummy bears.
Take also the example of two colors. Even assuming that they are both blue, it does not follow that they are the same hue. Sky blue is not the same thing as navy.
Conversely, were I to believe that claiming healthfulness based on a 2 gram per serving protein content is okay, that would not necessarily mean that I am signing on to the “gummy bear agenda.”
Do the Twist: Up ≠ DownNow, you would think that everyone could agree with the statement that up is not the same thing as down. But alas, some people don’t agree, at least when they think it helps their position. I could say, for example, that gummy bears are tasty. But some people think that I should let gummy bears tell everyone that they’re high in protein. Some of those people think this way:
Premise 1: Kelly said that gummy bears shouldn’t tell everyone they’re high in protein.Now, as you can plainly see, the problem with this argument is that Premise 3 is flawed. In fact, the conclusion doesn’t even normally follow from the rest of the argument. Most of the time an ad hominem attack will be either a true statement or a statement that could logically follow from other facts, assuming you pick which facts to ignore. But this ad hominem attack does neither.
Premise 2: I disagree with Kelly’s statement.
Premise 3: Ad hominem attacks are a valid way to make a point.
Conclusion: Even though Kelly said that gummy bears are tasty, I will say that he in fact doesn’t believe that gummy bears are tasty. I will go so far as to say that he even said that gummy bears taste terrible!
It states an outright lie.
Even normal ad hominem attacks are bad though. If you disagree with my position on gummy bears, it doesn’t make any sense to attack my position on licorice or my overindulgence in coffee.
Perhaps these people simply want to start some Internet drama. But, as the late Patches O’Houlihan might say, Internet drama makes you “look like a bunch of retards trying to hump a doorknob.”
Do the Twist: Assume Improper MotiveNow, let’s assume for a moment that I say that gelatin is made out of people. You don’t believe what I said. You find it to be a patently ridiculous statement.
Gummy bears contain gelatin.
Naturally, I say that you shouldn’t eat gummy bears. If I think they’re made from people, then I would want to prevent the killing of people to make gummy bears. You, not believing my premise (that gelatin is people) don’t agree that we should stop eating gummy bears. You should not, however, assume that I just don’t want you to eat tasty treats. Just because you find my conclusion preposterous does not create the presumption that I have an improper motive. If you think about it, it’s even more preposterous that someone would want to interfere with your right to eat tasty treats than any other conclusion could be.
On the other hand, anyone who doesn’t believe that gelatin is made of people is not a callous murderer. If you don’t think it’s murder, then you are a champion of the right to eat tasty treats.