Question

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Richard

Perjury/Blasphemy Trap

This is sort of a Morton's Fork type question that I see mostly judges and cops ask in the presence of an audience whose purpose is to induce the Social Desirability Effect in the mind and behavior of the one being questioned.

A person in court/jail, etc. claims they are innocent directly or indirectly.

The judge/cop, etc, then asks, "Are you accusing/calling the "Law  Enforcement Officer," "Peace Officer," "POLICE Officer," "OFFICER" (Words said with such respect as if the syllables themselves conveyed what it meant to be a cop) of LYING/a LIAR?

No matter what answer you give, you can't win. If you say no, then you are admitting you lied, are guilty and we're falsely staining the pure as the driven snow reputation of "one of America's finest" inventions since sliced bread.

If you say yes, you're made to look like you just committed blasphemy. It might as well be April of 2003 and you just said that you are against the Iraq war and don't support the troops. In fact, if you said you were against the Iraq war, it would be implied that you don't support the troops as if they were one and the same.

If this were a court in a very devout Muslim country, the question would be , "Are you saying that you drew a picture of the Holy Prophet Muhammad? 

Catholic Middle Ages: Are you accusing The Pope of not being infallible?

The question is completely irrelevant to what was said prior and is only asked and constructed in such a way as to pressure you into responding in the negative to it and thus responding in the positive to the implied question of, "are you actually guilty." 

Another trick is to ask the person why the cop or anybody making an accusation would lie. The person can't win no matter what. No matter what reason the person gives for why the cop or someone else would lie, the response is always, "yeah but why would they lie about this? Or some other statement to negate the possible reason. Repeatedly rejecting your answers then sets themselves up to say, " You can't come up with a reason for why they would lie because you know that you're lying/they're telling the truth.

If the person says they don't know, the cop or judge simply jumps to the end and says the same thing as before.

I know these two things are not straight arguments but was wondering if there is a name or names for these types of questions and if they contain any fallacies.

The nearest thing I can think of is called the Mohawk Valley Formula.

They are hard to pin down because they are purposely manipulative in the way they are constructed.

Like in the Salem Witch Trials where one of the judges said, "No innocent person has anything to fear from this court." And another judge responded to a woman who stated that she doesn't even know what a witch looks like by saying, "If you don't know what a witch looks like, then how can you say that you are not one?

 

asked on Friday, Jul 16, 2021 04:30:16 PM by Richard

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Answers

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Rationalissimus of the Elenchus
2

No matter what answer you give, you can't win. If you say no, then you are admitting you lied, are guilty and we're falsely staining the pure as the driven snow reputation of "one of America's finest" inventions since sliced bread.

If you say yes, you're made to look like you just committed blasphemy. It might as well be April of 2003 and you just said that you are against the Iraq war and don't support the troops. In fact, if you said you were against the Iraq war, it would be implied that you don't support the troops as if they were one and the same.

This is the alternative advance. You're damned if you do, and damned if you don't - there will always be a way to twist one of your 'choices' into resulting in a given consequence, which can't be avoided by choosing something else.

answered on Friday, Jul 16, 2021 08:57:47 PM by Rationalissimus of the Elenchus

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Ekadh Singh
0

The judge/cop, etc, then asks, "Are you accusing/calling the "Law  Enforcement Officer," "Peace Officer," "POLICE Officer," "OFFICER" (Words said with such respect as if the syllables themselves conveyed what it meant to be a cop) of LYING/a LIAR

It is possible to respond to this without admitting guilt  or attacking a police officer, in two ways

  1. right to remain silent: in American you don’t have to answer
  2. say “I do not know wether or not they are lying, all I know is that I am innocent” 

So while the other answer explains what type of fallacy this is, this answer explains a way to answer that fallacy without shooting yourself in the foot.

answered on Tuesday, Jul 27, 2021 08:33:51 AM by Ekadh Singh

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