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Welcome! This is the place to ask the community of experts and other fallacyophites (I made up that word) if someone has a committed a fallacy or not. This is a great way to settle a dispute! This is also the home of the "Mastering Logical Fallacies" student support.


Dr. Bo's Criteria for Logical Fallacies:

  1. It must be an error in reasoning not a factual error.
  2. It must be commonly applied to an argument either in the form of the argument or in the interpretation of the argument.
  3. It must be deceptive in that it often fools the average adult.

Therefore, we will define a logical fallacy as a concept within argumentation that commonly leads to an error in reasoning due to the deceptive nature of its presentation. Logical fallacies can comprise fallacious arguments that contain one or more non-factual errors in their form or deceptive arguments that often lead to fallacious reasoning in their evaluation.

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Quinten

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Quinten


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About Quinten

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#college
#educated
#education
#ignorance
Tue, Jul 30, 2019 - 06:31 AM

I need the words for what I’m thinking. Help!

“In a democracy, we have to worry about the ignorance of the uneducated. Today we have to worry about the ignorance of people with college degrees.”

Premise: “In a democracy...”
Conclusion: “Today we have to...”

I can’t quite put it into words, I’d like some help.
First “ignorance” of “uneducated” are saying the same thing twice, is there a term for that? It’s meaningless but how do I prove it?

Also this meaningless phrase becomes analogous to “ignorance” of “college degrees” with college degrees implying “educated” which is misleading.
Therefore it’s means “ignorance of the educated”
Compared to “ignorance of the uneducated”
Therefore only ignorance matters and this is rhetoric designed to denigrate the perception of people with higher education.
Is it tautological?

Also it’s too general. Ignorant of what and educated in what?

I’d love some useful terminology and specific fallacies if there exists some that fit this. An Iron man fallacy?

Thanks!



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Jim Tarsi

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Jim Tarsi


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Print Thu, Aug 29, 2019 - 08:59 AM
I don't see a fallacy as much as I see a statement without any support. The first statement is not a premise and the second is not a conclusion; both are simply statements without any logical support. If you're looking for ways to counter what the other person has said, ask him "Why do you say that?"


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David Blomstrom
Political Activist & Student of Mind Control

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David Blomstrom

Political Activist & Student of Mind Control

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About David Blomstrom

I'm Seattle's only political activist - and, no, that isn't an arrogant statement; it's just the sad truth.
Print Fri, Aug 30, 2019 - 05:43 PM
I think Jim Tarsi nailed it. However, I think your question is missing something. Is THIS what you meant to quote?:
In a democracy, we have always had to worry about the ignorance of the uneducated. Today we have to worry about the ignorance of people with college degrees.
Those words are apparently attributed to a right-wing propagandist named Thomas Sowell -- https://twitter.com/thomassowell/status/1048257260215054337?lang=en
I don't know what Sowell's quote was in reference to, but higher education is traditionally viewed as a bastion of liberalism. Therefore, right-wingers like to bash college students, while liberals bash the FBI, military and "mainstream" powers.
However, it still doesn't sound like a fallacy (to me). The first sentence is arguably true, at least in part; there have always been uneducated people, though the degree to which we have to worry about them may be questionable.
Whether or not contemporary college students are "ignorant" is a matter of opinion. Though I'm no fan of Sowell, I'm ironically inclined to agree with him. Public education is quite a racket and has become a major conduit for propaganda. If you'd like to have a professor who was pals with Jeffrey Epstein, try Harvard, which is a cesspool of corruption.
However, Sowell would probably defend Harvard; his derision is aimed at liberal college students.
Looking at it from another perspective, we might ask if Sowell thinks college students are being brainwashed with liberal ideas, or does he think higher education in general breeds ignorance? Like I said, he would probably defend Harvard.
The icing on the cake: I just learned that Sowell attended - take a wild guess - Harvard! Moreover, he got a degree in economics. Harvard-trained economists rank among some of the biggest monsters on the planet (not to mention Harvard law professors who chummed around with Epstein).
So if we agree that Sowell is primarily targeting LIBERAL college students, then one of the key words may be "today." Is he simply recognizing the fact that lots of Americans have college degrees nowadays, or is he suggesting that colleges have become more liberal?
Another key word is "ignorance." Does Sowell really believe liberal college students are lacking in education, or does he simply not like them because they have values and opinions that differ from his?
In summary, Sowell says uneducated people are a flaw in any democracy before stating his opinion that modern liberal college students are a threat to American Democracy today. I kind of feel like there is a fallacious argument in there somewhere, but I can't wrap my head around it. Now that we have the original quote, maybe someone can give us a final verdict. ;)
Working on a series of books focusing on mind control and conspiracy at www.kpowbooks.com


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DrBill
Friday, September 06, 2019 - 01:05:01 PM
@David Blomstrom: The pair of statements juxtapose terms to create a wry observation, in which the presumption of education by the evidence of a piece of paper is the point. It's not a deep thought, hardly worthy of parsing/dissection, but is fairly commonplace. My own observation is that many college graduates are ignorant of many ordinary things, often less than one would expect a high school student to know. A demonstration can be found in the responses of "man on the street" interviews presented on some radio shows, and how easily college students can be led to sign petitions against non-existent problems/issues, or fail to recognize the proposals on some petitions are simply statements copied from the Constitution.

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Quinten
Tuesday, July 30, 2019 - 09:16:08 PM
So this is what I came up with as a response. I’d like some feedback. I’m pretty new to logic as a formal discipline and am completely self taught so help me if it is a little crude:

Proposition 1: “In a democracy, we have always had to worry about the ignorance of the uneducated.”

In this particular sentence “ignorance” and “uneducated” have the same meaning. Whatever the subject is, be it economics, foreign policy, domestic rights or immigration, the thing which a person is ignorant of is the same thing which he is uneducated in. So, the same thing is stated twice just in a different way; this is called a tautology, which is bad logical form. It conveys a false impression that some sort of valuable information was produced.

As such, the proposition should be simplified to only one of the following:

1. “In a democracy, we have always had to worry about ignorant people”
2. In a democracy, we have always had to worry about uneducated people.”


Proposition 2: “Today we have to worry about the ignorance of people with college degrees.”

So first let’s recognize that Proposition 1 is acting as a premise used to support the conclusion (Proposition 2).

“(Premise) In a democracy, we have always had to worry about ignorant people; (Conclusion) Therefore, we have to worry about ignorant people with college degrees.”

This is a meaningless argument. A tautology is an assertion that is true in every possible interpretation. He is saying “x equals x.”

Therefore, we have to worry about ignorant people...
That are Christian
That drive cars
That eat pizza
That anything.....
It seems the only claim worth pondering here is that we have to worry about ignorant people. Nothing else is relevant.

But even if that view fails, there is this:

The conclusion is depicted as parallel to the first proposition. It subtly invites the reader to assume “college degrees” to be synonymous with “the educated.” A conclusion is drawn from “the ignorance of the uneducated” to “the ignorance of the educated.” Even if we assume the first proposition had valuable information to offer, it concludes in a contradiction. Comparing one thing to another that is really not related, in order to make one thing look more or less desirable than it really is, is called the faulty comparison fallacy. This is simply rhetoric designed to denigrate (or validate) public sentiment towards “over educated” individuals. It offers no truth, only confusion.

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Jim Tarsi
Saturday, August 31, 2019 - 11:34:20 AM
I mentioned before that I don't think the statements are a logical argument as much as they are just two statements. To make it an argument, we would have to add another premise:

P1: In a democracy, we have always had to worry about the ignorance of the uneducated.
P2: The situation has changed.
C: Today we have to worry about the ignorance of people with college degrees.

The first statement is of questionable truth; there are too many equivocating words ("worry," "ignorance of the uneducated," for example). The second (assumed) premise is also too vague (What situation? How has it changed?). Even adding this second premise, there is too much uncertainty to determine if the argument is sound.

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