WitoverSophistry

Of Wisdom and Foolishness

The realm of comedy for making political statements and shaping public opinion has long been dominated by the liberal left. It makes sense. Conservatives are more straight-laced and serious and therefore easy targets. But as Jay Leno demonstrated in the weeks before stepping down from the Tonight Show, heavily criticizing liberal politicians and social policy can draw exceedingly high ratings. So the sword cuts both ways; it is just that fewer people swing the sword leftward.

Comedic talents on the political right include Rush Limbaugh and his parodist cohort, Paul Shanklin, as successes but most other attempts have been weak or failed, whether they be in TV or movies. Nevertheless, it is a growing trend among those on the right to parody and poke fun at those on the left in an attempt to turn the tables to some degree. Where intellectual arguments are most often met with failure, the poignant punchline can prick the pickle, so to speak, sometimes.

Leftward logic and humor tend to be heavily dominated by mockery, derision, hostility, often lots of foul language, and a strong play on emotions. Shallow arguments based emotion and stirring rhetoric are called sophistry, a form of false wisdom. Rightward thinking people tend to use actual logic (like noting that men and women were made for sexual union and same-sex couples were not) but this escapes the leftward thinker. Rightward thinkers also tend to not play on emotions as successfully as leftward thinkers do, probably because they are less emotionally driven than their counterparts. We who engage in apologetics readily admit emotionally driven people are the most irrational we encounter. One person who commented on the cartoon below was happy to tell me that he hated Christians because of the Christian stance against homosexual marriage.  I asked him if he also hated Orthodox Jews and Muslims, but never got a response. Oddly enough, he said he was a Christian and somehow that allowed him to feel free to hate his fellow Christians.  Hate for fellow Christians isn’t a Christian value, but perhaps he’s not read the Bible yet. We can consider him logically challenged. His emotions clearly overwhelm his reasoning faculties.

So it is with so many who claim to be Christians and yet deny core church doctrines on marriage and homosexual sin. It’s doctrine à la carte day in Christianville!  “I’ll have a little sin please, but leave off the homosexual sin. I just don’t like the way it tastes. Too gritty or something.  A touch of adultery would be fine, though. And I’ll need a little drunkenness to go with that. Oh, and not too much Hell this time around either. Grace? Yes, I’ll have a heaping helping of grace! Pour it over the mashed potatoes and false doctrine, please.”

The cartoon below appeared on the Facebook page of a very liberal former student. It is sophistry.  It attempts to mock parental concern about homosexual marriage. The inference one is to draw from this is that children don’t care about homosexual marriage so no one else should care about it either. It is dismissed with a cookie as if the topic were utterly irrelevant. However, because a child finds things irrelevant doesn’t mean that they actually are irrelevant.  Thus, my muse was struck and I proposed a more witty and realistic follow-up conversation following the child getting a cookie. As a father of four, I have some experience in such matters.  But, shockingly, my liberal friend and his friends on Facebook (all but one) did not find my sense of humor all that amusing. Therefore, feeling under appreciated, as a humorist, I have posted the cartoon and my witty rejoinder here, where I trust it will be more highly valued (wink, wink) by a more general audience.

gay-marriageAfter the Cookie
Then, when the child gets his cookie he asks, “But how are babies made without a mommy and daddy?”

The biological father gets to answer, “Oh babies come from lots of places. Sometimes they’re found at a godless, secular adoption agency (because Catholic adoption services and those like them were closed since they had religious objections to homosexual marriage). Other times they are made in a lab test tube because gay marriage is unnatural marriage. It can’t produce children but sometimes people like to pretend there’s no difference! You’ve played pretend before haven’t you?”

The gender-specific-male child replies, “Yes! We used to pretend that there was a monster under the couch and it would eat me if I put my foot on the floor. But I’m too old for that now. Is it something like that, daddy?” to which the naturally male father who conceived the child with his naturally female mother says, “Something like that son. There’s also a cabbage patch option and a stork delivery system, too. But we can talk about that later. “

Glancing down at his cookie and 2% farm fresh milk from a cow naturally conceived by a male and female bovine, the son thoughtfully says, “But my friend Johnny says it’s wrong for boys to marry boys.” “Oh, really, son?” the natural father replies, “Why does he say that?” The young progeny replies, “Because his dad said that God says it’s wrong. And his dad says that God made marriage for boys and girls and that it’s a sin if you do it wrong.”

Dad (the male complement to a mom) replies, in his [note the use of the male pronoun “his” which is opposite of the female pronoun “her”] great wisdom, “Like I said, sometimes adults like to play pretend. Sometimes adults like to pretend boys marrying boys is the same as natural marriage – like when a boy marries a girl, the way Johnny’s dad said God designed it. And sometimes adults like to pretend that it isn’t a sin. That way they feel better about themselves.”

“Why don’t they feel good about themselves, daddy?” the boy asks. “Well,” says dad, “it’s because the Bible that Johnny’s dad reads says they will go to Hell if they don’t stop sinning.”  Puzzled, the boy asks, “What is Hell, dad?” “Oh,” adds the father, “it is a terribly hot place run by a bad guy and his army of bad people where people go when they die if they’ve not done what God said they should do. Kind of like, . . . Cuba. So if they pretend it’s not sin, then they can have all their fun and live guilt-free!”

The sexually conceived male offspring now replies, “I thought when you got big you quit playing pretend, daddy.” Wisely the biological father now says, “You should, son, you should.” The boy responds, “Gay marriage sounds dumb.” The conjugally married male parent responds, “I knew you’d figure it out son. Way to go! I knew your mother’s genes weren’t that bad. Have another cookie.”

2 thoughts on “Of Wisdom and Foolishness”

  1. As the liberal student you reference, you lost me when you made hasty generalizations that state “Leftward logic and humor tend to be heavily dominated by mockery, derision, hostility, often lots of foul language, and a strong play on emotions. Shallow arguments based emotion and stirring rhetoric are called sophistry, a form of false wisdom. Rightward thinking people tend to use actual logic…”

    That in itself is an illogical statement and use of hasty generalization. You can read more about that here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hasty_generalization

    I like how you selectively post the conversation into this blog and forget how you yourself, once again, made awful, illogical generalizations about LGBT parenting, in which I refuted by citing multiple academic studies that show children raised in two-parent lgbt households have the same outcomes as children raised in heterosexual households.

    Also the person you reference as hating Christians is a male. But yes, pick the one statement that validates your blog and dismiss every other thing that was said in that thread. I’m still waiting for all this “research” from peer-reviewed resources that you have on lgbt parenting. Vlogs from unnamed resources do not count.

    1. Whether you like it or not, generalizations are true. It’s a sociological observation of human behavior. Happily, it is not exclusively true in all cases but that is why it is a generalization. Without generalization we would not have the comedy people use most frequently. We love to generalize about men and women: women love to shop; men do not. Generally, that is true. Atheists are predominately liberal and very often hateful and abusive. Brother Sam Singleton is an example of that class, but it filters down to the underlings quite well in my experience. Whoopi Goldberg is one who comes to mind who has said some outrageous things. She clearly stands on the liberal left. We live life generalizing every day. It is part of how we understand our world and learn to cope with it.

      Furthermore, in my use of terminology I allow for exceptions. Words like “tend to” and “leftward” allow for a spectrum of behavior where the exceptions to the rule apply. That should be obvious to a careful and educated reader. Otherwise it is an ill-conceived knee-jerk reaction to personal “hot button” words.

      Your selective memory on the LGBT parenting discussion is indeed highly selective. As you fail to recall, I was answering a response to someone else and at the end I mentioned that some people would claim there is harm in homosexual parenting (I did not mention BT). This caused you to go into a frenzy of short, accusative posts. I, myself, never made that argument and I made multiple posts to you specifically to state that I was not making that argument in the post. That’s another selective memory failure. I plainly stated that my argument dealt with biology (nature) and history (selective memory failure); and I told you numerous times that I would not supply references defending that position since I was not making the claim in the post (selective memory failure again). I also told you that making such claims led to a “my study is better than your study” argument and that I did not have time in my life to do such evaluations (selective memory failure). So I was happy to leave that to others. Potential harm was only an observation of a potential problem the other commenter would have to address because some people do make that argument. Nor is the argument of harm limited to parenting. It also covers religious freedom and other topics. You also fail to remember that I said that the homosexual parenting experiment was so new in world history that we have not yet gotten good data on it, which really makes all the reports to date weak and provisional. Hardly the kind of information we need to make long-term societal changes to marriage. So with so many memory failures on your part the offense of selective memory clearly falls into your court.

      Not knowing the person and by name and picture he appeared to be a she. But that’s easily corrected. You conveniently overlook all of the other angry responses people made,too. His was the most memorable and since you deleted the conversation I had to work from memory. In fact, for probably an hour I sat and answered one post right after another. One person even wished Pat Robertson would come on so that I would have some help! LOL. I was the only one actively participating in support of my position and there were more than enough posts to keep me busy. The only reason that I know that one friend of yours approved my arguments is because he/she “liked” a whole string of them.

      So while I’m on the subject of your argumentative failures, I don’t remember any coherent argument against my claims that biology determines what marriage is. I vaguely remember you making unfounded claims that marriage evolves and homosexuality should be the next evolution. I said that marriage is fundamentally and has always been a heterosexual event. You tried to throw the Indian “two-spirits people” objection at me, to which I replied that they were not homosexual marriages as we are defining homosexual marriages. In fact, the Indians felt that one body had TWO spirits – one male and one female – trapped inside. So the female spirit that dominated a male body was still viewed as female. Thus the husband of the female-spirited individual still had a male spirit and this was spiritually a heterosexual marriage. It was clearly an accommodation by tribes to wrestle with this very small group of people who were abnormal by tribal standards. You never gave me any refutation of that analysis. So you were full of vim and vigour, but lacking in substantive responses and developing a coherent argument. Most of what you posted were just challenges to me to which you did not respond.

      If you truly want responses from people who do argue the “harm” aspect of homosexual marriage, then do a quick Google search and you will find plenty. The Family Research Council is one of them. Also, in private messages I pointed you to the Regnerus study of 2012 which demonstrated some problems with homosexual households and to Robert A. J. Gagnon’s works which have such references. So it is not true that I have not supplied you with anything even though I am not compelled by my argument to do so. You’ve found it easy to toss out accusation upon accusation but you have yet to do the hard work of constructing coherent and substantive arguments in support of your position or counter-arguments against my position. Thus, you are highly charged emotionally about this issue but are intellectually deficient in defending it. You wear your liberalism well. That is why the liberal position is sophistry. It sounds good when you shout “equality” and “love” and it emotionally moves young, underdeveloped, non-critical thinkers. It does nothing to impress people prone to real logic and not pseudo logic.

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