Of course, we all engage in it; some, merely by withholding certain known facts; others, by emphasizing and asserting portions of the logic employed while ignoring or deliberately averting the focus of other aspects. Selective reasoning through deliberate omission is the height of pragmatic oppression; for, when it is accomplished with knowledge and self-admission of premeditation, it involves a mind that knows the difference between proper application of logical reasoning and the intentional misrepresentation of facts.
We engage in such folly during the course of normal fights and argumentation; for, to win is the basis of arguing, and the ends often justify the means. Logic is a learned tool. It is the foundation of sound reasoning. It is not an inherent, in-born or even in-bred character of man, but it can bring out the evil therein.
As a tool, those who are good at it have a greater responsibility to use it wisely, honestly and with proper motives. It is the “selective” part of the reasoning that makes for honesty of dishonesty in the reasoning process, and the anomaly and irony, of course, is that the process itself — of reasoning — necessarily involves selectivity, for logical argumentation encapsulates proper and effective selection of facts, syllogistic approaches and propositional logic all bundled into one.
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management engages in selective reasoning, and their denials of Federal Disability Retirement applications reveal a level of such selectivity that one must conclude that it is being done intentionally and with deliberate knowledge.
Beware of denials; for, they try and make it appear as if you never had a chance to begin with in your FERS Disability Retirement application. OPM will selectively choose to extrapolate from various medical reports and records, and fail to mention or highlight the selective portions omitted, then reason that there was “insufficient” medical evidence despite facts and rational argumentation to the contrary.
Do not despair, and do not simply allow for the 30-day time period in which to file for Reconsideration to lapse; for it is precisely such selective reasoning that is meant to discourage, and to make you think that the denial is dismissively disproportionate so as to justify giving up altogether — which is precisely what their selective reasoning is meant to accomplish.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire