How can you say that?
People take sides.  Discussions turn bitter.  Fights break out — verbal at first, then maybe violence follows... 


We ask, 
"Is one side in the right and the other in the wrong?"
Which is which?

And answers do not come...

lurks unsuspected under the surface of most controversy.
Donald Rumsfeld, indignant over the attack on the WTC, stated "We must kill as many of them as we can because they don't respect human life."  Responses to his statement reveal much.  Here are two very different responses:
"That's right, they really don't."
"Only a madman would say that."
What do these two different people mean by "human."
This person appears to think of "human" much as does Rumfeld: "human" is US.  Self defense is rational, and our survival trumps everything else. This person sees "human" as meaning all human beings.  Self defense is rational, but must consider all of the humans involved.
Every person, every nation, has a basic right to self-defense.

What determines our need to recognize that right for our opponents?

Correcting oversimplification is never wrong.

It might be insufficient to solve a problem, but it is always necessary. 
...mutually inverted implications..

They are different, opposites in fact, to a logician.  But many don't clearly see the distinction.  The distinction gets blurred in the heat of argument, and combatants fall into the trap of oversimplification, into two uncommunicating pits,

either — or

Oversimplification has triumphed, complexities are ignored,  and vision gets narrower, and narrower, and narrower, and...

Correcting oversimplifications carries far more logical weight than simplistic thinking reveals.  Vision that is blind to the richer picture—blind to the more abstract and more complete reality—sees the disagreement as no more than "merely personal opinion." 

But it is much more.

"Let us ignore the rest of the world
once we've found what we like."

Advertising and propaganda rely on the human fraility 
of oversimplification.
So do political campaign managers, and professional "spin doctors."

"If you first tell 'em they're too smart to be fooled by hucksters,
then it's a lot easier to fool 'em"
The hucksters first rule of blarney.
...a logical implication...

Advertisers can prove anything!
Knowledge for Use
Politicians can sway anybody!
Propagandacritic (Temple Univeristy)

America's founding fathers well understood the problems of democracy driven by oversimplification.  They invented Democracy which could work.  They saw that many controversies split off a minority who understand the complexities from the majority who do not, a self-contradiction that can put a democracy into a self-destruct mode. 

Polsters should assess and compare the breadth of logical insight of those reported in the percentages.
...Is logical implication better understood by one of the sides?...
"Government of the people, by the people, for the people"
How do you explain this to a liberated Iraqi?
What is " My Government", as you see it?

Six Sinister Oversimplifications

"Aura detector" words:
intelligence...parameter...rank...justice...human rights...terrorism
just what do they mean?
to you? the other guy?

Two sides of a protest poster.




The lures of advertisers and propagandists: diastrous disservice.
...and dangerous.



OUR ENEMY: (Terrorists)
Leader has declared a holy war ('Jihad') against his 'enemies'; believes any nation not with him is against him; believes God is on his side and that any means are justified.

OURSELVES: (Bush Administration)
Leader has declared a holy war ('Crusade') against his 'enemies'; believes any nation not with him is against him; believes God is on his side and that any means are justified.