Post hoc, ergo propter hoc

After this, therefore because of this (translated from the Latin) is a logical fallacy where an event is said to be the cause of a later event simply because it occurred earlier. There’s tremendous noise across the web regarding political rhetoric as the root (or contributing) cause of the Tucson shootings. We won’t “know”the cause until the trial of this clearly troubled man.

However, we do know that the political rhetoric has been amped up to 11 where we no longer talk about issues or solutions in a meaningful way. Despite protests, it’s clear to me that violent imagery in speech doesn’t further the exchange of ideas, discourse and search for solutions. Ad hominen, needling, straw man, inflation of conflict (for more go here) arguments rules the day in looking for the winning soundbite. As long as we practice zero sum politics, we’ll see little progress in working the complex issues facing the world.

So please tone it down, disagree but be respectful. Have adult conversations about the issues and the give-and-take solutions required.

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