From my perspective, that is a phrase I don't see much - as I tend to spend my time in social and political forums but there are correlatives there.
People who memorize the list of logical fallacies and then, ironically enough, use the term "straw man" as a straw man.
"God in the gaps" is one that does come to mind from science/fringe forums.
In my opinion and in most cases, it pains me to see these generalized and automatic statements of dismissal as they demonstrate that the person using
these terms is likely engaging in confirmation bias - possibly even on a subconscious level.
Example: Make me sit through a slideshow of 10,000 internet UFO pics and, eventually, I'll just become numb to it all and declare each one an anomaly
- not based upon any real analysis - but simply out of habit.
I imagine that some folks also participate in this manner with full awareness of their lack of analysis - but that's a different subject
How to get people to turn off the reflexive and instinctive reactions
and substitute a new dynamic? A proactive control of reflex? Well Pavlov
had some ideas about that, as did Nietzsche. And I'm sure a lot of very smart people, even now, are sequestered in small labs trying to pick the
combinations of this lock too.
What we can do, now, is to avoid reaction to the reaction. We can be proactive in our approach to their reaction. If faced with an aphoristic
reaction, we can request specific qualification. "OK, fine... but how does that exactly apply to THIS particular....."
Once reflexive and automatic responses become involved and difficult? Well... we train the reflex out of the reflexive.
edit on 10/2/12 by Hefficide because: I stand humbly corrected in a spelling error!