The Hurt-Feelings Fallacy

The internet made me abreast of an informal fallacy which I have dubbed:

The Hurt-Feelings Fallacy

When a premise and/or conclusion of an argument hurts somebody’s feelings or hypothetically could do so in the future, then the argument is problematic. Because of this, the conclusion and the premises are all false. Similarly, if the corollaries of the argument could cause hurt-feelings then the whole argument is false. Also, and most important of all, if the person making the argument has or potentially could stimulate hurt-feelings, then all of the arguments that person makes are totally false.

This is a pernicious fallacy and one which is difficult not to commit. For instance:

All men are mortal.
Socrates is a man.
Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

Could be responded to thus:

I do not want to die, that hurts my feelings. That argument is unsafe.

Also, one could say,

If I accept the records about Socrates, then I might have to consider the historicity of the Bible, but the Bible hurts my feelings.

This fallacy has allowed me to disprove almost everything. My favorite example is this:

You have disagreed with me. You have given me hurt-feelings, therefore your whole ideology is wrong. Also, you are not a person.

Happy nihilism!

In real life, many people do think that the hurt-feelings fallacy is a real refutation of hard to accept truths or uncomfortable arguments. This is absurd. Hopefully this silly song will cheer you up!


Tim Hunt and the Science Worshipers

A few days ago Tim Hunt, an important medical researcher made a remark to the effect that women in laboratories are easy to make cry, easy to fall in love with, or too easily fall in love with the men. What he said was a joke (he’s married to a top scientist in her field!) based on some of his observations over time.

My first thought was that all of the people who talk all the time about how science is literally no different from what expert scientists say (like when Richard Dawkins is quoted as though he understands philosophy just because he is a former biologist). But, that same group, it seems, found Hunt’s remarks so offensive that he has been asked to resign from his job doing important research to fight cancer! The feelings of a small group of people are considered more important than his research now! The fact of the matter is that lots of women are scientists and the ones who are wouldn’t be deterred by a remark like that, just like men aren’t deterred from leadership positions when journalists claim that women are better than men at leading.

Anyway, science (read: the opinions of experts on ideas beyond their expertise) is only worshiped by the science pagans when it agrees with them or has cool graphics attached.