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in defense of reason

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posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 06:08 PM
Reason seems to be taking a beating these days. It's a shame, I don't think it deserves the trampling that it has received over the past few decades, especially given it's advanced age.

these are the logical fallacies that seem to be most prevalent around these parts from what I have seen in the past few months.

Appeal to ridicule
-mocking an argument and then claiming that it is false because it has been mocked
ie. Obama is a christian? That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.

Guilt by association
-arguing a point by making associations that are irrelevent.
eg. Obama sat on a board with a possible terrorist, therefore he is a terrorist.

Hasty Generalization
-the easiest fallacy to avoid
eg. Osama bin laden is a muslim and a terrorist, therefore all muslims are terrorists.

Ad Hominem
-argument against the person (likely the most common...often referred to as 'flaming')
eg. Yeah but you're gay. (hardly a reasonable rebuttal from where I stand)

Appeal to belief
-pretty self explanatory, possibly contains a correct statement, but not a reasonable one.
eg. more people believe in christianity than any other religion, therefore Christianity is true.

Appeal to Tradition
-arguing that that which has been the norm is correct.
eg. I believe that Americans should have the right to bear arms because Americans have always had the right to bear arms.

Red Herring
-diverting the stream of an argument
eg. yeah Bush made some mistakes but seriously, look at what Obama's doing.

I personally like to review these fallacies every once and a while. Making a convincing argument is so much easier if you attempt to avoid these (and similar) traps.

just a little hint. If you have ever titled a thread "95% chance that _______ will happen" or something similar, you are probably guilty of one or all of the logical fallacies listed here

logical fallacies

posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 06:26 PM
This should be mandatory reading for new members here, and it should be revisited monthly thereafter! Another one of my favorites is using biased blogs as 'proof' of a positions factual basis. Starred and Flagged!!

posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 06:28 PM
Agreed. The art of debate has become lost. I have found that individuals are commonly too self-invested in and too blindly accepting of their beliefs and activities that any questioning of either is taken as an attack, not just of the belief or activity but of the person themselves. This eliminates the objectivity necessary for an honest examination of the veracity or workability of the idea or activity.

It is a sad time for mankind.

posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 06:45 PM
Indeed it is a shame.

posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 06:50 PM
Have to agree to the point that I star the OP.
It's quite the shame that these are the norm these days and not the exception...what ever happened to the "truth". I heard it was supposed to set you free.

posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 06:59 PM
I believe that near the source of the problem is that truth, awareness and knowledge go hand in hand with responsibility for the existing condition and changing it. Not many people I know want to have much to do with that.

posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 07:04 PM
reply to post by omniologist

I think that you've struck on something here. It is easy to have an opinion but having to defend your opinion is not so easy. When I look around and see how so many people expect things to be done for them, expect to be coddled through their existence I am ashamed. I see the attack on reason to be connected. I'm not usually too big on plugging products, but Al Gore's book "An Assault on Reason" is very good and discusses this phenomena in good detail.

It is worth mentioning that ego plays a big part in this. Both in terms of having one's ego hurt by having someone tear ones' argument to shreds, and also in terms of feeling so important that people ought to just agree with what you say because you said it. If people could let go of their egos a little bit, reason would have more of a fighting chance.

[edit on 15-6-2009 by Tamale_214]

posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 06:04 PM
Thank you. I would venture to say that the powers that be want a docile and easily managed populace. Hence the largely ineffective education system to keep the herd ignorant, the assault on reason to keep them from thinking and the victim consciousness that has been pushed on us since yaldabaoth, gained momentum from AA and is the very basis of the field of "mental health" to make them feel sorry for themselves and point the finger at anyone other than themselves. This last one is ingeniously insidious because only by holding oneself to the highest level of responsibility for one's lot in life can you effectively address the actions of others to lift themselves up at one's expense.

It is easy to be the victim. It takes greatness to rise above oppression and take action to free oneself and one's fellows.

posted on Mar, 12 2010 @ 06:56 PM
I thought that I'd give this old thread of mine a bump in light of the "OS argument is based on bad logic thread" that I just wrote a lengthy reply to but was deleted while I was writing my reply.


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