Jan 26, 2012

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Fallacy of the Week – Special Pleading

Special Pleading _the error of using a double standard.

Example:

“Law enforcement should be exempt from some of the laws they enforce. After all, laws are made to protect us from criminals“.

This tactic has been used over and over again to bend the rules or change who the rules apply to. Elites often try to sway the game in their favor by changing the definitions.

Another way they get this accomplished is by using an emotional appeal to make an exception to the rule for a “special” case. You see this constantly in the media. For every single confessed standard, there is an unconfessed double standard at work.

 

Get the complete Fallacy of the Week list here

Go to the first Fallcy of the Week:

Fallacy of the Week – Ad Hominem

 

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Jan 20, 2012

Posted by John Loeffler | 1 Comment

Fallacy of the Week – Slippery Slope Fallacy

Slippery Slope Fallacy _ the claim that a particular action will trigger a negative chain of events, when in reality many surrounding factors would prevent the result.

Example:

“We can’t allow people to bring beverages into the conference room. If we do, soon they’ll be bringing in snacks and then meals. Pretty soon we’ll have a full-blown restaurant in here! I’d have to hire wait staff and a chef! We could get shut down for a health code violation! Somebody could even choke and die! Do you want that on your conscience?”

The power of this fallacy comes from the “domino effect” of linking one hypothetical scenario to another, and so on, to an undesirable end. That end result is then used as a powerful emotional reason to prevent the so-called “cause”.

There are valid cause and effect relationships to everyday scenarios and by using logic and information, we can extrapolate those results with accuracy. However, in the Slippery Slope fallacy, the normal safeguards between the steps which would prevent the progression are intentionally left out.

The fallacy is identified by an increasing number of vaguely defined steps between cause and effect to draw out an emotional response.

It’s also important to note that the Slippery Slope fallacy is not incrementalism. Progressives have an agenda to move people from one paradigm to another slowly, without much notice or resistance. In this case, the safeguards are removed by stealth and deception. The progress to the desired outcome is carefully controlled and monitored.

Next Week:

Fallacy of the Week – Special Pleading

 

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Jan 12, 2012

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Fallacy of the Week – Reification

Reification _ attributing an absolute definitive characteristic to something abstract.

Otherwise known as the Fallacy of Ambiguity.

Examples:

“Love is blind.”

“Justice is impartial.”

“Evil has no conscience.”

This is closely related to the Equivocation Fallacy by altering the definition of a word, term or object within an argument. Assigning human qualities to inanimate objects or abstract composites is called anthropomorphization. Anthropos meaning man and morphos meaning to change into.

How we describe things indicates what we believe about them. We sometimes use word pictures to convey to others how we see the world around us. If we draw a literal comparison between philosophical abstracts and objects or intentions, we risk sending the wrong message.

It’s precisely this method of disinformation that makes reification dangerous in media and debate. The one using reification attempts to incorrectly paint a word picture to bias or taint the truth.

 

Next Week:

Fallacy of the Week – Slippery Slope Fallacy

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Jan 5, 2012

Posted by John Loeffler | 1 Comment

Fallacy of the Week – Question-begging Epithet

Question-begging Epithet _ using biased or emotional language to coerce people into accepting a position rather than using logic or evidence.

Example:

“Only a total moron would agree with your position! You and all your supporters are completely wacko!

Strong language doesn’t equal sound argument. In fact, this fallacy is usually committed when the opponent can’t find anything worthwhile to to say in rebuttal. A knee-jerk response is a very good indicator that a civil and logical discussion is nearing the end.

Many people don’t like having their worldview challenged. You’ll know the sensitive areas of a person’s beliefs when you gently prod them a bit. It’s like a doctor probing a patient for the source of their discomfort. Often, it takes facing pain and self-inspection to overcome illness. Vulnerability and exposure frightens some people and keeps them in bondage. Truth is an instrument of healing; for both diagnosis and for remedy.

If you find yourself stomping off and calling the other guy a jerk, it’s time to inspect your worldview. Never be afraid to examine your weaknesses. Build up your ability to stand by asking yourself the hard questions like “Is what I believe about this true?”. Be willing to really listen to people and see things from their position. Research opposing viewpoints to yours and graciously admit when you’re wrong or when you need more information.

In the worldview wars, we don’t have to hate each other to fight a good fight.

We have a saying around here: “Your failure to be informed doesn’t make me a wacko!”

 

Next Week:

Fallacy of the Week – Reification

 

 

 

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