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  • Ah, a witch hunt.

  • Humans are tireless in their pursuit of reason.

  • "It's 1950.

  • Following threats from the communist governments of the Soviet Union and China,

  • anti-communist sentiment in the United States is at an all-time high.

  • Senator Joseph McCarthy claims he has a list of 205 communists in the US

  • who are influencing government policy."

  • Didn't I just change the channel?

  • Ah, I see. It's a different witch hunt.

  • "The senate forms a committee to investigate McCarthy's claims.

  • McCarthy names his first case:

  • against prominent lawyer, judge, and activist Dorothy Kenyon.

  • He accuses her of membership to 28 organizations that are communist fronts.

  • Newspapers around the country rush to her defense,

  • pointing out her vocally anti-communist record.

  • The senate committee schedules a hearing anyway,

  • and she has just five days to prepare."

  • This is too much.

  • If the government won't be a voice of reason, I'll have to.

  • That's better.

  • I'm surprised you good legislators have agreed to move this hearing forward.

  • You're falling prey to a type of argument from ignorance:

  • assuming that a claim is true because it hasn't been proven false.

  • The claim being Senator McCarthy's accusations against Judge Kenyon,

  • for which he provided no legitimate evidence.

  • Is that right? I thought so.

  • Some of the so-called communist organizations he accused her of joining

  • don't even exist.

  • To assume a claim is true because it hasn't been proven false

  • ignores many other possibilities:

  • that it hasn't been proven false yet, that it can't be proven true or false,

  • or that it isn't completely true or completely false, to name a few.

  • This leads to a handy rule of thumb:

  • the burden of proof lies with the person making the claim.

  • In other words, you make the claim, you supply the proof.

  • If someone told you aliens exist,

  • would you head off to find proof that they don't exist?

  • Of course not.

  • You'd tell that person to show you the UFO.

  • The same applies when someone makes a claim

  • that contradicts an established consensus.

  • So when all the available evidence suggests

  • that humans are causing an increase in global temperatures,

  • the burden of proof has been fulfilled

  • if you disagree, it becomes your responsibility to prove otherwise.

  • Right?

  • Ah, I've gotten ahead of myself.

  • You'll see what I mean soon enough.

  • Anyway, your legal system supposedly recognizes this rule

  • so what are you all doing here?

  • "It's July 17th, 1950,

  • and the senate subcommittee has officially dismissed all charges against Kenyon."

  • As they should!

  • "It's 1954, and the senate has formally disciplined McCarthy."

  • Took them long enough!

  • "He will serve out the rest of his term,

  • but will never again be elected to a public office.

  • Because of his widespread anti-communist influence,

  • hundreds of people have been incarcerated, and thousands have lost their jobs."

  • Ah! Look what the communists did!

Ah, a witch hunt.

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B1 communist mccarthy claim proof proven senate

Can you outsmart the fallacy that started a witch hunt? - Elizabeth Cox

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/10/26
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