Thursday, May 11, 2006

Doggerel #2: "You're Just Jealous!"

Welcome to the second edition of "Doggerel," where I discuss words and phrases that are commonly misused, abused, or just plain meaningless. It only took about two months for me to get in the mood again.

Fry: This is so unfair! I liked you back when you were a cyclops! That guy's only interested now that you have two eyes.

Leela: You're just jealous!

Fry: No, I'm not! Oh, wait, I am. But my point remains valid!

One of the most annoying "arguments" I've encountered from woos is the accusation that I'm only bitter and/or jealous, which is why I argue. Someone once accused me (along with pretty much all the skeptics in that thread) of being jealous of John Edward's "psychic" powers. It's kind of hard to be jealous of something that's quite unimpressive. Of course, that "argument" is designed to allow a person to ignore the very real points I bring up by focusing on a fictional point of unfounded speculation. If we're discussing alternative explanations for John Edward's "powers," we should be discussing alternative explanations for John Edward's "powers." My emotional state is not part of the dicussion.

Even if I were jealous, it would have no effect on the argument. The conclusion (that I don't have real arguments) does not follow from the premise (I'm jealous), in addition to being contradicted by the evidence (all the points I typically raise in such arguments). It's a classic propaganda-style mix of red herrings and non-sequiturs.

If I'm angry, 2 plus 2 still equals 4.

If I'm happy, A is still equal to A.

If I'm thinking dirty thoughts, grass remains green.

If I flip-flop between my sweet tooth and salty tooth, [Insert politician] is still a jerk.

If I'm jealous, John Edward is still the biggest douche in the universe.

Reality remains the same regardless of my emotional state. If you'd like to prove otherwise, you can do so.


Doggerel Index


Michael Bains said...

I like the use of Leela and Fry to bring the point home. That was a classic line, Dog.

(Nicely done, slippin' in the Randi challenge.)

Stephen said...

you mean envious, right?

Anonymous said...


You're right that facts are facts, but often in heated arguments we get less emphasis on facts, and portrayal of opinion as fact. God knows I've been guilty of "It's obvious you're a moron" or some such nonsensical phrase. That's why I try to keep the emotion out of posts, and keep the name calling to a minimum. We'll get more done that way.


"If I flip-flop between my sweet tooth and salty tooth, [Insert politician] is still a jerk."

That is an opinion presented as fact.

Anonymous said...

The previous post was me.

Bronze Dog said...

Yeah, I should probably fix that. Might even consider doing a 2.1 post as a full redo.