Category Archives: post hoc ergo propter hoc

The European Court of Justice makes an ass of itself

Judicial populism

Dalrymple points out that

evidence based on post hoc ergo propter hoc, the fallacy employed by a thousand bar-room experts on every subject under the sun,

is now admissible in European courts. We are, he notes,

not far from the Azande belief that no death is natural, each death is caused by witchcraft.

Powerful idiocy

Dalrymple says that

an instinct of sympathy for the underdog is an admirable personal quality, no doubt,

but

it must be tempered by a regard for truth and justice, above all in courts of law.

The European Court of Justice

is certainly not the first to make an ass of itself, and it will not be the last. But idiocy is sinister when it is powerful idiocy.