Friday, September 22, 2006

 

Hypocrisy, Irony, or Rationality?

Charles Krauthammer today calls attention to the irony of saying "Don't call us violent or we'll attack you." This is truly ironic, for I cannot imagine a surer way to convince someone that they are accurate in their accusation. Thomas Vaughan Church describes this as hypocrisy. In some sense it is, but the intention cannot be to convince. As Krauthammer says, “The point is intimidation.” It seems to work quite well at that, so this ironic behavior is actually quite rational, in that it has the desired effect of silencing some (perhaps many) critics.
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