Friday, October 06, 2006

So Now It's Collective Cognition

When someone starts using the Chewbacca defence (I recommend you to watch the linked video to understand the true meaning of the term "Chewbacca defence", but in short it means completely irrelevant nonsense designed to take away attention from the real issue) you know they lack any real arguments.

This is clearly the case for the defenders of the fact that the European Parliament doesn't just have one but two seats-one in Brussells and one in Strasbourg. First of all, it doesn't make sense to even have a European Parliament since it doesn't have any power so the whole Parliament is itself just one giant waste of money. And it becomes even more wasteful because it is in two buildings in two cities in two countries. It really should be nowhere but if we for the sake of the argument accept the need for a "European Parliament" then no rational reason exist for having it located in two buildings in two cities in two countries, causing massive unnecessary cost for travel etc.

Given the obvious irrationality of the current state of affairs, how are its defenders going to defend it. Well, since it cannot be defended by rational arguments they have no other choice but to use irrational Chewbacca defences. So we see here European parliament president Josep Borrell defending the situation by saying 'some Nordic country' did not suffer enough during World War II to understand the true meaning of the parliament's Strasbourg seat.

Some Finns objected to this by saying that Finland did suffer, whereupon Borell specified and said he only meant Sweden. The response from the Swedish supporters of the campaign have been unsatisfactory, to say the least, as their response is that most supporters of the initiative aren't Swedes or that suffering in World War II is not a criteria for speaking out on EU matters.

Both of these objections are true, but the more important objection is that first of all, World War II have absolutely nothing to do with the issue of where some completely unnecessary and harmful EU bureacracy should be located more than 60 years after the end of the war and secondly, and even more importantly, there is no such thing as collective cognition. The ability to understand something have absolutely nothing to do with whether or not a few decades ago, other people in your country were engaged in a war or not. Facts and the laws of logic are universal regardless of whether other people in your country historically participated in some war or not.

Borell seems to have tried to apply the completely invalid and reprehensive collectivist notion of "collective guilt" and applied it to epistemology, in which it takes the form of what one might refer to as "collective cognition". It is just as invalid when applied to epistemology as it was in ethics.


Anonymous Martin said...

Med "deeper reason" menar Borrell förmodligen att Strasbourg är huvudstaden i Alsace. Landskapen Alsace-Lorraine var ju det centrala geografiska stridsäpplet mellan Tyskland Och Frankrike under världskrigen, därmed menar han att parlamentets placering där är en symbol för EU:s ambition att skapa fred - men jag håller med om att argumentet är helskumt och mest känns som ett försök att tysta ner hela frågan.

Självklart att de ständiga flyttkaravanerna skadar förtroendet för EU.

10:38 PM  

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