Charles Young

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What is truly offensive about Richard Dawkins' comments on date rape and paedophilia is his air of intellectual superiority founded on hopeless ignorance of basic logic.  He believes the following to be an invalid syllogism:

X is Bad

Y is Worse

Therefore X is not Bad

A syllogism can be valid or invalid, but it remains a syllogism.  As Aristotle might have put it…

All syllogisms have a middle term that appears in both the major and minor premises

In Dawkins’ example, the middle term does not appear in the minor premise

Therefore Dawkins’ example is not a syllogism

He might also have said…

For all syllogisms, the minor term is the subject of the conclusion

In Dawkins’ example the minor term does not appear in the conclusion

Therefore Dawkins’ example is not a syllogism

Modus Baroco, x2

Using fancy technical terms to try to convince others how clever you are only works if you actually know what those terms mean.

posted on Thursday, July 31, 2014 1:10 AM