Monday, September 24, 2012
Come on Datuk Seri Nazri, Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham’s tweet is not a Proposition but a Question
By: Choo Sing Chye
'‘Learning Logic will do politicians more good than harm'’, said one professor from my university. ‘I don’t understand,'’ one student chipped in, "you mean that politicians should acquire knowledge on Logic or us."
'‘You,’' replied the professor. ‘'You are all going into the world as journalists and politicians. Therefore you need to study Logic so that you know precisely what you are speaking about, and precisely what you are saying about."
'‘Precision is the first fruit of the study of Logic and precision will sharpen your statements, and add points and force to your arguments correctly.
'‘Lack of it, shows itself in the 'deficiency disease' of the mind i.e. vagueness, woolliness of expression and feeble grip of the matter at hand.
‘'Remember this, Logic at its lower levels blends with grammar and at its height, merges in philosophy.'’
So true, look at the arguments of our local politicians and the writings of the Barisan Nasional leaning columnists and journalists and compare them to the West. You will be the judge.
Datuk Seri Nazri, as man with a vast legal knowledge and what’s more, a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, you should have known better.
Legally, the controversial part of Ngeh’s tweet is a QUESTION and Logically, it is also a QUESTION and not a PROPOSITION.
So, like any other questions, they end with a question-mark (?). Therefore, there is nothing, I repeat, absolutely nothing can be deduced beyond the question-mark be attributed to Ngeh.
If there is any deduction made, it should be rightly belongs to the person or persons who made it. In this case, Umno Youth Chief Khairy Jamaludin and Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir.
Datuk Seri Nazri, now let’s us use Logic to evaluate Ngeh’s tweet which sound as follows, ‘Khairy wants Muslim protest against Same Bacile. For Islam or for his political gains? Are Muslims wasting to much time and energy on this?’
Imperatively in Logic, we must first find out whether or not the controversial part of Ngeh’s tweet is a Propositional sentence. For a sentence to be considered as a Proposition, it should be capable of being true or false.
In Logic, all Propositions are sentences, but not all sentences are Propositions. Ejaculations, exclamations, prayers, wishes, commands, and questions are not Propositions.
Unmistakably, the controversial part of Ngeh’s tweet comes in a form of a question. It is easy to find out – a question-mark at the end of sentence means it is a question.
Therefore it automatically disqualifies Ngeh’s sentence as Propositional and rendering it without the tendency or capacity of being true ( positive) or false (negative).
In other words, Ngeh’s tweet question does not contain any element of falsity or truth.
It is waiting for an answer that contains both these two elements from whom ever wish to ANSWER. Period/Fullstop
Given that Ngeh’s tweet is not a Proposition, but a Question, we must be sincere to treat it as one.
Datuk Seri Nazri, let’s take a few steps further and examine the controversial part of Ngeh’s tweet in a more PRECISE manner.
When you call for the police to investigate Ngeh’s tweet, you must be on solid ground.
Are you on solid ground? No, my dear Datuk Seri Nazri! Here is the reason why?
You would be on solid ground on this one condition only.
If Ngeh had included just a tiny negative three letter words ‘not’ in his controversial tweet, even it is posted in his tweet as a question, Ngeh would be guilty as hell.
Now look at his tweet carefully, this time with a NOT inserted:
'‘Are Muslims NOT wasting too much time and energy on this?'’
Well, this is like saying that Muslims are wasting time and energy even it is intended as a Question.
Lastly, Datuk Seri Nazri, if you can see the difference between the two sentences, you would agree with me that you have made a mistake on Ngeh's tweet. If you don’t, I have nothing else to say - I rest my case.
But, remember, journalists, editors from BBC, CNN and other Media from the West are watching…..please don’t surprise them…..