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The Map Can Never Be the Territory and Why Brett Kavanaugh is Not Truthful

Published on 25/09/18
by randy

The Map Can Never Be the Territory and Why Brett Kavanaugh is Not Truthful

Once again a group of attorneys who are afraid to admit uncertainty will engage in old school procedures to determine the ‘truth’. Yet, the truth can never be known as we guess who to believe through our filters of political bias. Both sides will go to great length to convince us who has the credibility in their ‘story’. And that’s all it is, a story, a memory or not from decades ago. This is a time where the Democrats need the famous general semanticist, Sen. S. I. Hayakawa. The Republicans are masters at shielding awareness through a number of divisive techniques:

Name calling. i.e. mixed up woman
Appealing to Authority, thinking a statement is true simply because it comes from a renowned authority.
Appeal to the Club, “proving “ a statement by pointing out that the majority of people consider it true.
Over confidence in an age-old belief or tradition, i.e. pushing patriarchy over the matriarch or the belief the full story can be found through Aristotelian logic.
Reasoning in a circle or ‘begging the question’, where one uses the assumption of truth to prove its own truth i.e. Brett is a man of impeccable character now so he must have been that way when in high school.
Arguing from ignorance. “I can’t recall the event you accused me of, so you must be lying.”
Exploitation of pity. “Brett has an outstanding career and a great future as one of our justices. He couldn’t have possibly committed the crime the accuser speaks of.” The factors outlined have nothing to do with whether or not he committed the crime.
Sincerity. We sometimes hear the expression, “Well, at least he’s sincere in his beliefs.” This is offered as a mitigating factor, as if sincerity necessarily enables a person or validates a belief. I suspect by now that Brett fully believes he didn’t do what Dr. Ford claims. I’m sure he’s a master at convincing others of his ‘story’. That’s all it is, his story. Yet, here we are again giving ear to an untruth when he claims complete denial. The event was not significant for him and lost in the plasticity of memory. I don’t dispute that he doesn’t recall the event. Most of us only recall a few very significant events from decades ago, let alone, weeks ago. The true test for this would be to research several events that took place when he was in high school and ask him to categorically confirm or deny their truth. At this point he could correct his ‘untruth’ to “I don’t recall”, the only plausible truthful response for this situation.
Irrelevant conclusion. Suppose we argue that Brett has a law degree, has served in the legal system for years, establishing the highest regard from the Federalist Society. Dr. Ford doesn’t earn as much money, hasn’t served in the legal system, and doesn’t have a law degree, so, therefore, we must conclude that Brett is telling the truth.
Composition. “Dr. Ford is a university instructor with ‘elite’ thinking and an advocate for women’s rights, therefore she’s simply a pawn for the Democrats.”
Division. Here we begin with a higher level of abstraction and identify with a lower. i.e. Paul is a citizen of the US, a wealthy country. In the fallacy division we then conclude that Paul possesses wealth too.
Appeals to the baser emotions of fear, hatred, pride, or greed. Canny manipulators well acquainted with crowd psychology have used their skills to arouse fear and resentment to whip up hatred. We’ll have plenty of this going around as today’s opinion media feeds on conflict, fear and anger.
Argumentative Leap. I might argue that A can act better than B, because A won an Oscar, whereas B has not. My statement only proves that more people voted for A.

There are several other techniques that shield us from awareness to the territory. Again, we’ll never have the full territory, only the most accurate maps we can construct. People enter our judicial system with ‘their map’. Many have convinced themselves of a new story. I’ve seen this play out too many times.

Trump’s old school power thinking of ‘deny, deny, deny’ ignores the truth. The only authentic, truthful answers we can provide are, “For me, this is what I recall or don’t recall”. Dr. Ford has a memory. She can only say, “For me, this is what I recall from that event decades ago.” The trauma of the event and the corroboration presented so far may have her in a more believable position. Yet, the real issue here is Brett’s categorical denial of an event he’s very likely forgotten. I suspect that if he had been raped by a man at that age it would clearly be in his memory. When you go from a black and white conclusion from decades of lapsed memory it’s clear to me he’s not the justice we need to serve in the intricacies of legal decisions that affect us all. At the very least, there is no option but for him to correct his denial and state, “I simply don’t recall that event.” Period.

Ref.: The Children of Prometheus by William Dallman

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