Monday, August 16, 2010

Logic? Logic! Politically Motivated Post #1

It's driving me crazy, listening to politicians, reading Facebook comments, even browsing through the news. Like the grizzled professor from "The Chronicles of Narnia," I ask myself “Why don’t they teach logic at these schools?" Is it possible that we really are living in a time when fallacies can grow, unchallenged, until they rise to the status of truth for so many people?

In the interests of public mental health, I wish to present you with a list of logical fallacies. Print it out and every time you hear a radio or television commentator or read an article, see how many of these pop up. Just for fun. You can even do some test exercises on the site, thanks to San José State University.

Appeal to Fear

Appeal to Loyalty

Appeal to Prejudice

Appeal to Hatred

Appeal to Indirect Consequences

Appeal to Common Belief

Appeal to Tradition

Of course, there are many more, but these will get you started.


Anonymous said...

From Mein Kampf by Adolph Hitler:

"...It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation..."

Tell a lie, tell a big lie, repeat it often, and people will believe it as the truth. What happens when a society can't tell a truth from a lie? Can we fix stupid?

Love, Mom

P.S. Do you want to start a new blog post where people can list all the big lies we have blindly believed?

--jenna said...

You can be a guest blogger and write the "big lie" post yourself! :) I hate being cynical, but I've come to the conclusion that you just can't fix stupid. At least, stubborn stupid. Ignorance is another thing altogether...