We’re interested here in why people believe this female Ford’s charges against male SCOTUS nominee Kavanaugh. Many progressives say Ford’s evidence, even at this late date (I’m editing this on the morning of 25 September) is “credible.”
What could they mean by this word? And what could they mean when they chant “I believe survivors”?
In the old days, credible, a belief word, meant “appearing to merit belief or acceptance”. This word applied to the evidence used to support a conclusion — such as the conclusion “He’s guilty” — and not the conclusion itself, which here are details of the accusation.
It’s clear, back then, that accusers meant their conclusion to be deducible from the evidence (the details of the accusation). So it was always a question of how reliable the evidence was. We examined the evidence, in each part, and verified whether each part was true, false, or in between.
If the evidence was faulty, lacking, false, uncertain, tainted, or otherwise corrupted, it was tossed. The conclusion could then no longer be deduced, because, obviously, the conclusion was deduced from the evidence. This led to the conclusion being set aside (the conclusion could still be true or false, which we could only know with reference to different evidence than the discredited evidence).
That was then. These days, the conclusion is taken to be true because the charge was made or, rather, because of the “seriousness of the charges.” (Remember Anita Hill?) The charge itself is taken as sufficient evidence. The other evidence, the details in the accusation, are incidental, almost beside the point.
This is why you see people still, right now, saying Ford’s accusations are “credible”, even though her evidence has fallen apart (e.g., all the people she said were at her party under oath swore they were not present). They still say “credible” because the main evidence is the accusation itself; those details about who was where when are trivial distractions. It doesn’t matter if the details are true or false.
This new interpretation is everywhere. Global warming is true because of the seriousness of the charges. Incidentals like failed climate models are dismissed. The charge — or theory — is true because of its inherent importance.
I am a woman because I say I am. The biological evidence that I am a male is incidental, and dismissed, because of the seriousness of the charges.
This new definition of credible therefore represents a true Triumph of the Will. Reality itself must bend to our desires. Let me explain that, too.
Substituting fantasy and desire for Reality has, of course, always been with us. But it is only now that it is becoming institutionalized, the default reaction. “The law of the land,” and so forth.
The divide is between Realists and Fantasists. In Ford’s case, the Realists are frustrated Fantasists still believe even though all Ford’s direct evidence has been proved faulty; therefore the conclusion does not follow. “Why can’t they see that?” Realists ask.
The Fantasists do not care about the incidental evidence. The charge is too serious in all its consequences. Therefore the conclusion must be true. “Why can’t the Realists understand this?” they counter. (Some hovering between Reality and Fantasy try to make hay of highly circumstantial evidence, such as that some witnesses reported seeing Kavanaugh drunk before.)
The only sole lone thing that could “destroy” Ford’s conclusion is that if she publicly, forcefully, and loudly declares, “I lied.” The charge will have been removed; therefore, the conclusion no longer follows, even for a Fantasist.
This same battle takes place everywhere the Culture War is fought. This is why it always appears the battle over direct evidence never goes anywhere. It can’t. It’s ultimately a battle of who has True Authority. Nature, and Nature’s God, i.e. Reality, or Man’s Will.
This explains why charges of sexual assault do not (often) work against progressive politicians. Fantasists, which are most progressives, use seriousness of the charges as their main evidence, ignoring, when convenient, the details of the accusation. When a progressive politician is accused, and the charges bear up, the Fantasist fallacy works in the opposite direction.
First there are the ends-justify-the-means crowd, the pure Machiavellians. Liars all. There isn’t any need to explain this. But this group, once the largest, is about even with pure Fantasists. These folks actually believe. The Machiavellian knows he’s lying, but the Fantasist does not. The consequences of losing the progressive politician because of the charge are so serious (and this varies by the person under consideration, of course) that the Fantasist cannot believe the charges against the progressive politician are true, not really true.
Of course, when the politician is of no more use, or is otherwise a liability, the charges against him are treated just like charges against a Realist. Even Bill Clinton is still believed.
Finally “I believe survivors”. Why wouldn’t a “survivor” be believed? A survivor is a person who was almost killed only to be saved by some thing or event. Only kidding: “survivor” means victim of some sort, even where the threat of death was low or non-existent. Skip that.
The only reason not to believe a “survivor” is because it is suspected the “survivor” is lying about being a “survivor”. To issue the blanket statement “I believe survivors” thus discounts any possibility, or rather any interest, in whether the “survivor” is lying (or mistaken). It is to say the consequences of the “survivor’s” charges are too serious for their accusation not to be believed. A “survivor” who lied is not a survivor.
“I believe survivors” is thus pure Fantasist thinking.
Addendum As evidence how bad it’s getting, this: BOY, 13, ARRESTED, CUFFED AND DRAGGED FROM SCHOOL OVER #METOO ALLEGATIONS.