Defective reasoning | Inquirer Opinion

Defective reasoning

/ 05:10 AM May 25, 2018

This is a response to Celeste Cruz who claimed that Bernardo Villegas’ defense of President Duterte on divorce is “nonsense” (“Consider all angles on divorce,” 5/8/18).

She affirms that “the President himself is separated from his lawful wife” and so his position against divorce “is sheer hypocrisy.” This is a fallacy or defective reasoning. The President might not have some virtue but he can still make a reasonable point in an argument.


Her second argument is also defective. She pointed out that the statistics Villegas used came from the United States and will “not apply to a poor country like ours.” Wealth is irrelevant because both rich and poor people have similar problems in marriage: misunderstandings, infidelity, etc. Moreover, Cruz claims that rich countries allow divorce. If we were to follow her line of thinking then we cannot allow divorce because we are a poor country. This is arguable.

She claims that Villegas did not take into account “broken families caused by women who work overseas and leave their children behind.” I think she did not read the article well because Villegas did consider children of broken families even if they might not be caused by women who work overseas. “Children from broken homes are significantly more likely to divorce as adults, to experience marital problems, to suffer from mental illness and delinquency, to drop out of high school, to have poor relationships with one or both parents, and to have difficulty committing to a relationship,” Villegas wrote.


What does Cruz want to conclude from her arguments? She did not say. What can we conclude if her arguments are defective?

FR. CECILIO L. MAGSINO, [email protected]

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TAGS: Bernardo Villegas, divorce
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