Faulty Deduction


Rhetorical fallacies are subtle errors in speech and writing. – The manipulation of rhetoric and logical thinking. The following fallacies can be categorised as ‘Faulty Deduction’.

Anecdotal evidence

Discounting evidence arrived at by systematic search or testing in favour of a few firsthand stories.

“I’m going to carry on smoking. My grandfather smoked 40 a day and lived until he was 90!”

Composition

Assuming that characteristics or beliefs of some or all of a group applies to the entire group.

“Recent terrorists attacks have been carried out by radical Islamic groups. Therefore all terrorists are Muslims.”

Division

Assuming that characteristics or belief of a group automatically apply to any individual member.

“Many Conservatives wish to ban gay marriage, discredit climate change, and deny evolution. Therefore all conservatives are homophobic, anti-environmental creationists.”

Design fallacy

Assuming that because something is nicely designed or beautifully visualised it’s more true.”

“Everything Shakespeare has written must be true.”

Gambler’s fallacy

Assuming the history of outcomes will affect future outcomes.

“I’ve flipped this coin 10 times in a row, and it’s been heads. Therefore the next coin flip is more likely to come up tails.”

Hasty generalisation

Drawing a general conclusion from a tiny sample.

“I just got cut off by the woman driver in front. Women can’t drive.”

Jumping to conclusions

–Drawing a quick conclusion without fairly considering relevant (and easily available) evidence.

“She wants birth control in her medical coverage? What a slut!”

Middle ground

Assuming because two opposing arguments have merit, the answer must lie somewhere between them.

“I rear ended your car but I don’t think I should pay for all the damage. A fair compromise would be split the bill in half.”

Perfectionist fallacy

Assuming that the only option on the table is perfect success, then rejecting anything that will not work perfectly.

“What’s the point of this anti-drunk driving campaign? People are still going to drink and drive no matter what.”

Relativist fallacy

Rejecting a claim because of a belief that truth is relative to a person or group.

“That’s perhaps true for you. But it’s not true for me.”

Spotlight

Assuming an observation from a small sample size applies to an entire group.

“This large shoe manufacturer employs children in sweatshops. Therefore all shoe companies are evil child-slave owners!”

Sweeping generalisation

Applying a general rule too badly.

“Those young men rioted because they lacked morally responsible fathers.”

Undistributed middle

Assuming because two things share a property, that makes them the same thing.

“A theory can mean an unproven idea. Scientists use the term evolutionary theory. Therefore evolution is an unproven idea.”

See other: Rhetorical Fallacies

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Characteristics of Fascism


Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist extreme right-wing political ideology. Fascists seek to unify their nation based on commitment to an organic national community where its individuals are united together as one people through national identity. The unity of the nation is to be based upon suprapersonal connections of ancestry and culture through a totalitarian state that seeks the mass mobilization of the national community through discipline, indoctrination, physical training, and eugenics. Fascism also seeks to eradicate perceived foreign influences that are deemed to be causing degeneration of the nation or of not fitting into the national culture.

“Nationalism is an infantile thing. It is the measles of mankind.”
― Albert Einstein

In 2003, Dr. Lawrence Britt examined the fascist regimes of Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, and several Latin American regimes. He found 14 defining characteristics common to each:

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism – Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights – Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause – The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

4. Supremacy of the Military – Even when there are widespread
domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

5. Rampant Sexism – The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power” ― Benito Mussolini

6. Controlled Mass Media – Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

7. Obsession with National Security – Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined – Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions.

9. Corporate Power is Protected – The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

10. Labour Power is Suppressed – Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

“Fascism is capitalism plus murder.” ― Upton Sinclair

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts – Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment – Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption – Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

14. Fraudulent Elections – Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

“No school can supply an anti-liberal education, or a fascist education, as these terms are contradictory. Liberalism and education are one.”
― George Seldes

26/ii mmxiv


Christians eat their god.

When the soft drink 7-Up was launched in 1929, one of its ingredients was the mood-stabilizing lithium citrate.

Indonesia has a Bishop called Martinus Dogma Situmorang. Dogma is his middle name. Literally.

Because Tonto means ‘stupid’ in Spanish, for Latin America, the Lone Ranger’s sidekick was renamed Toro or ‘bull’.

Ironically, the first legal slave owner, in what would eventually become the United States, was a black man named Anthony Johnson.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

Henpeck [Verb.]


To nag persistently.

‘But Mrs. Proudie is not satisfied with such home dominion, and stretches her power over all his movements, and will not even abstain from things spiritual. In fact, the bishop is henpecked.’ – Trollope. A. 1875. Barchester Towers (Chapter III) p. 22

Eleanor Harding


‘She had no startling brilliancy of beauty, no pearly whiteness, no radiant carnation: she had not the majestic contour that rivets attention, demands instant wonder, and then disappoints by the coldness of its charms. You might pass Eleanor Harding in the street without notice, but you could hardly pass an evening with her and not lose your heart.’

– Trollope. A. 1855. The Warden London, Great Britain: Longmans, Green, and Co. p. 114

Crimes of Dogmatism


‘It is amazing how many people think that the crimes of Hitler and Pol Pot and Mao were the result of atheism. The truth is that this is a total misconstrual of what went on in those societies, and of the psychological and social forces that allow people to follow their dear leader over the brink.

The problem with Fascism and communism was not that they were too critical of religion. The problem is they’re too much like religions; these are utterly dogmatic systems of thought. I recently had a debate with Rick Warren in the pages of Newsweek, and he suggested that North Korea was a model atheist society and that any atheist with the courage of his convictions should want to move there.

The truth is North Korea is organized exactly like a faith based cult, centered on the worship of Kim Jong-il. The North Koreans apparently believe that the shipments of food aid that they receive from us, to keep them from starving to death, are actually devotional offerings to Kim Jong-il. Is too little faith really the problem with North Korea? Is too much skeptical inquiry, what is wrong here? Auschwitz, the Gulag, and the killing fields are not the product of atheism; they are the product of other dogmas run amok; nationalism, political dogma.

Hitler did not engineer a genocide in Europe because of atheism; in fact Hitler doesn’t even appear to have been an atheist, he regularly invoked Jesus in his speeches. But that’s beside the point, he did it on the basis of other beliefs, dogmas about Jews and the purity of German blood. The history of Muslim jihad however does have something to do with Islam. The atrocities of September 11th did have something to do with what 19 men believed about martyrdom and paradise.

The fact that we’re not funding stem cell research at the federal level does have something to do with what Christians believe about conception and the human soul. It is important to focus on the specific consequences of specific ideas. So I want to make it very clear that I am not holding religion responsible for every bad thing that a religious person has done in human history. To be balanced against all the bad things that atheists have done, I am only holding religion responsible for what people do, and will continue to do, explicitly for religious reasons. So I submit to you there really is no society in human history that has ever suffered because its population became too reasonable.’

– Harris, S. Believing the Unbelievable: The Clash of Faith and Reason in the Modern World.” Aspen Ideas Festival, the Aspen Institute, Aspen, CO, July 4th, 2007

Amalgam‏ [Noun.]


A blend of different elements or things. An amalgam is a combination or collection of things that have been combined; an assemblage of separate parts or qualities.

“What do I need to talk for, huh? What, to blab to the neighbours about how George has a new femme Jerry friend? To tell everybody at the coffee shop how George is all mixed up in a perverse sexual amalgam of some girl and his best friend? See now, I’ve done all that.”
– Cosmo Kramer