Sunday, July 1, 2012

Mental Fallacy

Fallacies have interested me since forever, they are flaws in our reasoning prowess, faults in our arguments that if known can really help change the stride of a debate or an argument. They are tricks and Mental traps often used sneakily by advertisers and anyone with something to say.(The argument that because something is 'natural' it is therefore justified,valid,or better).
When thought about, fallacies are like illusions of our mind, just like paranoia. They are too important to overlook in the human mind. Like a paradox, they can seem to have no beginning nor an end, instead what they have is a middle, a fair ground which if magnified upon reveals a slope towards the user of these tactics.
Some of the most common fallacies of our mind are also the most powerful,

The strawman fallacy: By exaggerating, misrepresenting, or just completely fabricating someone's argument, it's much easier to present your own position as being reasonable or valid. One of the more dangerous fallacies at it also recognises yourself as calculative.
Example: After Will said that we should put more money into health and education, Warren responded by saying that he was surprised that Will hates our country so much that he wants to leave it defenceless by cutting military spending.

Click on image to expand

Slippery slope: You made out like if we allow A to happen, then Z will eventually happen too, therefore A should not happen.
The problem with this reasoning is that it avoids the issue and instead it turns the discussion toward the future . Because no proof is presented to show that such extreme hypotheticals will in fact occur,confusion arises.
Example: Colin Closet asserts that if we allow same-sex couples to marry, then the next thing we know we'll be allowing people to marry their parents, their cars and even monkeys and thus same sex marriages cannot be allowed

Personal attack: You attack your opponent's character or personal traits instead of engaging with their argument. This one of the most widely used counter argument form and also completely groundless.

Example:after John told the world about the harm in throwing waste in the river, Mary asked the audience if they'd really take this hippie's argument seriously considering he lives by the footpath and has no personal hygiene.

Appeal to Emotion:You attempt to manipulate an emotional response in place of a compelling argument.example:Luke didn't want to eat his sheep's brains with chopped liver but his father told him to think about the poor, starving children in a third world country who weren't fortunate enough to have any food at all, so he ate it.

The fallacy fallacy: in this fallacy, an argument is ignored just because it uses a fallacy.
Example:Marian told Brian that he should eat healthy foods because they are popular, he recognised the fallacy and instead started eating hotdogs everyday.
If 50 million people believe in a fallacy, it's still a fallacy.
-Samuel Warren
These are just some of the fallacies attempted daily, as important is to study them, it Is also necessary not to use them for the sake of a better and fair argument.

Special thanks to
Here is a free poster of all the famous fallacies
Fallacy poster

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