I’ve noticed a recent and frustrating trend in recent political discussions, and it goes something like the following (I’ll play the part of myself and those of a similar political bent, while “they” will represent the other side).

Them: “Yakkity schmakkity, blah, blah, blah.” (Insert some ridiculous soundbite from an info-tainment show like Fox News, often accompanied with a demand of proof from the “other” side).

Me: “Actually….” (insert enumerated points citing sources and evidence that support a conclusion stating the opposite of what they said).

Them: “I don’t believe that!  It’s all lies! Yakkity schmakkity…” (repeat soundbite).

Me: “…..” (feelings of self-righteous indignation and wondering why I bothered).
Apparently, their train of thought is: I don’t believe your evidence because it contradicts me, therefore it’s not true, therefore I win!

There’s name for this sort of logical fallacy, it’s called the Burden of Proof (or Appeal to Ignorance).  Yet it seems to be a consistent tool in the arsenal of some people (generally those that I disagree with–not that I’m biased at all).  If we can’t have reasonable and rational debates, how can we move forward on the issues challenging our society?

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