I just saw one of the most disgusting responses to last week’s tragic murder in Boro Park.
This letter printed on The Yeshiva World, and other places, puts the blame for the murder on Klal Yisrael, in particular our “Goyisha type materialism”. Of course Pizza, Sushi, Large houses, and Tznius are the reasons that this little boy was murdered – not only that, but the “Bedika of Shechita is very lax”. No indication as to how much Pizza or sushi this little chassidic boy ate, how big his house was, or how often he did spot inspections of Shechita knives before purchasing meat.
To make the letter even worse, it claims to have been written by “a handicapped child” without even attempting to mimic the style of a child, let alone a handicapped child.
But what made me laugh was the following paragraph:
A true Yid would never kill a child as this man did, only if he is totally deranged. And even so, a real Yiddishah Neshomah could never be guilty of such cruelty; therefore he died Al Kiddush Hashem. The Goyishkeit in us is what killed him.
Without even trying, the author of the letter paraphrased the “No True Scotsman” Argument:
Imagine Hamish McDonald, a Scotsman, sitting down with his Glasgow Morning Herald and seeing an article about how the "Brighton Sex Maniac Strikes Again." Hamish is shocked and declares that "No Scotsman would do such a thing." The next day he sits down to read his Glasgow Morning Herald again and this time finds an article about an Aberdeen man whose brutal actions make the Brighton sex maniac seem almost gentlemanly. This fact shows that Hamish was wrong in his opinion but is he going to admit this? Not likely. This time he says, "No true Scotsman would do such a thing."
—Antony Flew, Thinking About Thinking
Wikipedia describes this type of argument as an intentional logical fallacy, an ad hoc attempt to retain an unreasoned assertion.
Hat Tip: Wolfish Musings