Erick Erickson poked the outrage bear the other day when he suggested that the Democrats’ current presidential candidate flavor-of-the-month Pete Buttigieg apparently believes that Jesus approves of bestiality. The responses ranged anywhere from enraged fury to complete loss of bodily function.
While some of those irate responses were nothing if not
entertaining, there was an ironic undercurrent behind the majority of them:
that Erickson was butchering logic to draw his conclusion. Mark Joseph Stern, a writer for leftwing
Slate, responded to Erick by scolding,
This is not how logic works.
What’s deliciously ironic about that is the fact that the whole point of Erickson’s column was to expose Buttigieg for his own demonstration of this faulty logic. Buttigieg, like most all those who consider themselves Christian while persisting in what the Bible calls unrepentant sin, justifies his conduct with a logical fallacy known as argumentum ex silentio (argument from silence). A common example: “Jesus didn’t say anything about homosexuality, therefore He must not have had any problems with homosexual conduct.”
Expressing conclusions based on the absence of statements
rather than their presence is poor scholarship, poor reasoning, poor
thinking. And that’s exactly what
Erickson was calling Buttigieg out for doing.
Defending his indefensible (from a supposedly Christian viewpoint)
support of vicious third trimester abortions, here’s Buttigieg being quoted by Kirsten Powers in USA Today:
Buttigieg criticized right-wing Christians for “saying so much about what Christ said so little about, and so little about what he said so much about.” Let’s parse this insightful formulation: “Saying so much about what Christ said so little about” applies to the religious right’s treatment of abortion as a litmus test for Christian faith, when in fact Jesus never mentioned the issue.
If that isn’t argumentum ex silentio, the phrase has no meaning. Buttigieg is foolishly suggesting that “since Jesus didn’t say anything about 21st century dilation and extraction baby killing, we should be more silent about it too.” That’s flatly absurd and he deserves to be intellectually embarrassed and spiritually ashamed to utter such a justification. And it seems apparent to any thinking person that is precisely why Erickson exposed him as he did.
Erickson’s premise was simple: replace the issue of abortion with another morally questionable practice. “Since Jesus didn’t say anything about men having sex with animals, He must have been cool with it.” It’s a ridiculous proposition and completely untenable logic.
But it’s exactly the illogic that Buttigieg had voiced to justify his cowardly capitulation to the abortion cult. It’s mind boggling that all those criticizing Erickson for his “lack of logic” managed to totally miss that. Blind partisanship can do amazing things.