The Ethical Skeptic

Challenging Pseudo-Skepticism, Institutional Propaganda and Cultivated Ignorance

Qualifying Theory and Pseudo-Theory

The scientific method is a discipline of solving a perplexing mystery when stakeholders are in a state of confusion or even desirous of exploiting the uncertainty it brings. In order to move beyond a good wallow in the mystery however, one must craft more art than simply a casual construct: rather, a set of disciplined and risk incremental conjecture.
There exists a stark set of criteria which distinguish the construct from its more mature conjecture cousin, theory. Even more distinguished, is the social pseudoscience phenomena known as pseudo-theory. It behooves the ethical skeptic to understand what makes up each of these three conjecture domains: construct, theory and pseudo-theory and how they relate to the scientific method.

As a young principal in a strategic advisory firm, I once supported a very familiar corporation who had an inventory problem. They asked me to initiate a project to investigate the cause of the recurring mismatch between their systems inventory and the actual physical inventories held in stock. I was already well recognized as an expert in this type of business mystery at a fairly young age. This company’s accounting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, had mandated that the company conduct quarterly inventories because this problem had become enormously impactful to accounting integrity and overall business performance. So pronounced in fact, that their quarterly inventory would again be off by 15 percentage points a mere three months after having ‘corrected’ it afresh each beginning of a new quarter. This mismatch between stock and what their information systems said was in their stock, was bringing the company to its knees. So they called my company. We were one of the best firms at analyzing signal theory and searching out the systemic causes of various industry operational or trade challenges. Our principals had seen it all, over the years. I set my talented team in place and we went to work on what is known as, yes, the scientific method – that is, a discipline of solving a perplexing mystery when stakeholders around you seem to be confused or even enjoying or exploiting a good wallow in the uncertainty it bears.

The executive team of the client possessed three primary ideas as to what might be causing the inventory drift. None of these were proven out however, each constituting only educated thoughts which the executive team had generated. Certainly valuable, these sets of preliminary conjecture were not theories per se; rather a less mature form of theory, what I call a construct. In order to solve a problem however and disabuse one’s self of enjoying a good wallow in the incumbent mystery, one must move beyond construct, and onto a set of incremental risk conjecture called theory. My team and I set about the process of establishing the necessity of theory. We were searching for those conjectures which bore both explanatory and quantifiable mettle, to sponsor into fully plausible explanations for the inventory drift. Hypotheses.

As sponsors, yet without a true hypothesis, we set about the beginning of solving a mystery: Observation, Intelligence and establishing Necessity. Every problem is solved in this fashion. We gathered data, tabled the premature ideas for a while, and began to assimilate intelligence – different ways of looking at the data we collected. We were looking for a thing called Necessity. What did the executive team know, know that they did not know, and did not know that they did not know? It is always this last category of not knowing, which I focus most upon. This is where a savvy investigator seeks to establish necessity. Indeed we found the problem by developing and falsification testing a theory inside a facet of their business which they least suspected to be an origination of the problem. However those executives who were exploiting the ‘wallow in uncertainty’ in an effort to get the VPIS fired, were not happy at all. They were the ‘social skeptics’ if you will. They were operating on pseudo-theory. Big on appearances, big on agenda. Easy to utter, no one can prove you wrong. They constituted a bigger problem than the inventory errancy ever pretended to be. This is essentially what I hinted to the CEO as we completed and presented our final report. Sure the VPIS made his share of executive miscalls. But the lack of team, and the disingenuous motives of these agenda-serving executives were significant problems for the company; ones which would continue long after tactical and technical issues were solved.

On Philosophy, expounds about bad theory and how it can be exploited for gain, under its Metaphilosophy thread:

A good example of a theory that isn’t able to be falsified, even in principle, is Freudian psychology. Freudian psychology fails to be falsifiable not because the theory is unclear but because the objects of the theory don’t seem to correspond to anything real. Freudian psychology posits an ego-superego-id structure to explain human behavior. How the ego superego and id interact is pretty clearly spelled out in the theory, so the problem is not that the theory doesn’t say anything definite about the theoretical objects it posits to explain phenomena. The problem lies in the way judgments about the ego superego and id are made. The psychologist observes the patient and then, on the basis of the patient’s behavior, creates a story about the interaction of their ego superego and id that seems to explain those observations. It would seem then that once the doctor has arrived at a hypothesis about the patient’s ego superego and id that Freudian psychology would then be testable, by comparing future behavior to the kind of behavior the theory says should be displayed by someone with that combination of ego superego and id. And this is where problems arise, because if the patient does act in unexpected ways it does not prompt the psychologist to question Freudian psychology. Instead they simply alter their story about the patient’s ego superego and id to fit this new behavior, and Freudian psychology can provide a story for any combination of behavior.1

A good professional instinct recognizes necessity, construct, theory and pseudo-theory when he or she sees it. In the end, the problem was found to reside in an area which the executives of the company had not considered before. Of course we conducted deductive system audit work – but a discrete beginning of the inventory errancy occurred after a process which had theretofore been considered beyond question. This is called a signal. it is part of the Intelligence and Necessity steps of the process outlined below. They did not know, what they did not know. This is how an astute researcher develops theory, true scientific theory. The ‘systems transaction’ approach they foisted on us, bore explanitude and even some consilience (see elements of Pseudo-Theory below). To blame the systems and VPIS, was an approach which could explain everything we saw, and was very hard to falsify. And was politically expedient.

Beware of fake skeptics who push explanitude (as in the case of Freudian Psychology above) and do not appear to understand how the scientific method really works – but speak lots and lots about it. They may be enjoying a good wallow in the sustained mystery and the celebrated power it affords their Cabal. They may be celebrating and exploiting pseudo-theory.

The Scientific Method

 Construct, Theory (Hypothesis) and Pseudo-Theory

A theory (hypothesis) is a construct with certain features added into the mix which make it a tool of plenary science. A construct, as incomplete as it is however, is a vital and useful tool at the sponsorship phase of the scientific method. In our project I just outlined above, one of the executives, who had no love lost for the Vice President of Information Systems, made it clear to me that “his intransigence on allowing input into the stock ledger management process, was the cause of the errant inventory.” The executive wanted the VP of Information Systems fired; and he wanted me to provide the evidence which would make his case. This construct was handed to my team and we were instructed to diligently pursue it. Everyone knew that it was the VP of Information Systems’ fault anyway. Argumentum ad populum, a key warning sign that maybe some stakeholders are enjoying or exploiting the mystery to increase their personal power base.

Wallowing in the mystery, this a habit which religious peddlers and social skeptics share in common. This is why many of our greatest social conundrums persist long after their shelf life has expired. The mystery can be exploited for club advantage.

Some of the cursory investigation their staff had conducted even clearly suggested his culpability in the matter. So I nodded and set off with my team to solve the issue using our best methods and knowledge.

Construct

/philosophy : science : knowledge development/ : an original explanatory framework or explanation for a phenomenon, which has not risen to the level of hypothesis or theory. A construct is contending for plurality screening under Ockham’s Razor, seeks to explain a context set of repeatable data, and is distinguishable from other hypotheses, theories or constructs attempting to cohesively explain the same or related data.

The Nature of Theory

A theory on the other hand, the real implement which is exercise-able under the scientific method and plenary science, bears features which the construct does not. More specifically the following list of items characterize those ideas whose sets of conjecture can be disciplined into what is in truth and method, a hypothesis.2

Theory (Hypothesis)

/philosophy : science : knowledge development : scientific method/ : is not merely a proposed explanation for a set of observations or phenomenon. Rather, true scientific theory (hypothesis) is an elegant mechanism of incremental and parsimonious conjecture, which explains consistently observed phenomena completely, without bearing the capability to explain everything, and which can be tested in objective fashion and repeated, and may or may not yet feature an underlying causal understanding or mechanism.

More specifically, a theory (hypothesis) bears the following critical traits or essences:

1.  Bears Wittgenstein definition,

2.  Is based upon necessity from developed intelligence, not simply bias or desire based upon data, anecdote or premature question.

3.  Possesses critical historical explanatory strength – things explained must bear a chain of empirical veracity themselves and not be anecdote (unless falsifying) – as a theory which explains everything likely explains nothing.

4.  Bears a critical element of measurability, under a context of incremental risk.

5.  Undertakes risk in incremental conjecture (but not outlandish sets of risk)

6.  Features a testable (or vulnerable to falsification) mechanism,

7.  Bears predictive power and

8.  Offers an advisory protocol for replication.

The Nature of Pseudo-Theory

Pseudo-Theory in contrast – is a construct which derives its viability through artificial or socially constructed mechanisms. The principle traits of pseudo-theory involve the following:

Pseudo-Theory (Mock Hypothesis)

/philosophy : argument : theory : pseudo-theory/ : is a premature and imperious proposed explanation for a set of post facto observations or phenomenon. Instead of bearing the traits of true scientific theory (hypothesis) – a pseudo-theory is quickly crafted and installed so as to exploit the advantages of pluralistic ignorance and the Lindy Effect. It explains everything without having to be approached by falsification, nor having to successfully predict anything. Usually installed as the null hypothesis before an argument is even framed around an issue, pseudo-theory is used primarily as a football enabling dismissal of competing alternatives from the point of its installation as the null hypothesis, onward.

More specifically, pseudo-theory (mock hypothesis) bears the following profiling traits or essences:

1.  Can be developed in full essence before any investigation even begins

2.  Never improves in its depth, description nor falsifiable or inductive strength despite ongoing research and increases in observational data

3.  Possesses no real method of falsification or distinguishing predictive measure which is placed at risk

4.  Employs non-Wittgenstein equivocal/colloquial terminology or underlying premises (possibly pseudo-theory itself) where the risk of conjecture is not acknowledged

5.  Is employed primarily as a symbolic or fiat excuse to dismiss disliked or competing explanations

6.  Can explain a multiplicity of observations or even every non-resolved question (Explanitude)

7.  Is artificially installed as the null hypothesis from the very start

8.  Attains its strength through becoming a Verdrängung Mechanism

Verdrängung Mechanism

/philosophy : argument : theory : pseudo-theory/ : the level of control and idea displacement achieved through skillful employment of the duality between pluralistic ignorance and the Lindy Effect. The longer a control-minded group can sustain a favored hypothesis (Omega Hypothesis) perception by means of the tactics and power protocols of proactive pluralistic ignorance, the greater future acceptability and lifespan that idea will possess. As well, the harder it will to be dethrone as an accepted norm or perception as a ‘proved’ null hypothesis.

In developing my thoughts around pseudo-theory I struggled for a better portion of a year, hashing over old idea failures, and socially influenced business and science communication cases before penning it. The struggle was over essentially three questions:

1.  How does the soundness (validity of its premises) of the theory play into its role as pseudo-theory, and
2.  How does the ultimate verity (success) of the theory itself relate to its status as pseudo-theory?

and finally,

3.  What if a construct is promoted into status as an accepted pseudo-theory, and then begins to show predictive consilience at a later time?

Regarding the first two questions, my conclusion was that neither factor plays into the delineation of whether or not a construct is being promoted into status as pseudo-theory. The theory’s (hypothesis’) formality, soundness, logical calculus, etc. are well known facets of argument discourse. The irony which elicits this is the fact that a pseudo-theory can also mature into one day being a real theory and further then a valid one – whereas a wrong answer can never mature into being a right answer. Thus, verity and pseudo-theory status, are two differing issues. The status of pseudo-theory pertains more to the idea – is this a real hypothesis, and is it ready for exercise under the scientific method? – or is it merely a construct, which has been promoted to the status of a theory, or even truth – without due process? It is not a judgement as to its construct being right or wrong, successful or failing; rather simply, premature.

So, pseudo-theory pertains more to the state of maturity of the idea (construct) in terms of its ability to be addressed by science, and NOT to its soundness, formality and logical calculus or truth. That comes later IF we have not promoted it to truth and into a state of exemption from being vetted by science in the first place.

The key for the ethical skeptic is this:  one distinguishes themselves from their skeptical colleagues in recognizing when pseudo-theory sits in the seat as the null hypothesis (Imposterlösung Mechanism). There are many ideas which have been selected solely under the protocols of logical reduction, to reside as the null hypothesis – but bear no real definition, nor supporting evidence. Constructs of absence and negation for instance: this does not exist or that is not valid or those people are deluded for a variety of reasons. The ethical skeptic must discern the conditions between when a mere construct (pseudo-theory) resides as the null, simply from the standpoint of procedure, and when a real theory (hypothesis) – fully vettable by science, measurement and competing alternatives – has assumed the null hypothesis role.

This is the origin of the contention that an ethical skeptic recognizes and works with the null hypothesis, but that does not mean that he necessarily believes it.

Question 3 therefore, pertains to a more serious and challenging aspect of the delineation between skepticism and social skepticism. This is a very common play inside of socially promoted science – We come up with an idea, we promote that idea as truth, then we go out and look for science to back it up.  To me, this is still a process of pseudo-science.  Hence, a pseudo-theory, even backed by some post-installment inductive support, is still a pseudo-theory.

Example Pseudo-Theory: The Blank Slate Theory (excerpt from www.TopTenz.net, except for list items 1 – 8 below)3

One of the oldest and most controversial theories in psychology and philosophy is the theory of the blank slate, or tabula rasa, which argues that people are born with no built-in personality traits or proclivities. Proponents of the theory, which began with the work of Aristotle and was expressed by everyone from St. Thomas Aquinas to the empiricist philosopher John Locke, insisted that all mental content was the result of experience and education. For these thinkers, nothing was instinct or the result of nature. The idea found its most famous expression in psychology in the ideas of Sigmund Freud, whose theories of the unconscious stressed that the elemental aspects of an individual’s personality were constructed by their earliest childhood experiences.

1.  Was developed in antiquity before any in-depth knowledge of DNA, the brain or human developmental psychology and twin studies

2.  Never improved in its depth, description nor falsifiable or inductive strength (only became a Freudian appeal to authority)

3.  Never really attempted to be falsified until twins studies, DNA and modern psychology challenged the notion

4.  Based upon the notion that man is a spirit primarily & wholly accountable to god for every thought and action (also a pseudo-theory itself)

5.  Is employed primarily as a symbolic or fiat excuse to dismiss body-machine ideas

6.  Was able to explain every motivation of mankind and men

7.  Was artificially installed, and ruled as, the null hypothesis from antiquity

8.  Attains its strength through becoming a Verdrängung Mechanism and appeal to authority for over 2500 years

How it was Proven Wrong

While there’s little doubt that a person’s experiences and learned behaviors have a huge impact on their disposition, it is also now widely accepted that genes and other family traits inherited from birth, along with certain innate instincts, also play a crucial role. This was only proven after years of study that covered the ways in which similar gestures like smiling and certain features of language could be found throughout the world in radically different cultures. Meanwhile, studies of adopted children and twins raised in separate families have come to similar conclusions about the ways certain traits can exist from birth.

epoché vanguards gnosis

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November 27, 2017 Posted by | Argument Fallacies, Ethical Skepticism | , , , | 2 Comments

The New Debunker: Pseudo-Skeptic Sleuth

The teachings of fake skepticism had grown so atrocious by the end of the 1990’s that the public became fed up with debunkers, and the horrid tactics they employ thankfully fell from favor.
Their inquiry Precis, Investigation and Follow Up, all bearing the hallmarks of the former manifestation, debunkers now are re-titled as ‘investigators’ by necessity. Debunkers exploit poor definition of their habits and masquerade under such titles, which include pretenses of skepticism, doubt and open mindedness. Accordingly, a ‘debunker’ is no longer simply one who perpetrates defamation, as the social skeptic cabal would have you define it. A debunker is unequivocally – a person who fakes investigation in order to target subjects and persons for embargo from science.

They are teammates, the debunker and the pseudo-skeptic. The debunker attacks the embargoed hypothesis sponsors head on, while the pseudo-skeptic seeks to promote one idea at the expense of all others, or any plausibility at the expense of one idea they (and their sponsors) disdain. Both forms of socio-pathology stem from huge ego complexes and the foible of finding personal glee in the process of harming people through cleverly disguised deception. But society has changed with regard to what perfidious actions they deem acceptable and not acceptable. Debunking, part of the famous methodology taught in our fake-doubt-cycnical form of skepticism introduced in the early 70’s, fell from favor in the public eye. Too many debunkers meant that too many people were being harmed. A new model had to be developed – as ‘skeptics’ were beginning to get a bad rap. So the pseudo-sleuth model was born. The skeptic, repackaged as a fantasy 40’s private dick or modern form of Sherlock Holmes. The fake open-minded investigator, here to instruct us all about critical thinking and science. He is not a debunker, and will make that clear to all. But he will run back to report his successes to, and be hailed and rewarded by the very baloney-detection-kit-debunking cabal of which he claimed to not be a part. This masquerade has necessitated a shift in definition away from the idea that a debunker, is merely one who calls people liars.

If you a priori assume a MiHoDeAL claim1 regarding a given phenomena, you are a debunker.

If the science around the issue is so readily apparent and 99.97% resolved, then why do we need investigators? The sole goal which remains for the ‘investigator’ is to discredit subjects and people – and cannot possibly involve a desire ‘to learn’.

Debunking involves more than simply accusing witnesses of fraud. Anything which impugns the character or mental competence of witnesses and investigators, even by means of implication and especially by means of epistemic masquerade, is debunking.

Ethical skeptic beware, debunkers have simply polished up the old act. Greg Taylor, blogger for esteemed author Graham Hancock, opines accordingly in his article on debunking and pseudo-skepticism (a differentiation with which Graham Hancock is expertly familiar himself):

The first step in becoming a debunker is to immediately relinquish that title and establish your credentials by calling yourself either a skeptic or a scientist. Never mind that you are actually trying to impose your personal viewpoint on others, rather than following the scientific process and applying critical thinking to all sides of the argument. Actually, the best debunkers are those that don’t even know their true identity, having such poor critical thinking skills that they truly believe that that they are exhibiting all the open-mindedness and mental sharpness of the true skeptic or scientist. As such, some might reprimand me for writing this short article, seeing it as a hazard to the serious debunker’s faith in themselves – little chance of this however, as the real top-notch debunkers have a force-field of ignorance that is nigh impenetrable.2

~ Greg Taylor, Daily Grail Columnist

“I was honored to receive the Perry Critical Thunker Award at last year’s Toledo Conservatory Children’s Science Symposium. It was there in my presentation to the kids that I coined the phrase, ‘Bigfoot Boasting Bubbas’. But you know, I wanted to provide example to these budding critical thinkers by not being a debunker in my work. That is, always approaching cases with an open mind and never calling people liars.”3

~ Celebrity (Debunker/Paranormal Investigator) Research Fellow

So then, let us craft a Wittgenstein sufficient definition of debunking, and then go through the process of establishing why this definition is the only correct model fit.

Debunking

/pseudo-science : subject and self misrepresentation/ : as C. S. Lewis noted, is an easy and lazy kind of ‘rationality’ that almost anyone can do and on any subject. It is a methodology passed falsely to the public as an exercise of skepticism or science, which is further then employed to brainwash one’s self into ‘doubting’ all but a single unacknowledged answer, via an inverse negation fallacy. The method involves dredging up just enough question, technique or plausible deniability such that evidence or observation may be dismissed without scientific inquiry. Further then dismissing the subject from then on, declaring it as ‘debunked’ and referring this appeal to authority for others to then cite.

A skeptic contends ‘I don’t know if this is true or not, but you are approaching this by the wrong method’ – whereas a debunker contends ‘I don’t care what method you are using, this is not true’. They may apologize for their pseudo-scientific stance by proffering ‘or most likely not true’. There is no difference between the two statements. And unless we define the term debunking in this manner, we leave ample room for gamesmanship and conveniently (akratic) unaddressed positions of manipulation.

Therefore, we observe now inside social skepticism, two forms of debunking below, klassing and nickell plating – both processes which tender glee to the faker, and afford both subject and person a resulting embargo from scientific study:

Debunking Failed Model: Cynical Debunker

Debunking is a set of perfidious activity seeking to cast aspersions on a whole subject in question and onto the people who participate in it. This a necessary collateral damage enacted so as to provide disincentive to future participants. The public will no longer allow debunkers to spin their wares as they did in the 70’s and 80’s – becoming intolerant of the blatant display of religio-nihilist imperiousness. Debunkers had to retreat into disgruntled clubs like the James Randi Foundation and hide from overt public scrutiny. A key term which encompasses the malicious activities of this group of out-of-favor fake skeptics is klassing:

Klassing

/pseudoscience : debunking : malevolence/ : when one offers payment of money or threatens the well being or career of a person in order to get them to recant, deny, keep silent on, or renounce a previously stated observation or finding. The work of a malicious fake investigator who seeks to completely destroy an idea being researched and to actively cast aspersion on a specific subject as part of a broader embargo policy.  A high visibility reputation assassin hired to intimidate future witnesses or those who might consider conducting/supporting investigative work.

A nickell plater conducts their approach to a subject by the same methods of debunking, just sans the overt personal attacks. But the observant ethical skeptic will note that a nickell plater will eventually betray the joy they derive at discrediting people. Just let them keep talking and eventually it will come up. This is why the ethical skeptic must be ever vigilant to spot the merchants of doubt who practice nickell plating. It does not matter if the nickell plater is 95% correct, or possesses a likelihood of being 95% correct – they contend to be selling method, yet they are really selling negatively sculpted answers (see Inverse Negation Appeal to Skepticism). Under Corber’s Burden, when one undertakes this role, 95% is not good enough. Therefore, a debunker is unequivocally – a person who fakes investigation and implies appeal to skepticism authority in order to target subjects and persons for embargo from science.

Of those who practice the dark arts of klassing and nickell plating, both are debunkers.

A debunker and a klasser, while seemingly less acceptable on the surface, do not necessarily bear the celebrity conflict of interest however, to which a nickell plater falls vulnerable. This is the pseudo-sleuth’s foible, the dark hidden facet of their applied wares.

Before we examine the specific habits of the pseudo-sleuth however, we should briefly touch on a critical aspect of the basis for their motivation. The celebrity pseudo-sleuth has caught themselves inside a prison of sorts – formed by the sponsors of their work. Much as in the way in which a financial gain or avoidance of loss of income (same thing) might impact the neutrality of a study author, even so celebrity and the incumbent expectations can and does impact severly, the bias of the pseudo-sleuth.

Celebrity Conflict of Interest

/philosophy : pseudoscience : bias/ : an extreme form of epistemic anchoring or a priori bias which is introduced through a proponent’s desire to attain or maintain their celebrity status. Celebrity skeptics, pseudo-sleuths and science communicators may not even perceive that their epistemology is being imbued with a bias which tends to produce answers which favor continuation of their acceptability, club status, notoriety or income. This is the most extreme form of self inflicted coercion, ranking even above a scientific study author’s financial conflict of interest.

This is why they must wear the accoutrements, play the game, speak the lingo, quote the one liners, condemn the same people over and over. So without further ado, and understanding the fine line which the pseudo-sleuth must walk in order to appease his sponsors but not appear to be a ‘debunker’, let’s outline the habits and tactics of the nickell plater.

Debunking New Improved Model: Pseudo-Sleuth

Pseudo-Sleuth – pretends to investigate, but games the scientific method to present all possibilities except for the one being sponsor-considered. The pseudo-skeptic conducts investigation primarily to promote himself and fund the laid-back, authority saturated lifestyle of a celebrity. He both rejects, yet is supported by, the very group of which he claims to no longer be part. This type of pretense is known as nickell plating:

Nickell Plating

/pseudoscience : debunking : pretense or masquerade/ : employing accoutrements and affectations of investigation work (field trips, cameras, notebooks, sample bags, etc.), along with an implicit appeal to authority as a skeptic (appeal to skepticism) in an attempt to sell one’s self as conducting science. A social celebrity pretense of investigation, and established authority through a track record of case studies, wherein adornment of lab coats, academic thesis books, sciencey-looking instruments and the pretense of visiting places and taking notes/pictures, etc was portrayed by a posing pseudo-skeptic. In reality the nickell plater is often compensated to ‘investigate’ and socially promote one biased explanation; dismissing the sponsored hypothesis from being considered by actual science research. This is an active part of an embargo process, and was a technique which replaced debunking after it fell from public favor.

“I am not here to accuse people of being stupid believers. I am here to learn. Learn the explanation behind those things which would tempt people become believers in things which are obviously stupid.”

The distinguishing hypocritical and narcissistic features, broken down by the three phases of an investigation, which serve as warning indicators that Nickell Plating Debunking is underway:

.

The Precis

I’m Not a Debunker – first big warning sign. Stresses early on and often that they are ‘not a debunker’. Virtue signals that by not attacking the direct witnesses involved as hoaxers and liars – and only the investigators, he is somehow now on moral high ground and is now deemed open minded. Even though a subject/investigator debunking is the only goal he possesses at the start of his work, and it inevitably ends up implying that the witnesses cooked things up anyway… Apparently the definition of debunker within social skeptic circles is bent wildly to now be congruent only with ‘overt witness defamation perpetrator’, and really had nothing to do with impugning investigators of subject matter at all. Just because you are feigning ethics with the witnesses/experiencers, does not mean that you are ethical with the way in which you deal with the subject researchers and materials. You are still a debunker. No, 92% of the world did not hold a straw man of that word. Conveniently twisted definitions should always be an alert for an ethical skeptic. A group is being protected by the skewing of this term.

Adorns Self with Investigator Icons – adorns their offices or field investigations with the icons of stereotypical or fanciful investigators: old typewriters, film cameras, pencil and lab books, trench coats and hats, printed media, microscopes, scientific artifacts, conspicuous absence of a computer, etc.

Shifts Focus Off Non-Qualified or Dubious Past – typically will gloss over the fact that his or her PhD is in City Planning, or that he dodged the draft by running to Canada, or was a stage magician, or was convicted of fraud crimes, or that she really has held no job of significance save for being a puppet of the social skeptic agenda cabal. May complexify their background by citing a curriculum vitae which outlines many many roles or personae.

Perpetual Celebrity Seeking – claims to be interested in solving mysteries, yet habitually promotes self. Boasts often about ‘having coined the phrase’, ‘world’s only __________’ or their being hailed with appellations such as ‘the Columbo of Cryptozoology’ or the varied experiences of jobs in their past. If you map out all their non-investigation activity, one will note that every single action is crafted under a goal of establishing this millieu of apparency and building their notoriety.

Boasts of Honors Received – speaks often about being honored for their latest award, or science symposium or group of young people to which they made a presentation.

Pretend Lone Wolf – tenders the appearance of conscientious lone wolf independent thinker/investigator.

Poses as if In-Demand – pretends as if they are in-demand for their opinions & investigative work, both from the media and innocent victims of paranormal hype. Appeals to skepticism as a general platform of authority on most any subject.

No Visible Means of Support – no visible means of financial or journalistic publisher support. Often the reality being that they are quietly being funded by a group with a push political or religious agenda.

Degrees Earned do not Match Expertise Claimed – a ‘no-no’ which would relegate one to the trash heap of irrelevancy were they on the other side, is treated as no big deal when you do the bidding of the cabal. A PhD in Economics by no means qualifies one to comment upon physical phenomenology or the psychology of anecdote and eyewitness testimony. But if you regurgitate the cabal narrative, you will be regarded as a ‘PhD authority’ in myriad avenues of expertise.

Science Virtue-Signals – virtue signals often about their open mind, doing science, accessing all the data and ‘believing’ the witnesses as sincere (but stupid).

Wishes it Was Real – stresses often that they would love for the sponsored idea or avenue of investigation to turn out to be real. Yet their greatest satisfaction expressions relate to events discrediting persons or in finding that ‘it was not real’.

Hails Comprehensive Case Resume – “Oh yes, I looked at that case as well and here are the particulars…” All the cases which are worth investigating, he has done it already. Everything thing else is simply anecdote from the un-illuminated.

Cherry Picks Cases – habitually cherry picks cold isolated and prominent old cases which have a high chance of being dormant or dead yet still build celebrity – like debunking psychics (yawn), Jesus on a grilled cheese sandwich, or debunking the Roswell UFO crash, or cases in which the chicanery of the participants has been well vetted prior to his selecting the case. Never stoops to go alongside any real investigators for any sustained period of time on current ongoing investigations.

Views All Others as Divided into Believers & Debunkers– employs these identifiers a lot and never self-checks in the process. Any disagreement serves to bifurcate you into the Believer/Debunker buckets. But he is not a debunker or believer himself – only others have bias. There are never any actual researchers on the other side of the issue.

Gives Anyone Who Disagrees a Comprehensive Pejorative Moniker – in advance of any study, context, question or evidence – enemies of the pseudo-investigator are all given a bucket characterization and broad-sweeping name in advance. ‘Pseudo-archaeologist’ or ‘pseudo-scientist’ titles are ascribed to the bad thinkers (a gigantic grouping of varied thoughts, expertise levels and neutral-to-opposing opinions – very much in contrast to the specific context of one-idea investigator we target here ourselves) before we even know what they are thinking at all. This allows the fake investigator to leverage bifurcation potential energy to boost their celebrity and perceived credibility. Nothing boosts notoriety as much as agreeing with a fanatic gang.

Pollyanna Belief that Teaching Critical Thinking Will Make It All Go Away – teach the scientific method, and critical thinking to those who experience and observe things you do not like – their observations will not go away. Sorry Virginia. Besides, you are not there teaching them science and critical thinking, you are there providing a smoke screen for those who did not observe the phenomena.

Exploits General Public Ignorance of Skepticism – some know genuine skepticism, some debunkers do not. Either way – they spin false, but good sounding one-liners which justify why they should be heralded as authority and their inverse negation assertions be accepted immediately as ‘science’.

1.  Holds Six Canned Solutions in Advance – comes in with a preconceived standard inventory of six canned solutions to any case (Misidentification, Hoax/Being Hoaxed, Delusion, Lie, Accident, Anecdote), often bearing a slogan or phrase for each canned solution, which he claims credit in coining – but remember, he is open-minded and ‘believes’ the witnesses (big eyes roll here). This is much like how a stand up comic performs their act. Always resolves a case as a MiHoDeAL outcome.

2.  Speaks Often of Doubt – never aware that skepticism involves an open mind and bias free investigative work – where, most now understand that ‘doubt’ is a game one plays with one’s self. Doubt is a carrot on a stick which the doubter doubts is there.

3.  Is Able to Explain Everything – a ‘theory’ which explains everything probably explains nothing. Develops the habit of never saying ‘I don’t know’ regarding the critical question at hand. Often quips “I want to learn. Learn exactly what are the explanations for the alleged occurrences that have prompted some obviously irrational belief.” Key note – not learn about the subject, just learn why people were prompted to ‘believe’ despite his preconceived ‘explanations’.

4.  Answer is Always Simple – ‘Occam’s’ Razor and the pencil are the two most pretend used items (aside from the brain). Still recites old Sagan 1970’s versions of Occam’s Razor and cannot seem to fathom the actual scientific version.

5.  Never Fails to Produce the ‘Answer’ – most of science does not immediately produce an answer. But debunker investigations always result in a conclusion (even if they have to force it, Transactional Occam’s Razor Error) – when this habit is a key indicator of bias in science. Eager to infer and mark ‘finished’. Justifies this with the one-liner: “Mysteries are meant to be solved”. Look for a case wherein the sleuth says “I am still working on that one, there are some things which I cannot resolve.” A faker will not have such a circumstance in their inventory.

6.  They Are There ‘to Learn’ – If the science around the issue is so readily apparent and 99.97% resolved, then why do we need investigators? Such investigation cannot possibly involve a legitimate goal entitled: ‘to learn’. Since 4.5 of the 6 canned solution buckets in # 1 above are pejorative towards the experiencers, the only goal which remains involves public humiliation of people, disparagement of the subject and intimidation of new experiencers, researchers or young people observing this ‘skeptic’ charade. The only reason you slip by as not a debunker, is because of sleight-of-hand exploitation of people’s general ignorance about skepticism.

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The Investigation

Implies Having Been Invited – implies that the paranormal victim was so perplexed that they did not know where to turn, and invited the nickell plater to come and help them sort things out. The reality is that these guys are seldom invited, and rather get a ‘ehhh… come on in if you want to’ after their insistence on shoving their way into the case as a science-validating or even subject-friendly ‘skeptic’ expert.

Biggest Thrill is in Discrediting People – ‘I love discrediting psychics’ declares a self-titled ‘not a debunker’ fake investigator. Despite claims that they are motivated by curiosity, they seem to get their best jollies when discrediting others – rather than in learning new things. Blind spot in observing this hypocrisy in contention versus action.

Exploits General Public Ignorance of Methods of Science – some know science, some debunkers do not. Either way – they spin non rectum agitur error and praedicate evidentia fallacies on a regular basis, knowing that few can catch them at their game. This is part of the rush of joy which a deceiving debunker obtains from this process.

1.  A Client’s Failure to Describe a Phenomenon to Scientific Standard is Evidence of its Absence – this is a form of Wittgenstein Error which fake investigators exploit. They rely upon the reality that the observer will typically not be versed in the disciplines of scientific observation. This leaves a ready playground of slack inside which the ‘investigator’ can propose all sorts of plausible counter to his advantage. This thrives as well if the investigator fails to assimilate intelligence from such observation sets. Operates under the guise of ‘What is proposed without science, can be dismissed without science.” A statement which is not true, because the qualification which earmarks a study as ‘not science’ can be minor and circumstantial in nature – only affording an excuse for pseudo-scientific activity.

2.  Introduces an Unqualified Conclusion Based Merely upon Plausibility – provides a plausible solution but never outlines any case material, testing mechanism, objective measures nor critical features and how they resolved to support the likelihood of the proposed solution, other than handy statements by witnesses or convenient similarity between feature items.

3.  Considers a Plausible Conclusion to be Scientifically Congruent with a Researched Alternative – most debunkers rarely get this. Their contentions are brought without study, induction or consilience – and they consider this platform to be equal in scientific treatment to a process which is using all these features (although still in process of research). This all changes if the denier is part of the opposition.

4.  Straw Mans or Cherry Picks Incomplete Versions to Debunk – misrepresents what the sponsored alternative is saying. Chooses the easiest version to debunk, most extreme version or variant of sponsor (simulans legatus) and leaves out the version which is most commonly encountered or more reasonable sponsors.

5.  Conflates Observations (Data) as Constituting ‘Claims’ – habitually takes a personal observation, and rather than treating it as data – converts it into a ‘claim’ which must be immediately explained, stand alone and without comprehensive research or intelligence.

6. Fails to Assemble Intelligence nor Observes Necessity – Implies that the case he is working on is the only instance which exists of the phenomena under investigation, which allows for the introduction of the ‘appeal to ignorance’ argument – since inductive science and consilience cannot logically apply to a stand-alone case anecdote. Fails to understand when Ockham’s Razor has been surpassed and a full array of deductive study is warranted, not inductive or abductive.

7.  ‘Claims’ (Data) are Then Resolved as MiHoDeAL – Code phrases often involve ‘They cannot prove that this was not a hoax they fell victim to’ convenience and ‘Seems interested in being a story teller’. Implicit disparagement of witnesses as being liars, delusional, mistaken, hoaxed, when the ‘investigator’ contends that they don’t practice such defamatory activity.

8.  Fails to Distinguish Between a Story and a Probative Anecdote – if I hear a story about a man who did not brush his teeth, and never got any cavities – that is a story-anecdote. If however, I test this principle by avoiding brushing one of the four bridges of my own teeth for a period of 12 years, and that neglected bridge does not exhibit any more cavities than do the other three bridges, then that is a probative-anecdote.  Despite its state of being anecdote, it is of scientific value. Fakers will exploit the convenience of conflating the two epistemic flavors in order to dismiss data they do not like, contending that it does not ‘prove’ the point (proof gaming).

9.  Fails to Structure Actual Theory – a theory  1. bears Wittgenstein definition, 2. is based upon intelligence, not simply data or anecdote, 3. possesses comprehensive historical explanatory strength 4. bears a critical element of measurability, 5. undertakes risk in incremental conjecture, 6. features a testable (or vulnerable to falsification) mechanism, 7. bears predictive power and 8. offers an advisory protocol for replication. Debunkers love to promote ‘theories’ which feature none or few of these traits. Especially theories which present no avenue of falsification. That way, one can ‘investigate’ but never actually research anything, because there is no standard against which measures can be made as to suitability of their conclusions. They can never be held to account, yet are celebrated as ‘scientists’. 

10.  Avoids Multiple Witnesses or Evidence Corroboration – always implies there was only one unqualified witness and stresses their lack of credibility or the unreliability of eyewitness observation.

11.  Goes Only Deep Enough to Confirm – ventures far enough into the material to find ‘facts’ which appear to corroborate one of their six a priori disposition buckets. Avoids any more depth than this exclusively.

12.  Never Encounters a Serendipitous Discovery – the nature of investigative work, and one of its hallmarks when done ethically, is that it produces surprises. For the fake sleuth, there is never a surprise – and if there does exist one, the surprise is only circumstantial and ceremonial in nature. Reality is always complex and full of surprises – never trust anyone who never finds a surprise.

13.  Meticulously Avoids Inductive or Deductive Methodology – the reality is that the pseudo-skeptic always uses abduction to arrive at their conclusions. After all, it is a lot less work to issue prescribed answers – and pseudo-sleuths are usually old tired curmudgeons anyway.  And the work they do perform, can be invested into building valuable celebrity status instead. Notice that they never aggregate for consilience under inductive methodology (never build an analytical database), nor will they go through a process of deduction (never use falsification because plausibility is rendered vulnerable by falsification). Key hints into their scientific ability.

14.  Reduces Neither Data nor Hypothesis – data always remains in the raw, single instance, non-intelligence form. It is never assimilated or reviewed en masse. Conclusions often hinge on one item, or one phrase which conveniently opens the door for their pre-favored and remotely plausible explanation. Throws around terms like “a preponderance of the evidence” or “clear and compelling evidence” without qualification; when no hypothesis set was ever identified in the first place, or very little or a biased set of evidence has been gathered in reality.

15. Goal is Social Praise and Not Understanding – their ultimate objective is to force a mysterious circumstance to fit their religious compliance model. The view of the world which they were handed during a period of psychological damage. All people now must conform to this obsession they adopted at a tender age. This leaves them a sucker for praise, so much so that it occludes their desire to know the truth.

Implies Researchers Never Self-Critique – implies that researchers are typically credulous bumpkins who fail to examine their own processes, disciplines and assumptions. Pretends that sponsoring researchers are all ‘believers’ and have never heard of skepticism, much less applied it. Only the debunker is the hero arriving on the scene caped in science, method and truth.

Listens Only for What They Want to Hear – only listens in order to pick up evidence for their pre-formed conclusion, and hype-lines which might work well as a sound byte. Waits for one key phrase like “I wasn’t sure what I saw at first”; as if a Rubik’s Cube pattern solver, and retorts, “Now see, there you go…”. Whereupon he rambles into a canned solution – the observer is never heard from again in order to disagree.

Collects Mostly Semi-relevant Data – as a busy-work appearance and under the chance that he might find something useful for a sound bite, collects a wealth of data which does not pertain to the critical question at hand; preferring to focus instead inside the circumstantial realm.

Eschews Internet – prejudice against the free flow of information as being damaging to ideas which need to be preserved. Likes to disparage individual research as ‘Google University’, as if the public having access to information undermines their ability to be authority on a subject or the smartest person in the room.

Lie Detector Test Hypocricy – accepts the results of a lie detector test if it supports their idea, or flags the instance where a person declines a lie detector test. Then calls it an unreliable form of evidence if such does not fit their narrative. Habitually forgets that they assumed the former when concluding the latter.

Declares ‘Unlikely’ While Lacking Statistics to Establish Any Probability Basis – ‘this is very very unlikely’ when they do not have a clue as to what the probability distribution for the event is in the first place. This is tantamount to ‘I don’t like this answer’ in epistemological credence terms.

Sculpts the Data – fails to mention data which supports the sponsored theory. Ignores data which falsifies the solution they had canned from the start.

Completely Truthful on Incomplete Version of Truth – presents only the portions of facts he was able to collect which support the narrative favored by his sponsors. Never once addresses counter-explanations.

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The Follow Up

Immediately Takes to Air Waves – immediately promotes in push media, talks shows, publications and the web, the solution he found. A campaign which dwarfs the original news about the subject in the first place.

Times Case Flurries with New Book Releases – suddenly appears to have resolved longstanding (like Jack the Ripper) or highly visible (Roswell UFO debunking) cases of ‘skepticism’ just in time for a new book which is about to be published. Books are usually very lightweight and propagandish in nature. A songsheet for the choir, so that they can pocket some coin off the paranormal as needed.

Cites Sponsor Researchers Did Not Use Science – habitually cites that the sponsoring researchers did not follow the scientific method, but can never seem to explain what it was that they erred in, nor help the sponsors with a recommendation of benefit, nor spend any time alongside researchers helping them craft theory or develop sound methodology. All this running in extreme contrast with their expressed ethic of ‘I really want this to be true’.

Feigns Objectivity/Tenders False Praise – knowing that they must appear to be objective and not appear to be a debunker, they will couch their insults inside praise statements, such as ‘They had a really cool setup, detectors and machines everywhere, gadgets and the like. The problem was it was all pseudoscience’ or ‘I really liked her sincerity, she could spin a really entertaining yarn. And you know, I think she really believed that this happened’.

Over Reliance on Mocking and Cajoling – a sincere scientist or researcher does not apply such bias imbuing sales techniques. Humor is acceptable, but these types of con artists use the reward of flattery and the specter being regarded as delusional, as manipulation tactics.

Focuses on the Young – under the false assumption that people only see weird things because they are ‘trained’ to see them – this type of investigator sincerely believes that you can train people to not see things they do not want to have seen.

Never Follows Up – Job done, he never returns to the site to hear ‘client’, witness or other investigator objections or counter-evidence. Issues the correct solution and walks away, washing hands.

Eschews Dialectic & Peer Review – fails to obtain peer review from other or competing researchers or persons holding actual knowledge of the case. Relies upon the probability that most people will not be able to catch what he has done.

Obsesses Over Critics and Criticism – mentions any noteworthy critics over and over and over and how they pose them in the wrong light or don’t understand/straw man.

Implies Client Acquiescence – implies that the simpleton and credulous witnesses were overpowered by his critical thinking and begrudgingly accepted it as probable. Job done, he returned to his lab with conclusive samples in hand.

Is Always Wearing the Persona/Never Genuine or Reflective – always seems to be wearing the veneer of a skeptic, or some other costume which hides who they genuinely are. Lacks any sense of wonder, except for feigned wonder because they know that they should bear a sense of wonder ethically.

Anyone Who Disagrees is a Screaming Believer – of course. They have to be right? What happened to the objective open mindedness?

Anyone Who Disagrees is the Real Debunker – suddenly, to disagree with a claim means you are accusing someone of lying. Applies here, but not in the fake skeptic’s case. ‘Trick of the mind’ is not debunking when they use it, but IS debunking when the opposition uses it. Hypocrisy.

Sleuth-Fantasizes/Poses – speaks often of Sherlock Holmes quotes, or likes to surround himself with the clutter reminiscent of a Hollywood portrayal of a 30’s private eye.

Utilizes ‘Peer Review’ Only from Debunker Clubs – the very debunkers he disassociated himself with, he immediately targets for peer evaluation, publication and accolades. Epistemic and personal scientific fraud. Never asks for contrasting input from a seasoned expert or lifelong researcher who is highly regarded, to assist with peer review. Only seeks reviewers who will immediately agree without examination, to the conclusion he has foisted. This is scientific fraud.

Believes in the Effectiveness of Club Quality – falls for the pseudoscientific perception that clubs can delivery quality in scientific methods.

Receives Debunker Accolades/Compensation – the very groups he decries in Precis step 1. are the very ones to hail and craft his celebrity & most importantly, pay his paycheck.

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The cycle being complete, the very people he denies being part of, end up compensating him. The sponsors are now happy. These are the hallmarks of the person who has been hired to take the reigns of work which used to be filled by the malicious debunker. Ethical skeptic, don’t fall for it. Not in the least. Keep your ears, eyes, awareness and mind truly open. This world is a lot stranger than our control freaks will allow us to understand. But just as happened in the days of the debunkers, the public mind is changing fast. Social Skeptics are losing the battle for the American mind.

epoché vanguards gnosis

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July 31, 2017 Posted by | Agenda Propaganda | , , , | Leave a comment

The Appeal to Fallacy

My goal as an ethical skeptic is not to cite a fallacy and subsequently snigger at my opponent “bwahahahaha!” That is the mental process of a child. There is a difference between arguing to win, and arguing for truth. It is paramount that the ethical skeptic keep a wary eye out for those who routinely confuse ‘fallacy’ and ‘error’.

Sometimes an assertion maker has not crafted a faulty logical contention, they have not overly focused on the opponents of their assertion – sometimes they are just simply, factually or existentially wrong. This difference between the state of being wrong, and the condition of making missteps inside logic and delivery of argument – is summed up inside a philosophical principle called the Appeal to Fallacy (or Argument from Fallacy).  The appeal to fallacy exists in two forms. First, is the instance wherein an assertion maker has crafted a failed logical construct, and an opponent (or skeptic) in the discussion surrounding that construct identifies the formal or informal fallacy which compromises the basis for the argument. To declare the assertion maker existentially or factually wrong under such a circumstance, would constitute an additional (plural) step in argument itself and would be crafted in the form of a mistake in argument, an informal fallacy of soundness called the Fallacy Fallacy.  Conversely, if the same assertion maker broaches a contention which is existentially wrong, to further then call that a logical fallacy, is itself an error in the use of the term and concept of a fallacy (note, this latter a state of being wrong – is not ‘fallacious’ per se – ergo it is error – while the former is expressed in the form of an actual modus ponens argument, which is flawed in soundness). [see note 1 regarding the colloquial use of the term ‘fallacy’]

Let’s suffer through the process of an example together, shall we?

Assertion in Argument:     All trees are green

Structure of Argument (modus ponens):     If P (latet)  ‘A great preponderance of trees I have ever observed seem to be green’  therefore Q  ‘All trees are green’

Argument Fallacy:     Fallacy of Composition (Informal)2

Assertion Validity:     Undetermined  ‘True’  ‘False’  or  ‘Inconclusive’  [see note 3 concerning Boolean Logic]

Notice that we have the assertion, and then its argument. Complimentarily, we face the issues of validity of the assertion as distinct from the soundness or logical calculus of its expression in argument. I threw a twist into the above example in order to introduce a common habit of fake skeptics. That being, an argument maker can hide the premise portion of his argument in order to make the assertion appear more acceptable (deflect from issues of soundness). A trick of the trade. Therefore many times it is up to the ethical skeptic to unmask such logical formations before they undertake the process of evaluating validity itself. Such contentions can easily slip by (wearing the costume of truth by hiding their modus ponens) and become common wisdom, Lindy Mechanisms of defacto truth in time.

Are all trees green? In fact, I do not know. My mission here in evaluating this statement was simply to elicit the exercise of identifying a fallacy (argument). This does not mean that the person who made such an assertion is existentially wrong on the point being made (assertion). If a skeptic is seriously examining the issue of green trees – he or she may choose to drop focus on the fallacy after pointing it out – and counter “While that argument bears a fallacy of composition, nonetheless it is an interesting assertion. Let’s take a look at it.”

My goal as an ethical skeptic is not to cite a fallacy and subsequently snigger “bwahahahaha!” That is the mental process of a child. There is a difference between arguing to win, and arguing for truth.

We know that the color green is the most common color associated with photosynthesis. The chlorophyll needed for photosynthesis tends to emit this color, which after some translucent lensing through the plant matter, then serves to form the typical pigmentation of most plant species.4 But while this is a very common condition of expressed color, it may not be universal (fallacy evaluation). Now in order to evaluate this contention for validity, I could play a game of induction and fact-mongering regarding the pigmentation of chlorophyll itself, pathways of light expression from reflection off and absorption-use by chlorophyll; all which show conclusively that the only color that can emit from the structure of a plant would be green. I would impress all those around me with my ability to sling around terms like ‘lattice/energy absorption wavelengths’, ‘propagation wave particle duality’, ‘scattering and angle of incidence’, ‘molecular spectral critical angle differential’.  But if I did this I would be committing the second sin of the social skeptic – ingens vanitatum (see The Tower of Wrong: The Art of Professional Lying) – knowing or relating a great deal of irrelevance. Again, not seeking the answer, rather seeking to discredit an opponent – and establish myself as the smartest person in the room. This is a process called pseudo-refutation.

Pseudo-Refutation

/philosophy : pseudoscience : argument/ : a common 1-2-3 step charade of social skeptics in false refutation structure and logical calculus; employed as a ruse of conducting science. To

1) cite any fallacy an opponent has possibly made,

2) employ that fallacy as the basis to declare the opponent ‘wrong’, and moreover then

3) issue an inductive counter of their contention, bearing ample information and hidden conjecture, which tenders appearance that the social skeptic is smarter than the opponent (ingens vanitatum) and has successfully refuted their contention.

When in fact, nothing of the sort was achieved and/or a deductive falsification approach was avoided, which was already readily at hand (see Methodical Deescalation). The focus is not on the validity of the argument or any particular truth, rather in aggrandizing the social skeptic and belittling his opponent.

As an ethical skeptic, I prefer falsification over any sort of exercise in celebrity-building and display of personal inductive brilliance. I take the most efficient critical path to resolution: go and look for a single instance of a white crow, the existence of a non-green tree (we are assuming exclusion of the fall color condition of course). I go and look (really look – not Nickell plating – amazing that THIS is the identifier for ethical versus social skepticism), and I find the American Red Maple.5 The assertion in argument as it turns out, constituted not only a fallacy of composition, but it was existentially false as well. It very easily could have turned out true, or even undetermined. I celebrate our finding with my former opponent and thank him for the chance to learn.

I did not know
I went and looked
Everything else was vanity

Therefore we have the basis of what is called the Appeal to Fallacy. You will find many people habitually (me included at times and I hope I have caught them all) confusing the terms ‘fallacy’ and ‘error’. This is part of the basis as to why The Ethical Skeptic has chosen a different method of assailing arguments (see Formal vs Informal Fallacy and Their Abuse) – an intellectual pursuit which involves more than simply evaluating the trivia surrounding how a person has formed their contention. Aside from a skeptic protecting the integrity of soundness or how a logical calculus is assembled (part of the scientific method) – the remainder of fallaciadom stands as just one slight shade above, simple childish retorts. Beyond this however, those who fall prey to an appeal to fallacy is one sure way of discriminating the pretender from the truth seeker.

Appeal to Fallacy

/philosophy : fallacy : abuse/ : one of two forms of confusing the state of an assertion being in error, with positing a faulty argument, delivery or sound basis.

Fallacy Fallacy (Argument from Fallacy)  – arguer detects a fallacy in argument and declares therefore the person to be ‘wrong’ in assertion as well.  When an arguer employs either a formal, or even more an informal fallacy, to stand as the basis to declare a whole subject or assertion in argument to be therefore, false. A formal fallacy or redress on the basis of soundness or induction inference, only serves to invalidate an opponent’s argument structure. All three flaws tender nothing regarding verity of the argument’s assertion or conclusion itself, which may or may not be independently also true. As well, any instance wherein a circumstantial, expression, personal or informal critique or other informal fallacy is inappropriately cited as a mechanism to invalidate an opponent’s argument or stand as basis for dismissal of a subject.

Fallacy Error – arguer detects a condition of being wrong and incorrectly deems this condition to constitute a ‘fallacy’. When an arguer finds an argument assertion to be wrong and declares the incorrect conclusion, error, mistake or lie to constitute a ‘fallacy’. When in reality, a fallacy is nothing but a weakness or flaw in an argument, soundness, logical calculus, structure or form – and has nothing actually to do with the validity of its assertion or conclusion.

Notice as well, the example above elicits a distinction between two differing types of (often confused) refutation. The inability to distinguish between these two types of response on the part of an opponent, serves to alert one to a condition of epistemic commitment or other bias on the part of an assertion maker:

No, you are wrong and here is the correct answer.

and

No you are wrong, the answer is still undetermined.

This will stand as the substance of a future blog.

epoché vanguards gnosis

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July 15, 2017 Posted by | Argument Fallacies | , , , | Leave a comment

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