Contributor Perspectives

The Problem With Judging the Speaker, Not the Statement

Philip Bobbitt
Board of Contributors
Aug 25, 2016 | 08:00 GMT
The Problem With Judging the Speaker, Not the Statement
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies before the House Select Committee on Benghazi. Those investigations have now focused on her use of private email servers, a revelation irrelevant to the purpose for which the committee was formed.
(SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

We are all subject to a common fallacy: We often weigh the validity of a claim by evaluating the person who made it instead of examining the facts. The truth or falsity of the claim is submerged in the sincerity of the speaker and the fact that he is, or at least appears to be, patently convinced of the truth of the statements he is making. But while beliefs can change reality, they can't substitute for it. ...

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