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← Two equally bad fallacies

Misfire's Avatar Jump to comment 27 by Misfire

QuestioningKat observed my poor critical reading skills--the photo I linked from a hasty Google search only, in fact, reminded the photographer of Ansel Adams. My bad.

QK didn't extrapolate from that error, but it still reminded me of an error in thinking that I admit I fall for constantly: concluding a position is wrong because it's poorly argued for. (If anyone can remember what this fallacy is called, it escapes me.)

It's an interesting case, because it certainly seems natural to reject an argument which someone fails to provide evidence for, and leaves you to do the legwork.

It can be a significant problem where the strongest supporters of a position argue en bloc, where adherents to an idea are encouraged not to deviate from standardized arguments. If those arguments aren't good, it's hard to look at the issue without a negative bias. I see this occurring to an extent both in conservatism and feminism.

Conservatism in the States is generally propounded by Republicans, who have run any credibility into the ground. I think that there is, though, at least limited value in some conservative positions--regulation can certainly get out of hand, and there are aspects of America which deserve more respect than many liberals believe. You'd just be unlikely to reach these conclusions listening to anything Republicans argue.

Feminism is quite possibly the most important and most successful social movement in human history, and yet I'm immensely frustrated reading (no longer partaking in) many discussions with fundamentalist feminists. (Radical I'm all for--fundamentalism is what bothers me.) Scan through a given feminist discussion online, Pharyngula hosts them frequently, and the omnicast accusations of rape-apology, seemingly deliberate misinterpretations, appeals to consequence and so forth paint a pretty lousy picture of feminism. None of which diminishes the imperative of equal rights in the least.

Of course the solution again is to base conclusions on evidence and reason, and ignore the style of argumentation, whether for its force or weakness. But as I said, that's a rough one for me, on par with reading captions.

Tue, 31 Jan 2012 17:06:27 UTC | #913114