The Ethical Skeptic

Challenging Pseudo-Skepticism, Institutional Propaganda and Cultivated Ignorance

The Tree of Knowledge Obfuscation: Misrepresentation through Locution or Semantics

The following is The Ethical Skeptic’s list, useful in spotting both formal and informal logical fallacies, cognitive biases, statistical broaches and styles of crooked thinking on the part of those in the Social Skepticism movement. It is categorized by employment groupings so that it can function as a context appropriate resource in a critical review of an essay, imperious diatribe or publication by a thought enforcing Social Skeptic. To assist this, we have comprised the list inside an intuitive taxonomy of ten contextual categories of mischaracterization/misrepresentation:

Opponents, Locution or Semantics, Evidence or Data, Bias or Method, Science, Argument, Assumption, Groups, Self and Authority

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Tree of Knowledge Obfuscation The Ethical Skeptic

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Misrepresentation through Locution or Semantics

Accent Drift – is a specific type of ambiguity that arises when the meaning of a sentence is changed by placing an unusual prosodic stress (emphasis on a word), or when, in a written passage, it’s left unclear which word the emphasis was supposed to fall on.

Advantageously Obtuse (Bridgman Reduction) – a principle which has been translated, reduced or dumbed-down for consumption so as to appear to be a ‘simple’ version of its source principle; however, which has been compromised through such a process. Thereby making it easy to communicate among the vulnerable who fail to grasp its critical elements, and moreover to serve as an apothegm useful in enforcing specific desired conclusions. Statements such as ‘the burden of proof lies on the claimant’ or ‘the simplest explanation tends to be correct’ – stand as twisted, viral forms of their parent principles, which contend ironically, critically or completely different standards of thought.

aeunoia – parsimony, humility and reasoned balance adopted simply as a form of rhetoric; appearances adopted merely to underpin persuasion of an audience. A position calmly spun as representing science, rationality or ‘where the facts lead’, typically belied by the enormous amount of unknown inside a subject field or the lack of true knowledge held by the virtue signally aeunoia practitioner.

Ambiguity – the construction or delivery of a message in such words or fashion as to allow for several reasonable interpretations of the context, object, subject, relationship, material or backing of the intended message.

Anodyne Phrasing – phrasing deliberately posed in suitable apothegms or buzzwords which are not likely to provoke dissent, offense or disagreement – so that more extreme agendas backed by such locution can be subtly approved by all. Terms such as ‘justice’, ‘hate’, ‘Nazi’, ‘equality’, ‘immigration’ – where the hearer hears one thing, but the agenda poser means another.

Organic Untruth (verum mendacium) – a constructive form of argument which exploits concealed ambiguity or altered premise as the core of its foundational structure. A statement which is true at face value, but was not true or was of unknown verity under the time frame or original basis, soundness, domain or context under discussion.

Not a Logical Truth – It is not that this type of statement is false. The basis of this type of assertion may even reside in scientific validity, or may be only categorically true – i.e. only true if given a specific set of circumstances. However the statement is not a logical truth – a truth of syllogism which is comprehensive, unqualified and unequivocal. Logical truth is the state of syllogism which a deceitful person is wishing for you to infer when they state a categorical truth, yet do not specify its conditions. It is a means of lying through stating something which is only conditionally accurate – hoping that their victim will accept the statement as one which addresses all circumstance.

Slack Exploitation – a form of equivocation or rhetoric wherein an arguer employs a term which at face value appears to constrain the discussion or position contended to a specific definition or domain. However, a purposely chosen word or domain has been employed which allows for several different forms/domains of interpretation of the contention on the part of the arguer. Often this allows the arguer to petition the listener to infer a more acceptable version of his contention, when in fact he is asserting what he knows to be a less acceptable form of it.

secundum quid – comes about from failing to appreciate the distinction between using words absolutely and using them with qualification. Spruce trees, for example, are green with respect to their foliage (they are ‘green’ with qualification); it would be a mistake to infer that they are green absolutely because they have brown trunks and branches.

uti dolo (trick question) – a question which is formed for the primary purpose of misleading a person into selecting (through their inference and/or questioner’s implication) the incorrect answer or answer not preferred inside a slack exploited play of ambiguity, interpretation, sequence, context or meaning. The strong version being where the wrong context is inferred by means of deceptive question delivery; the weak version being where the question is posed inside a slack domain where it can be interpreted legitimately in each of two different ways – each producing a differing answer.

praedicate evidentia – any of several forms of exaggeration or avoidance in qualifying a lack of evidence, logical calculus or soundness inside an argument.

praedicate evidentia – hyperbole in extrapolating or overestimating the gravitas of evidence supporting a specific claim, when only one examination of merit has been conducted, insufficient hypothesis reduction has been performed on the topic, a plurality of data exists but few questions have been asked, few dissenting or negative studies have been published, or few or no such studies have indeed been conducted at all.

praedicate evidentia modus ponens – any form of argument which claims a proposition consequent ‘Q’, which also features a lack of qualifying modus ponens, ‘If P then’ premise in its expression – rather, implying ‘If P then’ as its qualifying antecedent. This as a means of surreptitiously avoiding a lack of soundness or lack of logical calculus inside that argument; and moreover, enforcing only its conclusion ‘Q’ instead. A ‘There is not evidence for…’ claim made inside a condition of little study or full absence of any study whatsoever.

Amphibilogical – a word or definition which existentially bears two meanings of stark contrast, where the equivocation resides inside the term or definition itself and not inside its context of employment. Not entirely the same as ‘amphibological’ – the state of being an amphibology.

Amphibology – is a situation where a sentence may be interpreted in more than one way due to ambiguous sentence structure. An amphibology is permissible, but not preferable, only if all of its various interpretations are simultaneously and organically true.

Anodyne Phrasing – phrasing deliberately posed in suitable apothegms or buzzwords which are not likely to provoke dissent, offense or disagreement – so that more extreme agendas backed by such locution can be subtly approved by all. Terms such as ‘justice’, ‘hate’, ‘Nazi’, ‘equality’, ‘immigration’ – where the hearer hears one thing, but the agenda poser means another.

Antonesque Rhetoric – a form of rhetoric in which the arguer appears to be supporting one position; however in the same argument through locution tactics or eventually through escalating sarcasm, reveals a logical calculus or means of persuasion which implicitly yields the opposite position. From Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, a speech by Mark Antony “For Brutus is an honorable man.”

aposiopesis – an expression wherein a sentence is deliberately broken off and left unfinished, the ending to be supplied by the imagination fitting a preset context of implication or inference, giving an impression of unwillingness or inability to continue due to decorum or implied complexity in description. Used normally in the pejorative.

Argument from Silence – the pretense that the exhibiting of silence on one’s part is somehow indicative of higher intellect, ethics, rationality or knowledge and skill regarding a topic at hand.

bedeutungslos – meaningless. A proposition or question which resides upon a lack of definition, or which contains no meaning in and of its self.

Betteridge’s Law of Headlines – an adage about rhetoric that states: “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.”

Boundary Semantics – (a form of appeal to infinity or plenitude) – pushing the meaning of a term (such as ‘proof’ or ‘knowledge’) into highly or specially plead realms of extreme definition variants, in order to provide an special pleading exception out of any or every argument. This is never a form of being semantically precise, despite a temptation to regard these types of extreme definitions as such. Rather is simply form of equivocation based explanitude.

brevis lapsus (‘Word Salad’ Fallacy) – the inability to understand technical or precise writing, mistaking it for constituting a pleonasm. This in favor of simplistic writing which is, either with or without the intent of the opponent, subsequently rendered vulnerable to equivocation. An accusation made when a dilettante person fails to understand philosophical or technical writing, wherein the base argument or its requisite vocabulary reside completely over the head of the individual who started the argument to begin with.

Casuistry – the use of clever but unsound reasoning, especially in relation to moral questions; sophistry. Daisy chaining contentions which lead to a preferred moral outcome, by means of the equivocal use of the words within them unfolding into an apparent logical calculus – sometimes even done in a humorous, ironic or mocking manner. A type of sophistry.

Chekhov’s Gun – is a dramatic principle that states that every element in a fictional story must be necessary to support the plot or moral, and irrelevant elements should be excluded. It is used as part of a method of detecting lies and propaganda. In a fictional story, every detail or datum is supportive of, and accounted for, as to its backing of the primary agenda/idea. A story teller will account in advance for every loose end or ugly underbelly of his moral message, all bundled up and explained nicely – no exception or tail conditions will be acknowledged. They are not part of the story.

Circular Definition – Also called a god principle or definition. A definition which relies upon elements of itself in order to define itself; much akin to a god being defined as the only being which can define itself. For example, critical thinking (epistemic rationality) being defined as ‘ensuring that one visibly demonstrate that their beliefs/actions/thoughts fall in line with those of others who also are also epistemically rational’. An appeal to authority and circular reasoning, bundled into one error. The one who enforces a circular definition regarding human attributes, is pretending to the role of God.

Click Bait (or Headline) Libel – when asking a question in a headline which falsely impugns a person’s background or character, in order to attract attention and harm that person through implication – and then to subsequently conclude in the text of the associated article that the contention is of an unknown or unproven status.

Click Bait (or Headline) Skepticism – a position backed by articles or studies in which the headline appears to support the position contended, however which in reality actually contend something completely or antithetically different. A skeptical understanding which is developed though sound bytes and by never actually reading the abstract, method or content of cited articles or studies.

Click Baiting – purposely altering the context, nature or question asked inside a headline or click icon of an article, to imply a more intriguing or controversial content than is actually contained inside the article itself.

Compactifuscation – the merging of several disparate but associated concepts or definitions into one single descriptive term, so that epistemological weakness or strengths characteristic of a subset of the definitions held equivocally inside the term, can be ported over to the remaining set of definitions, without overt support or challenge in doing so. For instance the merging of sentience, awareness, meta-awareness, identity and meta-identity all into the term ‘consciousness’, so that studies on beetles can be ported over and apply to the hard problem of human consciousness.

Complexifuscation – the introduction of similar signals, inputs or measures, alongside a control measure or an experimental measure, in an attempt to create a ‘cloud of confusion or distraction’ around the ability to effect observation, control or measure of a targeted set of data. Preemption of a phenomena with in-advance flurries of fake hoaxes, in order obscure the impact, or jade the attention span of a target audience, around a genuine feared phenomena.

Context Dancing – the twisting of the context inside which a quotation or idea has been expressed such that it appears to support a separate argument and inappropriately promote a desired specific outcome.

Continuum Fallacy – erroneous rejection of a vague claim or loosely defined data set simply because it is not as precise as one would like it to be.

Crier of the Gaps – a practice which has replaced the principle of ‘God of the Gaps’ solutions to systemic problems. Filling in and smoothing over gaps in information or understanding, through media intimidation, bravado and over-publication – as a means to defacto adjudicate/emasculate such gaps in understanding in the realm of public opinion, through jackboot ignorance, nonaganda and propaganda.

Definition by Ergodicity – the mistake of the dilettante is to define an abstract principle by its ergodicity and not by its logical critical processes or elements. A key sign of lack of understanding.

Equivocation – the misleading use of a term with more than one meaning, sense, or use in professional context by glossing over which meaning is intended in the instance of usage, in order to mis-define, inappropriately include or exclude data in an argument.

Euphemism – a mild or indirect word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing. A thinly veiled or cleverly posed insult.

Fabutistic – a statistic which is speciously cited from a study or set of skeptical literature, around which the recitation user misrepresents its employment context or possesses scant idea as to what it means, how it was derived, or what it is saying or is indeed not saying. Includes the instance wherein a cited statistic is employed in a fashion wherein only the numerals are correct (ie. “97%”) and the context of employment is extrapolated, hyperbole or is completely incorrect.

¡fact! – lying through facts. Data or a datum which is submitted in order to intimidate those in a discussion, is not really understood by the claimant, or rather which is made up, is not salient or relevant to the question being addressed, or is non-sequitur inside the argument being made. The relating of a fact which might be true, does not therefore mean that one is relating truth.

Fauxpology – a statement which is posed in the context of or dressed up as an apology; which in reality dodges, shifts or bounces back the blame onto the injured party – usually delivered in condescending tone. Often a hint as to the immaturity of the fauxpologist’s character, mixed with an adult-level intent and skill in deceiving and harming others. A fauxpology is never an innocent action – and its issuer should never be trusted.

Fine Ignorance – the result obtained when one errantly attempts to craft a simpler version of a complex principle or contain its premise inside an apothegm. In an effort to appear brilliant or package philosophical or scientific precepts into consumable bites of understanding for the common person, amateurs or the disingenuous may in the process alter the actual philosophical or scientific message at hand, rendering an incorrect or ineffective version thereof. Changing of Ockham’s Razor ‘Plurality should not be posited without necessity’, into the errant simpler and mass-consumable form ‘All things being equal, the simplest explanation tends to be the correct one’.

Flaw of Identity – mis-employment of the first classical law of Greek thought, regarding essence. Falsely contending that two things sharing a unique set of characteristic qualities or features, are indeed the same thing; or conversely that two things that have different essences are different things.

Flummery – meaningless ceremonial or sycophant journalism – often characterized by worn out catch phrases, article structures, quotes, recitations, common bad guys, phrase cloning, celebrity deference and social peer flattery, often inexpertly applied and misunderstood by the writer. It is usually passed by journalists seeking to gain favor inside social skepticism or in certain political or religious circles. It features common overused pejoratives against the same group of disliked persons, and features terms such as ‘anti-___’ or ‘___-ism’ or ‘denialist’, etc. It is a form of ass kissing enacted by persons who are not particularly intelligent but nonetheless seek the social/career acceptance of appearing to be ‘rational’.

Frank’s Law – under fundamentalist oppression, precaution will always be spun as anti-ism.

Hate Rhetoric – unleashing of a sometimes rhythmic and sermon-like rambling circular logic, stringing together a series of emphatic good sounding one-liners and memes into a web of defacto hate. A surreptitiously directed hate, focused on persons who coincidentally also happen to be of a different ethnicity, gender or socioeconomic grouping than the person issuing the rhetoric.

Hedging – the a priori employment of ambiguous words or phrases, for the purposeful instance wherein they can be reinterpreted in such a way as to appear in consensus, if one is later found to be wrong on a position of denial and opposition.

Higher Education – the realization in praxis that one has been charged an exorbitant amount of time, money and abuse, by persons purporting to give you something which you already possessed all along.

Hume’s Law – a normative statement, or statement of what should be, cannot be deduced exclusively from descriptive statements. In essence the philosophical refutation of rhetoric.

Humor Hoax Fraud – when posing misinformation about disdained persons or subjects, posed inside or excused by a context of humor, knowing that it will be re-circulated as fact by those with whom you associate. Pretending to be innocent by expression technicality.

Ideoblather Effect – the unconscious habituation to one liners and memorized/canned responses which are spoken by means of an autonomous reaction on the part of one faced with a troubling idea, observation, evidence set or perceived opponent.

“If I Only Had a Brain” Straw Man – an argument which would have constituted a straw man argument had the claimant understood it to begin with, however appears only to stem from the arguer’s inability to grasp the issue or logical calculus under discussion or contention.

Illusion of Choice Fallacy (or two-sided coin analogy) – when an argument is made that one has at their avail a choice between P -> Q or Q -> P, yet there is not discernible nor critical difference between either argument, or two alternatives are presented which are essentially the same thing, or two issues are simply two sides of the same coin. It is a way of tendering the appearance of a choice, when indeed there is not really one.

‘I’m Not a Scientist’ Rhetorical Exclusion – an artifice of rhetoric in which one begins a pseudoscientific assertion with the preamble ‘Now, I am not a scientist but…’ What the claimant has done with this is to imply that scientists are a group, marginalized from society, which had made the claim of being the only ones worthy to speak on a topic of contention. It is used to isolate the concerns of science as therefore being fringe or oppressive in nature by default.

Inchoate Action – a set of activity or a permissive argument which is enacted or proffered by a celebrity or power wielding sskeptic, which prepares, implies, excuses or incites their sycophancy to commit acts of harm against those who have been identified as the enemy, anti-science, credulous or ‘deniers’. Usually crafted is such a fashion as to provide a deniability of linkage to the celebrity or inchoate activating entity.

Irish Pennant – a term, language or definition which is non sequitur with, fails to reduce complicated-ness of, is equivocal in meaning inside or otherwise lacks integrity with either the philosophy or remaining set of definitions inside its contended context. A tattered, overlapping or incomplete definition which has been altered through the lens of an agenda, rendering it at least partly incoherent with broader philosophy, or leaving gaps in the Wittgenstein (Descriptive) sufficient understanding of a subject.

Knowledge – an incrementally developed item of information (intelligence) awareness, which bears utility in thriving (which includes the set of survival).

Knowledge Equivocation – assigning beliefs, opinions, facts, information, ideas, claims, unvetted philosophy, orphan claims and pseudo-theory, status as knowledge or part of the process of knowledge development, when indeed this is false. The problem with declaring a philosophy that ‘all knowledge is uncertain’ – is that it allows a foothold for questionable or risk-bearing knowledge to be assigned status as ‘knowledge’ and further be crafted into a stack of risk which is not evaluated for such risk.

Lead-in Lie – deception by means of preamble. When someone introduces a point by first excusing themselves from a group related to that point, they are indeed a member of the group they have tried to distance themselves from. “I’m not a believer in psychic phenomena, but… when I was…”

Moral Overlay – when using the moral principle embedded or supplanted onto a virtuous recount or story to obscure or divert attention away from a less emphasized but even more important shortfall in integrity. For instance, relating a tale of a drug dealer who refuses to harm kids or mom’s by his own hand, yet regularly supplies drugs which harm millions of kids and moms.

Neologasm – excessive use of the pejorative designation of words as constituting ‘neologism,’ in order to block ideas or deny science one disfavors.

Neologism Error – falsely deeming a word as a neologism when it is in fact a neolexia. Granting a word which does not qualify as a neologism, status as a neologism simply because of who originated the word, and who indeed are its intended victims.

Neologism Fallacy –  falsely condemning a term by citing it to be a ‘neologism’ in the pejorative, when in fact the word is in common legitimate use, or is accepted as a neologism, or passes the three tests to qualify as a functional neologism.

Nonaganda – (see Evidence Sculpting or Skulptur Mechanism) a media which does no real investigation, relates 100% accurate fact or even does ‘fact-checking’, yet still ignores 50% of relevance concerning an issue, is still fake news.

Not a Logical Truth – It is not that this type of statement is false. The basis of this type of assertion may even reside in scientific validity, or may be only categorically true – i.e. only true if given a specific set of circumstances. However the statement is not a logical truth – a truth of syllogism which is comprehensive, unqualified and unequivocal. Logical truth is the state of syllogism which a deceitful person is wishing for you to infer when they state a categorical truth, yet do not specify its conditions. It is a means of lying through stating something which is only conditionally accurate – hoping that their victim will accept the statement as one which addresses all circumstance.

nulla infantis – a pseudo-argument, sometimes cleverly disguised or hidden inside pleonasm, which basically is the equivalent of saying ‘nuh-uhhh’…  Latin for child’s ‘no’.

Observation vs Claim Blurring – the false practice of calling an observation of data, a ‘claim’ on the observers’ part.  This in an effort to subjugate such observations into the category of constituting scientific claims which therefore must be supported by sufficient data before they may be regarded by science.  In fact an observation is simply that, a piece of evidence or a fact, and its false dismissal under the pretense of being deemed a ‘claim’ is a practice of deception and pseudoscience.

One-Liner – this refers to a cliché that is a commonly used phrase, or folk wisdom, sometimes used to quell cognitive dissonance. It is employed to end and win an argument and imply that science has made a final disposition on a matter long ago, when indeed no such conclusion has ever been reached.

Organic Untruth (verum mendacium) – a constructive form of argument which exploits concealed ambiguity or altered premise as the core of its foundational structure. A statement which is true at face value, but was not true or was of unknown verity under the time frame or original basis, soundness, domain or context under discussion.

Orphan Question – a question, purported to be the beginning of the scientific method, which is asked in the blind, without sufficient intelligence gathering or preparation research, and is as a result highly vulnerable to being manipulated or posed by means of agency. The likelihood of a scientifically valid answer being developed from this question process, is very low. However, an answer of some kind can almost always be developed – and is often spun by its agency as ‘science’. This form of question, while not always pseudoscience, is a part of a modified process of science called sciebam. It should only be asked when there truly is no base of intelligence or body of information regarding a subject. A condition which is rare.

Panaganda – declaring the one or scarce exception to dominant propaganda, because it dissents or is neutral, to therefore be propaganda itself. “The true objective of propaganda is neither to convince nor even persuade. But to produce a uniform pattern of public utterances in which the first trace of unorthodox thought reveals itself as a jarring dissonance.” ~Leonard Schapiro

Pedantic Smokescreen – the process of deluding self regarding or the process of employing the exclusive and unique principles of science to obscure and justify activities which would otherwise constitute fraud and malfeasance in business and legal domains.

Pejorative Appeal to Ignorance – when one raises a question in a media or social context, which by its mere asking serves to bring under suspicion or impugns the character of another person, regardless of what its ultimate determination turns out to be. A method of character assassination disguised as mere ‘fact checking’.

Permissive – an argument which is presented as neutral to falsely appearing to be in support of an idea, crafted in equivocal or ambiguous language, which can be also taken to support, permit, encourage or authorize antithetical conclusions.

Platitude – a flat, dull, or trite remark, especially one uttered as if it were fresh or profound. A one-liner, especially if uttered as if it delivered scientific or technical expertise.

Pleonasm – is the use of more words or parts of words than is necessary for clear expression, in an attempt to load language supporting, or add judgmental bias to a contention. A form of hyperbole.

Pinballing – a form of poor communication wherein the conversant conducts a stream of consciousness ramble, bouncing from one topical object and point to the next one, without ever wrapping up to a single point or assertion. The conversant may address 3 to 10 or more logical objects, ideas, logic rabbit trails, sub-plots or persons in a row, without ever coming back to their original context, nor forming an actual proposition related to it. Tends to be conducted in combination with pronoun hell (see Pronoun Hell).

Portmanteau – originally a large trunk made of stiff leather, which opened into two differing but equal sized parts – which has transmuted into meaning a word blending the sounds and combining the meanings of two others; for example fauxtography (from ‘faux’ and ‘photography’) or brunch (from ‘breakfast’ and ‘lunch’).

praedicate evidentia – any of several forms of exaggeration or avoidance in qualifying a lack of evidence, logical calculus or soundness inside an argument.

praedicate evidentia – hyperbole in extrapolating or overestimating the gravitas of evidence supporting a specific claim, when only one examination of merit has been conducted, insufficient hypothesis reduction has been performed on the topic, a plurality of data exists but few questions have been asked, few dissenting or negative studies have been published, or few or no such studies have indeed been conducted at all.

praedicate evidentia modus ponens – any form of argument which claims a proposition consequent ‘Q’, which also features a lack of qualifying modus ponens, ‘If P then’ premise in its expression – rather, implying ‘If P then’ as its qualifying antecedent. This as a means of surreptitiously avoiding a lack of soundness or lack of logical calculus inside that argument; and moreover, enforcing only its conclusion ‘Q’ instead. A ‘There is not evidence for…’ claim made inside a condition of little study or full absence of any study whatsoever.

Prevaricate – to lie through manipulating in advance of a point, its basis of definition, observation or data, or by means of persuasion, locution and/or tactic of argument.

Proof by Verbosity – submission of others to an argument too complex, meandering and verbose to reasonably deal with in all its intimate details.

Pronoun Hell – the circumstance wherein a conversant over-employs pronouns inside a stream of object, topic or point-complex communication. Using shortcut pronouns such as he, she, it, thing, that, which, who, they, them, their, they’re, etc. to such an excessive degree that no actual coherent point is made, or no actual communication is accomplished.

Proquivocation – when in the domain of propaganda, locution errors, equivocation or amphibology stemming from ignorance or mistake are indistinguishable from locution errors, equivocation or amphibology stemming from malfeasance or prevarication.

Proxy Equivocation – the forcing of a new or disliked concept or term, into the definition of an older context, concept or term, in order to avoid allowing discrete attention to be provided to the new concept or term. Often practiced through calling the new concept/term, falsely, a neologism or brush off with the statement ‘that idea has already been addressed.’

Psychogenetic Fallacy – inferring why an argument is being used, associating it to some psychological reason, then assuming it is invalid as a result. It is wrong to assume that if the origin of an idea comes from a biased or credulous mind, then the idea itself must also be a false.

Quoting out of Context Fallacy – a proponent’s selective excerpting of words from their original context in a way that distorts the source’s intended meaning, in order to impugn or support specific ideas.

Rat’s Option – when the appearance of a choice is offered, however the only option offered is a preordained path which involves a trap.

Recursive Definition Fallacy – defining a phrase or word, by means of a definition or change in context which occurred after the original usage under discussion.

Richelieu’s Law – given a sufficient quantity of statements of merit, actions or associations on the part of an individual, a case can be made that one of those things either serves to condemn that individual or runs anathema to the essence of all their other contentions (apparent hypocrisy). An exploitative coercive argument which proceeds along the lines of the Richeliean quote: “Give me six lines written by the most honest man and I will find in them something to hang him.”​

Rosach’s Axiom – if a person chooses an invective towards another, with multiple possible definitions or high possible equivocation potential – then they wish for all to infer the most pejorative version of definition, but will imply publicly that they meant the least pejorative definition.

Rule Implied through Its Exception – sometimes also called the “exception proves the rule”, is a type of appeal to authority syllogism which presupposes its affirmation, in that the presence of an exception applying to a specific case establishes through implication that a general rule exists. For example, a sign that says “parking prohibited on Sundays” (the exception) implies that parking is allowed on the other six days of the week (the rule).

Scare Crow Fabrication – crafting of a position or stance on an issue which an opponent has never tendered, implied or stated. An argument fabricated from complete fiction and used to dissuade persons from viewing that opponent in a positive light.

secundum quid – comes about from failing to appreciate the distinction between using words absolutely and using them with qualification. Spruce trees, for example, are green with respect to their foliage (they are ‘green’ with qualification); it would be a mistake to infer that they are green absolutely because they have brown trunks and branches.

Semantics Jousting – the twisting of the context inside which a quotation of authority or a recitation or scientific principle is applied, such that it appears to support a separate argument and inappropriately promote a desired specific outcome.

sinnlos – mis-sense. A contention which does not follow from the evidence, is correct at face value but disinformative or is otherwise useless.

Slack Exploitation – a form of equivocation or rhetoric wherein an arguer employs a term which at face value appears to constrain the discussion or position contended to a specific definition or domain. However, a purposely chosen word or domain has been employed which allows for several different forms/domains of interpretation of the contention on the part of the arguer. Often this allows the arguer to petition the listener to infer a more acceptable version of his contention, when in fact he is asserting what he knows to be a less acceptable form of it.

Snoping – when faced with a question which when investigated, might result accurately in an unwanted answer, preemptively ask an extreme or more ridiculous form of the question instead, or shift the query context slightly, so that the answer to the new question can be derived and published quickly, without research and be determined as ‘False’ or ‘Mostly False.’ Pursue the inverse technique when a ‘True’ or ‘Mostly True’ answer is desired in lieu of an actual falsity. Producing a False or True conclusion and publishing it within 24 hours of the question even being raised.

Social Priming – preparing a person to adopt a particular desired stance by encouraging or through sleight-of-hand getting them to identify with the mindset of a person who would take that stance, in advance of asking the intended question. For example, asking a person to identify what a skeptic is, before asking them if they consider mediumship as a domain worthy of research.

Sophistry – Rhetoric disguised as philosophy; wherein the arguer conceals his subject of contention and crafts the philosophy to appear as a stand alone ethic, independent of the point he is surreptitiously attempting to persuade.

Straw Man Argument – crating of or logical calculus under, an argument which either does not exist, is irrelevant or is manipulated and twisted into a different form by a proponent.

Straw Man Conformance – the idea that since a person or group believes or considers subject A to be a potentiality, then an opponent insists that they therefore have endorsed extreme misrepresentations of subject A as well.

Straw Man Fallacy – misrepresentation of either an ally or opponent’s position, argument or fabrication of such in absence of any stated opinion. Exists in several forms:

Straw Man Argument – crating of or logical calculus under, an argument which either does not exist, is irrelevant or is manipulated and twisted into a different form by a proponent.

Straw Man Conformance – the idea that since a person or group believes or considers subject A to be a potentiality, then an opponent insists that they therefore have endorsed extreme misrepresentations of subject A as well.

Straw Man Profiling – profiling of an individual based on an extreme or misrepresented version of their position. Any man can be made to appear irrational and vile, if his opponents only are allowed to speak on his behalf.

Scare Crow Fabrication – crafting of a position or stance on an issue which an opponent has never tendered, implied or stated. An argument fabricated from complete fiction and used to dissuade persons from viewing that opponent in a positive light.

“If I Only Had a Brain” Straw Man – an argument which would have constituted a straw man argument had the claimant understood it to begin with, however appears only to stem from the arguer’s inability to grasp the issue or logical calculus under discussion or contention.

Straw Man Profiling – profiling of an individual based on an extreme or misrepresented version of their position. Any man can be made to appear irrational and vile, if his opponents only are allowed to speak on his behalf.

Subception – a perceptual defense that involves unconsciously applying strategies to prevent a troubling stimulus from entering consciousness. The method of deceiving one’s self and others in the process of cynicism, jealousy or denial. A process of expressing unrealized subconscious vitriol, in which one habitually creates artificial ‘violations’ (usually forms of administrative or social protocol which their target ‘does wrong’) which their target of jealously or hate keeps committing – in order for the subception holder to internally justify their ill feelings toward their target.

Subject Ambiguity – the construction or delivery of a message in such words or fashion as to allow for several reasonable interpretations of person, place or thing to which the message applies.

unsinnignonsense. A proposition of compromised coherency. Feynman ‘not even wrong.’

uti dolo (trick question) – a question which is formed for the primary purpose of misleading a person into selecting (through their inference and/or questioner’s implication) the incorrect answer or answer not preferred inside a slack exploited play of ambiguity, interpretation, sequence, context or meaning. The strong version being where the wrong context is inferred by means of deceptive question delivery; the weak version being where the question is posed inside a slack domain where it can be interpreted legitimately in each of two different ways – each producing a differing answer.

Wikipediad – lying through facts. When one attempts to portray themselves as an expert on a subject and squelch a specific idea by relating the entire repertoire of science in and around that idea through showering the discussion with history and ¡facts!, none of which actually pertain to the context or question at hand.

Wittgenstein Error (Contextual) – employment of words in such as fashion as to craft rhetoric, in the form of persuasive or semantic abuse, by means of shift in word or concept definition by emphasis, modifier, employment or context.

Wittgenstein Error (Descriptive) – the inability to discuss, observe or measure a proposition or contention, because of a crafting of language or a language limitation, which has limited discourse and not in reality science’s domain of observability.

Describable: I cannot observe it because I refuse to describe it.

Corruptible: Science cannot observe it because I have crafted language and definition so as to preclude its description.

Existential Embargo:  By embargoing a topical context (language) I favor my preferred ones through means of inverse negation.

Wittgenstein Error (Epistemological) – the contention that a proposition must be supported by empirical data or else it is meaningless, nonsense or useless, or that a contention which is supported by empirical data is therefore sensible, when in fact the proposition can be framed into meaninglessness, nonsense or uselessness based upon its underlying state or lacking of definition, structure, logical calculus or usefulness in addressing a logical critical path.

bedeutungslos – meaningless or incoherent. A proposition or question which resides upon a lack of definition, or which contains no meaning in and of its self.
unsinnig – nonsense or non-science. A proposition of compromised formal structure or not framed in a scientifically valid form of reduction. Feynman ‘not even wrong.’
sinnlos – mis-sense, logical untruth or lying. A contention which does not follow from the evidence, is correct at face value but disinformative or is otherwise useless.

Wolfinger’s Inductive Paradox – an ‘anecdote’ to the modus praesens (observation or case which supports an objective presence of a state or object) constitutes data, while an anecdote to the modus absens (observation supporting an appeal to ignorance claim that a state or object does not exist) is merely an anecdote. One’s refusal to collect or document the former, does not constitute skepticism. Relates to Hempel’s Paradox.

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September 24, 2009 Posted by | Argument Fallacies, Ethical Skepticism | , | Leave a comment

The Tree of Knowledge Obfuscation: Mischaracterization of Opponents

The following is The Ethical Skeptic’s list, useful in spotting both formal and informal logical fallacies, cognitive biases, statistical broaches and styles of crooked thinking on the part of those in the Social Skepticism movement. It is categorized by employment groupings so that it can function as a context appropriate resource in a critical review of an essay, imperious diatribe or publication by a thought enforcing Social Skeptic. To assist this, we have comprised the list inside an intuitive taxonomy of ten contextual categories of mischaracterization/misrepresentation:

Opponents, Locution or Semantics, Evidence or Data, Bias or Method, Science, Argument, Assumption, Groups, Self and Authority

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Tree of Knowledge Obfuscation The Ethical Skeptic

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Mischaracterization of Opponents

Abusive ad hominem – usually involves attacking the traits of an opponent, including implying their lacking of critical thinking skills or rationality or membership in a pigeon hole of stupidity, which are irrelevant to the argument at hand, as a means to invalidate the arguments of the opponent. This includes an attack on a person when there is evidence to support it. The attack is still ad hominem if the attack had nothing to do with the preexisting discussion context. Also, when one rejects 100% of what a person has to say, in order to demean or categorize that person in some way. Given sufficient discussion domain, no one is 100% wrong, and such declarations are out of context of appropriate discussion and person focused.

ad feminam – is marked by the discrediting of an argument, data or observation by appealing to the apparent or assumed bias towards or irrelevant personal considerations concerning women, especially prejudices against them on the part of an opponent. Applies also in the cases of reference to minorities or the disadvantaged.

ad fidentia – attacking the person’s self-confidence in place of addressing the argument or the evidence at hand.

ad hominem Fallacy – inappropriately citing the objections of an opponent as constituting an ad hominem attack, when the personalized objections are simply made as counter evidence to the claims a proponent has made regarding themselves.  An exception occurs when the personalized objections could not have been possibly ascertained by objective research or knowledge, or are simply made for pejorative argument.

ad virtutem – a form of rhetoric wherein one attacks the virtue of the opponent, through citing their being a racist, or anti-science, or Nationalist Nazi, or baby killer, or homophobe, etc. Usually comes in combination with the accusers having virtue signaled about their personal correct identity inside the good group in such a matter – thereby condemning their opponent through inclusion in the not-good group.

Affirmative Characterization from a Negative Premise – believers in this subject are typically credulous, and credulous people do not command science; therefore all believers in this subject are pseudo scientists.

afto anaforás Appeal – appeal to self reference. If one habitually fails to be able to separate an opponent’s argument from the opponent them self, this is an indicator that one is not skilled in developing an argument separate from one’s own self in the first place. Every position on the part of such an arguer will stem from a selfish and emotional origin. Reactions will always be in the form of an ad hominem.

Akratic Trolling – when an advocate of an agenda plays the game wherein they will troll and provoke their perceived enemy, then suddenly retreat into the pure technical of science or atheism and adopt a holy or statesman facade when the perceived enemy objects to their behavior. This presents the enemy in the worst light possible through highlighting only one type of expression.

Anachronistic Fallacy – when applying modern societal morals, strictures, moors, rules, laws and ethics retrospectively or retroactively upon past events or persons. Any attempt to lens and judge historical characters through means of modern character framing. This fallacy of soundness fails in that its method only produces negative assessments, by failing to detect any higher standards versus today’s or regard of mitigating circumstances/considerations.

Anomie – a condition in which a club, group or society provides little or negative ethical guidance to the individuals which inhabit it or craft its direction.​

Antagonogenic – causing benefit as a result of or while in the process of intent to cause harm. A hacker who ironically ends up improving systems security. A leftist who influences younger generations to oppose his group, because of hate filled actions in the name of thinly-veiled virtue.

Appeal to Authority Tell – a person who conceals a reliance upon appeal to authority will get particularly indignant when a ‘lesser ranked’ person with actual direct, deep and expert experience tells them they are wrong, or offers a differing view than what they were promulgating as truth.

Appeal to Hypocrisy – the argument states that a certain position is false or wrong and/or should be disregarded because its proponent fails to act consistently in accordance with that position. It comprises several variations of condition regarding the issue of hypocrisy and apparent/justified hypocrisy.

tu quoque (“you too”) – an argument stating that since the opponent has conducted a fallacy, logical broach or hypocrisy then the proponent should not be held to account for violations, or stands correct in their position due to the opponent having made errors, the same or similar errors. It is an invalid appeal to ignis punga.

ad hominem Fallacy – inappropriately citing the objections of an opponent as constituting an ad hominem attack, when the personalized objections are simply made as counter evidence to the claims a proponent has made regarding themselves.  An exception occurs when the personalized objections could not have been possibly ascertained by objective research or knowledge (projection), or are simply made for pejorative argument.

ignis pugna – for ‘fight fire with fire’, a Latin idiom. A condition of false appeal to hypocrisy wherein one defending the innocent from the powerful, or only defending from an unjust attack, appropriately uses the same tactics as the attacker, or tactics they themself might have previously decried.  For instance, one condemns doxing in general, but is forced to use it as a means of stopping a person conducting malicious aggression, harm or bullying.  A condition wherein one uses a gun to stop a crime, and then is invalidly criticized for having used a gun, as if that constituted a crime of violence itself.  This is a deceptive appeal to hypocrisy, which is easier to conceal when the circumstances are not as stark as in the case of justifiably using a gun.  This is the converse of tu quoque – wherein a person falsely believes that just because an opponent has committed any or a specific broach in tactic, therefore now the arguer is also allowed. The fallacy, ignis punga is the special condition where either tu quoque or an appeal to hypocrisy is falsely applied.

Appeal to Implicit Conspiracy – the default position taken by a pseudo-skeptic that in order for a counter-claimant to actively research or have confidence in their proposition, then quod erat demonstrandum they must therefore believe a conspiracy exists which is holding back their preferred alternative from being studied or accepted. This default ad hoc fallacy explanation can be accused of anyone, without discretion, distracts from the logic at hand, can never be verified and results in only finding what we already think we know, to therefore be true. A substitute form of science (pseudo-theory) issued in the form of pejorative ad hominem and straw man, all rolled up into one baseless and easy claim on the part of a pseudo-skeptic.

Appeal to Motive – a pattern of argument which consists in challenging a thesis or a set of data or observations by calling into question the motives of its proposer. Attacking a person who is asking questions as hiding a motive or ‘JAQing off,’ in social skeptic lingo.

Argument from Celestial Intention – an appeal which cites that a contention stems from a desire to impart intent or value to aspects of the observable universe, and therefore identifies the contender as a creationist or god believer.

Argument from Hubris – an appeal which cites that a given contention stems at least in part from arrogance, entitlement or over-confidence on the part of the party making the contention. This argument is most often flawed in that first the appeal is a projection and assumption, and second there may be a myriad of other factors which could warrant such a theory or contention.

argumentum ergo decedo – responding to criticism by attacking a person’s perceived affiliation as a shill or as a member of an activist organization as the underlying reason for criticism they have tendered; rather than addressing the criticism itself.

Associative Condemnation – the attempt to link controversial subject A with personally disliked persons who support subject B, in an effort to impute falsehood to subject B and frame its supporters as whackos. Guilt through bundling association and lumping all subjects into one subjective group of believers. This will often involve a context shift or definition expansion in a key word as part of the justification. Spinning the idea that those who research pesticide contribution to cancer, are also therefore flat Earther’s.

Authority Credulist – the opposite of a conspiracy theorist, but even worse in terms of harm imparted. Believes authority with very little question. Vulnerable to and often exploited by authorized propaganda outlets, through bearing an abject weakness in ability to grasp asymmetry, spot patterns or develop intelligence. Seeks to be an agent which foments conflict between what they view as authority, and everyone who disagrees.

Autodidact Straw Man – accusing a person in ignoratio elenchi ad hominem, of being only self taught. Disparaging a person’s view as being insignificant or irrelevant since it was not developed under the guise of a directed academic influence.

Beatles Effect – people who rise through their career having not served in a supporting role, in too fast a progression, or are assigned celebrity without substantive merit – these individuals will often exhibit a cruelty in their leadership, selfishness, or an inability to get along with peers, which expresses as a knee-jerk desire to denigrate subjects and persons, without adequate underpinning research.

Belief Accusing – the pejorative categorization of an individual expressing a contention into a stereotypical ‘true believers’ box pertaining to such contention.  The fallacy of presumption and insult which implies that the victim is neither intelligent enough, informed enough nor of sufficiently social or credible status to merit possession of an epistemologically derived conclusion; therefore they must only ‘believe.’

Benford’s Law of Controversy – passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available.

Blame – an expressed and dysfunctional absence of responsibility, which demonstrates an intellectual/spiritual deficit of awareness of the distinction between the two principles.

Box Hunting – a set of questions posed by a fake skeptic or religious person which are designed to shepherd their conversant into a predefined box of irrationality in which they wish to place them.

Bucket Characterization from Negative Premise – subject A is a disproved topic. As a ponderer of subject A you are therefore a pseudo scientist; and in being pseudo scientist you therefore then adhere to every other philosophy of pseudoscience and every philosophy a critical observer finds distasteful. Class stereotype disdain with fictionalized evidence.

Bundle Equivocation (Bundling) – when citing the detrimental aspects of a disliked subject, a method of deception where the cynic will list a series of likely flaws with one highly unlikely but pejorative flaw purposely intermixed in order to imply and impugn the subject targeted. Ron is slow at expression, not frugal with money or is a child molester, but we continue to evaluate Ron.

Casuistry – the use of clever but unsound reasoning, especially in relation to moral questions; sophistry. Daisy chaining contentions which lead to a preferred moral outcome, by means of the equivocal use of the words within them unfolding into an apparent logical calculus – sometimes even done in a humorous, ironic or mocking manner. A type of sophistry.

Catalyseur – a conflict exploitation specialist, or any entity which stands to gain under the outcome of a lose-lose conflict scenario which they have served to create, abet or foment. Someone who acts as a third party to two sides in an argument or conflict, who advises about the ‘truth’ of the other party involved, respectively and urges an escalation of factors which drove the conflict to begin with.

celeber cavilla – a form of Truzzi Fallacy. A counter-claim which is specious in its assertion and usually ad hominem in its implication. However the counter-claim issuer employs it because they are under the false impression that since the accusation phrase is in such popular use, therefore the claim comes incumbent with immediate credibility in the offing, along with an assumed definition, evidence and acceptance. Very often employed in a ‘conspiracy theorist’ accusation.

Certitude Exploitation – a contention (such as ‘he is biased’) which is made about a person, for which evidence has a certitude of easily being found – however which also applies to everyone, or easily explains everything or nothing about that person, in reality. In similar principle to explanitude: A theory which explains everything or bears no risk in falsification, likely explains nothing.

Characterization by the Undistributed Middle – a rhetorical blending of fallacy of composition and affirmation of the consequent, wherein traits shared between two distinct groups are used to underpin the claim that the two groups are indeed identical or falsely that a person in one group actually belongs in the other group. Usually a form of rhetosophy, used to support an agenda, in its conflation. All pseudo scientists promote un-vetted data, the proponent of this argument promoted un-vetted data, therefore the promoter of this argument is a pseudo scientist.

Click Bait (or Headline) Libel – when asking a question in a headline which falsely impugns a person’s background or character, in order to attract attention and harm that person through implication – and then to subsequently conclude in the text of the associated article that the contention is of an unknown or unproven status.

Combative Habituation – when one views every discussion with perceived opponents as an eristic argument which must be won, or is compelled to attack those they perceive to be in disagreement. To artificially force a conclusion in a valid issue of plurality, simply because one perceives they are in an argument against a member of a disdained group.

Covfefe Event – a meaningless event or issue which serves to displace attention from other topical events or issues, yet ironically exposes the meaninglessness of those displaced events or issues. Roughly synonymous in politics with ‘jumping the shark’, ‘nuking the fridge’ or ‘opening the vault’.

Credulity Accusing – accusing a person of practicing pseudoscience and credulity simply because they are regarding an outlier idea.  A credulist may be wrong, but as long as they are not pretending to represent Science or claim to be using the Scientific Method, they are not practicing pseudoscience; rather, are merely guilty of being receptive to an untested conclusion.

Credulity Fallacy – the contention or implication that an opponent or group of opponents does not practice evidence based, rational or critical thinking simply because they disagree with the proponent or can be pigeon holed into a group disdained by the proponent or the proponent’s organization.

Desire to Offend Bias – when one excuses or bears a condition wherein, the desire to offend a targeted party is so high or is of such a first priority that, it imbues or reveals a bias or agency all of its own. The ironic bigotry of highlighting a strawman bigotry in another targeted party or disliked race. See Hitchens’ Apology.

Dichotomy of Specific Descriptives – a form of panduction, wherein anecdotes are employed to force a conclusion about a broad array of opponents, yet are never used to apply any conclusion about self, or one’s favored club. Specific bad things are only done by the bad people, but very general descriptives of good, apply when describing one’s self or club. Specifics on others who play inside disapproved subjects, general nebulous descriptives on self identity and how it is acceptable ‘science’ or ‘skepticism’.

dicto simpliciter – when you presume that what is true in general and/or under normal circumstances, is therefore true under all circumstances without exception.

Disinformation – when a group plants a false item of information inside the camp of thought they oppose, then alerts their allies (typically the main stream press) to highlight this falsehood as a means to discredit those groups, their movements or people disdained by the disinformation specialist and/or the condemning press channel.

Dunning-Kruger Error

Dunning-Kruger Abuse – a form of ad hominem attack. Inappropriate application of the Dunning-Kruger fallacy in circumstances where it should not apply; instances where every person has a right, responsibility or qualification as a victim to make their voice heard, despite not being deemed a degree, competency or title holding expert in that field.

Non-Equivalence of Competence – I don’t have to competent on a subject, in order to ascertain that you are incompetent on that subject.

Ecological Fallacy – a logical fallacy in the interpretation of statistical data where inferences about the nature of individuals or isolated observations/studies are deduced from inference regarding the group or broader study domain to which those individuals or observations belong. A compliment of the Yule-Simpson Effect, wherein results obtained for subsets of data, tend to disappear when those subsets are combined.

Epicaricacy – schadenfreude is the enjoyment of witnessing the misfortune of others through their own mistake, accident or self inflicted agony. In contrast, epicariacy is the enjoyment of witnessing the harm one individual receives at the hands of another, usually maliciously-minded party. The similar English expression would be ‘Roman holiday’, a metaphor from the poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage by George Gordon (Lord Byron) wherein a gladiator in ancient Rome expects to be “butchered to make a Roman holiday,” i.e. the audience would take pleasure from watching his forced suffering at another’s hands. The term suggests motives of pleasure or political expediency beyond simple schadenfreude; consisting more of debauchery and exploitation for gain in addition to sadistic enjoyment. One exception to both meanings, and common mistake in their application however, is citing schadenfreude or epicariacy in the case where one is witnessing a temper tantrum. Temper tantrums are intended forms of violence upon others, and in no way reflect a person being in a state of misfortune or harm.

Equivocation Straw Man – using opponent’s habit or ease of simplicity in communication, to compress a principle into a single name or word, to further then equivocate that word or name and afford a pathway to then straw man his position.

Evil – in contrast with ‘good’, which is not a Wittgenstein object, evil does possess a definition:

  1. Causing or allowing to occur, a transpiration which bears a primary objective or likelihood of resulting in harm to an innocent party; enabled through a process of deception and with forethought and intent as to the harm potential involved. Intent to harm through fraud with scienter. A being is not evil, only method is evil.
  2. Skill in adopting an action or appearance which is otherwise defined as good (virtue), in order to accomplish definition 1.

Exception Fallacy – is the converse of the ecological fallacy, wherein one infers a group conclusion on the basis of individual, small study or exceptional cases. This is the kind of fallacious reasoning that is at the core of stereotyping.

Extrinsic Incentives Bias – an exception to the fundamental attribution error, when people view others as having (situational) extrinsic motivations and (dispositional) intrinsic motivations for oneself.

Fallacy of Composition – the contention or implication that an opponent’s belonging to a specific group of people, inside of which are held extreme positions or actions, is indicative of their adherence to those same positions and action sets; and further then that the membership in this group invalidates their ideas, observations or data.

False Ally – citing that even the most extreme members of an opponent’s assumed group of inclusion agree with the position of the proponent’s argument.

False Privilege – privilege is the condition wherein a person perceives that someone else should be denied something in order for them to possess that same something, to which they feel they are entitled. False privilege is the condemning of someone who has something – as if they are privileged in having that something – or especially when privilege is assigned based upon that person’s skin color alone. Also known as racism.

Flattery Apology – a specific type of appeal to emotion where an argument is made condemning a group of people in which the opponent is included, while citing that the opponent is the acceptable and rational version of the member of that group (i.e. present company excepted, etc.).

Forrest Gump Bias/Class Bias – the regard of a person’s ideas, contentions, data or observations as being unacceptable, simply because the person is genetically, economically, physically, mentally, or socially different or perceived to be of a lower class level by an observer.

Frank’s Law – under fundamentalist oppression, precaution will always be spun as anti-ism.

Fundamental Attribution Bias – when one considers the traits of another to stem from the disposition of that individual such that it may affect that person’s behavior as opposed to situational factors; yet views their own behavior as stemming from chiefly situational factors.

Fundamental Attribution of Doubt Bias – when one views skepticism inside one’s own disposition as constituting justifiable doubt, yet views skepticism in another as constituting conspiracy theory.

Gaslighting – a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, hoping to make them question their own memory, perception, and/or sanity. Using persistent denial, disinformation, misdirection, contradiction, manipulated statistics and organic untruths, in an attempt to destabilize the target and delegitimize the target’s beliefs, understand or confidence in self.

Gender/Racial Bias Fallacy – attributing the decisions or status of a person to be attributable to choice stereotypes presumed about their race or gender, which when observed in other races or genders, are attributed to environmental or victimization causes.

Genetic Fallacy – an informal fallacy of irrelevance regarding the origins of an argument or the person making the argument, wherein a conclusion is suggested or rejected based solely on someone’s or something’s history, origin, or source and/or rather than its current meaning or context.

Google Blame Ranking Effect – if advice about what you are personally doing wrong, inhabits 90% of the first three pages of ranked responses on Google, it is most certainly wrong.

Google Goggles – warped or blinded perception cultivated through reliance on web searches for one’s information and understanding. Vulnerability to web opinions where every street doubter pretends to be an authority on science, every Cabal member and celebrity is falsely lauded and every unapproved person is disparaged through hyperbole and misinformation.

Hate Rhetoric – unleashing of a sometimes rhythmic and sermon-like rambling circular logic, stringing together a series of emphatic good sounding one-liners and memes into a web of defacto hate. A surreptitiously directed hate, focused on persons who coincidentally also happen to be of a different ethnicity, gender or socioeconomic grouping than the person issuing the rhetoric.

ignis pugna – for ‘fight fire with fire’, a Latin idiom. A condition of false appeal to hypocrisy wherein one defending the innocent from the powerful, or only defending from an unjust attack, appropriately uses the same tactics as the attacker, or tactics they themself might have previously decried.  For instance, one condemns doxing in general, but is forced to use it as a means of stopping a person conducting malicious aggression, harm or bullying.  A condition wherein one uses a gun to stop a crime, and then is invalidly criticized for having used a gun, as if that constituted a crime of violence itself.  This is a deceptive appeal to hypocrisy, which is easier to conceal when the circumstances are not as stark as in the case of justifiably using a gun.  This is the converse of tu quoque – wherein a person falsely believes that just because an opponent has committed any or a specific broach in tactic, therefore now the arguer is also allowed. The fallacy, ignis punga is the special condition where either tu quoque or an appeal to hypocrisy is falsely applied.

Illusion of Transparency – people overestimate others’ ability to know them, and they also overestimate their ability to know others.

‘I’m Not a Scientist’ Rhetorical Exclusion – an artifice of rhetoric in which one begins a pseudoscientific assertion with the preamble ‘Now, I am not a scientist but…’ What the claimant has done with this is to imply that scientists are a group, marginalized from society, which had made the claim of being the only ones worthy to speak on a topic of contention. It is used to isolate the concerns of science as therefore being fringe or oppressive in nature by default.

Jackboot Uncertainty – a society, group or culture having a vast, ill-defined, poorly enforced set of punishable offenses which allows institutional power, and particularly its unofficial militant wing, the ability to easily remove their enemies. Everyone’s guilty of something, you just need the Stasi to do the legwork.

Jackery – accusing a person of being a quack simply because they sell a treatment which is not billed through a big pharmaceutical chain or authorized healthcare plan channel, or is based upon a supplement or HPUS formulation.

Judgmental Language – insulting or pejorative language employed to influence the recipient’s judgment through stirring of emotion, especially anger, by intimidation or by implying the superior status or rationality of the claimant. This will many times be delivered in the form of a one liner, cliché or weapon word.

La Rochefoucauld Pride – humility is not displayed in how one appears to regard self, rather in the subtleties of how one treats and regards others. It is very easy to cast and portray a humble person in a movie, but very difficult to cast and portray a genuine person. The reason is because the former can be play-acted, while the latter usually can not. Francois de La Rochefoucauld was noted to have said, ‘Humility is the worst form of conceit.’ La Rochefoucauld pride is therefore a form of play-acted humility, conducted under a miasma of non-genuineness, which is ironically worn as a necessary costume under the social burden to conceal an intense and socially unacceptable level of conceit.

Lie Jerk Response – the psychological defense reaction a fake skeptic will employ, wherein they accuse a person who relates a challenging first hand observation or piece of evidence, of lying or exaggeration.

Loaded Language – discrediting, bias implying or pejorative language employed through leveraged equivocation and innuendo in an attempt to make self, or a topic of discourse appear superior to an opponent or opponent’s subject or contention.

Masked Man Fallacy – the contention that an opponent cannot be scientific or rational because the skeptic knows a good scientist or rational thinker when they see one; and the opponent is not one.

mea mensura – by my own measure. The false method of evaluating others by judging whether or not you did or could have also attained what they did. If you attained it or could have attained their accomplishment, then they are telling the truth. However, if you are threatened by the fact that you did or could not accomplish what they did, then of course they are lying. Because you regard self as the pinnacle of all that a talented person can accomplish or understand inside humanity. It is a form of proactive jealously, by denying credibility to persons whom we have evaluated as not being up to our social, tenure or intellectual level. This mismatch most often makes a socially intelligent (power focused) person mad, therefore they attack a logically intelligent person or accomplished STEMM professional, whom they regard as beneath them on the social ranking, by accusing them of lying or hyperbole, or treating them with disdain or mocking with regard to their accomplishments.

Mona Lisa Effect – the misconception on the part of a person pushing their celebrity or narcissism by means of an agenda, or even agenda of convenience or virtue (about which they care nothing in reality), that every evolution of a conversation is about them or contains some schemed affront to their virtue or truth. Named after the effect (mistakenly attributed to the Leonardo da Vinci painting the Mona Lisa) wherein a painting’s eyes will present the illusion of following one about the room as they move by it.

Moral Recourse – an appeal to morality wherein a faking arguer who actually bears no interest in the science behind an issue, is outflanked, and actual science is no longer on his side. He will shift to moral arguments and attempt to make his opponents appear to be bad or immoral for their stance. This is the shift we see underway now in vaccine science for instance, now that early immune activation and injected aluminum are linked in numerous studies to autism, the argument is no longer scientific, rather a moral appeal.

Nazi – someone who has refused or opposed my righteous insistence. A person who is not of color and is not silent or defends a person who is not of color. A person who’s wrong opinion or lack of silence can be justifiably countered by force or violence. A person who speaks things I do not like and can therefore be censored, blocked from media access or attacked violently as part of my expression of free speech and justice.

Negativity Effect – the tendency of people, when evaluating the causes of the behaviors of a person they dislike, to attribute their positive behaviors to the environment and their negative behaviors to the person’s inherent nature or weaknesses.

Non Sequitur Accuse – a response which does not follow the logic of a contention made, which furtively seeks to position the contention maker falsely into a prescribed camp of irrationality or non sequitur relationship to the subject being considered. This will usually be delivered in the form of a one liner, memorized talking point or weapon word.

Non-merchandising Defense Error – claiming correctness on your part or incorrectness on another party’s part because merchandising or product sales have been conducted in the name of the opposing idea. Anything can be merchandised, that does not de-legitimize the underlying issue involved – but fraud is a tort, even if you do not merchandise it.

Omission Bias – the tendency to judge harmful actions of opponents as worse, or less moral, than equally harmful omissions on the part of allies.

Panduction – an invalid form of inference which is spun in the form of pseudo-deductive study. Inference which seeks to falsify in one felled swoop ‘everything but what my club believes’ as constituting one group of bad people, who all believe the same wrong and correlated things – this is the warning flag of panductive pseudo-theory. No follow up series studies nor replication methodology can be derived from this type of ‘study’, which in essence serves to make it pseudo-science.  This is a common ‘study’ format which is conducted by social skeptics masquerading as scientists, to pan people and subjects they dislike. There are three general types of Panduction. In its essence, panduction is any form of inference used to pan an entire array of theories, constructs, ideas and beliefs (save for one favored and often hidden one), by means of the following technique groupings:

  1. Extrapolate and Bundle from Unsound Premise
  2. Impugn through Invalid Syllogism
  3. Mischaracterize though False Observation

Pathologizing – establishing a ‘halo of condemnation’ around a subject or person as a first step of deliberation inside a social context. A term framed by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his book Skin in the Game. It is what fake skeptics and other forms of poseur do to disliked subjects (‘pseudosciences’) and to persons (‘woo believer’) who research them. A true skeptic is a friend, not an enemy. They tend to be specific on help, encouraging on subject and mute on persons, personal habits, eccentricities and preferences. What fake skeptics and poseurs (Nassim Taleb’s Intellectual Yet Idiot- IYI) do is to pathologize persons who act differently than do they, and subjects they fear or dislike. They focus on person and personal traits and not upon prosecuting the subject at hand. Aside from standing in the gap when pathologizing emerges – fakers focus upon foibles.

Pedophrasty – (coined by NN Taleb) sensationalism involving children or their abuse, sickness or risk of death, employed to manipulate an argument by means of an ad virtutem fallacy – accusation that an opponent is ‘endangering the children/starving children and therefore lacks virtue or is an asshole, by means of their argument position. Argument involving children to prop up a rationalization and make the opponent look like an asshole, as people are defenseless and suspend all skepticism in front of suffering children: nobody has the heart to question the authenticity or source of the reporting. Often done with the aid of pictures.

Pejorative Appeal to Ignorance – when one raises a question in a media or social context, which by its mere asking serves to bring under suspicion or impugns the character of another person, regardless of what its ultimate determination turns out to be. A method of character assassination disguised as mere ‘fact checking’.

probis malum – it becomes moral to cheat when you’re convinced that your opponent is evil. The process of convincing one’s self or group that a targeted opponent is on the side of evil. This let’s loose the dogs of war. And all is fair in love and war. Even just. Even virtuous. A key hint of this factor in play: someone who regards all who oppose them, as equal to Hitler or another iconic symbol of evil in their mind.

Procreation Deafness – also known as ‘pussy logic’. The habit of some shallow or prejudiced women in that they will only regard as significant, input from men whom they regard as attractive enough to have sex with.

Psychogenetic Fallacy – inferring why an argument is being used, associating it to some psychological reason, then assuming it is invalid as a result. It is wrong to assume that if the origin of an idea comes from a biased or credulous mind, then the idea itself must also be a false.

Reductive Fallacy – this fallacy occurs when one attempts to downplay or pejoritavely position a complex entity through reducing it to only one of its multiple aspects. Key words which are indicative of this fallacy many time are “just”, “only”, “merely”, “simply”, “nothing but”.

Restraint Bias – the tendency to overestimate one’s ability to show restraint or demonstrate character in the face of temptation to behave badly. The overestimation of the acts of others as being beneath your level of sophisticated self control.

Richelieu’s Law – given a sufficient quantity of statements of merit, actions or associations on the part of an individual, a case can be made that one of those things either serves to condemn that individual or runs anathema to the essence of all their other contentions (apparent hypocrisy). An exploitative coercive argument which proceeds along the lines of the Richeliean quote: “Give me six lines written by the most honest man and I will find in them something to hang him.”​

The Roger Principle – the principle which cites that a multi-skilled, creative, congruent and leadership oriented personality will routinely rank level relative to his or her peers while performing lower organizational or administrative jobs; however will begin to increasingly thrive as they are promoted up through an organization and are exposed to more multifaceted, novel and asymmetric challenge. This will tend to anger the peers who were in contrast limited by means of a Peter Principle. Roger Principle individuals are usually targeted for disdain by tactic/talent limited persons, often out of jealousy or dissonance; and are usually flagged early on by their performance in more chaotic tasks or situations involving uncertainty. They can make for excellent CEO’s, strategists and thought leaders.

Rosach’s Axiom – if a person chooses an invective towards another, with multiple possible definitions or high possible equivocation potential – then they wish for all to infer the most pejorative version of definition, but will imply publicly that they meant the least pejorative definition.

SAW House/SAW Trap – a condition wherein one is left with no option but to harm another innocent person, in order to protect themself or their loved ones from demise or extensive harm – and is then blamed, punished or extorted by an outside entity for that harming of another. Named for the SAW series of movies.

Scoop Abuse – when a social skepticism media outlet inflates methodical cynicism and twists maligns or lies about the facts of an event in order to increase their media outlet notoriety at the expense of a disliked individual, who sponsors or considers ideas which they do not want communicated.

Screaming Shield – a method of defending one’s power by establishing a condition in which innocent people will be harmed if your power is threatened. A way of holding others hostage, at risk of harm, if the cases arises wherein one challenges your monist or supreme control. Placing munitions manufacturing inside of a baby milk factory, or propping up a socialist government by means of it critically supporting all the poor. Therefore if you topple the government, you are Q.E.D. ‘harming the poor’.

Script Delusion – a person who argues from a scripted set of talking points is under the delusion both that the recipient has never heard their information before, and that the hearer regards what they have to say as honest reflections, science or free thinking.

Seth’s Razor – all things being equal, any explanation aside from the simplest one, constitutes a conspiracy theory. Also, everything is a conspiracy theory. The principal technique of methodical cynicism, enforcing stacks of mandatory or pseudo-probable misinformation, as truth.

Shibboleth – is any custom or tradition, particularly a speech pattern, that distinguishes one group of people (an ingroup) from disliked or targeted ‘others’ (outgroups). Shibboleths have been used throughout history in many societies as passwords, catch phrases, simple ways of self-identifying, signaling loyalty and affinity, maintaining traditional segregation or keeping out perceived interlopers.

simulans legatus – when purposely positioning one’s self inside a group of the most extreme members of an opposing group of thought, one can simply present a statesmanlike posture and akratically troll the community, thereafter highlighting only the natural absurd, abusive and fanatical extreme responses of the opposing side.  All while maintaining a calm rational composure in contrast. A passive sales technique and method of misrepresentation of both your and their groups, capitalizing on combative habituation and the fact that there is always an extreme 8% in any group.

Skeptic’s Tell – one who’s boots bear the mud of the road less traveled by, should carry also a loam of ideas less thought of.’

Social Skepticism

1. organized agency which is engineered by means of teaching weaponized fake skepticism to useful idiots.

2. a form of weaponized philosophy which masquerades as science, science enthusiasm or science communication. Social skepticism enforces specific conclusions and obfuscates competing ideas via a methodical and heavy-handed science embargo. It promotes charades of critical thought, self aggrandizement and is often chartered to defend corporate agendas; all while maintaining a high priority of falsely impugning eschewed individuals and topics. Its philosophies and conclusions are imposed through intimidation on the part of its cabal and cast of dark actors, and are enacted in lieu of and through bypassing actual scientific method. Failures with respect to science are the result of flawed or manipulated philosophy of science. When social control, change or conformance agents subject science to a state of being their lap-dog, serving specific agendas, such agents err in regard to the philosophical basis of science, skepticism. They are not bad scientists, rather bad philosophers, seeking a socialized goal. They are social skeptics.

solum fieri – the fallacy of implied only occurrence. A common unspoken assumption premise of a religious or virtue argument (usually in the form of a suggestion or accusation), wherein the instance being considered or the person being targeted is unsoundly treated in isolation – as if the only occurrence of such an event or by considering the person to be in isolation. Introducing the idea that if a person gives 9 times but not the 10th time, then they are selfish or protectionist. Or, that a person should adopt fear because they are all alone, and are the first person to ever have encountered a specific troubling situation. A trick of isolating an intended victim, similar to but even more egregious than using anecdote as a final proof.

Sophistry Fallacy – when a poorly skilled or experienced philosopher loses an argument, they will inevitably resort to an accusation of sophistry on the part of their opponent. They may not even grasp the fact that their ‘opponent’ is not even an opponent at all; rather a peer simply seeking to issue a word of caution, not disagreement. Caution which they interpret to be a threat; an advisement they possess a dearth of intellect with which to grasp.

  1. One introduces the philosophical level of discussion in the first place,
  2. One banks on the assumption that no one else is around who is sufficiently skilled to discuss the issue (an appeal to self-authority),
  3. One perceives a word of open-minded skeptical caution, incorrectly as an argument in opposition,
  4. One perceives (correctly or incorrectly) that an inner hypocrisy is now potentially exposed and they are now in danger of losing the argument which they started,
  5. The discussion resides now at a level above the original claimant’s intellectual or experiential capacity, and
  6. Its last recourse argument is foisted, after exhausting all other memorized arguing scripts (save for the sophistry claim itself).

Stakeholder Ethics – a principle or condition wherein those who bear the negative impact of a decision are allowed to hold those who make that decision, accountable. Further then are allowed to dissent, and reverse that decision or remove the decision maker, even if they claim to be an ‘expert’. A claim to science is not a free pass to tyranny.

Stereotyping – expecting a member of a group to possess certain characteristics reasonably or unreasonably assigned to that group, without having actual information about that individual.

Straw Man Conformance – the idea that since a person or group believes or considers subject A to be a potentiality, then an opponent insists that they therefore have endorsed extreme misrepresentations of subject A as well.

Straw Man Profiling – profiling of an individual based on an extreme or misrepresented version of their position. Any man can be made to appear irrational and vile, if his opponents only are allowed to speak on his behalf.

Style over Substance Fallacy – the undermining of an opponent and their argument or data by citing that it looks too pushed, packaged or promoted (for money) in order to be deemed acceptable or believable.

Taxonomy Fallacy – the illegitimate assignment or characterization of a proponent of a set of ideas, into a disfavored, extreme or fanatical group; in an effort to discredit the set of ideas without undertaking or possessing the research, evidence or qualifications necessary to justify such assignment.

The Left Pole – a political point held by fake skeptics, relative to which any differing opinion in any direction is considered therefore right wing, alt-right, anti-science, racist or phobic.

Thinking with the Little Head – also know as being a ‘dickhead’. The habit of some shallow or sociopath men in that every action they take is crafted inside the context of getting laid, or gaining the attention of women (or their perception of how that is attained).

tu quoque (“you too”) – an argument stating that since the opponent has conducted a fallacy, logical broach or hypocrisy then the proponent should not be held to account for violations, or stands correct in their position due to the opponent having made errors, the same or similar errors.

Verschlimmbesserung – (German) to make something worse while trying to make it better. The fallacy of judging disasters by the measure that, those who bore the ‘good intentions’ should bear no fault, or place themselves as disconnected from the disaster.

Weapon Word – words of mass defamation. A fashion term inside SSkeptic discourse, being forced onto the public, and targeting a goal of defaming targeted individuals, observations and in the deceptive obviation of access to science by unwelcome topics. Words plied to place SSkeptic compliant peer pressure on budding scientists or persons of influence in grade school, high school and beyond.

Wicker Man Argument – when an arguer has assembled an array of straw man or misrepresentation arguments so canned, pervasive or presumptuous that it appears that the arguer is arguing with a completely different person than the person with whom they are engaged in discussion. A penultimate, habitual or standing straw man misrepresentation of opposing thought and persons.

Wishful Accusing – accusing a person of making a decision with regard to data or observations according to what the opponent believes might be pleasing to imagine on their part, rather than according to evidence or reason. The minor implication imbedded being that the opponent exhibits no such fault.

epoché vanguards gnosis

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September 24, 2009 Posted by | Argument Fallacies, Ethical Skepticism | , | Leave a comment

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