Sunday, July 08, 2007

Everything/Nothing Fallacy

I always hate when I hear someone say something in the form "If you x everything, than you x nothing." Like if you believe in everything than you believe in nothing, or if everyone is special than no one is. The latter, of course, being an always trendy thing for guy into counterculture platitudes. The shorter version is "If everyone's unique then nobody is." The more correct argument is "If everyone's unique than nobody is, in particular." I mean, you wouldn't say, "If everyone's alive than no one is" because that is retarded... I mean absurd. It's also a premise used against an egalitarian distribution of wealth or equal education. Probably other ideas too. Point is, it's a bad argument that keeps getting repeated. Stop it. Please.

Disclaimer: This only applies to non comparative x's. If everything is hot, then nothing is makes sense. Special is not a necessarily an adjective that compares.