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Finally, a response to the deluge is dishonest arguments you encounter every day

Posted by John T. Reed on

You are hit with a daily barrage of intellectually-dishonest arguments

Social media, the office water cooler, arguments with acquaintances, TV news. There is an inaccessible branch of academia that is supposed to teach you how to deal with this—the philosophy department of universities.

They call it logic fallacies. But they are more interested in obfuscating the subject to keep it the sole province of the Ivory Tower than teaching it to you. How do they do that? By giving all logic fallacies a Latin name and by using Venn diagrams and phraseology like syllogism, set theory, inference, deductive, premise. 

Plain English translation of Ivory Tower logic

My new book gives you a plain English translation of each logic fallacy but I also include the damned Latin names at the end to you can access the inaccessible university logic world if you wish.

Unlike my web article on intellectually-dishonest debate tactics, in the book, I also give you an antidote to each intellectually-dishonest debate tactic.

Fact checkers, law checkers, but no logic checkers

To their credit, news media have lately revealed their previously behind the scenes fact and law checkers. These are employees they have always had to check to make sure stories were accurate and represented laws accurately when the story related to the legal system.

It is my hope that my new book How to Spot Dishonest Arguments and keep your own thinking straight will inspire at least one media outlet to try logic checkers. If they do they will probably employ the top experts in the subject: Philosophy professors.

That won’t work. Those guys refuse to communicate in ways that laymen can understand. The need an expert who can discuss it in plain English, like me, although I am not looking for a job in NYC. I could show them a couple of times how to do it then they would need to replace me with a full-time person.

The BS artists now dominating the airwaves and getting away with BS would be forced to behave when on a media show with a logic checker. That would be a great leap forward in Americans’ understanding of their world and the various issues facing the nation.

Stop quoting politicians saying the usual stuff

Politicians by definition take credit for everything good, blame everything bad on their opponent. They try to make molehills out of their own mountain scandals and make mountains out of their opponents’ molehills scandals. Finally, the out of office politicians incessantly say that now is the most dire emergency in the history of the universe. And when they finally get back in office the other side will say we are in an unprecedented crisis. 

So stop reporting this garbage. If you must, just say, “The usual suspects spouted the usual partisan garbage today.”

There are only two honest debate tactics

My book has over 100 intellectually-dishonest debate tactics. But you do not need to memorize. Just memorize the honest ones of which there are only two. If you stick to those two, you are not being intellectually dishonest.

• there is an error or omission in your facts

• there is an error or omission in your logic

That’s it.

How to Spot Dishonest Arguments and keep your own thinking straight



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