Monday, November 28, 2005

How Many Arguments Will Stick To The Wall?

At the bottom of the October page, in the 'Comments' section, I argued with "Dexy" about the Badfinger book. This debater, although using better structure than some previous opponents, has used the same overall approach; i.e. throw everything you can against the wall and see if anything sticks. The problem with this approach is the abundance of refuted arguments that fall to the ground.

Dexy eventually supplied some answers to my questions, which are in the comments section of this article, but few of these are very applicable to the accuracy of the book.

In this case (as in many cases), the argument mainly revolves around whether or not author Dan Matovina had a bias against the Mollands and portrayed that in the book. Any proponent of "bias" is working from a presumption. The burden of proof for a presumption is squarely on the shoulders of the proponent. I don't have to prove the non-existence of bias. In the case of "bias," I look at the verified evidence and conclude there was none, or at least none that is perceivable.

Regarding the topic of missing information: This is a subject that can be forever debated without any resolution. Theoretically, a totally comprehensive book on any subject could fill several sets of encyclopedias. Obviously not every bit of information will be included in a single book. Are the things that are left out designed to deceive the readers? Conspiracy proponents will say yes. I say no. The preponderance of available, verified evidence indicates the book presents facts as they are. Interviewees who have stepped forward have said the book represented what they said, and basically represented events as they remembered them. Not a single book participant has stepped forward and said Matovina twisted facts or was pushing an agenda.

Suppose a piece of missing information was something favorable to Joey, say a charity benefit he performed for. Is this evidence for "bias?" Again, the preponderance of evidence suggests not. One might also find a charity benefit performed by Tom Evans that was not included, or a substantial contribution made by Pete Ham to a charity that was not included. A modus operandi would need to be compiled, not a single instance, to prove an omission of facts against the Mollands. But since the book has been far more informative than Joey has been about Badfinger history, the problem of omissions appears to reside in Joey's corner.