Think Before You Rush To
Judge People - No Peeking


Subject: 2 Questions
Question 1:
If you knew a woman who was pregnant, who had 8 kids already, three who were deaf,
two who were blind, one mentally retarded, and she had syphilis, would you recommend
that she have an abortion?
Read the next question before looking at the answer for this
Question 2:
It is time to elect a new world leader, and only your vote counts.
Here are the facts about the three leading candidates.
Candidate A -
Associates with crooked politicians, and consults with astrologists.
He's had two Mistresses. He also chain smokes and drinks 8 to 10 martinis a day.
Candidate B -
He was kicked out of office twice, sleeps until noon, used opium in college and
drinks a quart of whiskey every evening.
Candidate C -
He is a decorated war hero. He's a vegetarian, doesn't smoke, drinks an occasional
beer and never cheated on his wife.
Which of these candidates would be your choice?
Decide first, no peeking, then scroll down for the answer.
Candidate A is Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Candidate B is Winston Churchill.
Candidate C is Adolph Hitler.
And, by the way, the answer to the abortion question:
If you said yes, you just killed Beethoven, it's his mother.
Pretty interesting isn't it? Makes a person think before judging someone.
Remember:Amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.
Can you imagine working for a company that has a little more than 500 employees and
has the following statistics:
* 29 have been accused of spousal abuse
* 7 have been arrested for fraud
* 19 have been accused of writing bad checks
* 117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses
* 3 have done time for assault
* 71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
* 14 have been arrested on drug-related charges!
* 8 have been arrested for shoplifting
* 21 are currently defendants in lawsuits
* 84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year
Can you guess which organization this is?
Give up yet?
It's the 535 members of the United States Congress. The same group of idiots that
crank out hundreds of new laws each year designed to keep the rest of us in line.
From Mike Nelson
Good advice, but unfortunately it's presented with some glurgiously bad examples.
We'll tackle the second half first. It has some good points, namely that by selectively choosing which facts to report, you can make just about anyone look good or bad. It also (perhaps unintentionally) provides an example demonstrating that facts offered out of context can be more misleading than no facts at all: Hitler's diet was primarily vegetarian throughout the latter part of his life; however, he didn't adopt a vegetarian diet for moral reasons, but because he suffered from gastric problems.
Still, some of the semantic trickery used here makes this a rather poor example. Hitler had affairs with several women (some of whom died under mysterious circumstances), but they weren't technically "extramarital" affairs because he wasn't married. Playing games with language might also be part of the lesson here, but we suspect that whoever crafted this piece included some misinformation by mistake, not by design.
The Beethoven example is egregiously misleading. Beethoven was born well over two hundred years ago, in an era when the infant mortality was quite high by modern standards, and even infants who survived were often afflicted with serious health problems. Children didn't die or experience physical problems so frequently back then simply because they were all born to mothers who were themselves in poor health, as is implied here. Offering an 18th century example in a 20th century setting is a very poor way of making a serious point.
Also, Beethoven was not born to a woman who "had 8 kids already." Although his mother, Maria Magdalena Laym (nee Kewerich) gave birth a total of eight times during her lifetime, Ludwig was only her third child. (Her first two children, one from a previous marriage, both died in infancy.) Only two of Beethoven's five younger siblings survived beyond their first few years of their life.
Even if we take this example at face value, its message is still problematic. If the woman in the example had been advised to abort her pregnancy based on the (mis)information supplied here, the world would never have known the magic of Beethoven's music. But maybe a different woman who did opt to terminate her pregnancy might have spared the world another Stalin or Hitler. This is the sort of speculative "What if?" game that neither side can win, so it's best not to play at all.



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