As I've said before, propaganda – and especially the transfer technique – is everywhere. Have you been noticing it? I will give a copy of our new book, “The Fallacy Detective,” to the reader who can give us the best example of propaganda. It doesn’t have to be the transfer technique. I want you to find a unique place where somebody tries to manipulate our emotions. Describe the example and say where you found it. Then describe what human emotion is being tickled.
I am looking for originality and accuracy. Just respond to this email with your example, description, name, and address. You must send in your example before September 7th.
May the best fallacy detective win,
From: "Chester and Karen Replogle" ckrep#bunt.com
This is my first response to a logic loop, so I hope it's in line with your intent.
Your point on looking to well-known people as authorities is well taken. However, in the case of Marilyn vos Savant and homeschooling, may I suggest another point of faulty advocacy, if not faulty logic.
If we assume that the statements attributed to Ms. vos Savant were made by someone with actual "expertise" in education or even some social "science," there is still a lack of both logic and intellectual honesty in her response. She bases her conclusion/opinion on her values, not on objective fact or observation.
1) "half of America's youthful potential would go unfulfilled" – what does this mean? One can neither define "youthful potential" nor measure it. What is meant by "unfulfilled"? (Of course this negates the reality that many graduates and dropouts from classroom education realize a negative potential, ending in jail terms and overdoses, but I digress.)
2) "bright young parent sacrifices a rewarding career" – aside from the fact that many parents have jobs that are not really "careers," who is to define "sacrifice"? Having children demands sacrifice! This is not an objective argument When one chooses to do any one thing, of necessity they are "sacrificing" the option of doing something else at that time. The other side of the coin (which she doesn't actually present) is equally without objective measure: Homeschooling parents who have learned with their children, and grown closer to those children, see the reward of their labor in home education as far exceeding any "reward" for a career in the work place.
I offer this addendum because we are bombarded with propaganda by experts and self-proclaimed experts these days. We should, thus, be prepared to examine the argument itself, in addition to dismissing the source. Fortunately for those not wishing to be bound by the "expertise" of the day, the defusing of arguments such as Marilyn vos Savant's is often easy. Unfortunately, the media wire services keep printing and reprinting such nonsense until it becomes accepted as reasonable, and logical and. Therefore. true.
Kr -Landstuhl, Germany
From: "James T. Fielder" jfielder#suffolk.lib.ny.us
Dear Nathaniel and Hans,
My boys and I want to thank you so much for a wonderful book. God has certainly given you both a wonderful gift for teaching and humor. I don't believe we have laughed so hard and learned so much simultaneously for quite a while.
You would appreciate my 'Surfer Dude" imitation (as I used to live in So. Ca.) and the snotty girl and boy with door opening. My boys sit wide-eyed and really to shout "Red Herring' wherever we are!
We are only up to Chapter Five, but they ask, no beg, to do Logic. They are a bit younger than 13 and are enthralled with the lessons... as am I. I thank God for your generous hearts and your bright minds and your caring for other homeschoolers.
Sincerely, Alyse Fielder
From: "Mark G. van der Hoek" engineer#cornergroup.net
"Pepsi has a billboard up in my state reading, "Hey Washington, more people prefer the taste of Pepsi!" Clearly, the fallacy here is "ad POPulum." Did you catch the other 'fallacy'? The sentence... isn't. It does not express a complete thought.
"More people"? More people than WHAT? More people than horses? More people than frogs? More people than....what? If you have a "more," you must have a "than." No one will prove Pepsi guilty of false advertising. They didn't say anything. It's very much like the deceptive, "Compare at $9.99!" It's a non-sentence, but it fools the majority.
Exactly. Pepsi wants you to fill in the blanks..... “more people prefer the taste of Pepsi than the taste of any other soft drink.” Of course Pepsi doesn’t say this out loud – because they can't back it up.
Copyright September 01, 2002, all rights reserved. 3164 views