News Flash: Debate Committee Adds Bursting Into Tears as Legitimate Line of Reasoning

Debaters needing to add that extra little oomph to their presentations now have an additional tool at their disposal, thanks to a decision by the International Committee on Rhetorical Standards.  They can always burst into tears.

The prolapsis ad lacrimas maneuver permits debaters to have a deeply emotional outburst near the end of the debating period, augmenting their argument by portraying their opponents as cruel and unreasoning monsters.

Long considered as a questionable if highly effective rhetorical device rather than a line of serious philosophical inquiry, the maneuver was approved in the proceedings of the Committee’s 82nd quadrennial conference as a legitimate method of reaching truth and general understanding.

“This is genuinely exciting,” said Professor Ernst Heltvildt of the College of Experimental Epistemology, who sponsored the resolution.  “It’s the first new logical approach we’ve endorsed in decades.  It’s vital for debaters to have this important tool in the new age of Emotional Intelligence.”

In the final debate on the resolution, opponents pointed out that prolapsis ad lacrimas is a close cousin (and frequent associate) of the ad hominem fallacy, which transforms debate about an issue into a debate about the debaters.  “Surely this is just legitimizing the playing of the ‘victim’ card,” said Dr. Dee Vernunft of the University of Pomme de Terre’s Advanced Philosophy faculty in closing arguments on the matter.  “Making your opponent look bad may change the flavor of the debate, but it doesn’t change the facts presented.  Endorsing the prolapsis ad lacrimas will reduce the search for truth to a question of who can throw the biggest hissy fit.”

The record of the debate then indicates that Prof. Heltvildt, who was arguing in support of the resolution, then burst into tears, explained how close to his heart the resolution was, and accused his opponent of “heartlessly perpetuating a strictly rational outlook with an irrational hatred of emotional influences.”

The resolution then passed by a 10-to-1 margin.

The move to adopt an emotional outburst as a legitimate tool of logical analysis has attracted some comment in epistemological circles.  “The relationship between emotion and logic has always been rather tenuous,” said Professor Mitt Kopfschmerzen of the University of Punxsutawney’s College of Applied Philosophy.  “While emotion can sometimes provide important insights on issues, it has certain limits as an analytical tool.  These days we seem to be observing a growing distrust of logic as such, and a growing emphasis on ’emotional truth,’ which seems to be interpreted in different ways.  Do they mean a) facts about one’s emotional state at a particular time or b) things that one believes to be true because one feels strongly about them?

“There’s a vast difference between the statements ‘It is true that I feel very strongly about this’ and ‘This must be true because I feel it to be’–or, for that matter, ‘You should be convinced of my opinion simply because I feel so strongly about it.’  I fear adopting the prolapsis ad lacrimas will only confuse the matter further.”

In other news, shares of companies that manufacture facial tissues and eye drops surged in late trading for no obvious reason.

Copyright 2018

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News Flash: Apples to Blame in Medical Shortage

La Satira News Service

Overwhelming barriers to entering the medical profession?  Forget it.  Difficulties in navigating the twin worlds of regulation and insurance?  Not the problem.  The rising cost of liability insurance?  Not even close.

A new study from the University of Pomme-de-Terre in Bayview, Idaho, suggests that the true reason for the increasingly acute shortage of medical professionals in the United States is as unexpected as it is counter-intuitive:  the proliferation of apples.

“Over the past sixty years, we’ve seen a strong correlation between the decline in the per capita number of practicing medical professionals and rising apple consumption in North America,” says Professor Jonathan Winesap of the University’s College of Statistical Folklore.  “And since First Lady Michelle Obama started her initiative on healthy eating, the problem has only gotten worse.”

Asked how the growing consumption of apples, generally regarded as a health food, could be prompting the medical shortage, Professor Winesap refused to go into specifics.  “There’s definitely room for more research on the topic.  The main thing we learn from this study is that the old adage about an apple a day keeping the doctor away is, in fact, true; we’re just learning that this isn’t always a good thing.”

The study, which has yet to be peer-reviewed, is already attracting controversy.

“His logic is distinctly seedy,” said Professor N. V. Honeycrisp of the University of Punxsutawney’s College of Agriculture and Astrophysics, “if not rotten to the core.  I’ve never seen such a blatant example of the causation/correlation fallacy–not outside the comments section of online news articles, anyway.  Does he really think serious medical professionals have a vampire-and-garlic sort of relationship with apples?  If you ask me, Professor Winesap is really barking up the wrong tree.”

Meanwhile, Professor Winesap is already developing a strategy for reducing the country’s apple footprint.  “The first thing we need to do is rename a certain computer company to a different type of fruit.  Then we need recall all food products containing apples.  Oh, yes; and we need to recall all the copies of the game ‘Apples to Apples.’  It all sounds extreme, but it’s the least we can do to stop a medical catastrophe in the making.”

Copyright 2014