News Flash—Glendora, CA, USA
A climactic battle broke out today between two RTB super-scholar heroes—Fuz-Lightyear-Rana and Logic-Samples-Man! The dispute was over which super-scholar possesses the greater inherent powers of manipulative persuasion.
Fuz-Lightyear-Rana launched a preemptive strike that seemed intoxicatingly convincing. Hot air and informal logical fallacies immediately filled the room and fuzzy thinking reigned supreme.
Yet Logic-Samples-Man fought back valiantly, unleashing his arsenal of equivocation, obfuscation, and ad hominem. Red herrings filled the sea and straw men walked the earth.
The amazing result of this explosive encounter was that neither RTB super-scholar convinced the other of his inherent manipulative persuasion. It appears that a cold-war standoff between Fuz-Lightyear-Rana and Logic-Samples-Man remains.
Observers of the historic super-scholar hero clash felt passionately ambivalent and agnostic about just who was victorious in this monumental conflict. Evidence was suppressed, causes were oversimplified, and generalizations left hasty. But this confusion and ambiguity could have been avoided if the super-scholar heroes had abided by the intellectual virtue and core principles of sound reasoning. Critical thinking filters the constant dangers of propaganda, wishful thinking, and fallacies.
Perhaps the RTB super-scholar heroes should bulk up their persuasive abilities with a little Logic 101.
Common sense says we should consider pros and cons before making big decisions. Imagine choosing a university to attend or deciding to go through major surgery without weighing all the evidence for and against your choices. The same concept applies to intellectual pursuits—in order to maintain intellectual integrity, we must take into account all the evidence for and against our view. Continue reading
Wild goose chase, rabbit trail, red herring—all these idioms refer to diversionary tactics. A mystery writer might use a red herring character to distract readers (and even the detective) from the real culprit. A good plot device for authors, but in logic, using a red herring is a fallacy. Continue reading
From childhood, we’re taught to follow the Golden Rule: treat others as we want to be treated. Jesus Christ included this principle in His description of the greatest commandments: “The second [commandment] is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Continue reading