This article is devoted to uncovering and articulating the illogic and irrationality of a 911 truther named Abraham Hafiz Rodriguez. The beliefs, arguments, and accusations brought on by Abe attack not only the victims of 9-11-01 and their families, but they also belittle the integrity and rationality of all witnesses, scientists, skeptics, Ground Zero workers, government officials, and everyone else impacted by the event. The primary goal of this project is to analyze Abe's thought patterns and how they fail to bring about the logical, rational conclusions that most people take for granted.
Abe joined the James Randi forum on March 7th, 2010, and created this thread. In it, Abe explained that his conscience had urged him to speak up about evidence suggesting that the World Trade Center towers were brought down by a laser beam. He referenced the work of Dr. Judy Wood, a 911 truther who has been so extreme that Dr. Steven Jones barred her from his AE911Truth movement. Rather than arguing that the towers were brought down by explosives, as Steven Jones and his constituents have suggested, Wood has claimed that a laser beam from space disintegrated the towers, turning them instantly into dust. This article does not intend to debunk Wood's allegations because I am not interested in rehashing settled debates. A refutation to Judy Wood's argument can be found here:
More refutations of Judy Wood can be found via Google and at the James Randi forum. Search for Judy Wood or DEW (Directed Energy Weapon) for countless rebuttals. Also, read the two releveant forum posts linked at the top of this page. The first link includes a compilation of refutations (thank you, A W Smith).
A number of efforts have been made to show Abe the illogic and fallacies in his arguments and questions. He pertains to the JAQ type of 911 truther ("just asking questions") where he posts other people's "research" and posits supposedly unanswered questions. Many former truthers including myself have been quickly converted to the light side when shown rational, logical explanations for their questions. Abe, on the other hand, has responded in a number of ways:
Abe has likely not been a "troll" (one whose goal is simply to annoy) in regards to 911 truth. On the contrary, his personal information has suggested the opposite. Abe has believed whole-heartedly in the 911 truth movement and that the NIST Report and 911 Commission Report are not only wrong, but are also part of a government cover-up. Here, I will attempt to analyze Abe's thought process and why he has failed to reach the same conclusion as the sane, rational people among us.
This flow chart outlines the thought process of rational and irrational people. The rational person begins with logical premises to reach a true conclusion. The rational person then uses this conclusion as a premise for a subsequent conclusion, and so on.
The irrational person can begin with logical premises that reach a true conclusion. At this point, however, the irrational person, instead of using logic to make their next point, relies on intuition. Going off of the wrong conclusion resulting from the use of intuition, this irrational person may revert back to logic to finish their train of thought.
Using the flow chart, we can understand how Abe's thought process on 911 has worked. He would start with the logical conclusion that the towers have indeed been destroyed. He would also logically deduce that we cannot 100% rule out all possibilities. This is simply the way of philosophy - nothing can be proven to be 100% true or false; and thus, few arguments can be said to be valid. The trap that Abe has fallen into, however, is the inability to weigh the options. Let's say the three possibilites for 911 are
Abe has already logically and correctly concluded that the towers fell and that we don't 100% know how. At this point, logical, rational people look at the evidence and decide which conclusion is the strongest. Sometimes, we have the wrong information and therefore make a false conclusion. This isn't due to faulty logic; rather, we simply did not have the correct information. 911, thankfully, is not one of those situations. We have enormous amounts of evidence making a strong case for planes not only hitting the buildings, but also single handedly bringing down the towers. We cannot be 100% certain, but we logically have to believe this conclusion because of how strong the argument is.
Abe, unfortunately, could not claim that he's come to false conclusions simply because he had the wrong information. The reason for his irrationality has been an appeal to intuition. For whatever reason, his intuition has told him that a doctor with few if any constituents has correctly solved the 911 "mystery". His intuition has caused him to believe that the towers instantly turned to dust upon being hit by a space beam. This isn't about having the wrong facts. He has explicitly chosen to ignore visual evidence that shows significant portions of the towers still intact after the collapse completed. He has explicitly chosen to believe that the government some how digitally added planes into all of the media broadcasts and amateur cameras around the world. He has explicitly chosen to ignore all of the evidence shown to him by logical, rational people over at least the previous five months, let alone the nine years since the attack.
Once Abe strayed down the dark side, logic only furthered his descent. Once he arrived at the false conclusion that the towers instantly turned to dust, he logically concluded that they must have fallen at free fall speed. Once he falsely concluded that there were no planes on 911, he logically concluded that there was a coverup. He has built an irrational argument on a foundation based on a dangerous mix of logic and intuition.
Here is the only way Abe can be saved. First, he must be willing to admit that he could be wrong. He already knows that nothing is 100% certain. Therefore, it is logically possible that he's come to the wrong conclusions. Once he realizes this and is willing to sincerely look at all of the evidence, Abe will have to identify the point at which he derailed from logic to intuition. This, as I've already pointed out, occurred when he put more weight into an alternative theory than the true story. He needs to go back and find out why he chose to believe the space beam theory. He will have to consider all arguments and premises that support his beliefs and find out why they are wrong. Ultimately, he will need to critically assess each of these points and be willing to accept his fallibility. For his and every one of his potential patients' sakes, I hope he does.