Wednesday, July 26, 2006

"Ingrates," "Against the Mission" and Other disparaging Names

Torgo loves to hear some of the monikers passed along to describe alumni response to being force fed the move. Among them are that they are "ingrates"; "trouble makers"; "against the mission"; or worse "automatons of the rebelrousing faculty." There are usually several connotations built in to each name, but the overriding suggestion is the same: these names suggest that the alumni are stupid and malicious.

These monikers are laughable because ad hominem is a fallacy that went out of style in the 80's. People have moved on to more sophisticated fallacies now. They use red herrings and non-responsive answers. However, in order to show the fallacious reasoning of the names used, Torgo shall turn to each and address it exposing the error of reasoning or misunderstanding the slinger must have in order to be convinced of its use.

Among all of the bad names used to make the alumni smell of dung, this name is perhaps Torgo's favorite. To be called an ingrate naturally suggests that the ingrate is violating a principle of charity. Thus, it shifts at least three layers of mess onto the person called ingrate. First, they must overcome the bias implied. Second, they must correct the understanding of why they aren't violating a duty to charity. Third, and only if they are heard to this point, they need to explain the actual situation. Torgo enjoys this name because it is like a dump truck of dung poured upon the alumni from which they may possibly never dig out.

Overcoming bias. The first problem of the name is that there is an immediate presumption in favor of the name caller because they appear to be referring to the gift of the school and monetary support. It therefore implies that the alumni are breaching a duty to support the school. Normally, alumni don't squawk about school administration, so it supplies the motive where a normal listener may not understand why the alumni are distraught. The real motive is therefore buried: the administration is acting beyond the scope of the gift of the school -- doing things outside the mission.

This shift of blame is very clever because it places the name caller on an apparently sure moral ground. It implies that they are acting consistently with past promises and in the expected bounds of performance. The effort of the name-called alumni then is to show that the name caller is neither acting within the scope of reasonable expectation nor acting consistent with a reasonable interpretation of promised performance.

The obvious problem is the length of explanation. A slogan would be better. If Torgo could use the same fallacious ad hominem in response to them, the titles would be:
Indian Givers!

Trouble Makers
This name is not as strong as "ingrates." While ingrate implies of breach of charity, trouble maker merely suggests mischief. Nonetheless, they are similar because to be called a trouble maker is a sure attack on the motivations of the actor. For the reasons that ingrate works, so does "trouble maker". It implies that the trouble maker is animated by a sense of opposition rather than reason.

The name also bolsters the name caller because it plays on the average person's tendency to impute good faith. Thus, it assumes that the average person will assume the name caller is working within the boundaries of social reasonableness. It's so effective because it obscures any wrongdoing on the name caller's part.

Unless the person called trouble maker has a captive and attentive audience, responding to the name requires an adequate shift of malum in se back to the name caller. Torgo suggests potential slogans as these:
"Trouble Making is for name callers, I'm responding to the issues made by your errors in judgment."
Did you think there would be no trouble in announcing that you're closing this school?

Against the Mission
This name is par excellance! Torgo has seen several others in the blogosphere immediately recognize the Stalinistic genius of this name. It's just short of calling the object of it "UNCatholic!" Wow! It's like saying, "those people are against the Pope and God!"

Among the many problems associated with this name is that it not only implies some malice to the object, but also some intentional breach of duty. It carries all the connotations of treason, sedition, and back stabbing. In so far as it does this, it's pretty clever and therefore sweet in the mouth. But once in the stomach, the bitter regurgitations make you pity the name caller in this case. Not only must the name caller be delusional, but also quite desperate in order to resort to this tactic. Sadly, the person who uses this name has lost the ability to communicate reasonably with other adults.

Apart from laughing at the name, and saying a Hail Mary under one's breath for the sanity of the name caller, this name require two types of response.

First, when did the mission change? The mission of the law school is to provide law students with good exposure to Catholic principles and teachings and who become well grounded in the elements of the western legal system. Since when is the mission of the school to support Mr. Monaghan's desire to make a Catholic town in a far away state? Since when is the mission of the law school to anchor real estate development? Since when? It's never been those things in any published mission statement of the law school. Never.

Second, the response must point out that it is the addition of these new missions (real estate anchoring and town development) that are hindering the mission of the law school. If these were good motives, then they'd be published in the mission statement. It's that easy.

Automatons of the Rebelrousing Faculty
Torgo is paraphrasing this rumored moniker. It is another pitiable utterance. It implies that the alumni cannot think for themselves. Thus, it implies that the name callers have failed to produce lawyers who can think for themselves. As such, it only shows the delusions of the name caller. The only proper response to this name is to pray for those using it -- they are apparently so desperate as to shoot themselves in the foot for a momentary gain in rhetorical points.

If necessary, ask in reply, "are you implying that I cannot think for myself?"

For More Information about "the mission," see New Document Explains "Against the Secret Mission"

see also, Managing the underling Yes-Man, King David Style

Torgo might update these responses as time progresses and may add more as new names are used, as surely will happen once the September session to cram the new school mission (town development and real estate anchoring) down everyone's throats begins.


At 4:25 PM, July 26, 2006, Anonymous Sitting off the sidelines said...

Or my favourite moniker, used in the WSJ: "Dissidents". Talk about something straight out of Pravda!

At 7:58 PM, July 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the proper term is "rabble-rousing"

At 1:55 PM, July 28, 2006, Anonymous parsimonious said...

Probably. But who calls dissidents "rabbles" anymore? Rebel is a distinct term and implies treasonous milieu and sedition. Another testament to the great english language -- people can make up any word they want anymore! tee hee


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