Logical fallacies and skepticism

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bobbo_the_Pragmatist
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Re: Logical fallacies and skepticism

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Fri Aug 05, 2016 4:17 am

Gee Scott: what does a general rule have to do with responding to the specifics herein? Hint: nothing.

Emotions: the sea within which our intellect swims. Even when making claims of being rational...or making it one's target.

Hoomans: we didn't get here by being logical.
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Scott Mayers
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Re: Logical fallacies and skepticism

Postby Scott Mayers » Fri Aug 05, 2016 5:39 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:Gee Scott: what does a general rule have to do with responding to the specifics herein? Hint: nothing.

Emotions: the sea within which our intellect swims. Even when making claims of being rational...or making it one's target.

Hoomans: we didn't get here by being logical.

What? I haven't a clue what you are questioning. I don't try to interpret obscure language and why I nor anyone should trust rhetoric in the absence of logic external to entertainment itself. That was my point with you before. We naturally like it where it adds value but are, or should be, suspicious of it. This is why Matthew likely interprets it being disallowed in court. It cannot be the sole means to base an argument on in court. Maybe this is what he's referring to.

I was pointing out that rhetoric is STILL necessary in courtrooms in that lawyers or prosecutors have to ADVOCATE to optimize their success even without concern to 'truth' objectively since the risk of not doing so is worse. As an example of a non-advocate system was the Catholic Inquisitions; if you were accused of some crime, any defense had to advocate for an assumed 'objective' truth biased in favor of the Church's idea of what is 'true'. So if they accused you of a crime, you might require having to prove why you are innocent rather than simply 'not guilty'. Maybe since Matthew doesn't deal with criminal law he is assuming the process of lower courts? [If you see this Matthew, can you confirm?]

For instance, the O.J. Simpson trial required his defense team to emphasize rhetorical devises which appealed to the jury even though conclusions drawn from it lack direct logical appeal. For criminal courts, one is defaulted to be 'innocent until proven guilty'. But he was later sued by the family in the lower courts where the onus is reversed. Maybe this might be where they dismiss 'rhetoric' in Matthew's country? ...or some aspects of it?
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Scott Mayers
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Re: Logical fallacies and skepticism

Postby Scott Mayers » Fri Aug 05, 2016 5:41 pm

P.S. Bobbo, humor IS a form of rhetoric and it would make sense that this form would not be welcomed in court, for instance, for good reason.
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Scott Mayers
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Re: Logical fallacies and skepticism

Postby Scott Mayers » Fri Aug 05, 2016 6:48 pm

dbc wrote:Thanks for your responses. Incidentally, I've since discovered that Skepdic.com has a Critical Thinking section which covers logical fallacies. So there is some acknowledgement of the crossover.
ElectricMonk wrote:But just because someone fell prey to a fallacy does not mean he is wrong

Right, and the belief that the conclusion is necessarily wrong is itself a fallacy! Check out Wiki / Argument from fallacy:
If P, then Q.
P is a fallacious argument.
Therefore, Q is false.

I missed this post. Just to be clear,the following is an allowed argument, not the above.

If P, then Q
Not P
Q OR -Q


That is, you can't determine Q by denying the antecedent, P. But if you deny the consequent, then you can assert "not P" as the case.

Fallacies are conditional and not universally applicable unless they are deductive ones, though.

Here's an example of Donald Trump's use of rhetoric in which he can assert something but also deny accountability because of the ambiguity involved:

"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. ... They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."


The underlined and bold technically can be interpreted as vocalized, "Their rapists". But the way he spoke it with the string of "they're" s prior to this questionable statement, it suggests what he wants others to interpret ambivalently with likely intent. The broader audience it appeals to, which includes the racists as well as the non-racists in their party favor, allows him to be interpreted by the particular interests of the listener to interpret. So he can technically escape the accountability AND get a larger appeal for audiences who actually have distinctly different views. He just has to maintain being consistent with similar rhetoric AND not explain himself clearly in response to inquiry. That is, all he has to do is to deny he implied anything of the sort, period. The racists within his support will interpret this as a wink-wink, while the others will interpret him as sufficiently being sincere and not racist. Win-win.
I eat without fear of certain Death from The Tree of Knowledge because with wisdom, we may one day break free from its mortal curse.


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