John, I defy you to find an instance from Burr or me where we use the words "fact" or "truth" in reference to a chart we've created. Your entire argument is based on a false premise of your own invention.
The Heathen Republican, July 4, 2012
Today, Republican members have the ability to choose what news, and what interpretation of that news, will filter through. This is sometimes called "epistemic closure" by political types. Democrats do it too, although to a lesser degree. Liberal ideology demands evidence. Conservative philosophy does not need it.
- Burr Deming, August 2, 2011
In answer to a challenge that “facts” are not proof, Burr not only produced a chart, but
Democrats have stayed with dreary old Keynesianism. In and out of fashion, they have stuck like glue to the pages of Economics 101. In downturn, increase government spending, in good times, cut spending and balance budgets.
Facts can be stubborn. In this case, as Ryan wisely points out, the facts don't prove either case to a moral certainty. They do tend to support only one side.
- Burr Deming, May 11, 2012
His visual aid, was a very precious small part of the picture. His “facts” included both charts and stats (not spelled out by the way), and did not include anything but a narrow set of data specifically designed to “prove” the philosophy. This is recent. I simply don’t have the time to go find you more examples, and it would be pointless anyway, because as Burr proves, “Liberal ideology demands evidence. Conservative philosophy does not need it.” Normally, I would debate such a claim, but I cannot debate it with you, as you agree that “facts are facts.”
As for your use of charts and stats, we have had this discussion many times on your site. I do not have the time (and frankly or the interest) to revisit your site and revive old discussions.
I will reiterate the same point I made previously: if you have the facts to support your philosophy on your side and Burr has the facts to support his philosophy on his side, and you both spend a great deal of time digging into data, not to support your philosophy, but to learn what is actually true, it seems only reasonable that the two of you get together and solve this paradox: you have opposite views. You or he could claim that you don’t have the time, but that does not make sense to me. You both dig into very deep pools of confirming evidence and produce it on your sites. Why are you not happy to have each other demonstrate the missing “facts” that each of you have. It is a very large body of ignored truth.
I especially have this question for Mr. Deming, as per his own admission he does require evidence for his philosophy. If that is so (and ironically, I know it is), why does he not also require the analysis of good counter evidence (with the Heathen Republican produces). Instead, he quotes the most absurd of absurd conservative positions and refutes them, and in so doing believes he used “the facts” to refute conservatism. You have real intellectual conservatism at your fingertips. It would be a real challenging discussion on both sides. Yet, neither of you seem especially interested in actually being challenged.
John Myste also writes for his own site, where challenging discussion is usually real.
Please visit John Myste Responds.
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You propose a standard that I reject as "harsh" and "wretchedly unfair" and "unrealistic" then you devote this amount of effort pouring though posts going back to last year.
All this to show that I have failed to meet that same standard? The one I reject?
The oddity is amplified by your choice of posts. You begin with a post from last summer in which I suggest an opinion, label it an opinion, say several times I could be wrong, and quote several others with alternate explanations for the data I present.
I admit I barely dodged the bullet there, coming perilously close to meeting the unfair standard you seek to impose and which I enthusiastically reject.
Apart from your successful effort to document that I practice what I preach, your argument continues to represent an enigma. What remains a mystery to me is why you choose to attack charts, as opposed to, say, quotations.
If I held the same contempt for quotations that you hold for visual aids, I could, I think, support it as well as you support your bias.
When confronted by a quote, for example,
- I could denounce it on principle.
Sure, Mr. Opponent, you can come up with a quotation, but you ignore the existence of thousands of other quotations that might support the views with which you disagree.
- Or I could present an alternate quote myself.
I'll see your Emerson with Thomas Jefferson:
"And, finally, that truth is great and will prevail if left to herself; that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them."
- Or I could point out that the quote I confront is not honestly presented.
When Ralph Waldo Emerson denounced the practice of "Arguing as a retained attorney would," he was protesting the use of argument without conviction, the hypocrisy of arguing a postion one does not, in fact, hold. Emerson was not saying what you insist he was saying.
If I am against quotations out of some misguided principle or bias or simple laziness, I might choose the first option. If I don't mind the effort of getting my hands dirty with actual research, I might go with the second. If I suspect a misuse of that tool, I might go with the third.
So why the focus on charts? If you don't like them, don't use them.
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