Can anyone address an argument head on?
By Scott Tibbs, April 22, 2022
"He did it toooooooooooooooooo!" is not a logically valid argument, yet this one of the most common "arguments" I see. This is especially common on social media, but even many news websites have opinion content employing the tu quoque
fallacy, including from people who are actually serious and well educated.
Yes, hypocrisy does exist, and it is often useful to examine whether someone actually believes in a standard by holding him (or his political tribe) to that standard. But the reason the tu quoque
fallacy fails is because it is not used to test consistency, but as a means of distraction. When you are in an indefensible position, it is easy to point to bad behavior on the other side and focus your attention there.
But this is both intellectually dishonest and cowardly. If the action, rhetoric, policy or administrative action from someone on your side is worth defending, then defend it instead of pointing at someone else and whining. If the thing being attacked it is not worth defending, then have the integrity to admit that what someone on your side did was wrong - or even that you were wrong.
The constant "he did it toooooooooooooooooo" mentality contributes to the justified feeling that politics is just a bunch of children whining about the other side. It contributes to the belief that no one is trying to do what is right, and no one actually has any principles. They are a bunch of children taunting each other on the playground. Now, I know this is not the case with many, because I personally know a lot of politicians and thought leaders who do not behave this way, but the childish behavior of such a large swath of people winds up damaging the reputations of even those who try to argue with integrity. And then good people do not want to enter the political arena and fight for what is right.
This is especially important for Christians. Our loyalty should never be to a political party or political candidate, but to the Primary Source of all truth and morality, the Lord Jesus Christ. When we abandon our theological commitments to defend dishonesty, sadistic cruelty or abhorrent personal behavior, we are betraying the Savior who redeemed us with His blood and expects us to be sanctified through the application of the Holy Spirit. When we place political tribalism over Scripture, we are guilty of heresy and idolatry. My brothers and sisters, it should never be this way.
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