In our childhood, most of us have heard and read legends about Goras or Angrezaán. In some stories they are simply models of cleanliness, in others they appear as law abiding and incorruptible officials. Such stories have been perpetuated so much into our society that they can be noticed with minor variations in every region and class. They used to be related to us, so that we could be in awe of those marvelous distant cousins and also might pick a good habit or two.
With passage of time most of us forgot those simple anecdotes. Something happened recently that reminded me of those half forgotten childhood myths. I came upon a strange pattern of logic that has become common and well accepted by our progressive brethren.
Recent years have seen the rise of ‘social justice model’ among our local ‘progressives’. Their general method of persuasion is to passionately bash their target audience and shame them into doing or desist from doing something. In their debates or arguments, they all follow a certain line of reasoning amidst the usual huff and puff. I will give just two examples;
1- It is often said that people in our country have no legitimate right to protest actions of Western Governments or the apathy of their intellects since we are guilty of intolerance towards our minorities.
2- It is also observed that Citizens of London arranged a huge procession denouncing Iraq War or in recent weeks protestors gathered at New York Airport chanting slogans, welcoming Muslim immigrants. While on the other hand, Muslims living back home intensely dislike Christians and Jews and will probably never do the same.
Both arguments seem almost reasonable but they are inherently wrong in many ways. They present clear examples of Logical Fallacies. Simply put, a logical fallacy is a chain of reasoning which is based upon a false premise. And since the premise is wrong, all subsequent conclusions drawn from it will be inevitably false or unjust.
The premise underlying aforementioned cases is that certain people or classes of people are somehow ‘Lesser humans’ compared to another group or class of people. And this disparity or deficiency can only be compensated if people belonging to the first class perform a certain task or accept certain conclusions .In reality, every human being has an equal ‘potential’ of humanity or fellow-feeling. No one has to act a certain way or believe in something to claim a title which they already possess. And as equal sentient beings, all of them reserve the inalienable right to protest or not to protest any issue. If the majority of our countrymen do not participate in the candle-lit vigils in Gulberg or if they choose to protest over issues that are repugnant to the free-thinkers that does not deprive them the right of equal humanity.
Londoners did protest in big crowds against Iraq War but same people voted for people responsible for generating that war. And violence against Christian minorities is miniscule compared to the institutionalized horrors being perpetrated in the Middle East and Afghanistan. Both of those acts are wrong but they do not balance each other in magnitude or scale by far, not that acts of horrors can ever equate each other.
People in the East share equal amount of humanity as people living in the western hemisphere. If they do not join in the supposedly ‘global’ protests, it may have something to do with them having far greater issues at hand. They may actually be living the very War, or they may have to worry about basic necessities of life, or they may share a different set of social beliefs and customs of protest. They don’t have to move a finger in the given direction to prove that they are equal humans. It’s the ‘greater humans’ who have to do far more than chant empty slogans to prove their values of social justice.
I have presented just two examples of this pseudo logic when in reality there are many similar cases. It is imperative that all of us should watch out for such false arguments presented to us in guise of healthy academic or political discourse.