Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Peudoeugenics, The United Kingdom, and Deja Vu

As a general rule, I have a particular problem with a little logical fallacy known as the continuum fallacy. For the uninitiated, the continuum fallacy is assuming that there are only X states to the argument with no middle ground between them - essentially, it's the great-grandpappy of the fallacy of the false dichotomy. My continuing problem with sticking my foot firmly into the continuum fallacy is made all the more amusing to an external viewer by my continual railing against the false dichotomy - a problem that becomes increasingly common the more Americanized Canadian politics becomes.

Ultimately, the problem with this system is that Continuum inevitably leads you toward slippery-slope thinking, or an all-or-nothing mentality. Both are ultimately bad ("I should eat less meat" becomes "I should go full vegan" becomes "Raw Food Veganism" - the final step prevented only by my obvious connections toward cooking), but sometimes, they can make you assume the worst.

A recent headline crossed my digital desk (one of the four of them, anyway), surrounding a case in the UK where the court had ordered the sterilization of a mentally disabled man. The specifics of the case escape me, but the gist of the case was that the man had a child with his also-mentally-disabled-significant-other. Having the child negatively impacted the man's quality of life, and someone sued so that the man could be sterilized, since it had that negative impact.

I couldn't find the actual case and I'm having a hard time finding the CBC article regarding it, so I can't get the actual court documents, but without an argument I've missed, I find the case as a whole disturbing.

I'm going to chalk that up to the continuum fallacy, sneak off, and drink tea while I work on the Secret Project.

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