Numbers and sentiments, guns and abortions

posted by
April 18, 2016
Unqualified Offerings
by Thoreau  
Posted in 2AM Commentary, Commentary, PND Commentary

"I should obviously begin by assuring you, Dear Reader, that your stances on these issues are the correct ones. The topic here is not what stance you should take (since you've already taken the correct one) but rather how these things are discussed. Abortion is clearly an issue of moral priors: Start from a particular set of prior assumptions or sentiments, and you can get to a stance on abortion. The language around the issue reflects that: Pro-choice, pro-life .... Gun control, on the other hand, is an issue where everybody has their favorite statistics. Whether those statistics are accurate is irrelevant here (since your favorite statistics from Facebook are obviously the accurate ones, and the other side's numbers are just cherry-picked); what matters is that people act as though empiricism will be persuasive." (04/16/16)  

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