Et Tu, Tu Quoque?

An argument is or isn’t a tu quoque, but not every tu quoque is fallacious. There are roughly two big conditions for a tu quoque to be valid – it needs to be relevant to the point it counters, and it needs to be strong enough to make the point it is conveying.

Compare and contrast:

[J1] Junior seldom criticizes contrarians, if ever.
[J2] Junior often rips off his shirt when dispensing ClimateBall criticism.
[J3] Junior’s ClimateBall concerns look like ways to claim victimhood.
[J4] Junior is a poor ClimateBall referee.

I think the steps from 1 to 3 are somehow valid and relevant to the point he makes, but not the 4th. Junior’s concerns are ways to play the ref, in this case the audience – people are being mean to contrarians. That point doesn’t stand on him being a (good) ClimateBall referee. However, the third point is a valid way to counter his, because it undermines its plausibility.

In other words, the observation that Junior is constantly whining is more relevant to his concerns than the fact that he’s not an honest broker.

And that’s besides the possibility that he may be special pleading with his “not newsworthy,” which may be a more direct way to counter his point. The only problem I see with paying due diligence to Junior’s concept of newsworthiness is that unless one is interested in becoming an editor or a journalist, it is of little use. It thus becomes a squirrel for ClimateBall amateurs who could not care less about what newspapers (should) do.

There might be a more formal way to say all this, but that’s what I got for now.

Published by Willard

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