God & Politics: Learning How to Decipher Truth from Talking Points.

“I’m merely repeating what I’ve seen that they [Planned Parenthood] have said, that has been reported publicly about what they’ve said.”

Let’s talk about politics in a way that is non-partisan and non-political. We are going to judge whether the logic used by Josh Earnest can be validated to prove his statement to be true, or if he has reasoned using a logical fallacy and tried to pass it off as logically valid and true. You need to lay aside your vested opinion of Abortion, Pro-Choice or Pro-life, and allow the logical statement to stand or fall based on its own merit not by the emotional energy you hold one way or the other.

Breitbart’s Charlie Spiering asked Josh Earnest how he knew that the Planned Parenthood videos are “Fraudulent” and edited in a selective manner that made the Planned Parenthood associates seem to be engaged in illegal and immoral behavior. His proposition is the videos are false and misleading concerning Planned Parenthood. His response was, “I’m merely repeating what I’ve seen that they [Planned Parenthood] have said, that has been reported publicly about what they’ve said.”

This is a time to employ a very simple question, “Says Who?” It’s a technique I have been working on for clarifying opinions that people state as facts. It happens in everyday conversation and people don’t seem to noticed or ask the speaker why they think the way they do, or by what evidence do they have to make such claims. Here are a few examples, “Apple products are the worst!”, “Tea Party members are terrorists!”, “It’s wrong to act that way”, “You shouldn’t say that”, or “Religion is the root of all evil.” The speaker rarely offers any explanation of why these things are true, but the fact he/she says it, and with great conviction gives the claim more weight than the opposing view. Let’s apply this technique to the Press Secretaries statements:

“There is ample reason to think that this is merely the tried and true tactic we’ve seen from extremists on the right to edit this video and selectively release an edited version of the video that grossly distorts the positions of the person who is in the video,” Earnest said in another video clip.

  • Says Who?
    • Josh Earnest
    • Planned Parenthood
    • The Center for Medical Progress released the unedited version as well, and they claim they didn’t selectively edit to create a false narrative.
      • One can refute Josh’s claim with a counter claim: There is sufficiet evidence to support the Center for Medical Progress did not alter these video to create a false narrative.
        • Says Who?
        • The Center for Medical Progress

(Both the refutation I offered and the Press Secretaries statements have equal validity. We’re both wrong.)

  • How does he know this to be true, meaning where does he get his evidence to support his claim?
    • He says Planned Parenthood told him.
      • “We want to acknowledge that hearing laboratory conversations about research out of context can be jarring, especially when the conversation is being manipulated for the purpose of attacking women’s health care,” said Vicki Cowart, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains on Thursday. “Nevertheless, this coordinated attack on women’s health will not deter us from providing essential reproductive health care and from advancing important medical research.”
      • On a side note, let’s point out the reification (redefine words and language understanding) efforts of Planned Parenthood to group the harvesting of baby organs to reimburse (or for profit) procedural costs and send to research facilities into Women’s Health.  There is no mention of the Baby’s health, when at this point it is only the baby that is involved; from the less invasive harvesting techniques used to render more organs usable to the dividing up of the baby’s organs piece by piece to gain a better “reimbursement”. None of this has anything to do with the health of the Mother, other women, or even other humans. The offense is against our conscience and the murdered baby, not women…unless of course the baby is a girl. Then well, it is ultimate violence against women. Doctors and Nurses legally robbing women of life; this is a genocide against women. Food for Thought.
  • Did the administration have the videos investigated and have physical evidence that these videos were selectively edited to employ political assassination of an organization operating in the highest of standards?
    • The is no evidence to suggest it has or will. they may have but he doesn’t use this as evidence. If he did have this kind of evidence it would make his statement valid.
      • Just because a claim or statement is valid doesn’t mean it is true.
  • Has he or the President seen all the videos and they have investigated (Department of Justice) or talked to both sides of the “scandal”?
    • It is not clear if anyone in the White House Staff has watched the videos, or if there is any indication that the DOJ will get involved. (See the video)

The only evidence supporting his claim is Planned Parenthood informed him, via public news media, that the videos are false and selectively edited. This claim and conclusion is a logical fallacy known as Affirming the Consequent.  For all the logic nerds, it is an illogical use of Modus Ponens:

If P, then Q

P, therefore Q

“If Planned Parenthood says the videos are fraudulent, then the videos are fraudulent. Planned Parenthood says the videos are fraudulent, therefore the videos are fraudulent.”

Affirming the Consequent is an incoherent statement that cannot be true. A person already has the conclusion of their argument and then constructs the statement to affirm what they already believe to be true. It is like saying Donald Trump is the most amazing person in the world, and answering “because he told me so” when asked how you came to this conclusion. One accepts the conclusion first, then they construct a claim to affirm the conclusion. It is false, illogical, and incoherent. So, whether or not there is evidence that would make his statement true and logically valid, he has refused to provide it making him wrong in his statement and conclusion. Josh Earnest has already accepted the videos are fraudulent, so he declares them to be false. He requires no evidence, nor does he provide any.

Until we, the discerning public, hold our officials to a standard of speaking coherent and cogent statements they will continue to troll non-sense and expect the public to swallow the illogical drivel with out protest. I, for one, refuse to let them push logical fallacies on us without contestation, not of a political nature but of a logical nature. In other words, the Press Secretary is not wrong because he is Pro-Choice (if he is), he is wrong because his reasoning is wrongheaded, and when our reasoning is wrongheaded, our conclusion will be wrong as well. He will have to produce evidence, that can be logically verified if he wants to prove his statement is true. The true or falseness of a claim rests solely on the claim itself, not on the emotions of the listeners.

Finally, if he constructed his answer with this intended falsehood to be portrayed as truth, then he is worse than wrong. He is false with intention to deceive…he is a liar. And by extension should have all of his previous and future statements scrutinized for possible logical fallacies and purposed deception. We must hold our elected leaders and their staff (irrespective of party) to an intellectually honest and objectively moral standard. If we refuse, then we must be content to be lied to on a consistent bases. We will knowingly accept and consent to all fallout from policies and explanations based in logical fallacies and incoherent reasoning. Our laws will not have to make sense and neither will the legal consequences for breaking an illogical law. Laws like publicly disagreeing with the current administration could earn you life in prison, while torturing babies for fun may only be a small fine. Our country will be run by the officials we deserve and desire: liars, deceivers, and intellectual frauds.