informal fallacies

so anyways “straight people aren’t gay/queer/LGBT+ (lol)” is an excellent example of a straw man argument

“A straw man is a common form of argument and is an informal fallacy based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent’s argument, while refuting an argument that was not advanced by that opponent.” (from wikipedia)

because, really, viewed on its own, as in many posts that I’ve seen that simply say “straight people arent lgbt,” it seems obvious. the lgbt community is defined, in some ways, as completely opposed to the idea of a “straight” person (here representing a cishet, non-intersex person. yknow, Straight.)

and it seems really stupid to argue against that particular point because like. That’s where the line has been drawn. Straight people are over there, we are over here.

But the thing is, that’s very very commonly used as a refutation of “asexual people belong in the queer community,” which is a very complex argument with a lot of different points and nuances. Some people reblogging these “straight people aren’t queer” probably don’t even know that that’s where the argument started. They may just look at the post and go “yeah, obviously.”

So people make these “straight people” posts because it’s such an OBVIOUS argument that NO ONE would ever argue against, and they’re equating that directly with the argument “ace and aro people are part of the lgbt+ community.” As if both of those arguments encapsulate ALL of the same points entirely.

Because if you manage to frame it as “straight people don’t belong,” and someone tries to argue with you on that point, then you’ve forced them, in some way, to admit to viewing ace/aro people as “straight,” which is a very large part of the argument that ends up being glossed over.

“Ace/aro people belong in the LGBT+ community.” “Straight people aren’t queer.” “That has nothing to do with this. Ace and aro people aren’t straight.”

I’ve seen this with multiple different things, as well. People stating an argument in such simple terms, and boiling it down to one point, as if that’s all there is. (Saying “if you’re not a feminist, you’re a bad person,” as if there aren’t some legitimate objections to feminism. Womanism is a good example of a group made by people (black woman) that have a very legitimate objection to feminism (very white-centric).)

Doing this is not an argument. It’s stating a point you already believe in and not allowing actual discussion of it.

It’s okay to state these things sometimes, I guess. But do not act like they are a good replacement for activism.

(P.S., there are many straight people that belong in the LGBT+ community, should they choose to identify that way. Trans people can be straight, as well as intersex people, and probably more I can’t think of right now.)

170419 Mr_吴亦凡工作室 Kris Wu Studio Statement

Official Statement

Recently, a certain live broadcasting platform’s broadcast has brought up content such as “commenting on other artistes” and “communicating with a female celebrity using suggestive text messages” and such related to Kris Wu, the content of which, are fabricated rumours of malicious slander, that instigates suspicion towards Kris Wu’s public image, personal reputation and dignity. After the aforementioned content was posted, it was profusely reposted and reported on by many netizens and media outlets who were unclear of the truth, and now has caused a negative societal consequence on Kris Wu’s reputation.

The Studio highly condemns such slander, and hereby releases this statement as follows:

1. In order to prevent the continued spread of such false news which may result in complications to the public, a warning is hereby issued to netizens and media outlets that have reposted such fallacious information, to take down all untruthful content related to Kris Wu with immediate effect. This is to prevent the poster from having to face lawful consequences upon the infringement of laws as a result of reposting such content.

2. To all respected media: While exhibiting eagerness to comply with performance duties, under the regulatory obligations of online service providers, do immediately cease all postings, broadcast and block all of such breachful content in a timely manner, and effectively manage the related online users, in order to prevent further violations and an increased level of repercussions.

Such actions of using false news and malicious slander of Kris Wu, are violations to his personal character. The Studio has entrusted Beijing Xingquan Law Firm to investigate and collect evidence concerning all related content. Through lawful methods, we will investigate till the end, the related persons or parties responsible.

The statement is hereby declared as such.

Kris Wu Studio
19 April 2017

translated by: @wu_yi_fan

He certainly explained it all.

Imagine my surprise when a white man decided to weigh his opinion on how women should feel just recently. Today, the same individual─with informal fallacies─chose to defend another white male who has habitually committed microaggressions from a place of white privilege. Here are my two cents, when a person who looks like this:

Is out there saying this: 

Be aware that you are listening to a WHITE MAN resort to a straw man informal fallacy to defend their point.The anon was addressing Nick Grimshaw && his habitual microaggressions. Next, SJW Aaron decides to bring in Louis && Harry into the argument. Now, the anon was not minimizing or even addressing the single incidents the fandom has witnessed from the aforementioned; rather, the anon was focusing on Nick’s blackface. Why does Nick’s blackface require Louis or Harry to be mentioned???? I don’t think anyone minimizes how wrong it is for a white person to say the N word or for the culture appropriation Harry demonstrated. However, Nick has demonstrated constant microaggressions that really are ridiculous. There’s a list here stating his constant racist, transphobic && vile transgressions. 

See, here is my biggest problem with the straw man argument used here, their reasoning is that Nick’s problematic nature && that of ANY white men committing microaggressions is apparently part of “the way world works”. This reasoning is no better than the “boys will be boys” rhetoric you get from white women defending “grab her by the pussy” nonsense with Trump. To make these ignorant statements that ARE minimizing && naturalizing such horrible racism is part of the problems critical race theory addresses. To give you a very condensed definition, it is a social theory that critically examines traditional norms, customs, practices && values of society as it pertains to race && other related issues.

So, Aaron argues that everyone else did it, so quit it because no one is perfect. No one should be expecting perfection, it is in our human nature to err. However, with the beauty that is free-will with how much the Germans argued about it, you would think that people could be held accountable for their mistakes && be expected to correct them. I guess that’s not true for Aaron or the likes of Nick. Yet, according to critical race theory, Aaron is part of the dominant white culture. Moreover, his cultural habitus allows him to make such a disparaging statement in defense of a man (Nick) who has demonstrated repeatedly how racist they are. So, he doesn’t have the RIGHT to tell those who feel insulted that they should just accept it because it’s part of life. No Aaron,it may be part of YOUR privileged tone-deaf life but it’s certainly not part of everyone else’s life who have intersections that your whiteness is blind to. 

Aaron can support Nick all he wants && go to war for the guy as he aptly reblogged. But if he does, he needs to admit that he is also supporting a racist asshole && if he thinks it normal or trivial or commonplace for microaggressions to occur then he’s part of the problem. You can’t have it both ways. Don’t claim to be a SJW  who supports trans people && “omg feminism” or “omg pride, let’s be inclusive” when you actively declare your love && support for an individual that is a habitual microaggressor. You just can’t. Own up to your bullshit but stop pretending that your informal fallacy is reason enough to silence those who have been offended && rightfully so. 

Rhetorical Devices

I found my notes from AP English Language (actually one of my favorite classes ever) and thought some people might benefit from the definitions in there. A few are common knowledge and a few are probably things you’ve never heard of. Examples included! The ordering isn’t completely logical, but here you go.

Keep reading

On Ad Hominem

Argumentum ad hominem is another commonly misused and abused informal logical fallacy. Strictly speaking, it is only “ad hominem” when a personal attack is used as a claim that the interlocutor’s conclusion does not follow from his premises. An ad hominem is not merely an insult. That is to say, if one encounters someone who claims that vaccines cause autism and cites various pieces of anti-vaxxer literature, and one responds by saying, “You’re wrong because you’re stupid,” then one has committed ad hominem. How stupid someone is has no real bearing on whether they happen to be right, whether their argument is logically valid or whether indeed it is sound.

This has a couple of interesting consequences that are often either not understood or rejected for some (bad) reason. For instance, if one encountered the same person and heard the same argument but instead said merely, “You’re stupid,” and walked away, that would not be ad hominem. Ad hominem is an arguing tactic – a put-down or insulting observation that is not an arguing tactic, that merely signals dismissal of the argument, cannot be a logical fallacy because it does not exist in the form of warrants and claims. This leads to the further realization that if one responds to the substance of the argument, say by demonstrating the falsity of the anti-vaxxer narrative in light of actual science, and then proceeds to add, “You insufferably stupid creature” as a sort of appendix to the whole argument, that is also not ad hominem. Again, a pure insult, which is not given as a reason for rejecting an argument, or more accurately a reason for believing an argument has failed, is not a fallacy. It may be rude and unprofessional, but it is not a fallacy.

The reason these are not fallacies is because the substance of an ad hominem is that the character of the interlocutor is presented as a reason for rejecting some set of evidence and/or logical inferences. Now, it is true that one’s character can predispose one to prefer some ideas over others, some conclusions over others, and perhaps even incline one to dishonesty. But in a specific instance of argument, without showing how the argument actually goes wrong, what evidence is falsified, what logical inference mistaken, the character of the person making the argument can only give you reason to be suspicious, not to know whether the argument has failed. Only the argument itself can do that, subjected to sufficient scrutiny.

However, it is apparent enough that the relation of character to argument is a tricky thing. For instance, what if one suspects that someone is putting forth an argument disingenuously, that the interlocutor does not seriously believe it but merely wants to distract from something else? Well, for one thing, it depends in part on the format (formal, informal, whatever) of the debate. It is certainly true that nothing about any argument simply demands, as part of its nature, that it be addressed. We may feel more or less compelled to address certain arguments, but none of them compels everyone all the time. We often pick and choose which arguments we want to address, either to criticize or to defend.

Sometimes we do this based on the rational elements of the argument. Perhaps we see a flaw in it which renders it unsound, or perhaps we find a piece of evidence lacking. Perhaps, on the other hand, we find a supposed refutation actually misses the point or that the argument can be reformulated to largely its original end and still survive an attack. But at other times character enters into the picture. Perhaps we address an argument only because it is Donald Trump making it, and in any other case we would find it too ludicrous to countenance. Or perhaps we avoid engaging because to address an argument would mean dealing with its exponent, who is a Neo-Nazi or a SJW or some other unsavory type. Perhaps, indeed, we even close our ears to argument for precisely that reason.

The question arises: is this irrational? Is using character as a prudential guide for who to listen to and who not to listen to not somehow a step down from ideal rationality? Perhaps, but I respond: how can you possibly do otherwise? If one is honest with oneself, one will be forced to admit that one does not give equal time to just anyone who happens to want to say something, that one utterly fails to discriminate between who one listens to in precisely no cases, and so on and so forth. Sometimes it is readily apparent that someone is just spouting gibberish. Why respond to gibberish? Moreover, how long does one have to listen to gibberish before one can be reasonably certain it is gibberish? Sometimes one comes from a place of more or less ethical emotivism (or pragmatism) and finds an ethical case simply repugnant, so one avoids encounters with further proponents of that creed. Sometimes one finds that a given group consistently tends to rely on bad evidence or faulty reasoning in making their case, and so likewise one ceases to engage with the group members.

But just because one avoids people out of practical, prudential concerns, drawn from an awareness of character or identity, does not mean one is closed off to new arguments. It is a mistake to think that just because one does not want to hear from a given person, one does not want to hear anything that person may have incidentally said, should it come through to one from some other source. It may be one finds Rush Limbaugh fatuous and repulsive, but this does not mean one also fails to read George Will or Roger Scruton – it is not that one is necessarily prejudiced against right-wingers, but that one finds the claims made by some right-wingers to be so consistently insane or ridiculous or non-empirical that the person (or group at large) is simply no longer worth listening to.

This does seem something like an analogue of the ad hominem doesn’t it? After all, just because Rush Limbaugh has been wrong about everything in the world all of his life does not mean he won’t get something right tomorrow. Except life is not an argument. Life is not a set of premises and formal steps taken from them leading to a premeditated conclusion. Life involves taste and judgment, and who and when and what one listens to or engages with is an expression of that. It can be wisely done, cutting out sycophants, manipulators, moral abominations, and so forth, or it can be done poorly, leading one to surround oneself with one’s mental clones and ensconce oneself in an echo chamber. But it does have to be done. Most of us live in communities far too large to attend to every argument everyone we encounter wants to make in a given day. The issue of judgment is already unavoidable, and to pretend otherwise is just to refuse to square with reality.

Ad hominem is thus a very restricted phenomenon. It has nothing to do with prudence or judgment and everything with introducing distracting irrelevancies into formal argument. It is what you do when you have no real ammunition left but you’re angry with your interlocutor and hope your audience is as well. Just remember, an ad hominem is not an insult, it is an insult dressed up as a reason.

Zootopia - Are you listening, Tumblr?

Remember that episode of My Little Pony, where the moral was “’No’ means ‘no’?” It was basically a message to the My Little Pony Fanbase - which had a *TERRIBLE* habit of pushing that shit down peoples’ throats regardless of what they said. Yeah, it was basically Hasbro saying, “Are you listening, Bronies? This is for you.”

Zootopia is this way for Tumblr - and well, in general, this generation. 

Note that it did not actually paint one particular group with a black and white brush. It actually paints them with a GREY brush. Why is this a good message for this generation?

It shows that people are INDIVIDUALS. It does not actually go with this fairy-tale “Clearly you are supposed to sympathise with this person because they never do anything wrong”-type of characterisation that Disney used to do. Sure, it was alright back in say, the 1930s or the 1950s, but in the new tens? People expect more. It doesn’t show you that WHAT you are that is important, but WHO you are.

A surprising amount of people - especially on this site - don’t seem to realise this. 

It also teaches don’t judge people based upon their initial appearances. See? Do we have to still teach kids this? Yes. Just look at this website and note that most of these are kids who are like “oh you are just this this means you are…” or “This person didn’t even know me and he judged me so he must be a bad person!” Because there is always a lot more. You know. You know.

Oh, and you just know that people are going to say “See look at this movie about race relations - TAKE NOTES WHITE PEOPLE!” Oh people should take notes alright… it’s actually you, Tumblr. Take notes. 

Note how it does not paint the predators and prey (or hell, even individual species) with any black or white brushes. It does not show that the racism is directed only at the predators by the prey or at the prey by the predators. It shows that jerks can be anyone - and I DO mean ANYONE

This is a huge thing and one reason why we need to give this message out - I know a lot of people will immediately write me off as a racist, but note that what this actually does: It portrays people as people. It doesn’t say “see this is why our belief is justified”. There is a TON of racist hate coming from both sides - and especially on this website. Even if you love to point out the whole “But these people have had it worse I think fixing things for them is better than making sure they don’t say rude things”.

This is called “appeal to worse problems” - this is a LOGICAL FALLACY. Sure, an informal fallacy (Because say, dealing with limited resources like “Why should we spend money fixing this side road nobody goes to rather than main street when we only have enough money for one?” it’s one thing, but when you’re talking about trying to make people be seen as equal? This is a problem you can’t just ignore. It is fully possible to care about big and small problems simultaneously. (Look at how feminists and egalitarians are trying to make things better for people in the first world.) 

Okay, now that that’s done? 

Long story short: It shows that just because you are a prey or a predator, that does NOT mean you can NOT be racist - it means you CAN be. 

In fact, take a note of the villain’s motivations - they want to create what amounts to a race war. And look at how easily people are led onto it. This is where the film strongly says “Are you paying attention, people?” Take a look at our media and note the trends. Note how commonly people appeal to race and use that to justify supporting them, no matter how clearly wrong they are. (And as an added bonus, note the species…. it’s a genius bonus.) 

Additionally, note the Oryxes at the start. Two mild characters that probably dont’ even have names (unless you read the credits) and only exist for a gag that they are loud and that the apartment walls are thin. They never question or bring up whether they are gay or not. Erasure? Actually… no. It’s just treating it as a normal acceptable behaviour. That means a lot. Seriously it freaking bugs me whenever I see a character who is supposed to be gay and they are a total walking stereotype who has to remind you that they are gay. It’s treating them like it’s a total normal thing - heck, having thin walls and being able to hear your neighbours argue is totally normal, no matter who or what they are. It’s the same with Clawhauser - they don’t fat shame him at ALL. Now that’s a very Tumblr friendly message. 

Seriously,if I’m seeing people go “this movie is so SJW” or “This movie is such a satirization of PC culture”, then my only response is “eat shit and choke on it.” It’s perhaps one of the most relevant movies this generation.

btw, Tumblr, are you listening? Yeah. 

anonymous asked:

(1/2) The previous anon actually has a point. Naruto himself has said that he doesn't "swing that way". It's not erasing bisexuality. It means that Naruto believed that he was straight. Naruto fully believed that Sasuke was his friend and that was why he wanted to ensure his safety, but even Sasuke was skeptical as to what Naruto meant by "friend" at the end of the manga. Naruto didn't consider himself to be gay or bisexual, most likely, but honestly thought himself to be straight.

(2/2) Given that Naruto didn’t have parents or any friends or anyone to rely on for years… He probably didn’t even know that he could have been bi! And that’s really sad.

Was the scene with Sai not just a filler? I’m sorry, I can’t recall said words from the original manga.

Anon did erase the option of him being bisexual because they created a false dichotomy, which is a type of informal fallacy that involves a situation in which only limited alternatives are considered, although there is at least one additional option. That is, however, not the case in our situation since chances are pretty high that Naruto might be bisexual, pansexual, or polysexual. Dismissing these possibilities is, in fact, the erasure of bisexuality. 

Maybe Naruto knows that he isn’t straight, but tries to hide it? Such behaviour isn’t always a result of latent homosexuality. Naruto was clearly embarrassed when he was naked in front of Sai, which was undoubtedly unusual for him. It’s not a sign of unrecognised potential interest in homosexual relationships, but of him being fully aware of his homoerotic feelings.

My problem with the previous Anon is that they imply it’s not realistic to assume Naruto is non-hetero because of their heteronormative world view. They are used to the unwritten rule to expect every person on the planet to be heterosexual—unless they behave differently, or they out themselves.

Your explanation isn’t unrealistic; however, following your logic, it’s perfectly fine to call him bisexual. Furthermore, why do you state Naruto believed that Sasuke was nothing more than a friend to him?

Towards the end, Sasuke wanted to know what Naruto meant when he said they are friends. Suddenly, Naruto wasn’t sure anymore how to answer his question because the feelings he has for Sasuke are too great and deep. We, as the readers, can notice subtle changes. Are they brothers? Friends? Lovers? They aren’t brothers, Naruto denied this. And it can’t be a normal friendship, Sasuke questioned this.

anonymous asked:

i don't really understand why that tumblr model is as terrible as you say it is could you please explain it a little bit more??

sho thang

strap your seatbelts kids because i am probably going to talk way too long abt this post thats been going around. we’re gonna take this slide by slide to keep this shit cohesive

okay, slide number one:

like okay, this model is a pretty sound starting point. tumblr is known for becoming fanatical and intolerant (anyone dissed superwholock lately?), so i, like many others, probably went into it with an open mind and feeling interested in reading a good critique on tumblr’s echo chamber.

not really much to say here, so lets move on over to the next slide.

here’s where things start to turn into trash. the first bar is fine, pretty much, run of the mill non-shitty behavior. but from that point on, op starts using strawman arguments like there’s no tomorrow.if you don’t know what a strawman argument, here’s the definition off of wikipedia:

“A straw man is a common type of argument and is an informal fallacy based on the misrepresentation of an opponent’s argument.
The so-called typical “attacking a straw man” argument creates the illusion of having completely refuted or defeated an opponent’s proposition by covertly replacing it with a different proposition (i.e., “stand up a straw man”) and then to refute or defeat that false argument (“knock down a straw man”) instead of the original proposition.”

So line two.

Pretty much, there is a huge number of young teenagers who go through this phase, but it’s literally that, just a phase. Whatever, I can ignore this, but I’m starting to get suspicious because i can already feel the strawman getting set up.

line three:

holy fuck, the alarm sirens should be going off in your head by now. op is talking shit about non-mainstream identities, which pretty much means anyone not gay, bi, or binary trans. like, he’s mocking the acronym, which yes, is long, but for a good reason. Some people prefer umbrella terms, and some people prefer using the lgbtqiapp+ acronym, but the reasoning for that is for another day. nobody who considers themselves queer or an ally should even dream about making fun of the acronym’s length.

still on line three, we get a faceful of arospec and acespec mockery! he makes fun of the concept of a greyromantic demisexual, implying that both aromantics and asexuals are just making up their orientations for attention. he also more or less says that aros and aces never experience any form of discrimination, which i can definitively say isn’t true.

fourth line:

op is now denying that there is a power imbalance within the queer community. just a glimpse makes it apparent that gay men get the most attention of any queer minorities, and anyone with basic knowledge of gender inequality knows that nonstraight men can be just as misogynistic as straight men.

line five:

refusing to acknowledge that monosexual queer ppl and straight people alike love to erase bi, pan, and poly people. “pick a side!” “bisexual people are sluts!” “pan people are special snowflakes!” and so on and so forth. it is a very real and legitimate problem, and op is acting like it’s a hysterical, baseless exclamation someone is making for the sake of toxicity. so yeah its all bullshit

ok so that’s one slide down, lets move on down toooo

slide two:

i hope you guys appreciate that i have to save all this trash onto my computer for you

line one: once again, nothing awful. it’s like the most basic behavior you can expect to see.

line two:

welp, right back into the strawman arguments. you do see this sort of thing floating around on tumblr, but it doesn’t mean what he’s implying it to mean. minority groups expressing frustration with the treatment they receive in the hands of oppressors is completely justifiable. like, why would you get mad at someone who’s been abused by a certain party all of their life for saying “i hate cis people”

so like, you could glean some legitimate criticism out of this slide, which is more or less the same as with the lgbtqiapp+ slide, but once again, line three is taking us straight to bullshit town

line three:

gatekeeping! doesn’t everyone love gatekeeping? gatekeeping is the best. trying to say only people who experience gender dysphoria are trans is incredibly elitist and panders to the cis community for the sake of validation. also random discussion of otherkin which has no other mention in this slideshow. im going to reiterate that trans otherkin have every right to use neopronouns and that op is just bringing them up to get people to side with him because it’s such a divisive line

line four:

first off, the asterisk in and of itself is problematic because it erases nonbinary identities. i think based off some of my previous statements you can see how this one is fucked up, because it’s literally the same as line three, just with a wilder strawman fallacy present. it’s worth noting op’s stance on nonbinary identities

line five:

i have literally never seen this kind of behavior in my entire life ever. also look how it’s trying to implicate trans women as vengeful spiteful creatures. like transmisogyny isnt bad enough without his shitty ass contributions

moving on

slide three:

line 1:

blah blah blah normal basic shit

line 2:

like okay once again this is kind of a legitimate issue. but once again, minorities venting for the sake of getting some glimmer of relief against the building pressure of their oppressors is hardly something anyone should be talking shit about.

line three:

um, if a poc tells you something about the nature of being a part of that identity… yeah? you listen? they have experience you dont have and their word should be taken as an authority on the matter. woc experience simultaneous misogyny and racism, and like yeahhhh they kind of get shit on constantly? the praise and glorification of woc on tumblr is a pushback against the constant hatred they get. like damn come on give the girls a break

on the topic of cultural appropriation: it is okay to partake in cultural exchange and sharing, so long as the group you want to do so with is willing to do it. cultural appropriation is when you take from the group without their consent, often desecrating religious or spiritual aspects of their culture.

line four:

um. again. fuck racists. having a hard time disagreeing with that tbh. also, the literal sociological definition agreed upon by scholars is that racism=discrimination+power. so only people with institutionalized power over other races can, in fact, be racist. poc can be discriminatory and prejudiced, yes (if you’re curious, discrimination=prejudice+action), but poc in white-dominated societies literally cannot be racist.

while i am not qualified to discuss white adoption of poc children, it kind of cycles back to not listening to poc opinions on the matter. most of these are directed to out-of-country adoption but one is on whites adopting blacks in america. america centric because im a texan and i dont know shit about the outside world

line five:

its like he ran out of strawman arguments so he just cycled back around to being racist

and on again

slide four:

yeah okay i was gonna do this one but its just a whole bunch of self serving bullshit and its completely irrelevant to the rest of the items on this list so goodbye i have reached my doneness levels for the day

please look at this guy’s profile and recognize that he is a garbage can

religion is apparently a form of discrimination and tumblr teenage girls with our “identities” are idiotic


So you want to leave an argumentative comment on my text post.

Here are some things you need to understand before I even consider writing a serious response.

1. The purpose of anecdata.

Often I’ll use anecdata in a text post only to have some Supersleuth swan in to say that anecdata doesn’t prove anything. But when I use anecdata I am usually illustrating a concept, not proving the existence of a trend. So when I write about an instance of workplace discrimination I am not trying to prove that workplace discrimination is a pervasive problem (although it is); I’m giving one example of how that discrimination can manifest. Alternatively, I may use anecdata as justification for my own feelings and worries, e.g. how my firsthand experiences with sexual assault increase my sensitivity to certain types of boundary violating, but in those cases anecdata is sufficient support for the point.

2. There’s almost never a reason to whine “citation neeeeeeded.”

I don’t need a citation when writing about personal experience; I myself am a citation. I also don’t need a citation when referencing common knowledge, because this discourse community is my citation. Statistics, studies—those may need citations depending on the intended audience, but please remember that this is a blogging platform which encourages short text posts and ongoing conversations among people with shared knowledge and understanding. If I’m writing, say, an argument geared toward people who fundamentally disagree with my view, I may very well need citations—but if I fail to provide one then either provide one yourself or shut up. If you know the fact is incorrect I can only assume you have the sources to back it up, so by all means share. Otherwise you’re just lazy and hypocritical.

3. Not every conversation is an intro lecture, and that’s just fine.

I’m never going to get anything done if I spend every damn second catering to the least educated audience. Introductory sources exist, so go find them and stop trying to hijack posts that were never intended for you. You don’t personally have to understand something for it to be worthwhile and productive. I should not have to explain this.

4. Informal fallacies have limited usefulness.

Part of the problem here is that the people who shout the names of informal fallacies in arguments rarely understand them. “Your argument included an insult against your opponent(s). GET OFF THE TRAIN, YOU’VE REACHED AD HOM CITY.” The other problem is that it’s usually a lazy approach to argumentation that doesn’t look at the argument holistically and tries to discredit the entire thing by identifying a problematic part. Plus it’s obnoxious. I’ve taught undergrads, I know they love learning informal fallacies, and I know it’s because they see them as shortcuts to automatic wins. But they’re wrong.


If you don’t know what my terminology means, ask. If you use those terms differently, define and justify your use. This is my territory, so you need to either accept my terms or provide a good reason for deviating.

6. Don’t make assumptions about my meaning.

Again: If you’re not sure what I mean by something, ask. Otherwise I’ll doubt your interest and sincerity, and you’ll look like a willfully ignorant jackass.

7. “Sure, that happened” is almost never a useful response.

If I was like, “In 1547, David Bowie invented Cheetos and distributed them to impoverished children throughout Paris,” maybe “Sure, that happened” would be appropriate. It’s a claim that you can refute with a basic understanding of history and biology. But if I’m all, “Yesterday I was walking down the street and this yucky dude asked me to sit on his face,” it would not be an appropriate response, and more importantly, it accomplishes nothing. You can’t prove that I’m lying, and unless I have video I can’t prove I’m not. We’re just wasting words, and that’s terrible.

8. Your interpretation of my post should have textual support.

Don’t accuse me of saying something shitty unless you have evidence. Duh.

That’s all for now, but I’ll update as I think of more.

“Their music sucks. The singer’s racist.”

“That book sucks. The author’s a misogynist.”

“He’s an idiot for being homophobic. Therefore, we shouldn’t take him seriously on any matter, even if he’s making sense.”

^ These are called “ad hominems.” These, specifically, are attacking the person and concluding that their work/argument is no good because of some irrelevant fact about the person. One can easily spot such arguments if one of the premises is insulting the person. Ad hominems are illogical forms of argumentation, and I see a lot of them on tumblr. Some of them have more than one premise attacking the person, unlike the examples I gave above. If I see any arguments that are set up like these, I don’t care if you’re arguing against a supporter of White Supremacy, Pro-Life, Conservatism, Liberalism, Veganism, Meat-eating, etcetera. If you make arguments like these, I’m not going to take what you’re saying seriously. Of course, if you fix your arguments such that they make sense, i.e. are logically structured, then of course I’d take what you’re saying into consideration.

“But those aren’t real feminists!”
Yes. Yes they are.
Allow me to present the dictionary definition that is so often spoken of on tumblr:

the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

Huh. That’s weird. It looks like the definition is not “literally equality”. I’ve been lied to! But I digress. Anyway, if that’s what defines a feminist, then anyone who advocates women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men is a feminist. That’s it. That’s the only requirement. Being concerned for men’s rights really isn’t a necessity for being a feminist. You just need to seek equality with men, whatever that would mean for you.

Now I have a few problems with that, the biggest one being the fact that acknowledging men’s needs or fighting for men’s rights simply is not included in the definition of feminism. In fact, seeking equality with men assumes that men have all the rights they could ever possibly want and thus need no one to fight for them. Feminism does not, at its core, fight for men. Now if only there was some sort of ideology that fought for all genders equally. Something that fought for people in general rather than needing to specify gender and subsequently make another gender seem as though they had all their rights taken care of… Something like… Hmmmm… Oh!

Advocacy of the equality of all people, especially in political, social, and economic life.

There we go. There is a word for “literally equality” and it’s egalitarianism, not feminism. The definition of egalitarianism necessitates fighting for all rights, the definition of feminism does not.

Now you may be saying “Hey! Feminists fight for men’s rights too!” And you’d be right, at least partially. Some people who identify as feminists do fight for men’s rights, but that is the perfect segue into my discussion about the No true Scotsman fallacy.

From a Wikipedia summary:

“No true Scotsman is an informal fallacy, an ad hoc attempt to retain an unreasoned assertion. When faced with a counterexample to a universal claim (“no Scotsman would do such a thing”), rather than denying the counterexample or rejecting the original universal claim, this fallacy modifies the subject of the assertion to exclude the specific case or others like it by rhetoric, without reference to any specific objective rule (“no true Scotsman would do such a thing”).”

This is why you can’t just shrug your shoulders at “crazy feminists” who don’t fight for men’s rights by saying they aren’t “real feminists” or “true” feminists if you will. As long as they fulfill that rather short list of requirements listed above, they are true feminists, even if you don’t like or agree with them. Fighting for men’s rights simply isn’t part of the necessary equation.

Meanwhile, egalitarianism *is* by definition the advocacy of rights for all. Do you not like the term egalitarianism because somebody who called themselves egalitarian wasn’t fair to women? Well it can be truly said that they were not true egalitarians, since they don’t adhere to the very definition of the word which does, unlike feminism, require equal advocacy.

So when somebody tells you they’re an egalitarian rather than a feminist, don’t act so shocked and offended and try to shoot them down by saying that feminism “literally means equality” and that the people they’ve had bad experiences with “aren’t real feminists” because they are, whether you like it or not.

I’m reading a defense of Cersei and the author blames the War of the Five Kings on Catelyn and Lysa. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Catelyn didn’t know Lysa was unbalanced until she got to the Vale with Tyrion at hand. She caught on really fast that her sister’s mind was going right after, though. (The breastfeeding tipped her off, I’m sure.)

Why not blame Littlefinger for the whole mess, since he clearly took advantage of Lysa’s love for him and is a Generally Untrustworthy Asshat.

Also this take diminishes how clannish Westeros is. In Westeros, the daughters are married off for political gain, creating alliances and increasing influence. The family is the most important tool in the noble house’s toolbelt. Why do you think Walder Frey made it a condition that Robb marry one of his daughters? Why did Margaery first marry Renly and then Joffrey? Why did Tywin keep pushing to make Cersei queen?Because family bonds are important in gaining and maintaining power!

With this in mind, consider House Tully’s words are “Family, Duty, Honor” and how Catelyn took over as the lady of Riverrun when her mother passed away. It’s not hard to assume Cat would believe Lysa was telling her the truth about Jon Arryn. (And it’s not like communication is that fast in Westeros.) 

This isn’t to say a defense of Cersei isn’t important (and I’m the last person to advocate against defending Cersei.) Cersei has suffered because of the social roles imposed on her. But why should we use fallacious information to do so? Why should we blame the Tully sisters when we can openly point the finger at, well, Littlefinger?

anonymous asked:

1) this missing money problem is an example of an informational fallacy: "an informal fallacy occurs in an argument whose stated premises may fail to adequately support its proposed conclusion. The problem with an informal fallacy often stems from reasoning that renders the conclusion unpersuasive... the error is not a flaw in logic... informal fallacies are not necessarily incorrect. However they often need the backing of empirical proof to become convincing."

2) i feel like they’re using this problem to also comment not just on how the story about Louis if false, but how these stories in general are intentionally misleading and a form of misdirection… i really do wonder what they’re trying to distract from

Thank you for your input anon, and I am right there with you.