Conservatives – A Blast from the Past

6 09 2006

argumentum ad antiquitatem

 This post is for all those conservatives out there.  I want to introduce you to a term you evidently are not familiar with: argumentum ad antiquitatem.  This is the logical fallacy known as the appeal to tradition.

Appeal to Tradition . . . is a common logical fallacy in which someone proclaims his or her accuracy by noting that “this is how it’s always been done.” Essentially: “This is right because we’ve always done it this way.”

The assumption behind this argument is that whatever reason led to the old methods of thinking is still valid today. If circumstances have changed, this may be a false assumption.

I see this type of argument being made again and again, and usually (not always) by conservatives.  This is the argument that people used to attack people who wanted to abolish slavery.  This is the argument that people used to keep women from suffrage.  (Yes yes, note my use of: appeal to emotion)

Honestly though.  This type of argument assumes that the world and the social organism are static things.  It assumes that nothing changes from year to year, decade to decade, or century to century.  Yet whenever I read something about gay marriage, I always see something similar to this:

The Massachusetts Supreme Court concocted a state constitutional right to marry persons of the same sex. The court went on to say that opposing views lacked so much as a rational basis. In other words, centuries of common-law tradition, legislative sanction and human experience with marriage as a bond between one man and one woman were deemed by that court unworthy to the point of irrationality.

It is obvious that the author of this particular article thinks that it’s silly to think anything other than gay marriage is wrong because of tradition.  Well sir, I think you’re silly!

Silly in that way that makes me sad.  Times have changed my friends.  And I have yet to see a logically presented argument against gay marriage.  In the words of our illustrious leader, “bring it on.”

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6 09 2006

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