The Ethical Skeptic

Challenging Agency of Pseudo-Skepticism & Cultivated Ignorance

The Tree of Knowledge Obfuscation: Misrepresentation by Assumption

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.

Misrepresentation by Assumption

absens sciens absens iniuria – literally, no knowledge – no harm. A procedural fallacy or error in principle similar to ‘what they don’t know, won’t hurt ’em’. An erroneous principle which cites that a person cannot be harmed if they do not know that they were harmed. Alternatively, if a group of people is unaware that a harm has been done, then no one in that group has been harmed. A form of pluralistic ignorance exploitation.

acatalepsia Fallacy – a flaw in critical path logic wherein one appeals to the Pyrrhonistic Skepticism principle that no knowledge can ever be entirely certain – and twists it into the implication that therefore, knowledge is ascertained by the mere establishment of some form of ‘probability’. Moreover, that therefore, when a probability is established, no matter how plausible, slight or scant in representation of the domain of information it might constitute, it is therefore now accepted truth.  Because all knowledge is only ‘probable’ knowledge, all one has to do is spin an apparent probability, and one has ascertained accepted knowledge. Very similar in logic to the Occam’s Razor aphorism citing that the ‘simplest explanation’ is the correct explanation.

ad hoc/Pseudo-Theory – a placeholder construct which suffers from the additional flaw in that it cannot be fully falsified, deduced nor studied, and can probably never be addressed or further can be proposed in almost any circumstance of uncertainty. These ideas will be thrown out for decades. They can always be thrown out. They will always be thrown out. Sometimes also called ‘blobbing’ or ‘god of the gaps’, it is a bucket into which one dumps every unknown, hate-based, fear-based and unexplained observation – add in a jigger of virtue – then you shake it up like a vodka martini, and get drunk on the encompassing paradigm which can explain everything, anything and nothing all at the same time.

ad nauseam Fallacy – the intolerance of an argument or a set of data through implying that it has been hashed and re-hashed over and over so much by science or sponsors, that everyone is tired of the subject and if there were anything true to it, it would have come out and been published already.

Adams’ Law (of Slow Moving Disasters) – for Scott Adams, Dilbert Comic strip author. Mankind has a 100% batting average at historically averting slow moving predicted disasters.

Corollary 1 – provisional knowledge (of fake skepticism and science) always selects-for and stacks worries faster than it does realities.

Corollary 2 – taking action to address a slow moving disaster worry is not the same as planning for risk.

Corollary 3 – those who habitually stack provisional slow moving future disasters routinely fail to recognize actual existing and past disasters.

Corollary 4 – any disaster that takes longer to come to fruition than the average lifespan of an academic scientist will exhibit an underpinning of 97% supporting consensus.

Aleatoric Casuistry – employing statistical uncertainty, representative of unknowns that differ each time we run the same experiment, observation or situation, in order to push the idea that something very uncommon is actually common, can be, or has been common. A version of ‘you never know’ or ‘I bet this happens a lot’. A way of implying that an epistemological basis for a frequency of epistemic uncertainty exists, when indeed it does not.

Amplanecdote – something which has occurred a scientifically significant number or many times over, however which is ignored through agenda or by means of a baseless claim to categorization as anecdote.

Antiquing Fallacy – the dismissal of an entire field of data by showing its false, hoax based or dubious past inside a set of well known anecdotal cases. Also the instance where a thesis is deemed incorrect because it was commonly held when something else, clearly false, was also commonly held.

Antipode Path Logic – the inverse of critical path logic. A condition wherein an arguer develops a conclusion about a matter in absence of having addressed any critical path logic or epistemology (risk incremental, dependent series and probative questions or tests) before making the conclusion. The opposite of the condition where a person has pursued critical path logic, yet in finding insufficient evidence, refuses to tender a final conclusion or opinion (ethical skepticism).

Apparent Epistemology – treatment or regard of underlying assumptions or implicit assumptions as proved or accepted science, typically executed through locution deception. Statements such as ‘is known to provide’ in lieu of ‘has been shown (by study X) to provide’ inside a touted epistemology. The use of social constructs, common wisdom or pluralistic ignorance based consensus as a foundation for scientific understanding or underpinning for further stacked provisional explanation.

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. The fallacy in this default fallback explanation is that it can be accused of anyone, without discretion, 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 Magic – justifying reasoning inside an observed and constrained domain by underpinning it with rationale derived from inside another unconstrained domain. Ten quadrillion-to-one chance happenstances in series are indistinguishable from an appeal to magic. A hidden miracle is more scientific than is a professed one. Grant me one miracle and I can explain all the rest.

Appeal to Scientific Democracy – the contention that if the majority of scientists believe something to be true, regardless of epistemological merit, then it must be assumed as true.

Appeal to Skepticism Fallacy – the argument assumption or implication that an opinion possesses authoritative veracity or a proponent possesses intellectual high ground simply through allegiance to a consensus skeptical position on a topic.

Argument from Fallacy – the false assumption that the simple act of catching an opponent in commission of a logical fallacy immediately invalidates all of their ideas, observations and data.

Argument from Ignorance – asserts that a proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false, or is false because it has not been shown to have any evidence.

Argument from Incredulity – the contention that because something is too difficult to imagine or possibly exist, then this is proof that it does not exist.

Argumentative Definition – is a prima facia equivocation which purports to describe the ‘true,’ ‘unique professional employment’ and/or ‘commonly accepted’ meaning of a term, while in reality stipulating an irregular or altered employment of that term, usually to support an argument the proponent is attempting to force.

argumentum ad populum – appeal to popular or apparently popular opinion; appeal to the majority. The fallacy of attempting to infer or induce acceptance of a conclusion by citing that the conclusion is shared by large or expert groups of persons. Alternately arousing the feelings, prejudices, or interests of a person based upon their political party, a mob, or any large group of people. Two common corollary fallacies are the bandwagon and the snob appeal fallacies.

Begging the Question – falsely setting the starting point of an argument, or its foundational assumptions, such that the promoted conclusion is assumed as an inherent element or inevitable outcome of this starting position or set of assumptions.

Bergen’s Principle – a principle explaining why social decisions which put the public at risk are made so easily. 1. Reward always outweighs miscalculated risk. 2. Miscalculated risk is never cumulative.

Belief vs Belief-Domain Conflation – misinterpreting identification of a belief as being based on a method of pseudoscience, as tacit permission to declare the entire belief-domain associated with the specific belief, to also constitute pseudoscience.

Bifurcation Fallacy – committed when a false dichotomy is presented, i.e. when someone is asked to choose between two options when there is at least one other option available.

Black Swan Fallacy – a claim that the highly improbable will never happen, or that one has a grasp of the full set of the highly improbable, or that one has ascertained the likelihood of a highly improbable event through statistics – when there is not a precedent or knowledge base which allows for any objective epistemic basis for such a calculation. Any form of lack of knowledge which dismisses any highly improbable even from happening, based upon a faulty estimation of the likelihood of a single unlikely event not happening.

Bolt’s Axiom – a belief is not merely an idea the mind possesses; it is an idea that possesses the mind. Attributed to Robert Oxton Bolt, English Playwright.

Bootstrapping (Index/Strength) – from the tall tales about the 18th-century German nobleman Baron Munchausen and his wartime exploits against the Ottoman Empire; specifically wherein he pulled himself up out of a well by his own bootstraps. A computational technique for estimating a statistical set for which the underlying distribution is unknown, or a sampling technique which estimates sampling distribution by repeatedly sampling data from the original observation set. It is most often employed as a means to estimate confidence levels of clade structures within a phylogenetic tree in genetics. However, it can be used to describe an inference which is measured as to its risk in draw. A 50 Bootstrap index bears significant risk, whereas a 90/100 Bootstrap index implies a greater degree of confidence in the inference, and therefore less risk.

Bucket Irrationality – a key sign of irrationality, resides in the circumstance whereupon, observing a problem inside a system – one contends that the entire system is evil and should be shut down. Moreover, the circumstance whereupon, identifying problems inside a topic, one declares it all to be ‘woo’ or ‘pseudoscience’.

Bunk Nauseam Fallacy – the argument that a point is invalid by implying or citing incorrectly that the topic has been de-bunked many many times, and is now nothing but an irritating myth inside circles of stupidity.

Cannot be Reliably Tested Error – the malpractice of disqualifying a subject, study or researcher from science by citing that it has not been or cannot be tested or reliably repeated in testing. When in fact many conclusions of accepted science fall under such a reality. This often is achieved through blocking its access to the scientific method, ignoring the topic, conflating the scientific method with the experimental method, ignoring discovery science protocols, refusing to research/test the contention, or misrepresenting its appropriate next steps or empirical questions, and further then citing that therefore the subject has failed the necessary testing methods of science.

Circular Cynicism – the practice of ensuring that a subject never possesses any valid scientific evidence through the fallacious step of declaring it to be a pseudoscience before investigation is ever undertaken by science.  Since the subject is a pseudoscience, all research by laymen can never be accepted as evidence, and since there is no evidence, then the subject is false and science should not study it, and since science will not study it and people research it with lay attempts at science, then it is a pseudoscience.

Claim or Belief as Pseudoscience Error – the incorrect assumption that a claim or belief constitutes pseudoscience, when in fact it is a claim or belief which is presented as consistent with the norms of scientific research, which is indeed the qualifier as to what is and is not pseudoscience. Everyone possesses ‘claims and beliefs,’ but this is not tantamount to pretend science being practiced on everyone’s part.

Claim vs Claim-Subject Conflation – misinterpreting identification of a claim as being based on a method of pseudoscience, as tacit permission to declare the entire subject around the specific claim, to also constitute pseudoscience.

Claimspoofing – a grey-zone dishonest form of stooge posing wherein one makes the false claim, that a claim (OMG!) has been made regarding a hoax or other obviously sketchy subject. The false contention is simply crafted in order to tender the appearance of employing the ‘tools of science’ or specious methods of doubt and denial, used to dismiss the ‘claim’ as an example of applied skeptical critical thinking.

Complexity Tell – some problems are so complex that one must be well informed, highly intelligent and skilled in abstract critical path thinking, just to hold neutrality or a suspension of disposition about them. Those who arrive at conclusions or implied conclusions through inverse negation, should be observed for what they are.

Computational Irreducibility – the idea that some systems can only be sufficiently described by fully simulating them. The only way to determine the answer to a computationally irreducible question is to perform the computation/simulation which solves for its answer. In this context, it is impossible to ascertain the future state of a CI system, without having to sufficiently model and determine all the intermediate states in between. Such process cannot be reduced or sped up through any kind of reduction (Bridgman Reduction), assumption or shortcut. To do so alters the actual model and its answer into a state of unknown, and unrealized, error.

Confirmation Reliance Error – abuse of the Popper demarcation principle, which cites that body of knowledge/finished science cannot rely upon predictive and confirming evidence alone, by then applying this principle incorrectly to the process of science – or failing to distinguish controlled predictive science from simple confirmatory observation after the fact. This in an effort to filter out selectively, those ideas and theories which are vulnerable through having to rely in part upon predictive evidence, or are further denied access to peer review and replication steps of science simply because of this malpractice in application of the Popperian predictive demarcation.

contra ad populum – citing that, since an argument or preference for a conclusion is growing in popularity, it must therefore only be growing in such acceptance because of argumentum ad populum pressure, human foibles or through media promotion – and cannot possibly be growing because of the persistent and robust nature of the associated evidence.

Dead Body Contraposition Fallacy – the contention that if there exists an element A, then there would be B observations which would result directly from the presence of A, for instance an animal A would result in a dead body, B.  Therefore the absence of observation of B means that A does not therefore exist.

Denialty – when sskepticism or another institution claiming to represent ‘science’ conclusively promotes evidence showing all suspects they are seeking to protect, as being innocent, yet there is a dead body nonetheless. A state of ignorance which results from such a condition.

Denying the Antecedent – the contention that since a subject is a pseudoscience, then any of its constructs, theories, results, data and observations are invalid and anyone who considers them is a pseudo scientist.

dietrologiathe staunch insistence that the obvious or apparent explanation, concerning specific targeted subjects, cannot possibly be the truth. There is always something hidden behind, a hoax, corruption, a misinterpretation, a lie; ie. the dietro.

Duty to Address and Inform (Hypothesis) – a critical element and aspect of parsimony regarding a scientific hypothesis. The duty of such a hypothesis to expose and address in its syllogism, all known prior art in terms of both analytical intelligence obtained or direct study mechanisms and knowledge. If information associated with a study hypothesis is unknown, it should be simply mentioned in the study discussion. However, if countermanding information is known, the structure of the hypothesis itself must both inform of its presence and as well address its impact.

Einfach Mechanism – an idea which is not yet mature under the tests of valid hypothesis, yet is installed as the null hypothesis or best explanation regardless. An explanation, theory or idea which sounds scientific, yet resolves a contention through bypassing the scientific method, then moreover is installed as truth thereafter solely by means of pluralistic ignorance around the idea itself. Pseudo-theory which is not fully tested at its inception, nor is ever held to account thereafter. An idea which is not vetted by the rigor of falsification, predictive consilience nor mathematical derivation, rather is simply considered such a strong, or Occam’s Razor (sic) stemming-from-simplicity idea that the issue is closed as finished science or philosophy from its proposition and acceptance onward. A pseudo-theory of false hypothesis which is granted status as the default null hypothesis or as posing the ‘best explanation’, without having to pass the rigors with which its competing alternatives are burdened. The Einfach mechanism is often accompanied by social rejection of competing and necessary alternative hypotheses, which are forbidden study. Moreover, the Einfach hypothesis must be regarded by the scientific community as ‘true’ until proved otherwise. An einfach mechanism may or may not be existentially true.

Entscheiden Mechanism – the pseudoscientific or tyrannical approach of, when faced with epistemology which is heading in an undesired direction, artificially declaring under a condition of praedicate evidentia, the science as ‘settled’.

Error of the Default Null (Omega Hypothesis or King of the Hill Pseudoscience) – a variation of argument from ignorance. The practice of assigning a favored or untestable/unfalsifiable hypothesis unmerited status as the null hypothesis. Further then proclaiming the Default Null as the null hypothesis until such time as it can be defeated by new competing science.

Error of the Guilty Null (The Precautionary Principle) – the practice of assigning a favored hypothesis the status as null hypothesis, when in fact the hypothesis involves a feature or implication which would dictate its address as an alternative hypothesis instead.  A null hypothesis which is, by risk or impact, considered potentially harmful until proved innocent, should be treated as an alternative under correct parsimony. Further then invalidly proclaiming this Guilty Null to be the prevailing conclusion of science until such testing is conducted which could prove it to be false or until such time as it can be defeated by new competing science.

Error of the True Null (Omega Hypothesis or King of the Hill Pseudoscience) – a variation of argument from ignorance. Regarding the null hypothesis as objectively ‘true’ until proved otherwise, when it simply is the null hypothesis from the standpoint of the logical calculus in a hypothesis reduction hierarchy and not because it has been underpinned by a Popper level scientific rigor. Further then proclaiming the True Null to be the prevailing conclusion of science.

Equipollence Error – similar to false equivalence, this error pertains more to a situation where a substitute idea or method is assumed as being equal in force, power, or validity as the idea, principle or method it is replacing, and possessing the same effect or significance/meaning.

Expert Relative Privation Error – the subjective contention that an avenue of research is not transparent to accountability inside science, that scientists are restricted from or too busy to access its undisciplined body or domain of evidence, or that the sponsors are hiding/ignoring counter evidence or are not forthcoming with their analysis. When in fact, such contentions are excuses foisted to countermand a need to pursue under the scientific method, a subject which has passed an Ockham’s Razor necessity of plurality.

Fallacy of Excluded Exceptions – a form of data skulpting in which a proponent bases a claim on an apparently compelling set of confirming observations to an idea, yet chooses to ignore an also robust set of examples of a disconfirming nature. One chisels away at, disqualifies or ignores large sets of observation which are not advantageous to the cause, resulting only seeing what one sought to see to begin with.

False Consensus Bias – The false belief that, or willingness to acceptance the claim that, scientists are all in agreement any given subject. In psychology mostly, but also with regard to scientific consensus and the public, the idea that everyone regards issues in the same manner as we ourselves do.

False Dilemma – committed when one implies that sufficient data exists such that a choice must now be made between a constrained subset of options, when no such threshold of data actually exists and often when the subset of options is also falsely constrained.

False Domain Equivalence – a form of ambiguity slack exploitation wherein one equates the probability metrics which can be derived from a qualified, constrained or specific domain or circumstance, to be comparable to the use of ‘probability’ inside a broad domain or one lacking Wittgenstein parameters, constraints or descriptives.

Fat Tony – an observer-stakeholder who is tail or fat tail focused in instinct. Fat Tony is dismissive of the probabilistic heuristic involved in a decision process and instead either spots and exploits the role of agency inside a purportedly probabilistic process, or spots and exploits the black swan events in the portfolio of those who’s decision heuristics depend solely upon probabilistic outcomes. In either case Fat Tony uses the unlikely or paradigm breaking aspect of a set distribution, in order to make a derived advantage.

Flaw of Doctrine – doctrine is a truth which lacks Wittgenstein basis. A set of syllogism, which is only circularly coherent – and which bears no entropy of knowledge in its eventual loss (no one is worse for its loss). Doctrine is not conserved.

Fruit of the Poisonous Tree – an invalid principle of fake skepticism drawn from legal precedent, which stipulates that evidence which is obtained from illegal sources or methods is inadmissible in a court of law. Skeptics appropriate this principle to allow them to dismiss valid evidence simply because it came from a source, method or person whom they dislike – regardless of how valid the evidence is, stand alone. It is a skulptur mechanism, a method of evidence filtering.

Funderstanding – one of the characteristics of sound understanding is that it helps us in developing further knowledge and understanding. An understanding, accepted model or set of knowledge, which has served no help in furthering human understanding, should come back into question as ‘accepted knowledge.’

furtivis miraculo Fallacy – give us one free miracle, and we’ll explain all the rest. The scientific pretense of condensing all the magic involved in one’s epistemology into one single comprehensively supportive and necessary miracle. Based on the philosophical premise that one comprising ridiculous assumption is more believable than a plurality of such assumptions. When this is done by a scientist, say a neurologist, who reaches into the discipline of cosmology, in order to draw back a miracle or theory they don’t really understand (‘eternalism’ for instance), in order to have it bolster a theory they are trying to push inside their own discipline (such as there is no such thing as free will), so that then they can enforce a religion in a completely different domain (nihilism) – this is a fallacy and a lie on top of it as well, through misrepresentation of a miracle of projection as constituting ‘science’.

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, understanding or confidence in self.

General Absence of Process Error – a subjective open avenue of convenience, wherein any disliked subject can be dismissed through its framing as not following, or possessing an absence of one or more steps of the scientific method. A denying of access to peer review, or ignoring of a study, which is then touted as evidence of ‘not following the scientific method.’

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.

Hidden Miracle Error – when a proponent develops a purported scientific epistemology by employing a less visible but nonetheless equally extravagant construct to underpin that cosmology – eg. ‘god’ or a fantastic unexplainable occurrence which cannot be approached by method and measurement, now renders my cosmology as coherent. It relates to the phrases ‘a hidden miracle is more scientific than an expressed one’ and ‘grant me one miracle and I can explain all the rest.’

Höchste Mechanism – when a position or practice, purported to be of scientific basis, is elevated to such importance that removing the rights of professionals and citizens to dissent, speak, organize or disagree (among other rights) is justified in order to protect the position or the practice inside society.

Idea vs Belief Blurring – the false practice of regarding an idea observed by a curious person, to constitute a ‘belief’ the observers’ part.  This in an effort to subjugate such ideas into the category of personal religion or MiHoDeAL set.  In fact an idea is simply that, a thought, and its false dismissal under the pretense of being deemed a ‘belief’ is a practice of deception and pseudoscience.

Ignorance-God of the Gaps – when we obfuscate a mystery in science by means of ignoring it as taboo – then Ignorance too becomes a ‘God of the Gaps.’

Imposterlösung Mechanism – the cheater’s answer. A disproved, incoherent or ridiculous contention, or one which fails the tests to qualify as a real hypothesis, which is assumed as a potential hypothesis anyway simply because it sounds good or is packaged for public consumption. These alternatives pass muster with the general public, but are easily falsified after mere minutes of real research. Employing the trick of pretending that an argument domain which does not bear coherency nor soundness – somehow (in violation of science and logic) falsely merits assignment as a ‘hypothesis’. Despite this, most people hold them in mind simply because of their repetition. This fake hypothesis circumstance is common inside an argument which is unduly influenced by agency. They are often padded into skeptical analyses, to feign an attempt at appearing to be comprehensive, balanced, or ‘considering all the alternatives’.

“Inconclusive” is a Conclusion – the fake sleuth is desperate to issue a conclusion and obtain club credit for having reached it. Their goal is to stamp the observation (what they incorrectly call a ‘claim’) with the word ‘Debunked’. However, they also know that most neutral parties have this trick figured out now. So they prematurely reach a conclusion which appears to be skeptically neutral, but tenders the same desired result: Inconclusive. It is like declaring two opponents in a field game to be of equal team strength through a tie, 0 to 0 – by means of simply turning on the scoreboard and walking off the field after 15 seconds of play. By means of an inconclusive status, the observation can be neutralized and tossed upon a ‘never have to examine this again’ heap. Defacto, this is the same as ‘debunked’. It is a trick, wherein, the fake skeptics takes on the appearance of true skeptical epoché, while still condemning an observation or subject, wherein it is nothing of the sort.

Intent (Burden of Proof) – a novel constraint which arrives into a chaotic/complex process or a domain of high unknown, which does not originate from the natural background set of constraints, and further serves to produce a consistent pattern of ergodicity – when no feedback connection between outcome and constraint is possible. An intervening constraint in which every reasonable potential cause aside from intelligent derivation has been reduced, even if such constraint is accompanied or concealed by other peer stochastic and non-intent influences. When one makes or implies a claim to lack of intent, one has made the first scientific claim and cannot therefore be exempted from the burden of proof regarding that claim, nor reside inside the luxury of a false null hypothesis (Einfach Mechanism).

Interrogative Biasing – ask the wrong question and you are assured to arrive at the right answer. A method of faking science by asking an incomplete, statistical absence, non-probative, ill sequenced or straw man question, fashioned so as to achieve a result which implies a specific desired answer; yet is in no way representative of plenary or ethical science on the matter under consideration.

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.

Is-Does Fallacy – a derivative of the philosophical principle that one does not have to framework what something is, in order to study what it does. The error of attempting to conform science and epistemology to the notion that one must a priori understand or hold a context as to what something is, before one can study what ‘it’ does. The error of intolerance resides in the assumption that in order to study a phenomenon, we must assume that its cause is ‘real’ first. When electromagnetic theory was posed, they conceived of the context of a ‘field’ as real (= IS), before conducting EMF experimentation. However not all science can be introduced in this manner. In a true Does/Is, a researcher does not conceive of the context of the cause as real in advance of study. This frees up scientists to study challenging phenomena without having to declare it or its context to be ‘real’ first. Is/Does is a problem of induction – as it forces us to to a highly constrained form of science called sciebam, which seeks to state a hypothesis as the first step of the scientific method. A corollary of this idea involves the condition when the ‘does’ involves some sort of prejudice or will on the part of the subject being studied. Does becomes more difficult to study in such instance, however this does not remove from us the responsibility to conduct such study.

Lacks Scientific Method Error – – the malpractice of disqualifying a subject, study or researcher from science by citing that it has not followed the scientific method, through blocking its access to the scientific method, refusing peer review or misrepresenting its appropriate next steps or questions, and therefore citing that it has failed the methods of science.

The Law of Colossal Numbers – when one is surrounded by people who have been affected or injured through incidents which are very ‘rare’.

Law of Large Numbers Fallacy – the Law of Large Numbers does not apply ex ante, nor in any other case where there is not a large number domain to sample from in the first place. Any instance where the wrong species of probability event is selected, there does not exist a suitable measure of what is ‘large’ or ‘probable’ or the event being described constitutes only the single opportunity for the improbable event to have occurred. An ad hoc denial tactic which dismisses by presupposing the idea that one holds statistical refutation evidence based on plenitude of a sample domain. The rigor-less assumption that mass statistics will prove out any strange or unlikely observation one chooses to dismiss.  It is a form of the MiHoDeAL Fallacy. See also Appeal to Plenitude/Appeal to Lotto.

Manager’s Error – from Nassim Taleb’s tome Fooled by Randomness (2001). The principle of forcing an argument into an artificial binary or bifurcated outcome set, examining only that which is a priori deemed to be the more probable or simple outcome, and not that choice which can serve to produce the largest net effect or ‘payoff’. Only researching the most likely, framework compliant or simple alternative, will only serve to confirm what we already know, and bears a much lower payoff in terms of information which might be garnered through a black swan, less likely or ‘complex’ alternative turning out to bear any form of credence or final veracity.​

Magician’s Sleeve – the critical twist in logical calculus, equivocation, soundness, or context/salience, which allows one ostensible conclusion to be surreptitiously converted into a differing, more desirable conclusion on the part of the magician. A formal fallacy in logical calculus which is hidden inside the complexity of the argument context itself.

Methodical Doubt – doubt employed as a skulptur mechanism, to slice away disliked observations until one is left with the data set they favored before coming to an argument. The first is the questionable method of denying that something exists or is true simply because it defies a certain a priori stacked provisional knowledge. This is nothing but a belief expressed in the negative, packaged in such a fashion as to exploit the knowledge that claims to denial are afforded immediate acceptance over claims to the affirmative. This is a religious game of manipulating the process of knowledge development into a whipsaw effect supporting a given conclusion set

MiHoDeAL Bias – the made or implied assumption that all case examples of a subject domain are Misidentifications, Hoaxes, Delusions, Anecdotes, Lies (MiHoDeAL). A MiHoDeAL claim most often involves a false Appeal to Skepticism, and more specifically most often constitutes a Truzzi Fallacy.

Naturalist’s Fallacy – wherein judgment is based solely on whether the subject of judgment fits one person’s a priori definition of what constitutes a ‘natural’ or ‘paranormal’ delineation.

negare attentio Effect – the unconscious habituation of a person seeking publicity or attention in which they will gravitate more and more to stances of denial, skepticism and doubting inside issues of debate, as their principal method of communication or public contention. This condition is subconsciously reenforced because they are rewarded with immediate greater credence when tendering a position of doubt, or find the effort involved easier and presume that counter-claims don’t require any evidence, work or research.

Negative Composition Proof – disproof of tenets inside an opponent’s idea or of the idea itself stands as proof of my own idea or argument.

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.

Newton’s Flameout –  One who thinks something can be settled merely by an experiment probably does not understand the question in the first place.

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.

Occam’s Razorall things being equal, that which is easy for most to understand, and as well conforms with an a priori stack of easy-to-understands, along with what I believe most scientists think, tends to obviate the need for any scientific investigation. A false logical construct invented by SSkepticism to replace and change the efficacy of Ockham’s Razor, the latter employed as a viable principle in scientific logic. Occam’s Razor was a twist off the older Ockham’s Razor, which was slight and almost undetectable, but can be used to reverse the applicability of the more valid thought discipline inside of Ockham’s Razor. “All things being equal, the simplest explanation tends to be the correct one” is a logical fallacy; constituting a completely different and antithetical approach than that of Ockham’s Razor. Occam’s Razor can only result in conformance based explanations, regardless of their scientific validity.

Occam’s Razor Fallacy – abuse of Ockham’s Razor (and misspelling) in order to to enact a process of sciencey-looking ignorance and to impose a favored idea. All things being equal, that which is easy for most to understand, and as well conforms with an a priori stack of easy-to-understands, along with what I believe most scientists think, tends to obviate the need for any scientific investigation. Can exist in four forms, transactional, existential, observational and utility blindness.

Transactional Occam’s Razor Fallacy (Appeal to Ignorance) – the false contention that a challenging construct, observation or paradigm must immediately be ‘explained.’ Sidestepping of the data aggregation, question development, intelligence and testing/replication steps of the scientific method and forcing a skip right to its artificially conclusive end (final peer review by ‘Occam’s Razor’).

Existential Occam’s Razor Fallacy (Appeal to Authority) – the false contention that the simplest or most probable explanation tends to be the scientifically correct one. Suffers from the weakness that myriad and complex underpinning assumptions, based upon scant predictive/suggestive study, provisional knowledge or Popper insufficient science, result in the condition of tendering the appearance of ‘simplicity.’

Observational Occam’s Razor Fallacy (Exclusion Bias) – through insisting that observations and data be falsely addressed as ‘claims’ needing immediate explanation, and through rejecting such a ‘claim’ (observation) based upon the idea that it introduces plurality (it is not simple), one effectively ensures that no observations will ever be recognized which serve to frame and reduce a competing alternative.  One will in effect perpetually prove only what they have assumed as true, regardless of the idea’s inherent risk. No competing idea can ever be formulated because outlier data and observations are continuously discarded immediately, one at a time by means of being deemed ‘extraordinary claims’.

Utility Blindness – when simplicity or parsimony are incorrectly applied as excuse to resist the development of a new scientific explanatory model, data or challenging observation set, when indeed the participant refuses to consider or examine the explanatory utility of any similar new model under consideration.

Facile – appearing neat and comprehensive only by ignoring the true complexities of an issue; superficial. Easily earned, arrived at or won – derived without the requisite rigor or effort. Something easy to understand, which is compatible with a predicate or associated stack of also easy-to-understands.

Ockham’s Inversion – the condition when the ‘rational or simple explanation’ requires so many risky, stacked or outlandish assumptions in order to make it viable, that is has become even more outlandish than the complex explanation it was originally posed against and was supposed to surpass in likelihood. Similarly, a condition wherein the proposed ‘more likely or simple’ alternative is just as outlandish in reality as is the originally considered one.

Omega Hypothesis Principle of Causatum – if you approach a subject with flawed assumptions, everything will appear to be a mystery from that point on. The principle citing that, as the number of enforced Omega Hypotheses increases inside a discipline or subject, so will the number of quandaries, mysteries, paradoxes and conundrums – and in arithmetic proportion. By the principle of the contrathetic impasse, such entities of conflict and unresolvability relate in direct proportion to bad underlying assumptions in force.

Otherwise Lacks Status Error – the permissive malpractice of disqualifying a subject, study or researcher from science by ignoring it as a discipline, or blocking its access to science and researchers, and therefore citing that it lacks any status in science or inside a method of science.

Oversimplification (Pseudo Reduction) – instead of reducing an argument so that its contributing elements can be tested, a pretend skeptic will oversimplify the argument as a pretense of reduction. A form of false reduction which only serves to reduce the possible outcomes, and not actually deconstruct an argument into its logical critical path. Rather than examining all contributing elements of cause to effect, soundness or observation, the oversimplifier pares off those influences, constraints, objectives, and factors which serve to get in the way of their agency or desired conclusion. Thereafter employing ‘Occam’s Razor’ simplicity as an apologetic. ‘The dose makes the poison’, or ‘non-ionizing radiation can’t cause cancer’ are examples of pseudo-reduction. The arguer appears to be stepping down to a level of cause and effect inference, however has excluded so many factors that – there can only be one a priori inference drawn from the remaining set of influence.

Penultimate Set Fallacy – the contention or implication on the part of a proponent of an idea that they personally hold enough validated conclusion base or data to assume that the gaps in their knowledge will have little or no effect on the veracity of their further conclusions; and therefore they should not be brought into question. The implicit claim being that the proponent holds a ‘next to the last thing knowable’ domain of knowledge on the topic in question. The ‘God of the Gaps’ one liner is typically employed as an apologetic by this false claimant to authority.

Pluralistic Ignorance – most often, a situation in which a majority of scientists and researchers privately reject a norm, but incorrectly assume that most other scientists and researchers accept it, often because of a misleading portrayal of consensus by agenda carrying social skeptics. Therefore they choose to go along with something with which they privately dissent or are neutral.

ad populum – a condition wherein the majority of individuals believe without evidence, either that everyone else assents or that everyone else dissents upon a specific idea.

ad consentus – a self-reinforcing cycle wherein wherein the majority of members in a body believe without evidence, that a certain consensus exists, and they therefore support that idea as consensus as well.

ad immunitas – a condition wherein the majority of individuals are subject to a risk, however most individuals regard themselves to reside in the not-at-risk group – often because risk is not measured.

ad salus – a condition wherein a plurality or majority of individuals have suffered an injury, however most individuals regard themselves to reside in the non-injured group – often because they cannot detect such injury.

Poison Pill Hypothesis – the instance wherein sskeptics or agency work hard to promote lob & slam condemnation of particular ideas. A construct obsession target used to distract or attract attack-minded skeptics into a contrathetic impasse or argument. The reason this is done is not the confusion or clarity it provides, rather the disincentive which patrolling skeptics place on the shoulders of the genuine skilled researcher. These forbidden alternatives (often ‘paranormal’ or ‘pseudoscience’ or ‘conspiracy theory’ buckets) may be ridiculous or indeed ad hoc themselves – but the reason they are raised is to act as a warning to talented researchers that ‘you might be tagged as supporting one of these crazy ideas’ if you step out of line and do not visibly support the Omega Hypothesis. A great example is the skeptic community tagging of anyone who considers the idea that the Khufu pyramid at Giza might have not been built by King Khufu in 2450 bce, as therefore now supporting conspiracy theories or aliens as the builders – moreover, their being racist against Arabs who now are the genetic group which occupies modern Egypt.

Popper Demarcation Non-Science – purported science which simply seeks results supporting a preexisting or favored explanation. Suffers from the weakness that real science seeks to falsify, relate, predict and problem solve; understanding that a force-to-conformance does none of this.

Pork-Barreling/Blurring – the practice of shifting the context of an accepted tenet of science or broadening the definitions involved in the principle, in order to appear to imply that science includes proof of additional ideas personally or religiously favored by the SSkeptic.  Blurring – to the converse, using the same tactics with opposing viewpoints to imply that science has condemned or disproved them; when in fact no such event has occurred.

Pseudo-Hypothesis – A pseudo-hypothesis explains everything, anything and nothing, all at the same time. A pseudo-hypothesis fails in its duty to reduce, address or inform. A pseudo-hypothesis states a conclusion and hides its critical path risk (magical assumption) inside its set of prior art and predicate structure. A hypotheses on the other hand reduces its sets of prior art, evidence and conjecture and makes them manifest. It then addresses critical path issues and tests its risk (magical assumption) as part of its very conjecture accountability. A hypothesis reduces, exposes and puts its magical assertion on trial. A pseudo-hypothesis hides is magical assumptions woven into its epistemology and places nothing at risk thereafter. A hypothesis is not a pseudo-hypothesis as long as it is ferreting out its magical assumptions and placing them into the crucible of accountability. Once this process stops, the hypothesis has become an Omega Hypothesis. Understanding this difference is key to scientific literacy. Grant me one hidden miracle and I can explain everything.

Pseudoscience Disposition Malpractice – designation of a research effort as constituting pseudoscience by means of restricting access to, or by conflating or misrepresenting the diligent steps of science.

Pseudoscience Qualifying Element Errors – errors or malpractice in qualifying the elements to be regarded potentially as pseudoscience.

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.

Claim vs Claim-Subject Conflation – misinterpreting identification of a claim as being based on a method of pseudoscience, as tacit permission to declare the entire subject around the specific claim, to also constitute pseudoscience.

Idea vs Belief Blurring – the false practice of regarding an idea observed by a curious person, to constitute a ‘belief’ the observers’ part.  This in an effort to subjugate such ideas into the category of personal religion or MiHoDeAL set.  In fact an idea is simply that, a thought, and its false dismissal under the pretense of being deemed a ‘belief’ is a practice of deception and pseudoscience.

Belief vs Belief-Domain Conflation – misinterpreting identification of a belief as being based on a method of pseudoscience, as tacit permission to declare the entire belief-domain associated with the specific belief, to also constitute pseudoscience.

Sponsor Practice Hyperbole – the fallacy of regarding the process of observation on the part of a sponsor of an idea, to constitute a presentation or claim of ‘science’ on the sponsors’ part.  This in an effort to preclude such activity falsely by means of categorization into the realm of pseudoscience, for the simple act of being curious in nature around a disfavored subject.  In fact research is simply that, a set of observations, and its false dismissal under the pretense of being deemed a ‘pseudoscience’ is a practice of deception and itself, pseudoscience.

Pseudoscience Disposition Malpractice – designation of a research effort as constituting pseudoscience by means of restricting access to, or by conflating or misrepresenting the diligent steps of science.

Science-Pseudoscience Bifurcation – the mistaken belief that a non-science is the same thing as a pseudoscience, that a pseudoscience is a topic or avenue of research, and that a pseudoscience can eventually become a science. When in fact only a non-science can become a science, because pseudoscience is simply a pretense and a false method, and not a topic in the first place.

Pseudoscience Qualifying Subjective or Permissive Practice Errors – subjective, permissive or malpractice errors in the application of attempts to discern what is considered pseudoscience.

Claim or Belief as Pseudoscience Error – the incorrect assumption that a claim or belief constitutes pseudoscience, when in fact it is a claim or belief which is presented as consistent with the norms of scientific research, which is indeed the qualifier as to what is and is not pseudoscience. Everyone possesses ‘claims and beliefs,’ but this is not tantamount to pretend science being practiced on everyone’s part.

Otherwise Lacks Status Error – the permissive malpractice of disqualifying a subject, study or researcher from science by ignoring it as a discipline, or blocking its access to science and researchers, and therefore citing that it lacks any status in science or inside a method of science.

Lacks Scientific Method Error – – the malpractice of disqualifying a subject, study or researcher from science by citing that it has not followed the scientific method, through blocking its access to the scientific method, refusing peer review or misrepresenting its appropriate next steps or questions, and therefore citing that it has failed the methods of science.

Cannot be Reliably Tested Error – the malpractice of disqualifying a subject, study or researcher from science by citing that it has not been or cannot be tested or reliably repeated in testing. When in fact many conclusions of accepted science fall under such a reality. This often is achieved through blocking its access to the scientific method, ignoring the topic, conflating the scientific method with the experimental method, ignoring discovery science protocols, refusing to research/test the contention, or misrepresenting its appropriate next steps or empirical questions, and further then citing that therefore the subject has failed the necessary testing methods of science.

Confirmation Reliance Error – abuse of the Popper demarcation principle, which cites that body of knowledge/finished science cannot rely upon predictive and confirming evidence alone, by then applying this principle incorrectly to the process of science – or failing to distinguish controlled predictive science from simple confirmatory observation after the fact. This in an effort to filter out selectively, those ideas and theories which are vulnerable through having to rely in part upon predictive evidence, or are further denied access to peer review and replication steps of science simply because of this malpractice in application of the Popperian predictive demarcation.

Expert Relative Privation Error – the subjective contention that an avenue of research is not transparent to accountability inside science, that scientists are restricted from or too busy to access its undisciplined body or domain of evidence, or that the sponsors are hiding/ignoring counter evidence or are not forthcoming with their analysis. When in fact, such contentions are excuses foisted to countermand a need to pursue under the scientific method, a subject which has passed an Ockham’s Razor necessity of plurality.

General Absence of Process Error – a subjective open avenue of convenience, wherein any disliked subject can be dismissed through its framing as not following, or possessing an absence of one or more steps of the scientific method. A denying of access to peer review, or ignoring of a study, which is then touted as evidence of ‘not following the scientific method.

Religion – the compulsory adherence to an idea around which testing for falsification is prohibited. The process of a power wielding group abusing the rights of individuals through the desire to make compulsory, that which cannot be held to account.

Retrospective Causality – the argument that because some event has occurred, its occurrence must have been caused by a conforming plausible impetus, such as hype and hysteria, and not any other influence.

Rhetorical Tautology – employment of phrase or principle in such a way as to imply that its offing as stated is of patently obvious, self justifying or intrinsic epistemological merit, while evading issues of evidence or valid reasoning supporting the stated principle or phrase.

Rookem’s Razor – the method wherein the most expensive, fee generating or most oligarch profitable explanation is assumed to be the correct one at any given time.  Medicine in which a symptom is investigated first as if it were cancer, and through the most expensive testing, before considering vastly more likely alternative diagnoses.

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).

Salience Projection – our tendency to focus on the most outstanding or notable features regarding a concept or person as indicating likelihood inside the concept or predictability of a person.

Science-Pseudoscience Bifurcation – the mistaken belief that a non-science is the same thing as a pseudoscience, that a pseudoscience is a topic or avenue of research, and that a pseudoscience can eventually become a science. When in fact only a non-science can become a science, because pseudoscience is simply a pretense and a false method, and not a topic in the first place.

Self-Fulfilling Inductive Prediction – prediction which is confirmed through induction by means of a separate rationale which appears to place its hypothesis at risk, whose predictive measure in fact has already been proved to be true by previous deductive inference. Pseudo-hypothesis – such as showing that people who are told they are predisposed to gain weight, by means of genetic testing – actually tend to gain more weight.  And attributing this effect to the psychology of ‘having been told they were predisposed’ as opposed to the simple fact that they have the genetics which predispose them in the first place. A common study trick in psychology.

Skulptur Mechanism – the pseudoscientific method of treating evidence as a work of sculpture. Methodical inverse negation techniques employed to dismiss data, block research, obfuscate science and constrain ideas such that what remains is the conclusion one sought in the first place. A common tactic of those who boast of all their thoughts being ‘evidence based’. The tendency to view a logical razor as a device which is employed to ‘slice off’ unwanted data (evidence sculpting tool), rather than as a cutting tool (pharmacist’s cutting and partitioning razor) which divides philosophically valid and relevant constructs from their converse.

Social Inversion – a condition wherein the people who say and do the right things, look the right part, use the proper words, become the elite and/or are members of the right party/club and clothe themselves in proper method and virtues – tend to produce the most ineffective outcomes or even detrimental results. In contrast, those who can never seem to say, do, be or in any way portray things which are correct or socially acceptable in the eyes of the correct group, tend to produce better results or at the least results which are not as calamitous as the correct group.

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.

Sponsor Practice Hyperbole – the fallacy of regarding the process of observation on the part of a sponsor of an idea, to constitute a presentation or claim of ‘science’ on the sponsors’ part.  This in an effort to preclude such activity falsely by means of categorization into the realm of pseudoscience, for the simple act of being curious in nature around a disfavored subject.  In fact research is simply that, a set of observations, and its false dismissal under the pretense of being deemed a ‘pseudoscience’ is a practice of deception and itself, pseudoscience.

Sponsorship Fallacy – the rejection of an entire methodological basis of a scientific argument and all its underpinning data and experimental history simply because one can point to a bad personality involved in the subject, hoaxes, old misconceptions about the subject or an errant conclusion which was drawn from the discipline, irrespective of the actual validity of its core scientific data and argument.

Subjective Validation – occurs when two unrelated or even random events are perceived to be related because a belief, expectation, or hypothesis demands a relationship.

Tail to Body Transference – a statistical fallacy of relevant range in which one statistic is assumed to be fully descriptive across all conditions of its arrival range. An error wherein a descriptive suitable to frame a tail condition, is also applied to the main body of a distribution and assumed to be also descriptive therein. IQ measures which allow us to discriminate special needs persons, are not also useful in determining who should lead nations or corporations at the other end. Cholesterol figures which allow us to highlight who is at risk of arterial plaque do not apply to persons who have a familial history of higher cholesterol stats, etc. Mistakenly applying tail condition gradients to also be salient in the main body of the same descriptive data.

The Embargo Hypothesis (Hξ) – the hypothesis which must be dismissed without science because it threatens simplicity and verisimilitude. A disfavored hypothesis which will never be afforded access to science or the scientific method no matter what level of consilience is attained. An idea which threatens to expose the risk linkages inside of or falsify a stack of protected provisional knowledge which has achieved an importance greater than science itself: an Omega Hypothesis.

Zombie Theory – pseudo-theory or an old paradigm of understanding which is still being enforced by a portion of the scientific community as consensus, when indeed it is not – and/or the topic is undergoing a Kuhn-Planck paradigm shift. A walking dead placeholder theory which is abused and contorted to both explain everything unknown, and as well uses wicker man rationalizations in order to excuse its shortfalls long after it has ceased to serve any valuable explanatory potential.

epoché vanguards gnosis

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

   

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