Sunday, April 10, 2005

Jim Soorley's false position

Normally I wouldn't touch the Ex-Lord Mayor of Brisbane's opinion column with a 10 foot pole (pun intended - see below), given its complete lack of point. But he provides a nice example of false positioning when he has a go at the recently past Polish Pope. Also known as the straw-man fallacy, Soorley has attacked an oversimplified version of his opponent's argument to make it easy to "knock down".

Writing about the mission for the next Pope Hard questions wait for new Pope: The role of women must be updated – not all women are home-makers and mothers.

A quick google and here is what the Pope actually said: A woman must give priority to her role as mother before any other public or professional activity… Her original mission, for which she cannot be replaced, is to stay at home to raise children.

Clearly this is not the simplistic statement which Soorley makes. The Pope's beliefs were based on his understanding of Catholic doctrine and biological facts (only females can give birth), not mere sexism. Whether one agrees or disagrees with this is irrelevant. But if one disagrees, the actual point made by the Pope, in all its detail and specifics should be addressed; not a caricature of it. This is the problem with Soorley's pointless pontificating in general. It tends to be ill thought out drivel that he must spend about 30 minutes working on every Saturday morning. I hope he put more effort in as Lord Mayor.