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Damage done by use of logical fallacies

OzSpen

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In another thread, I responded to reba, ‘Don't you understand the damage done by those who commit logical fallacies on CFnet?’ (#115)

She replied: ‘No, please explain them to me. In a proper thread thanks
smile.gif
‘ (#116)

You can see some of the damage done to logical conversations by interactions in #s 103-115 in that thread.

I suggest to people on CFnet that they get to know the nature of logical fallacies, correct terms used for them, and the damage they do to reasonable/rational discussions. There is an excellent site dealing with some of the main logical fallacies, The Nizkor Project.

What is a logical fallacy?
As the Nizkor Project states, ‘A fallacy is, very generally, an error in reasoning. This differs from a factual error, which is simply being wrong about the facts. To be more specific, a fallacy is an "argument" in which the premises given for the conclusion do not provide the needed degree of support’.

To put it another way, logical fallacies happen when assertions are made and they cannot be substantiated. What seems to zoom past many people is that the people who use them are enthusiastic, and deliver them with conviction, and best of all they sound like the points made are proven facts and reasonable.

An Appeal to Ridicule Fallacy uses this type of erroneous reasoning:

The Appeal to Ridicule is a fallacy in which ridicule or mockery is substituted for evidence in an "argument." This line of "reasoning" has the following form:

  1. X, which is some form of ridicule is presented (typically directed at the claim).
  2. Therefore claim C is false.
This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because mocking a claim does not show that it is false. This is especially clear in the following example: "1+1=2! That's the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard!"

It should be noted that showing that a claim is ridiculous through the use of legitimate methods (such as a non fallacious argument) can make it reasonable to reject the claim….

Example:

"Those wacky conservatives! They think a strong military is the key to peace!" (The Nizkor Project)​

Logical fallacies I sometimes encounter on this forum include:
Damage done
When we use logical fallacies, it means that we engage in erroneous/ fallacious reasoning. Therefore, conducting a reasonable conversation is impossible as the issues being discussed have been side-lined and another agenda is being pursued.

So, a good way to hijack a discussion is with a logical fallacy. I encourage all people to be alert to the kinds of logical fallacies used in discussions – wherever – and to point them out here on CFnet to the person who used it. Then get back to the proper discussion.

For the religious instruction (RI) curriculum in the public schools here in Qld, I’m writing 2 lessons on logical fallacies that I’ve titled, ‘Tuning your bunkum detector’. You might call it, ‘Tuning your baloney detector’. The sub title for me is, ‘Verbal garbage for the wheelies of life – what to chuck out’. This is a grab from part of that lesson I wrote last week It’s for early teens:

In this RI class, in any class in school, when you watch your favourite TV show or download something on your Ipad or laptop, how do you choose between

  • bunkum and truth,
  • between baloney and facts,
  • between nonsense and wise things?
We’ll be looking at ways to do that in this lesson and the next.

Please remember, I want you to tune your bunkum detector so you keep me on my toes in this RI class and any other class in school. Here goes!

I may deliberately give you bunkum or garbage for the wheelies of life in this lesson on Christianity. Garbage for the wheelies of life have been used by Christians as well. I want you to listen carefully so you can tell me what kind of bunkum it is? We’ll be giving labels to the bunkum.

What will be the benefits to you if you know what is bunkum and should be tossed out as garbage or what is true and should be kept?​

In this lesson I deal with 4 logical fallacies. Here are the titles for the kids (what are their official titles?):

(a) Popularity does not win the contest

(b) Choose some and leave out heaps

(c) They are experts – they orta know

(d) Name calling

For the cause of Christian logic,

Oz
 
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JLB

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In another thread, I responded to reba, ‘Don't you understand the damage done by those who commit logical fallacies on CFnet?’ (#115)

She replied: ‘No, please explain them to me. In a proper thread thanks
smile.gif
‘ (#116)

You can see some of the damage done to logical conversations by interactions in #s 103-115 in that thread.

I suggest to people on CFnet that they get to know the nature of logical fallacies, correct terms used for them, and the damage they do to reasonable/rational discussions. There is an excellent site dealing with some of the main logical fallacies, The Nizkor Project.

What is a logical fallacy?
As the Nizkor Project states, ‘A fallacy is, very generally, an error in reasoning. This differs from a factual error, which is simply being wrong about the facts. To be more specific, a fallacy is an "argument" in which the premises given for the conclusion do not provide the needed degree of support’.

To put it another way, logical fallacies happen when assertions are made and they cannot be substantiated. What seems to zoom past many people is that the people who use them are enthusiastic, and deliver them with conviction, and best of all they sound like the points made are proven facts and reasonable.

An Appeal to Ridicule Fallacy uses this type of erroneous reasoning:

The Appeal to Ridicule is a fallacy in which ridicule or mockery is substituted for evidence in an "argument." This line of "reasoning" has the following form:

  1. X, which is some form of ridicule is presented (typically directed at the claim).
  2. Therefore claim C is false.
This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because mocking a claim does not show that it is false. This is especially clear in the following example: "1+1=2! That's the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard!"

It should be noted that showing that a claim is ridiculous through the use of legitimate methods (such as a non fallacious argument) can make it reasonable to reject the claim….

Example:

"Those wacky conservatives! They think a strong military is the key to peace!" (The Nizkor Project)​

Logical fallacies I sometimes encounter on this forum include:
Damage done
When we use logical fallacies, it means that we engage in erroneous/ fallacious reasoning. Therefore, conducting a reasonable conversation is impossible as the issues being discussed have been side-lined and another agenda is being pursued.

So, a good way to hijack a discussion is with a logical fallacy. I encourage all people to be alert to the kinds of logical fallacies used in discussions – wherever – and to point them out here on CFnet to the person who used it. Then get back to the proper discussion.

For the religious instruction (RI) curriculum in the public schools here in Qld, I’m writing 2 lessons on logical fallacies that I’ve titled, ‘Tuning your bunkum detector’. You might call it, ‘Tuning your baloney detector’. The sub title for me is, ‘Verbal garbage for the wheelies of life – what to chuck out’. This is a grab from part of that lesson I wrote last week It’s for early teens:

In this RI class, in any class in school, when you watch your favourite TV show or download something on your Ipad or laptop, how do you choose between

  • bunkum and truth,
  • between baloney and facts,
  • between nonsense and wise things?
We’ll be looking at ways to do that in this lesson and the next.

Please remember, I want you to tune your bunkum detector so you keep me on my toes in this RI class and any other class in school. Here goes!

I may deliberately give you bunkum or garbage for the wheelies of life in this lesson on Christianity. Garbage for the wheelies of life have been used by Christians as well. I want you to listen carefully so you can tell me what kind of bunkum it is? We’ll be giving labels to the bunkum.

What will be the benefits to you if you know what is bunkum and should be tossed out as garbage or what is true and should be kept?​

In this lesson I deal with 4 logical fallacies. Here are the titles for the kids (what are their official titles?):

(a) Popularity does not win the contest

(b) Choose some and leave out heaps

(c) They are experts – they orta know

(d) Name calling

For the cause of Christian logic,

Oz

Thanks Oz.

There s much needed understanding about this.

Also there is much needed monitoring of those who use logical fallacies when discussing scripture and doctrine.


JLB
 

OzSpen

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Sorry OZ i dont understand this

Please tell me what you don't understand.

Suppose this happens as a conversation between Reba and Joan ( hypothetical example):

Reba: John's a good looking bloke. He's really handsome. His wife got a good one there.

Joan: My hubby is a handsome, hunk of a fella too. He's my prince charming.

What was Reba's point that she wanted to discuss? John, the good looking bloke.

How did Joan reply? She talked about her handsome hubby.

Joan changed the topic (although it sounded like the topic, it wasn't). Reba wanted Joan to discuss John, the good looking bloke.

When Joan discusses her hubby, the conversation has been shipwrecked by a red herring logical fallacy. What happens with a red herring is this:

A Red Herring is a fallacy in which an irrelevant topic is presented in order to divert attention from the original issue. The basic idea is to "win" an argument by leading attention away from the argument and to another topic. This sort of "reasoning" has the following form:

  1. Topic A is under discussion (Reba's topic) .
  2. Topic B is introduced under the guise of being relevant to topic A (when topic B is actually not relevant to topic A).[Joan's topic]
  3. Topic A [Reba's topic] is abandoned.

This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because merely changing the topic of discussion hardly counts as an argument against a claim (The Nizkor Project).​

Does that help or is it still confusing? Please be honest and tell me what it is that you don't understand.

Oz

 

reba

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Suppose this happens as a conversation between Reba and Joan ( hypothetical example):

Reba: John's a good looking bloke. He's really handsome. His wife got a good one there.

Joan: My hubby is a handsome, hunk of a fella too. He's my prince charming.

What was Reba's point that she wanted to discuss? John, the good looking bloke.

How did Joan reply? She talked about her handsome hubby.
The 2 women where talking nice about husbands ...
 

JohnDB

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What is it called when false assumptions are made.

IE: "John, when did you stop beating your wife?"

This question assumes that John used to beat his wife and also assumes that he has now stopped.
 

OzSpen

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The 2 women where talking nice about husbands ...

No, in the example I gave, Reba was talking about a bloke called John. She mentioned not a word about her husband John. There is nothing in what I gave as the example that said Reba wanted to talk about Joan's husband.

You seem to think they are talking nice about husbands, but they weren't. Would you believe it that you have created a red herring fallacy yourself because you have changed the topic to '2 women were talking nice about husbands' when they weren't.

That's what a red herring fallacy involves - changing the topic.

Oz
 

OzSpen

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What your posts say to me is if i dont think like you, my thoughts are fallacy .

That's a straw man fallacy because it is false.

You were the one who stated that you didn't understand what I wrote in #1 and now you falsely claim that I want you to think as I do. That is not true. How can you not understand the post and then make this claim against me. That's why it is a straw man.

Oz
 

reba

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No, in the example I gave, Reba was talking about a bloke called John. She mentioned not a word about her husband John. There is nothing in what I gave as the example that said Reba wanted to talk about Joan's husband.

You seem to think they are talking nice about husbands, but they weren't. Would you believe it that you have created a red herring fallacy yourself because you have changed the topic to '2 women were talking nice about husbands' when they weren't.

That's what a red herring fallacy involves - changing the topic.

Oz
you are assuming ..I plainly said
The 2 women where talking nice about husbands ...
I did not say whos husbands in any way..
 

reba

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What is it called when false assumptions are made.

IE: "John, when did you stop beating your wife?"

This question assumes that John used to beat his wife and also assumes that he has now stopped.

Sorta like this..
....Please be honest and tell me what it is that you don't understand.
as if i am not being honest.
 

jasonc

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What damage is being done?
Poor arguments,inncorrect bible teachings,or any position.

Emotions,we can't ignore that we will have them and how they play in.I don't correct a person's argument unless I know they are knowledgeable in debate.I know a few soldiers who do watch science videos as a hobby and or in college. Try debating creationism with them.
 

OzSpen

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you are assuming ..I plainly said I did not say whos husbands in any way..

reba,

There is nothing in the example I gave of reba speaking about John that said John was a husband. Now you are telling me I was talking about 2 husbands. I wasn't. I did not state that John was a husband.

Therefore, you have committed a red herring fallacy.

Oz
 

jasonc

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Ones manor of speaking is also incorrect Bible teaching?
Writting,sermons can have fallacies.

Shall we entertain pre trib doctrine on the return of law? Some deny they teach that others don't and bend clear verses that say otherwise. Bias,must be checked.I'm guilty big time of fallacies.
 
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