We don't need no stinkin' reason!

The last two posts stand out as examples of topics which are beyond debate, because of a near total failure of logic.

Just as there is no way to debate with an anarchist about things like property, technology, crime, or punishment, there is no way to debate someone like Pat Robertson over what he deems to be God's "decision" to target an overweight 77 year-old with a stroke. You can offer logical arguments till you're blue in the face, but it means absolutely nothing. Same thing with anarchists. I remember seeing one beaming young thing who'd not only managed to get himself arrested for throwing a brick through a small storeowner's window, but did it all in front of a TV camera and a news crew!

When asked why he did it, his smile spread, until it was from ear to ear.

"NO REASON!" he said triumphantly.

I'm sure this young man was an atheist, but the way he said it, it was clear to me that in his mind there was something magical about not having a reason. He didn't need a reason, and in his view, the people who wanted to know the reason, why, they were all part of the problem! And he was enlightening them. To him, it was a self evident truth that not only is no reason needed to throw a brick through a window, but the act itself supplies the reason.

Reason is wrong.

Declaring that God gave someone a stroke is about as logical. No reason is needed. No debate is possible. (Something in the Bible, of course, can be found and then interpreted as supporting almost any proposition imaginable.)

Is there any way to debate things that are undebatable with people who deliberately keep themselves beyond reason?

I hate to reduce myself to their level. But if someone offers an argument which is not logical, how does that impose a duty to answer with a logical argument?

I think Scrapple Face does a better job in his interpretation of Robertson's remarks:

"God disciplines American Christians for their willful ignorance of the Scriptures by having me embarrass them every 60 days or so with another ridiculous remark."
God's discipline is a tough job, but someone has to do it.

When will he get around to disciplining the anarchists?

posted by Eric on 01.06.06 at 08:31 AM


There are many kinds of anarchists. Your remarks might not universally apply. Perhaps it would be better if you could attack specific individuals than an entire class of political philosophies that share only a rejection of a particular framework.

Gabriel Mihalache   ·  January 6, 2006 9:58 AM

I'm reminded of George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead when the organized and heavily armed biker gang storms the mall. If the zombies represent anarchy, then the bikers represent what follows: different power structures.

I wonder how the anarchist who threw the brick would feel if it hadn't been a police officer bound by the law but a thug in a stateless wasteland who'd nabbed him.

Dennis   ·  January 6, 2006 10:04 AM

By no means do I mean to attack all anarchists. In fact, I've been called an anarchist many times. I am attacking those who are incapable of reason. There's also a difference between philosphical anarchists who believe government is evil, and those who believe they have a right to use physical violence against whatever they dislike, for whatever reason.

It's always tough to generalize, but I have a particular problem with anarcho-primitivism, which is dedicated to destruction of civilization.

Eric Scheie   ·  January 6, 2006 10:35 AM

Heh, Dennis! I just watched that movie for the first time. So I get the cultural reference! Woo hoo!
As for Robertson, I always think of him as America's very own fundamentalist cleric; issuing Christian fatwas as fast as he thinks of them. He needs some new influences, I think.

Hey! What if he watched Dawn of the Dead! Wouldn't that be something--Robertson calling down zombies as God's punishment on sinners!

Bonnie Wren   ·  January 6, 2006 1:58 PM

Anarchism is a lie. We are social animals, and societies need rules in order to function. Not rules from on high, but rules agreed to by the society as a whole. But note that the rules a society lives by are not, necessarily, that society's formally enacted laws.

The kid was being an irresponsible brat. Put him in a strict conservatorship, and when (if ever) he shows he is capable of acting in a responsible manner, the conservatorship is lifted.

You wish to be treated as a responsible adult, you act like an responsible adult.

Alan Kellogg   ·  January 7, 2006 1:40 AM

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