Opinions as Facts

This is one of those things that drives me nuts and in this particular case, it’s part of a long, ongoing discussion about rights, especially from a libertarian perspective, but it could be about lots of different subjects because it happens all the time.  In this instance, what set it off is someone who claimed that “natural rights”, that bizarre libertarian bugaboo, came from “universal social ideas”, meaning everyone thinks a particular way, therefore it’s true.

I trust I don’t have to point out that this is a logical fallacy to anyone, right?

But I pointed out that there are no “universal social ideas”.  Absolutely no social view is universal, in that it has been held by all people in all places at all times.  None.  The idea of the right to life is one example.  Well, depending on who you ask, some people just have no right to life at all.  If you asked people 200 years ago in America, most would say that blacks had no right to life.  According to a lot of Germans in Nazi Germany, the Jews had no right to life.  Heck, I’m sure you can find plenty of people in the Bible Belt who would tell you that gays have no right to life.  This is just not a universally held belief by any stretch of the imagination.

Ah, but my opponent said, anyone who doesn’t believe in the right to life, those people must have something wrong with them and they should all be locked up.  Uh… that’s his opinion and all, but what he’s really doing is just declaring that anyone who disagrees with him automatically doesn’t count, therefore he wins.

Do I have to describe how absurd this is?

Yeah, I think it’s about time to bow out and let the delusional revel in their delusions.  It isn’t like any amount of rational discussion is going to change their minds.  They think their opinions are facts and nothing anyone says, no amount of evidence presented, is ever going to change their minds.

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