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A brief look at logical fallacies

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  • A brief look at logical fallacies

    assalamu alaikum wa rehmatullahi wa barakatuh

    I wanted to make this post because I noticed some posters take pride in "preying" on others who might be a bit weaker in argumentation. I noticed these same posters appeal to what is known as logical fallacies. I had a course in college in which a segment was dedicated to studying logical fallacies. I won't mention them all here. Just the popular ones and some insights of my own.

    I'm not a debater of any kind, but I think this is a good subject to brings people attention to.

    What will learning these logical fallacies do for me?

    In any argument/discussion our primary goal is not to "crush" the opposition but to exchange information for us to draw our conclusions from. We may learn something. We may teach something. It is the goal of arriving at the truth of the matter. Learning about logical fallacies will help reach this goal in a purer fashion. We wade and cut out the nonsense and interact with the bare truth.

    Ad hominem

    Attacking your opponent and not the argument is an epic fail. When someone attacks you instead of the argument. CALL IT! It immediately exposes them and weakens their stance.

    Example: You're not even a Muslim so why are you talking about Islam?

    Ad populum

    Occurs when your support for a claim is based on a popularity.

    Example: Shaving is not haram. Most brothers don't believe that and shave.

    It is irrelevant to the truth what most brothers are doing.

    Red herring

    This is when something is mentioned that is not relevant to the topic that diverts your attention away from the question at hand. It can be subtle and one can easily play into this. So keep your ears open...or eyes.

    Example: You say that it is unethical to connect to your neighbor's open WiFi without permission. Why would he keep it open if he didn't want to share it?

    The question in red is a red herring because the intention of the neighbor is not what is being discussed and is irrelevant to the question of connecting to an open WiFi without permission.

    False Dilemma

    This is to present a dilemma with a set limited options giving the impression that "these" are the only available options.

    Most famous example: You are either with us or against us

    Not true. I can be with you or against you or neither. Simple to expose this fallacy is to present an alternate option. That's all.

    Forum Smiley! :)

    This you won't probably see mentioned in the books, but I noticed this culture on ummah forums of making an argument and then putting a smiley at the end of the sentence. I've noticed that this actually annoyed a brother to the point he asked "stop with the smileys, it shows off arrogance".

    What's this about? It's a simple mindgame. To smile at your opponent is to give this facade of confidence which may or may not be there. Remember, stick to the argument and these smileys won't matter. They just want to psychologically mess with you.

    I think I'll just leave it there. There's tons of other devices. Here is a good link to check them out. I didn't study this as deep as the link shows. It is very detailed.

    http://www.galilean-library.org/site/index.php/page/index.html/_/essays/introducingphilosophy/16-a-guide-to-logical-fallacies-r33

    Remember,

    1) Make your claim
    2) Show your supporting evidence
    3) Connect the claim to the evidence
    4) Always ask for proof. Don't let a claim slide without being substantiated.

    The more we stay away from fallacies, the better discussions we will have and the closer we'll get to the truth and perhaps faster. You just need two intellectually honest people to tango.

    Also, a good tip a brother once gave me was: "Don't answer a question that has not been asked". I've stuck to that ever since he told me :).

    I hope that helped somehow.

  • #2
    Re: A brief look at logical fallacies

    :jkk:
    http://www.ilovepalestine.com/campai...imesinGaza.gif

    "It does not befit the lion to answer the dogs."

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    • #3
      Re: A brief look at logical fallacies

      very interesting...... though about the smilies, I use a smiley when I say something that could be misinterpreted as being in a negative tone, and I want to make it have a positive tone. Is this a bad idea?
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      • #4
        Re: A brief look at logical fallacies

        The standard Ummah smiley :) is over-smiley, it's like a massive smiley like a goody two-shoes...lol But there is no alternative ;)

        Jzk loonie, I've heard most of that before but still found it interesting.

        Islamically, how do we respond to the common atheist belief that "if it isn't hurting anybody, then it's okay". This is used to justify many things from dressing half naked to homosexuals.
        Last edited by badr_; 15-03-11, 01:20 PM.

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        • #5
          Re: A brief look at logical fallacies

          Originally posted by dhakiyya View Post
          very interesting...... though about the smilies, I use a smiley when I say something that could be misinterpreted as being in a negative tone, and I want to make it have a positive tone. Is this a bad idea?
          It really depends on the context. This is a problem with text communication is that we subconsciously imagine the tone and at odd times may get it wrong. Choice of words and elaboration can minimize this. Smileys advocate for our absent facial expressions. They're limited on the forum so if you want to supplement a good comment with a smiley we a stress a bit more in the text that we're friendly and not hostile.

          But if you said to me "loonie kitkats are haram" and I respond "oh yeah? Prove it. :)"

          Why did I smile? Because I want to give you the impression that I know something and have it stored in my back pocket ready to fire. Argumentation has a psychological aspect to it, but if we avoid that then I believe we're being more objective because we're not here to psychologically break the other person down and make them shake in their boots, but to discover the truth.

          Originally posted by badr_
          Islamically, how do we respond to the common atheist belief that "if it isn't hurting anybody, then it's okay". This is used to justify many things from dressing half naked to homosexuals.
          The bolded part indicates what you have to do. They want you to demostrate "how it hurts anybody". It being whatever the subject i.e. homosexually, nudist culture etc.

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