Logic and Alan Dershowitz

Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
Many years ago, when I took Algebra I and Geometry, I had to learn the logic that goes with simple If-Then statements. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contraposition:

If A, then B. If statement A is true, then statement B must also be true. For logic like this, True is defined as ALWAYS true, and False is defined as NOT always true. Let’s leave the abstract statements A & B and make this more specific. Let A = something is a cat, and B = it’s a mammal. It becomes: If it’s a cat, then it’s a mammal, a true Implication. If A is false (something is not a cat), the statement “it’s a mammal” is also false. The entire Implication would also be false.

If B is not true (not a mammal), then A must also be not true. This is called the Contrapositive of the original Implication. If an original Implication is true, then the Contrapositive must also be true – by definition. If the original Implication is false, the Contrapositive must also be false.

Here are all the various forms of If-Then statements, their Logic names, and their true/false status:
ImplicationIf A, then BIf it’s a cat, then it’s a mammalTrue
ContrapositiveIf not B, then not AIf it’s NOT a mammal, then it’s NOT a catTrue
ConverseIf not A, then not BIf it’s NOT a cat, then it’s NOT a mammalFalse
InverseIf B, then AIf it’s a mammal, then it’s a catFalse
NegationIf A, then not BIf it’s a cat, then it’s NOT a mammalFalse

Sometimes, if an original implication’s truth is not clear, it’s useful to look at the contrapositive. (I won't go into those other logic forms, Converse, Inverse, and Negation.)

Why am I going into any of this? Last Wednesday, Alan Dershowitz asserted in the Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump, that “Every public official I know believes that his election is in the public interest. Therefore, if a president did something that he believes will help him get elected – something he believes is in the public interest – that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.” I struggled to understand that.

Let’s apply some Logic 101.
If A (doing something he believes is in the public interest), then B (it cannot be impeachable).​

Dershowitz claims this is a true statement. If so, the Contrapositive should also be true… If NOT B, then NOT A.
If something CAN result in impeachment, then the president DID NOT DO something that he believes would help him get elected – this would also be something AGAINST the public interest.​

Huh? Something is clearly wrong here. If the original Implication is true, then the Contrapositive should also be true. Instead, it makes no sense at all. If anything, it sounds more irrational than his original Implication. To carry this one step further, the Contrapositive of his original Implication says:

Something that is against the public interest – losing an election or re-election – would be grounds for impeachment.​

Why bother with an election or re-election if it’s unconstitutional to lose? Alan Dershowitz flunks Constitutional Law, must less Logic 101.

Dershowitz’s grew up in Brooklyn, where con-artists with a cocky attitude are a dime a dozen. Imagine Bugs Bunny. Bugs had that Brooklyn accent – and that classic Brooklyn attitude. Dershowitz may have spent some 50 years at Harvard Law School, but 50 years wasn’t long enough for him to loose ‘dat Brooklyn attitude’. Those skills may have contributed to his success as a court room defense attorney, but they fail at Constitutional Law.

If Dershowitz asks to you to make change for a $20 bill, just walk away. Never play poker with him – and never ever take him up on an offer to sell you a bridge.
 
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BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
I agree with you on this. Not a single thing which current administration or its lackeys do makes much sense, but ass un ex-Brooklyn resident for 10 years, I take some offense on the implication of "brooklinism".
Please also keep in mind that with 2.3mil people living in Brooklyn, makes this Boro by populace the same size as US #4 city, Houston, TX. and about 600 languages (including dialects) spoken
 
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TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
He is a lawyer, so what sort of logic did you expect? As a group they are expected to turn the principals of logic on their head. That why they command such high fees. It is all about creating reasonable doubt in a jury stuffed with people who are hand picked to be not in the top percentiles of the IQ tables.

If you get called to jury duty and seem to be of above average intelligence, one lawyer or the other will object and make sure you get sent home and never hear the case.
 
NINaudio

NINaudio

Audioholic Chief
If you get called to jury duty and seem to be of above average intelligence, one lawyer or the other will object and make sure you get sent home and never hear the case.
Well that is good to know.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
There is no point in trying to make sense of the arguments from people who are arguing in bad faith. Dershowitz (who has been credibly accused of child rape, btw) knows he is just vomiting up a nonsensical word salad, he just doesn't care. Thankfully Republicans seem to be passing beyond the point of trying to justify their positions and have finally accepted their actions for the naked power grab that it is. Don't bother expending energy on trying to make heads or tails of Republican arguments; you are attempting to project reason on people who don't have any serious capacity to reason. Republicans only understand brute force, so they only way you can communicate with them is by voting against them or anyone aligned with them and by make contributions to their opponents' campaigns.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
I think you may have lost some people with your logic chart.
For instruction it is always a good idea to remember who your target audience is!

Hoping this will help:

Here are all the various forms of If-Then statements, their Logic names, and their true/false status:
ImplicationIf A, then BIf it’s Bose, then it blowsTrue
ContrapositiveIf not B, then not AIf it does NOT blow, then it cannot be BoseTrue
ConverseIf not A, then not BIf it’s NOT Bose, then it cannot blowFalse
InverseIf B, then AIf it blows, then it must be BoseFalse
NegationIf A, then not BIf it’s Bose, then it does NOT blowFalse
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
The republicans have become the audiophools of politics?
I suspect Dershowitz knew exactly what he was doing, which was trying his best to make a bogus statement sound reasonable. If he can do that, then the people who don't want to be encumbered with the thought process can just say it sounded reasonable when Dershowitz said it. They are not looking for truth (most people seem to know the truth). Rather, they are looking for any possible way to distort the truth that fits their objective,
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
I suspect Dershowitz knew exactly what he was doing, which was trying his best to make a bogus statement sound reasonable. If he can do that, then the people who don't want to be encumbered with the thought process can just say it sounded reasonable when Dershowitz said it. They are not looking for truth (most people seem to know the truth). Rather, they are looking for any possible way to distort the truth that fits their objective,
Thus my comparison to audiophools :) Maybe more those pushing the snake oil but....
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
If you get called to jury duty and seem to be of above average intelligence, one lawyer or the other will object and make sure you get sent home and never hear the case.
Been there, done that, at least two times, maybe three. Everytime, one of the defense lawyers asked prospective jurors to stand up 1) if they had been to college but did not graduate, 2) if they graduated college, or 3) if they had gone to school beyond a bachelor's degree. After counting noses, all those standing were excused from serving on the jury. I left before they could change their minds. So did roughly 50 others. They were not interested in jurors who were educated beyond high school.
 
P

pewternhrata

Audioholic Chief
...logic 101, you forgot a key; fallacy...
I took quite a bit of logic courses and enjoyed them but also struggled. Application is key and can often times be misrepresented.
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
It was simply a Dershoshitz storm.
LOL :D
He is a lawyer, so what sort of logic did you expect?
There is no point in trying to make sense of the arguments from people who are arguing in bad faith.
Dershowitz (who has been credibly accused of child rape, btw) knows he is just vomiting up a nonsensical word salad, he just doesn't care.
No wonder he was selected for Trump's Dream Team. Trump, apparently, has avoided raping underage children, and might feel superior to his lawyers.

In answer to all who responded, whether I quoted you or not, thanks for reading my wordy post. I never expected more from criminal defense or political advisor lawyers. However, from someone who poses on national media as a Harvard Constitutional lawyer, I expected someone who could be more convincing than Dershowitz. Silly me. (I'm glad I never went to law school, I would have made a terrible lawyer.) I guess Dershowitz was more than enough for those senators who never intended for an impeachment trial that included sworn testimony from real witnesses.

Actually, I impressed myself that I could remember anything at all about If-Then statements and logic arguments about Implications vs. Contrapositives, etc. Perhaps I really did listen back in 7th grade Math class. Late Friday night, I spent a lot of time looking up that stuff to make sure I got it right. Kurt's specific examples were much better that what I chose. Thanks @KEW :D.

After reading & rejecting a lot of general crap about philosophy & logic, I eventually surprised myself to realize the Contrapositive stuff really was all it took to expose Dershowitz as a con-man from Brooklyn, who is also full of that phony Harvard bravado. So I wrote it all down – offline – knowing it needed a lot editing the next day before it was ready to post here. Believe me, it did ;).

Just yesterday, I had to begin taking high-dose prednisone (60 mg/day) to counter a return of my auto-immune inflamed eye problem. I may be on it for 2-4 weeks :eek:. For those who haven't had the pleasure, prednisone acts like extremely high levels of adrenaline, recreating the "fight or flight" response. But instead of rapidly coming & going, it lasts all day & night.

So I was glad anyone read or followed my post. Apparently no one was impressed as I was that 7th grade math class logic really was all it took to expose Dershowitz's Constitutional Law spin effort as irrational. But being that impressed might require a prednisone-induced point of view. (I don't wish that on anyone, except maybe some GOP senators.) Thanks for reading my rants & rambling.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
Good luck with the eye issue, have occasionally had issues with such but haven't been prescribed Prednisone but rather a steroid I don't remember, doesn't sound fun.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
Actually, I was very impressed when you brought up the logic If-Then statements!
 
NINaudio

NINaudio

Audioholic Chief
Just yesterday, I had to begin taking high-dose prednisone (60 mg/day) to counter a return of my auto-immune inflamed eye problem. I may be on it for 2-4 weeks :eek:. For those who haven't had the pleasure, prednisone acts like extremely high levels of adrenaline, recreating the "fight or flight" response. But instead of rapidly coming & going, it lasts all day & night.
Ugh, sorry to hear that. I've been prescribed it before for asthma/sinus infections/allergies. I would always have random side effects: I'd want to eat everything in sight one time, then the next time I'd have trouble sleeping, then the next time I'd break out, etc. The last time I took it and couldn't sleep. I went back to my doctor after not sleeping for 3 days. He wanted to know of any other side effects and he asked me if I felt irritable. I just looked at him and said "I haven't slept in 3 days, what do you think Doc?!"
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
Ugh, sorry to hear that.
Thanks, I appreciate that.
I've been prescribed it before for asthma/sinus infections/allergies. I would always have random side effects: I'd want to eat everything in sight one time, then the next time I'd have trouble sleeping, then the next time I'd break out, etc.
Been there, done that, got the T shirt. Actually, I have quite a few of those T shirts.

When I first took high-dose prednisone, my wife said she finally could know what I was like when I was a teenager. Then she winked and said, "a teenager going through menopause".
The last time I took it and couldn't sleep. I went back to my doctor after not sleeping for 3 days. He wanted to know of any other side effects and he asked me if I felt irritable. I just looked at him and said "I haven't slept in 3 days, what do you think Doc?!"
LOL. Some of those side effects can be serious. High blood pressure, weight gain, bone loss, elevated blood glucose – a problem for diabetics, mood swings, and depression if you reduce dosage too quickly.

In the past, I had to take sleeping pills, first Ambien, and later Lunesta. This go round, I'm trying quick-dissolve melatonin. Last night I took 20 mg (4×5 mg) and still was awake for hours. With low-dose (7.5 mg) maitnance doses of prednisone, I can easily sleep with a single 5 mg melatonin. If that doesn't work, I'll ask for Lunesta again.
 
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