Friday, March 29, 2013

Life is fair.

Life is fair.

There, I said it, and I’m somebody. Somebody has just said life is fair. Let me go on record as saying life is fair. Let me say it multiple times, in multiple tenses, just to make sure:

Life is fair. Life was fair. Life is going to be fair.

This is how I’m going to become famous. By uttering that one sentence, I can now become a household name, because in writing that one sentence I have destroyed a giant cliché. The cliché is “No one ever said that life is fair.” Now, anyone who reads my blog will be able to say that’s not true, because I said it. You can quote me, give the URL, print out this blog entry, give the date and time, you name it, there’s proof.

Same thing with “Where is it written that life is supposed to be fair?” Right here: Life is supposed to be fair. Life is supposed to be fair. It's written right here on this obscure blog.

Now if you’re really clever or want to forget reading this or don’t want to stoke my ego, you could of course offer your own individual rebuttal whenever anyone says the cliché. For example:

Trite Idiot: “No one ever said life is fair.”
You: “Life is fair. Now you can’t say that anymore.”

I’m not saying I believe that life is fair. I recognize the mountain of counterevidence against the idea of the inherent fairness of human existence. However, the trite proverb is that no one ever said it, not that no one ever believed it. I am perfectly capable of saying something or writing something online that I don’t really believe. I’m clearly not alone in that ability. You can disagree with me all you want, but you can never say that no one ever said it.

There is one major flaw in all this, which is that my attempt can be thwarted by the logical fallacy of equivocation, which (as I understand it) includes changing the definition of a word in the middle of a debate in order to prove the original statement. It’s extremely common and it’s a total no-no as far as rational discussion goes, but a lot of people fall for it or are tempted to use it. So, for example:

Trite Idiot: “Nobody ever said life was fair.”
Smartass: “Temujin said it just last week on his blog.”
Trite Idiot: “Who’s Temujin?”
Smartass: “Nobody.”
Trite Idiot: “See, I was right. Nobody said life was fair.”

P.S. I'm a trite idiot myself sometimes, so please don't anyone take that as a total insult. I don't use that phrase to suggest I'm a better person.


  1. Life is fair. Sometimes. Maybe it's not as fair as we wished it to be. But, sooner or later, we will discover its fairness :)

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    1. Like I said, I'm not saying I'm right. I'm just saying that I said it.