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You’re the Racist!

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In response to a video version of the first D&D and racism essay I did, a viewer posted “yet another racist feeling guilt trying to project their racism onto others, but this one attempting to use logic and his “appeal to superiority” with his college knowledge…” I do not know whether this was a sincere criticism or mere trolling, but the tactics employed are common enough to be worth addressing critically. There is a lot going on in that single sentence, which is itself a rhetorical tactic analogous to throwing matches in a dry forest. Throwing the matches is quick and easy; putting out the small fires they start takes time and effort. But if they are not addressed, the “match thrower” can claim they have scored points. This creates a nasty dilemma: if you take time to respond to these tossed matches, you are using way more time than the attacker, so even if you “win” you “win” little because they have invested so little in the attacks. If you do not respond, then they can claim victory. This would also be an error on their part: a lack of response does not prove that a claim is correct. The references to using logic and college knowledge seem to be an attempt at a common tactic I have addressed before, which is the “argument against expertise.” It occurs when a person rejects a claim because it is made by an authority/expert and has the following form:   Premise 1: Authority/expert A makes claim C. Conclusion: Claim C is false.   While experts can be wrong, to infer that an expert is wrong because they are an expert is obviously absurd and an error in reasoning. This can be illustrated by a person concluding that there must be nothing wrong with their car solely because an expert mechanic said it had an engine issue. That would clearly be bad reasoning. The person is also using an ad hominem and a straw man attack. In the video I explicitly note that I am giving my credentials to establish credibility and also note that I should. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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