Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Do you have a weed-eater?

Via A Blog Around The Clock: David Neiwert at Orcinus provides a humorous example of right-wing logic. Unlike most right-wing logic, this one's supposed to be a joke... but as David points out, life imitates satire. (So much for The State's "it's funny because it's not true" tenet.)

I should point out, because this is as good a place as any, that by adopting David's phrase "right-wing logic," I do not mean to imply that all Republicans think this way. I personally know at least one very logical right-winger, who -- surprise! -- also doesn't agree with many of the current leadership's positions. Rather, this is a type of logic that is rampant among current conservatives, though it's not universal nor entirely confined to the red states.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Collections of fallacies that aren't internet forums

From the most recent Skeptics' Circle: Bronze Dog at Rockstar Ramblings is working on a list of meaningless words and phrases used to derail arguments. He's focusing mostly on discussions about new-agey things like alternative medicine, but these tactics crop up in any argument where one side wants to draw attention away from the inadequacy of their proof. The list includes grievously misused words like "quantum" and smokescreen arguments like "people have believed this for thousands of years." My personal favorite is the writeup on "science doesn't know everything," which as you may know is one of my all-time least favorite "arguments." Of course science doesn't know everything, it's a method for finding things out (mostly by assuming that you are wrong). But it's a really good method, folks.

From Bronze Dog's list, I also found some links to Skeptico's version of the same project. Skeptico has been collecting and repudiating fallacies for a while, and his descriptions and debunkings are thorough and excellent. There are fewer of them, but each one really explodes the fallacy it addresses. Thanks, guys, for doing your part for honest argumentation.
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