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Letter: Debate starts to feel like a ‘playground argument’


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A letter in the Aug. 23 Roswell Daily Record reads, “… a statement considered common knowledge does not require a citation.” He has previously used similar statements to justify his custom of refusing to answer pertinent questions and making sweeping generalizations and accusations he could not possibly know for certain.

Among his generalizations are, “Many of those here illegally are working strictly for cash … it is doubtful few are paying their fair share of taxes.”

“Those currently on our southern border are trying to enter our country legally.”

No one could possibly know if those statements are true of all or most of these people. He must not call it “common knowledge.”

Among the questions he refused to answer, “How many of the alleged ‘asylum seekers’ truly meet the definition of ‘refugees?’”

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“How many of them are criminals or terrorists?”

“How does enforcing our laws on immigration constitute ‘dehumanizing an entire race of people?’” “Which race are we ‘dehumanizing?’”

We must be careful of what we call “common knowledge.” It was once “common knowledge” that blood carried the mechanism for transmitting inherited traits. Today, we believe all our genetic information is in every cell of our bodies. It was once “common knowledge” that our bodies have many useless “vestigial organs” left over from evolution. We now know they all have a purpose. The appendix, for example, functions in the immune system. (Scott M. Hulse, “The Collapse of Evolution, Third Edition” Baker Books 1997, pp 146-147).

If that writer is truly concerned about the plight of the people on the border, what has he done besides writing letters to the editor  Has he organized a campaign to send food and sanitation items to the detention centers? He could urge people seeking a better life to apply from their own countries. This would relieve the overcrowding of our detention centers.

We must be very careful with facts and not make sweeping generalizations which cannot be known for certain and call it “common knowledge.”

I probably will not answer any more letters from that writer on this subject, as it is getting to be much like an argument on a playground.

“Is not.”

“Is too. My sources are better than yours.”

Russell A. Scott

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