Friday, October 27, 2006

Further points to try and draw my objections to Mark's argumentation style home ...

If I or Victor were to come out and say that Mark doesn't have any real objections to torture, he's just saying that it is because of his opposition to the war in Iraq and current desire to demonize the current administration with every rhetorical club available. Now if I had said that, Mark would not doubt be quite angry and rightfully so, because unlike him I do not claim any kind of power to know his inner thoughts and intentions. Instead, I can only go on what he writes and near as I can tell from that I think he sincerely believes it. A major chunk of what I have been attempting to do here is to explain why I think these statements do not pass muster.

So if Victor or myself tend to get a tad offended when we are labeled as objective apologists for Satan and alleged Catholics who are motivated only by partisan political concerns (because that, I guess, is the only reason why anyone could ever disagree with Mark on this), I really don't think that Mark has much of a right at this point to be complaining that we're being mean to him because we're seeking to point out the flaws in his arguments here. Particularly after his increasingly unhinged characterization of anyone who disagrees with him on this topic (unless, it seems, that they belong to a certain group of Catholic apologists who apparently can disagree with Mark on this without receiving the vitriole, perhaps because his telepathy enables him to discern their true intentions while posting), this isn't terribly hard to do.

That said, one other thing that I want to point out is that Mark keeps on asking how both sides can be so certain regarding the truth or falsehood of data coming out of Iraq. The problem is that he usually only asks this whenever supporters of the war question some of his more questionable assertions. If he's going to be convincingly playing that card, then I would suggest that he adhere to at least some critical filter when he cites figures like 655,000 killed in Iraq. As a factual matter, that would be 598 Iraqis killed every day for the last three years and if one even bothers to look at the figures in Baghdad (where the violence has been at its worst since the February 2006 bombing in Samarra), it is clear that 598 people are not being killed there every day.

Just my $0.02.

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