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Faulty arguments

Warning: It might be that this text has no point. Or, if it does have one, it is obscured by multiple layers of (self)irony and questionable sense of humour. This kind of writing tends to happen especially when I'm slightly sleep-deprived.

Sugartes: I'm sick and tired of how people fail to maintain a rational discussion.

Adolf: What do you mean?

Sugartes: Well, all too often people seem to think that a discussion is a cockfight: The winner is the one who has the right opinion, and the loser is a lousy, stupid idiot. And no-one would like to be a lousy, stupid idiot - that's why they just defend their opinions no matter what. They defend their opinions as they defend their ego. And in so doing they tend to use a lot of faulty arguments.

Adolf: Ah, I see. Like ad hominem "So you say that a climate change is a serious threat to mankind? Hah! You are a weed-smoking hippie living off the dole, but I'm a hardworking person earning my living! Don't you think that you are somehow better than me! Hah hah hah! You know nothing, but I've seen the world and I know how the things really are. I drive my car and if you have a problem with that, then it's your problem!"

Sugartes: Yes, that is what I mean. And also ignoratio elenchi aka. the Chewbacca defense: "Your previous example about an ad hominem argument is otherwise fine, but why do you think that a weed-smoking hippie would be worried about the climate change? I'd say that more often they are tree-hugging carrot-eating socialist-feministic besserwissers who use climate change as an excuse to preach to other people what they should do differently in their lives."

Adolf: And so often people don't even try to argue properly; they fail to give evidence and proofs to support their opinions. They just state their statements, dismissing the different opinions. As if they expect the others to drop their opinions as soon as they hear that their opinions were stupid and idiotic.

Sugartes: Yeah, all in all; insulting and defaming others seems to be the major tactics of faulty argumentation. A lot of this is seen in the internet. The presupposition behind this seems to be "my opinion is the right one because all those others are just stupid idiots!"

Adolf: So, maybe we should compile a list of all different kinds of faulty arguments. So that people would learn to recognize and to avoid them.

Sugartes: Nah, I guess it has been already done, several times. And even posted to the internet, and linked in facebook. And yet so many people still do the faulty arguments! That is outrageous! How stupid can people be?

Adolf: Well, I guess faulty argumentation makes life harder for families and co-workers. Instead of just having a rational discussion they end up having quarrels, fighting over who is right and who is wrong, who is the king and who has to submitt.

Sugartes: And not only families, but I see this hindering world politics and the survival of entire mankind.

Adolf: How come?

Sugartes: Take climate change for example. I've heard that in the global negotiations the politics aren't actually having a rational discussion about scientific evidence and best measures to be taken - instead the developing countries feel that once again the western countries try to tell them what to do, but they want to maintain their national pride, and therefore they are not willing to submitt to what the western leaders say. And, also, some states seem to be calculating that if the others cut their emissions but they don't, they can gain economical advatage - and then everybody would want to be the one having the advantage, which leads to no-one being willing to cut their emissions. All this is just based on faulty argumentation, failures of rational discussion.

Adolf: I agree. What should we do? Tell them the rules of argumentation, once again?

Sugartes: The rules have been around since the times of Socrates. The problem is that anybody can just break the rules without having to face consequences.

Adolf: Oh yes! I've heard that in Russia you are accused of piracy if you are a non-armed peaceful protester trying to board an oil rig. And for piracy you might get 15 years in a russian jail. That should teach people not to protest against Russian oil industry!

Sugartes: We need that as well. Maybe we could define faulty argumentation as crimes against the humanity.

Adolf: Yes! We could use a global network of spybots scanning e-mails and facebook statuses and everything, searching for faulty arguments.

Sugartes: Imagine a poor criminal waking up at the middle of the night, because there is a knock on the door. He goes to open, and there are NSAKGB agents saying: "Hello. You have been found guilty of faulty argumentation. Now come with us, we take you to a prison in a remote island and you'll stay there until you learn how to have a proper rational discussion. You see, this is a free, open, democratic society and you can't have a free, open, democratic society without a fair, equal, rational discussion. Now let's move, you idiot!"

Adolf: That would be so cool! Hard punishments would do the trick! I still doubt if the prison camp would teach them anything.

Sugartes: Maybe the main point is that some punished criminals would serve as a warning for the others. We need people to be so freaking afraid that they simply don't dare to break the age-old rules of rational argumentation.

Adolf: I guess we would get the best results if we used waterboarding and other advanced techniques on those filthy criminals. To properly teach them to be afraid of breaking the rules!

Sugartes: There might just be one problem.

Adolf: You mean waterboarding is illegal? But if it happens on a remote island and it yields good results then it's ok!

Sugartes: No, I don't mean that. We could always change the laws or something. But what I mean that we might be completely overlooking the psychological and emotional side of this.

Adolf: What?! We are talking about the rules of the logic! There is no room for emotions in the logic!

Sugartes: But I'm talking about the people. Soon the idiots would feel themselves as oppressed minority. They might protest, for example launching things like Idiot Pride, a parade claiming that it is OK to be an idiot.

Adolf: Now wait a minute, I think the parade is already going on out there...

PS. Because this text is in the internet, I'll attach a picture of a cat.


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Comments

Hehe.
"Let's use the argument from authority to root out fallacies!"

"Yeah, the argument from authority is only for the brainwashed. The crowds are just brainwashed sheep who just go around telling 'it is true because the mainstream media said so - it is true because the majority thinks it is true!'. A free mind is not fooled by such a brainwashing, no matter how widespread it is.

For example, take this thing called 'climate change'. The mainstream media says it is true, and people believe it. But when you ask for evidence and proof, all they say is that 'it is true because the majority of scientist say so!'. A rational thinker can see that this is just a fallacy! The scientist belong to the academically educated elite, that 1% who is always happy to belittle us ordinary people, fooling us so that they can take our money.

The another thing is this story about a spherical earth. After years of constant brainwashing conducted by public schools, nearly everybody believes that the earth is spherical. Once again, it is just a severe case of argument from authority. One should ask 'who profits of making people believe that the earth is a ball', and the answer is so clearly true that it hurts: it is the airline companies, the elite, the 1%! Because people believe that it is possible to travel around the globe, they can sell expensive long-distance flights for the brainwashed idiots. In reality they are just flying big circles around the flat earth, so that it looks and feels like travelling around a sphere. And once again the ordinary people get fooled and the ruling elite reaps the profit!

Now, don't be afraid to be different! Think with your own brain! Always if you see the mainstream media telling a truth, you can safely reason that what they say is a lie and the opposite is true. Don't fall into the trap of an argument from authority! If you want to be free you'd better listen to me!!!!"

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