Logical Fallacies

Reverend Wells
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Logical Fallacies

Cracked has two articles regarding logical fallacies that are pretty good reads.

5 Logical Fallacies That Make You Wrong More Than You Think

6 Logical Fallacies That Cost You Money Every Day

One in particular seems to really apply to this website and the atheist vs theist debates:

Quote:

#1. Facts Don't Change Our Minds

 

Here's how things would work in a perfect world: You and your friend are on opposing sides of an issue. After reaching an impasse, you pull out a piece of information so precise, so compelling, so perfect, that your buddy does a 180 and completely changes his mind. You high five and skip off into the distance.

And this probably has happened ... as long as it was a subject that neither of you particularly cared about. But if it was some emotionally charged issue, like abortion? God help you.

 

The Science:

Let's go back to the beginning for a moment, and the theory that people figured out how to build arguments as a form of verbal bullying rather than a method of spreading correct information. That means that there are actually two reasons somebody might be arguing with you: because they actually want to get you to think the right thing, and because they're trying to establish dominance over you to lower your status in the tribe (or office or forum) and elevate their own. That means there's a pretty severe cost to being on the wrong side of an issue completely separate from the issue itself.

Now think about the way people treat the two sides of a debate like teams. Not just political parties; remember how one side of the Leno vs. Conan debate referred to themselves as "Team Coco," or how Twilight fans refer to their factions as "Team Edward" vs. "Team Jacob."

 

Then note how may debates involve people jumping into an issue in which they have nothing at stake (only a fraction of the millions of the "Team Coco" people supporting Conan on the Internet actually watch his show), just so they have the chance to join a team.

Now think of how much it would hurt them to have to change teams.

 

That is why confirmation bias exists. We read a news article that supports what we believe, and we add it to the "I'm right about this" column. News articles that contradict what we believe are dismissed. We make up a reason -- maybe the source is part of the conspiracy from the other side or whatever it takes to make sure the "I'm wrong about this" column remains empty.

Researchers have done experiments where they hooked up people's brains to scanners and then made them read a story pointing out something stupid their favorite candidate said. The logical parts of the brain stayed quiet, while the emotional parts of the brain lit up. Their brains were weighing the story, not based on what it logically meant for their position, but on the emotional/social consequences of that position being wrong.

 

Then, once the brain had decided that this news story being right would mean pain and humiliation for the reader, it told the logical part, "Figure out a way to use your 'logic' stuff to make this pain go away." The next day, you probably heard those test subjects at the coffee shop going on and on about how biased the press is against their guy.

So During Your Next Argument, Remember ...

You won't remember this. You're hard-wired to remain entrenched, and the Internet makes it worse because your political beliefs are pasted all over Facebook and wherever else you post your opinions. Backing down means going back on all that. It means letting down your team. Every inch of your psychology will fight it.

The scary part? The same logical fallacy that prevents that crazy guy who keeps predicting the end of the world over and over from admitting maybe he was full of shit is the same fallacy that drives partisan politics and, therefore, government policy. Sleep tight, voters! Evolution is working against us.

Thougts/opinions? Does anybody have any other logical fallacies that could be added to the list?

 

 

 

 

"Now this ... is the noble truth of the origin of suffering: it is this craving which leads to renewed existence, accompanied by delight and lust, seeking delight here and there, that is, craving for sensual pleasures, craving for existence, craving for extermination." - Buddha, the 2nd Noble Truth


Vastet
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http://www.nizkor.org/feature

http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/

This is at the top of my bookmarks. I read through it every month or two. I still make errors (everyone does), but they are far less frequent then they were when I was younger.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


harleysportster
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Vastet

Vastet wrote:
http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/ This is at the top of my bookmarks. I read through it every month or two. I still make errors (everyone does), but they are far less frequent then they were when I was younger.

Bookmarked and added to list.

I sometimes get a thrill when I name one to a clueless co-worker and they have no clue what it is.

When I said that I was all for same-sex marriage, not too long ago, someone came at me with : "So your all for people marrying dogs too and children being subjected to flamboyant parades ?,".

Rather than argue, I simply said : "Slippery slope fallacy and a strawman argument."

The look on the dude's face was a mixture of surprise and utter confusion.

Yes, I was being an asshole, but he opened the can of worms by asking me what my opinion on gay marriage was. So I'll cop out and avoid the blame Smiling

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


Vastet
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Lol. It's amazing what'll

Lol. It's amazing what'll shut some people down. Confusion almost always works better than a solid, logical argument. That you actually refuted his argument at the same time is priceless.

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iwbiek
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Vastet wrote:Lol. It's

Vastet wrote:
Lol. It's amazing what'll shut some people down. Confusion almost always works better than a solid, logical argument. That you actually refuted his argument at the same time is priceless.

lol, this discussion reminds me of a conversation a friend and i had back in 2005, shortly after bush got reelected.  we both agreed that the main problem of the democrats was that they tried to be too eloquent and logical and didn't pander enough to "old country folk" like the dems of my grandfather's time used too.  i said kerry should have worn a seersucker with suspenders, hitched his thumbs in them all the time, and made completely senseless, folksy-sounding remarks like, "i'm not surprised mistuh bush wants t' continue with his foreign policy.  after all, you cain't look a donkey in the face without seein' a hawse's ass."  the democrats would have had a lot more of a fighting chance then. 

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


Atheistextremist
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I visit this site

 

 

http://www.freethoughtpedia.com/wiki/Logical_Fallacies_by_Todangst#Naked_Assertions_and_Related_Fallacies

 

And a bunch of others regularly - same as Vastet. I find I forget the complexity of silly if I don't stay on top of it. And yeah, I trip over my feet, too. I am the king of the false dichotomy. My divorce hurt, all women are money-grubbing bitches, is my pet irrationality. 

As far as theist logical fallacies go I enjoy the fact original sin is an ad hominem fallacy, that threats of eternal punishment are an appeal to the club and that these 2 logical fallacies between them form the heart of the christian faith.

Further, it pleases me immensely to think that jesus, far from being the son of god sacrificed to save the world, was simply an exceedingly dramatic way of unstitching a very irrational argument. 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


cj
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Atheistextremist wrote:And a

Atheistextremist wrote:

And a bunch of others regularly - same as Vastet. I find I forget the complexity of silly if I don't stay on top of it. And yeah, I trip over my feet, too. I am the king of the false dichotomy. My divorce hurt, all women are money-grubbing bitches, is my pet irrationality.  

 

Darn tootin' - now if y'all 'll give me a hint where best place ta go money-grubbin' is, I'd be much obliged.  Obviously tain't in y'all's neck of the woods, AE.  Thank ye.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


cj
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back to confirmation bias

Generally, it is one of the hardest fallacies to overcome for most people.  People literally can not see or comprehend arguments and evidence for ideas and beliefs that are contrary to the ones they already hold.

I was/am fortunate to be going to Portland State - I had a Critical Thinking class with Pete Boghossian.  His refrain was - "what will it take for you to change your mind?"  About any belief you may hold.  If you say there is nothing, no evidence, no way - then you are not applying critical thinking skills. 

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.