Tuesday, July 26, 2011

No True Scotsman

Ever since the inconvenient truth of Oslo madman Anders Breivik's right-wing/Christian philosophy became clear, I've been waiting for American conservatives to roll out the "No True Scotsman" argument to defend themselves. Are you familiar with this strategy? It goes like this:

A: No Scotsman would eat a live puppy.
B: But I just saw Sean Connery eat one right over there! Look! He's eating one now!
A: No true Scotsman would eat a live puppy.

Keep your eyes open, because you'll be seeing this logical fallacy a lot. Want a good example? Here's Bill O'Reilly going on and on and on about how Breivik isn't really a Christian; he can't be, because No True Christian would do such a thing!

Besides, it's all a liberal media plot to make Christians look bad. Don't forget who the real victims are here!

UPDATE: it looks like Andrew Sullivan's readers also pegged O'Reilly's rant as a "No True Scotsman" construct.


RandyH said...

It has been going on since they figured out that it wasn't Muslim Terrorists that committed this atrocity. Then they went silent for a few minutes and then came back denying any involvement in the programming of this nutcase, despite the fact that they're all referenced in his manifesto, which they say no one should read because - you know - it's all terrorist propaganda. Nothing to see here kids.

They've all got blood on their hands.

Matthew Hubbard said...

You could argue whether McVeigh was a Christian or not. He took last rites, but read the poem Invictus as his last words. The whole "captain of my fate, master of my soul" isn't very humble Christian-y.

You can't argue about Eric Rudolph. He hated all the people the little baby Jebus told him to hate. Foreigners, liberals, hairdressers, anyone who had or performed an abortion.

McVeigh is still remembered. Rudolph, who is still alive, is not gone but definitely forgotten, and honest to God Christian terrorist.

There's plenty of these bastards, but people like Bill O'Reilly say we can ignore all of them because they don't count.

samael7 said...

Yeah, that fallacy is always a popular one. Timeless, yet convenient.

Your average, actual Christian apologist is capable of at least acknowledging, oh, say, the Crusades. O'Reilly and his ilk need to constantly lie to themselves and everyone else just to preserve their illusions and save face.

Loonesta said...

How strange that Bill O'Reilly, loudly professed member of the One True Church, has amnesia about that Inquisition thing. I seem to have am impression that a couple of folks get hurt in the name o' Christ during those original New England witch hunts. Am I mistaken?

Anonymous said...

"If Christ could come back today and see everything that's being done in his name, he would never stop throwing up."

Anonymous said...

My favorite bumper sticker is:
Christ IS coming, and boy, is He pissed!
Zillions have been killed in His name!
Talk about bad karma! mm

samael7 said...

Ah, speaking of the Crusades, apparently, he was into the Knights Templar. Someone tell O'Reilly and film it so I can watch his head explode.