Commit to being fallacy free for two weeks

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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20 October 2014 15:53
 

Just a kind of social experiment…

The challenge is to avoid using just three of the most common fallacy arguments for the next two weeks. I’m thinking:

- false dilemma
- strawman
- ad hominem

If you explicitly take on this challenge, you’ll probably also notice how prevalent the use of fallacies is in the world. You might even challenge others to take the challenge.

I hereby take up the challenge, you silly, English, bed-wetting types…

 
 
Tim_Jackowicz
 
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Tim_Jackowicz
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20 October 2014 15:59
 
icehorse - 20 October 2014 01:53 PM

Just a kind of social experiment…

The challenge is to avoid using just three of the most common fallacy arguments for the next two weeks. I’m thinking:

- false dilemma
- strawman
- ad hominem

If you explicitly take on this challenge, you’ll probably also notice how prevalent the use of fallacies is in the world. You might even challenge others to take the challenge.

I hereby take up the challenge, you silly, English, bed-wetting types…

 

(I told them we already had one…hehehe)
Now LEAVE!  Or I shall taunt you a second time!

 
 
Jb8989
 
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Jb8989
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20 October 2014 19:05
 
icehorse - 20 October 2014 01:53 PM

Just a kind of social experiment…

The challenge is to avoid using just three of the most common fallacy arguments for the next two weeks. I’m thinking:

- false dilemma
- strawman
- ad hominem

If you explicitly take on this challenge, you’ll probably also notice how prevalent the use of fallacies is in the world. You might even challenge others to take the challenge.

I hereby take up the challenge, you silly, English, bed-wetting types…

I once attempted to be intellectual honest to everyone for one week. The world as I knew it flipped upside down and I wound up almost losing a lucrative project at my job. True story!

Also there’s no way that I couldn’t personally attack someone for a week. I want to personally attack you for saying ad hominem instead of personal attack! haha jk

 
 
EN
 
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EN
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20 October 2014 19:23
 
icehorse - 20 October 2014 01:53 PM

Just a kind of social experiment…

The challenge is to avoid using just three of the most common fallacy arguments for the next two weeks. I’m thinking:

- false dilemma
- strawman
- ad hominem

Just three fallacies?  Ah, that’s easy, Bridgekeeper.

 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
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20 October 2014 23:30
 

Good idea. But I would replace ad hominem with fallacy fallacy. I think you would then have a short list that better defined the concept.

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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20 October 2014 23:42
 
Brick Bungalow - 20 October 2014 09:30 PM

Good idea. But I would replace ad hominem with fallacy fallacy. I think you would then have a short list that better defined the concept.

It’s hard to come up with the “top three”. Fallacy fallacy is a common one for sure. Part of the intent though is to clean up venues like twitter where ad hominems are common. Here on PR yours might be better, although we saw an ad hominem flare-up this very day.

I’d be okay with “pick three common fallacies”.

 
 
SkepticX
 
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21 October 2014 00:16
 

I’d argue a better first step (for this particular endeavor anyway) would be to recognize and acknowledge when you use a short list of fallacies. Gotta get there first, or you may end up just assuming you’ve accomplished the exercise when you haven’t. Plus, I’m not sure it’s either do-able or actually desirable to make the goal actually avoiding fallacies entirely. Far more important, realistic and useful is accepting the fact when we use them, and correcting our thinking from there.

Just my 98¢ ... heh.

 
 
Nstone
 
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Nstone
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22 October 2014 04:22
 
SkepticX - 20 October 2014 10:16 PM

I’d argue a better first step (for this particular endeavor anyway) would be to recognize and acknowledge when you use a short list of fallacies. Gotta get there first, or you may end up just assuming you’ve accomplished the exercise when you haven’t. Plus, I’m not sure it’s either do-able or actually desirable to make the goal actually avoiding fallacies entirely. Far more important, realistic and useful is accepting the fact when we use them, and correcting our thinking from there.

Just my 98¢ ... heh.

I totally agree - the problem with flawed/biased thinking is that it usually blinds our perception in such a way that we can’t see our own wrong doing(s). So we may go about our day to day happenings assuming that we are living a life free of logical fallacies, when in reality we’re committing them all, merely because we lack the metacognition to see our reality as it truly is. That’s not to say you may not be aware in other aspects of your life - but until you’ve really implemented this more realistically into your life, i don’t see how you could merely go checking off fallacies as if they’re a to-do list.

PS. This isn’t to say i’m not for the challenge, as i love the idea. I just think a more realistic approach is needed. smile

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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22 October 2014 05:09
 

Skep and Nstone -

Well you’re both correct - ultimately it’s about awareness and self-awareness. I’m not at all attached to any of the details of the challenge. I’m very interested in exploring ways to raise awareness, and ultimately see if awareness can spread. For example, I have some friends on twitter who might be for spreading “fallacy-free-Fridays” or some such.

So, I’m open for suggestions and feedback. I’d like to hear how the experiment goes for people and what kinds of things they notice.

And I’d be equally happy to hear about how variations go.

Thanks!

 
 
Pattertwig
 
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27 February 2015 04:02
 

Your goal is noble and achievable, but I think your method is flawed.

“Zero-tolerance” goals are doomed to failure, particularly when self-policed, because people are experts in denial.

Take racism.  By making racism absolutely taboo, accusations and defenses against racism have become a national sport.  Few if any national figures ever engage in the sort of healthy introspection that transformed American feeling against racism back during the Selma marches.  The typical American talking head spends at least 98 times as much time trying to accuse opponents of being racist, or defending themselves against charges of racism, or defining racism in a way that it doesn’t apply to one’s own despicable behavior.  At best they spend 2% of the time wondering if their personal decisions might have been motivated by racism, or how they could be less racist.

Rather than committing to being “fallacy free,” I’d consider taking a challenge to try to catch oneself in a logical fallacy, or in the three types that you described.  Commit to coming back to this thread and reporting on the fallacy.  If we catch ourselves, let’s construct an alternate, non-fallacious argument, or else yield the point, admit we were wrong, and that our position was based on bad reasoning.

Recognition is the prelude to change.

With that aside, delighted to be in the company of logic proselytizers.

 
 
Raúl
 
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18 September 2015 08:37
 
Pattertwig - 27 February 2015 03:02 AM

“Zero-tolerance” goals are doomed to failure, particularly when self-policed, because people are experts in denial.

Take racism.  By making racism absolutely taboo, accusations and defenses against racism have become a national sport.  Few if any national figures ever engage in the sort of healthy introspection that transformed American feeling against racism back during the Selma marches.  The typical American talking head spends at least 98 times as much time trying to accuse opponents of being racist, or defending themselves against charges of racism, or defining racism in a way that it doesn’t apply to one’s own despicable behavior.  At best they spend 2% of the time wondering if their personal decisions might have been motivated by racism, or how they could be less racist.

Rather than committing to being “fallacy free,” I’d consider taking a challenge to try to catch oneself in a logical fallacy, or in the three types that you described.  Commit to coming back to this thread and reporting on the fallacy.  If we catch ourselves, let’s construct an alternate, non-fallacious argument, or else yield the point, admit we were wrong, and that our position was based on bad reasoning.

Recognition is the prelude to change.

With that aside, delighted to be in the company of logic proselytizers.

Cheers to that