Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Restatement of Maxims

I really enjoy how we try to summarize unacceptable behavior through quaint maxims which thereby attempt to render said behavior acceptable. Example: "Boys will be boys." This is like saying "Criminals will be criminals." "Well, sure, he smashed the window and ripped his new khakis and broke his arm falling off the rooftop...but boys will be boys." That's not really a good a excuse, though. Stating your opinion as a truism doesn't magically make it an argument. It's like when people who are anti-capital punishment say the death penalty is bad because "the government should't execute people." That's not really an argument. That's just your opinion restated. It's like reading one of those Internet chatboards where the person writes, "This clip wasn't funny because it makes racist jokes and therefore it's not funny." That's A-to-B logic, all right; the problem is it's also B-to-A.

I also enjoy the phrase, "It's just business." This is the first and last resort of people who are attempting to justify their complete lack of scruples in their professional life. Sure, you may have evicted a poor immigrant family of 7 from their home to build yet another mini-mall; sure, you may have backstabbed your friend of 20 years; sure, you may peddle a product that has a tendency to kill the consumers who use it; but hey, that's okay, because it's all "just business."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:00 PM  

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