Friday, April 24, 2009

A Problem with Tortured Logic

If you start with the premise that America is ALWAYS the good guy; always pure, always above board, always moral and ethical, then you have to conclude that everything that is done in the name of the country is good and positive.

"America does not torture" is the only conclusion that one can come to, considering that premise. If America is always good, then it follows that anything that is done in the name of America must also be good. If torture is defined as NOT good, then whatever done in the name of the country must not be torture ... because torture is bad. Therefore "America does not torture" becomes a hard and fast position.

The problem is that in mistaking a conclusion for a premise requires one to either ignore or redefine the evidence to fit the narrative that assumes America is always the good guy.

In real world logic, one first assembles and analyzes the evidence and then, based on the evidence, draws a conclusion.

I think it's important to make clear that, if the US engaged in torture, as the evidence seems to suggest ... the fact, in and of itself, does not make America bad. However, the means and degree to which we address the issues of law and justice involved will constitute evidence, one way or the other.

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