Monday, 8 August 2011

Matthew 7:3 a "tu quoque" fallacy

Discussing the topic of eviction of gypsies in the UK, my opponent cited Matthew 7:3 because a certain Racquel Rolnik, a UN "Special rapporteur" on Human Rights has criticised the eviction, and Prof Rolnik is from Sao Paulo where there have been many instances of human rights abuse.

Prof Rolnik, a professor at the faculty of architecture and urbanism of the University of Sao Paulo, has been a UN special rapporteur on adequate housing since 2008. She is an independent unpaid expert appointed by the Human Rights Council and it is believed she was asked to intervene by campaign groups.

Human rights is a pressing issue in her home country. Police killed 1,195 people in 2007 in the state of Rio de Janeiro alone, while Sao Paulo state officers killed 340 civilians in nine months in the same year. Another 1,940 vanished. Child labour is commonplace and torture has been widely reported in detention centres and prisons.

Matthew 7:3 "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" is classic Tu Quoque.

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