IS THIS EVEN LOGICAL?

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IS IT EVEN LOGICAL

(WEASEL REASONING)
 

The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason.
                                                                    Thomas Paine                                               

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
                                                  John 8:32

 

Philosophers, such as in the days of the School of Athens, have made it their mission to keep reason honest and identify irrational logical fallacies throughout the ages.

Raphel’s fresco above depicts the Greek’s philosophical pursuit of truth, with Plato and Aristotle, appropriately, at the centre, where various perspectives were advanced with truthful adherence to logic. Though they may not always have agreed with each other’s premises and presuppositions, the honesty of consistent logic was always of paramount importance. Plato and Aristotle had their own underlying views of reality where the former was more interested in the universals than the particulars. See the blog post. Plato or Aristotle https://digitalbloggers.com/arts-and-entertainment/plato-and-aristotle  

In my opinion, our world is filled with sloppy reasoning that willfully compromises the truth, easily identified by the rhetorical appeal to emotions, biases, pride, superiority, and fears.

Politicians, corporations, advertisers, public ‘health’ officials, NGOs, racists, elites, alarmists, media propagandists, religionists (you will go to hell, if…), etc. can be very adept at obfuscating the truth. Not all, of course, but too often, ignorance is exploited to advance vested interests, be it for money, power, pride or something else to their advantage.

The only effective means to undermine and counter these measures to hide the truth is to see through the logical fallacies.

It’s important that we become aware of these sleights of hand deceptions since the world will prosper or suffer based on what’s truthful or false. The consequences of each become evident over time, reflected in the moral fabric of society.

Probably, many use sloppy reasoning because they don’t know any better. Because of this lack of awareness, they mimic whatever approach others use to get the response they hope to elicit. Like any distortion of truth, it can carry on from generation to generation. We don’t even recognize it as deception, irrationality, fraud, or dishonesty… even when it is.

Unfortunately, too few seem to care that TRUTH is the first casualty in such a culture. Logical fallacies are useful in partisanship battles but stripped bare; they are lies used to justify the ends of the perpetrator.

Perhaps worse is that many wish to be lied to because the fallacies support their beliefs. Many want to believe their governments, doctors, teachers, and leaders have their best interests in mind because it would make them feel insecure to find out they have been deceived.

In my opinion, almost nothing is worse than what’s viewed on MSM and social media for logical fallacies used to assert social, cultural and political positions. It’s as if objective truth doesn’t exist since it’s more important to convince everyone of a certain position whereby honest, unbiased reasoning has nothing to do with expressed opinions. Unfortunately, those incapable of seeing through bogus arguments are easily duped when appealing to fears and prejudices of vested interests.

So, is it fair to say false logic is driven by the fearful ego-mind? See the posts below to consider if that's what’s behind narratives of false reasoning. 

THE EGO-FEAR PHANTOM
https://digitalbloggers.com/relationships/ego-fear-phantom 

THE ABYSS OF FEAR
https://digitalbloggers.com/arts-and-entertainment/the-abyss-of-fear  

I think it's evident that fear distorts reason such that it becomes impossible for the fearful to think rationally. Throughout the ages, the 'authorities' have been able to control the masses by skirting reason simply by scaring the public with their fear-mongering. It always works. It used to be religion, now it's the unholy pharmaceutic/government alliance exploiting public fear.

To be brutally honest with ourselves, we should recognise intentional logical fallacies, be they personal or  societal, are inherently lies driven by agendas of egoic self-interest. Truth, love, objectivity and honesty are the first casualties of compromised reasoning, appealing to such qualities as guilt, fear, profit, power, and pride.

So, what happens to those who use false reasoning to win an agreement for some end? All I can say; the outcome can never be favourable when a soul compromises its integrity for dubious ends.

Truth always wins because the consequences of lies eventually surface where people not involved in the argument can clearly see what the motives were, and how people’s ignorance was exploited.  Unfortunately, it might take generations to figure out what was going on.

If something doesn’t sound right, question it and find the logical fallacies and identify what the motives are behind the statement. Don’t be afraid of being critical. It will sharpen your reasoning, help you live a more honest life, and live with yourself knowing you are a truthful person.

Where we can’t always prove something, we should be humble enough to acknowledge our position is just an opinion based on what we believe is reasonable.

In contrast, we need not be overly sceptical about everything, just open-minded that things may not be as presented. In fact, debunking can be useful, provided it’s not used as a weapon against a position.

However, if we use questionable logic to discredit a claim or position, then we are guilty of deceitful logic. Think of ‘fact-checkers,’ paid to debunk what they might consider off-narrative. The payoff is not always monetary but is often used to support established positions, such as we see in the agendas of our ‘cancel culture.’

Peer reviews are supposed to identify the fallacies yet can be used as an effective means of endorsing a false narrative position, particularly if government grants, agendas or careers depend on enforcing what’s considered expedient. For example, rigged computer modelling programs are often used in the climate debate and not objectively challenged because government grants depend on supporting their narratives. 

Who employs logical fallacies the most? Would it be those who don’t feel secure in their position or perspective? If so, is that why they need to cheat, intentionally or unintentionally, to win or gain the upper hand? Just asking.

I’ve often witnessed how these logical fallacies are used to manipulate others into believing they are intellectually superior. Intellects are particularly guilty of appealing to ‘reason’ as a weapon since winning is everything in intellectual debate.

Yet, it’s possible to have a fair and reasonable debate without having to resort to this intellectual skulduggery, manipulation, half-truths, and whatever other tricks might work. In the words of Michael de Montaigne: he who establishes his argument by noise and command shows that his reason is weak.

However, it doesn’t require a doctorate to see through deceptive arguments. In my experience, it is the down to earth, common-sense, uneducated person with an honest heart who can intuitively see through the deceit. They inherently know because they don’t live just in the mind, but in the heart too. See the post on Heart and Mind. https://digitalbloggers.com/book-reviews/union-of-heart-and-mind  

Perhaps the best way to identify false logic is to question the logic of what is being proffered. Eventually, the truth will come out.

For example, Socrates won his arguments by simply calling out the opponent about their reasoning tactics. This method is called the Socratic dialogue, as represented by Plato. Exposing a logical fallacy can also be a huge revelation for those who perpetrate it if they’re not aware of their dishonesty. Socrates’ opponents were often silenced because they had nowhere to go when exposed. (Not that they will admit to it if the ego is involved.) The benefit to the Socratic dialogue in exposing falsities is that rather than having to mount a counter-argument, the truth becomes evident simply by removing deceptive reasoning.

Let’s look at the all-too-common, logical fallacy of argumentum ad hominin. This tactic is used to make a point by putting someone or something down or attacking the person rather than addressing the position. This can easily be called out simply by asking what this observation has to do with the argument. Just because someone’s father was a drunk or their family was dysfunctional doesn’t mean this person’s position is wrong, invalid or that they have drawn wrong conclusions.

I see it everywhere these days, especially with the ongoing medical scams and prevailing cultural Marxists who advance their Critical Race Theory to bring hate and division to society. There, I said it! 

To use a person’s family background, race, political affiliation, education status, etc., to denigrate their argument, outlook, or perspective does not logically follow and has nothing to do with the rational integrity of their position. Simply drawing attention to this manoeuvre should be enough to silence the person taking this tactic. And even if we are not directly engaged in the ‘debate,’ at least we know where this person or movement is coming from, so we won’t be so easily taken in when we witness this argument. 
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In writing this article on reason and logical fallacies, I trust I haven't been guilty of creating my own. It’s possible; however since they often can be very subtle.­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

 
Common Logical Fallacies
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To help identify this and other logical fallacies, examine the following logical fallacies used to deceive us. After becoming aware of the logical fallacies listed below, you might become wiser by discerning truth from falsehood... reason from folly. It just might take a little practise but the dividends are great. 

The following examples of logical fallacies are based, in part, on an online article that was offered by Grammarly.

A logical fallacy is an argument that can be disproven through reasoning. This is different from a subjective argument or one that can be disproven with facts; for a position to be a logical fallacy, it must be logically flawed or deceptive in some way. 

As you’ll see below, there are a lot of ways an argument can be flawed. Take a look at some the most commonly used logical fallacies. 

1. Argumentum Ad Hominem

An ad hominem fallacy is one that attempts to invalidate an opponent’s position based on a personal trait or fact about the opponent rather than through logic. 

Example: Katherine is a bad choice for mayor because she didn’t grow up in this town. 

2 Red herring

A red herring is an attempt to shift focus from the debate at hand by introducing an irrelevant point. 

Example: Losing a tooth can be scary; it’s a good thing there’s a Tooth Fairy. 

3 Straw man

A straw man argument is one that argues against a hyperbolic, inaccurate version of the opposition rather than their actual argument. 

Example: Erin thinks we need to stop using all plastics, right now, to save the planet from climate change. 

4 Equivocation

A logical equivocation is a statement crafted to mislead or confuse readers or listeners by using multiple meanings or interpretations of a word or simply through unclear phrasing. 

Example: While I have a clear plan for the campus budget that accounts for every dollar spent, my opponent simply wants to throw money at special interest projects. 

5 Slippery slope

With a slippery slope fallacy, the arguer claims a specific series of events will follow one starting point, typically with no supporting evidence for this chain of events. 

Example: If we make an exception for Bijal’s service dog, then other people will want to bring their dogs. Then everybody will bring their dog, and before you know it, our restaurant will be overrun with dogs, their slobber, their hair, and all the noise they make, and nobody will want to eat here anymore. 

6 Hasty generalization

A hasty generalization is a statement made after considering just one or a few examples rather than relying on more extensive research to back up the claim. It’s important to keep in mind that what constitutes sufficient research depends on the issue at hand and the statement being made about it. 

Example: I felt nauseated both times I ate pizza from Georgio’s, so I must be allergic to something in pizza. 

7 Appeal to authority

In an appeal to authority, the arguer claims an authority figure’s expertise to support a claim despite this expertise being irrelevant or overstated. 

Example: If you want to be healthy, you need to stop drinking coffee. I read it on a fitness blog. 

8 False dilemma

A false dilemma, also known as a false dichotomy, claims there are only two options in a given situation. Often, these two options are extreme opposites of each other, failing to acknowledge that other, more reasonable, options exist. 

Example: If you don’t support my decision, you were never really my friend. 

9 Bandwagon fallacy

With the bandwagon fallacy, the arguer claims that a certain action is the right thing to do because it’s popular. 

Example: Of course, it’s fine to wait until the last minute to write your paper. Everybody does it!

10 Appeal to ignorance

An appeal to ignorance is a claim that something must be true because it hasn’t been proven false. It can also be a claim that something must be false because it hasn’t been proven true. This is also known as the burden of proof fallacy. 

Example: There must be fairies living in our attic because nobody’s ever proven that there aren’t fairies living in our attic.

11 Circular argument

A circular argument is one that uses the same statement as both the premise and the conclusion. No new information or justification is introduced. 

Example: Peppers are the easiest vegetable to grow because I think peppers are the easiest vegetable to grow. 

12 Sunk cost fallacy

With the sunk cost fallacy, the arguer justifies their decision to continue a specific course of action by the amount of time or money they’ve already spent on it. 

Example: I’m not enjoying this book, but I bought it, so I have to finish reading it. 

13 Appeal to pity

An appeal to pity attempts to sway a reader’s or listener’s opinion by provoking them emotionally. 

Example: I know I should have been on time for the interview, but I woke up late and felt really bad about it, then the stress of being late made it hard to concentrate on driving here.

14 Causal fallacy

A causal fallacy is one that implies a relationship between two things where one can’t actually be proven. 

Example: When ice cream sales are up, so are shark attacks. Therefore, buying ice cream increases your risk of being bitten by a shark. 

15 Appeal to hypocrisy

An appeal to hypocrisy, also known as a tu quoque fallacy, is a rebuttal that responds to one claim with reactive criticism rather than with a response to the claim itself. 

Example: “You don’t have enough experience to be the new leader.” “Neither do you!”

16. Cherry-picking

Selecting data to support a claim rather than drawing a logical conclusion from a broad body of evidence.

Example: “Just look at the temperatures here this summer. Now we know for sure global warming is a fact.”

 
How to avoid using logical fallacies


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The most effective way to avoid using logical fallacies in your work is to carefully think through every argument you make, tracing your mental steps to ensure that each can be supported with facts and doesn’t contradict other statements you’ve made in your work. Do this during the brainstorming stage so you can separate strong ideas from weak ones and choose which to include by noting the evidence you have to support your claims.

Don’t just back up your claims, challenge them! Pretend you’re arguing an opposing position and you want to expose the flaws in your original argument. 

If you come across logical fallacies in your arguments, reconstruct your positions so they’re logically sound. This could mean changing how you approach and explain your argument or adjusting the argument itself. Remember, using a logical fallacy doesn’t necessarily mean the idea being argued is incorrect—it could be an objective fact or a defendable opinion, but simply being presented in an illogical way. 

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Raphel's School of Athens

 

QUOTES ON REASONING
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He who establishes his argument by noise and command shows that his reason is weak.
Michel de Montaigne

Strong reasons make strong actions. William Shakespeare

The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing. Blaise Pascal

Faith... must be enforced by reason... when faith becomes blind it dies. Mahatma Gandhi

The supreme function of reason is to show man that some things are beyond reason. Blaise Pascal

If we would guide by the light of reason we must let our minds be bold. Louis D. Brandeis

He that cannot reason is a fool. He that will not is a bigot. He that dare not is a slave. Andrew Carnegie

Reason is the natural order of truth; but imagination is the organ of meaning. C. S. Lewis

Errors of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it. Thomas Jefferson

Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it. Do not count on them. Leave them alone. Ayn Rand

Logic: The art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human misunderstanding. Ambrose Bierce

The true triumph of reason is that it enables us to get along with those who do not possess it. Voltaire
A man has free choice to the extent that he is rational. Thomas Aquinas

Reason enslaves all whose minds are not strong enough to master her. George Bernard Shaw

I was bold in tundefinedhe pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way. Thomas Jefferson

Reason is immortal, all else mortal. Pythagoras

Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when he is called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason. Oscar Wilde

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SUMMARY OF ELYSIUM'S PASSAGE NOVEL SERIES

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This is a series of seven Elysium Passager novels regarding a young British philosopher named James Phillips, who finds himself living in an altered state of reality while still remaining on earth.  

After experiencing a near-fatal fall while climbing to the summit of a remote mountain in the Andes, James awakens in a new dimension. He soon encounters two mysterious beings who provide him with a very different perspective on the nature of his existence. Over the next year, before his body recovers from the coma, he is challenged to re-examine his understanding of life’s meaning and purpose far beyond anything he previously believed or could believe.

An engaging and sometimes surreal adventure with intimations of impending romance, the narrative explores the most important questions about life, death, reality, and our ultimate destiny. 

The Plains of Elysium (Champs-Élysées) was described by Homer, Hesiod, Virgil, and many other poets as the paradisiac afterlife realm reserved for heroes. As the title suggests, this is about a journey through a passage that leads towards Elysium’s exciting realm of adventures.

To read a sample press review at https://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/05/prweb15515775.htm   


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ELYSIUM'S PASSAGE: READER REVIEWS

The following comments are excerpts from among the first readers, including a number of Amazon five star reviews. To read the full reviews, go to READER REVIEWS on www.elysiumspassage.com or directly at https://digitalbloggers.com/arts-and-entertainment/reader-reviews 

"A delightful mix of fantasy, reality, conjecture, and humour; Mr Meyers draws the reader into the story with a gentle narrative that captures the imagination, leaving one anxious to get to the next page drawing you into his exceptional world.”

"Quietly, gently, and without imposition, the Author unfolds the pages, creating an intricate, interlocking bridge spanning the chasm between mind and heart. Renewing, refreshing, restoring. In my bereavement, it was vigil and light…."

“Excellently written with an exceedingly deep understanding of this world and the next. The characters are very well written and engaging. I can't wait to complete this book!"

“Takes the reader on both a philosophical and spiritual journey, a journey that at times is both disquieting and tranquil. James, a British Philosopher, can be irreverent and caustic, traits that should have left me cringing but instead made me laugh out loud. Elysium’s Passage is a fun, enlightening and remarkable book.”

“This is a masterful fantasy, becoming a real possibility, as the reader is drawn into the story. The Summit leaves you anxious for the next book in the series, yet also leaves you totally satisfied with the world you have just visited. Genius! An exciting yet calming experience that is not to be missed."

"There was hardly a page on which I did not find at least one sentence worthy of hi-lighting for future reference. In addition, I thoroughly enjoyed the main character, James, whose personality and passionate verbal exchanges with the other characters kept me coming back for more. I am reading the book for a second time while I wait for the next one in this series to be made available."

 “N.G. Meyers has clearly put a great deal of research and thought into what the afterlife may look like, and I like his perspective. It’s an altogether welcoming and exciting vision. The book gives one a great deal to think about and a reassuring confidence that the end of our lives is truly the beginning of life in the next. I highly recommend it."

"I am really enjoying your book, it’s fantastic! It is so incredible and diversified that I can’t really explain it to other people, so what I say is just read this book. Thank you so much for the blessings that you’ve given the world!"

“The humour interjected into a serious discussion makes me laugh out loud. Totally unexpected....l may be in the presence of at least a master, if not a genius. A fair ride into reality... seeking that which is unseen, yet absolutely real.”

“An engaging story of adventure embracing man's deepest desire to search for meaning and purpose, N.G. Meyers takes the reader on an adventurous, thought-provoking journey. This book has substance. It is a perfect blend of adventure and fantasy combined with spiritual philosophy. It ignited my imagination. The author magically weaves a good story laced with wit and humour together with deep philosophical wisdom. This book has it all!”

“An evolution in thought is triggered by many fresh philosophical themes which could inspire readers to re-think their reality and former ideologies that have dictated their lives… the author fires readers’ imaginations to view what could be possible when spirit vacates the body.”

“This is the book spiritual seekers have been waiting for. For me, it granted a great read as well as increased inspiration to live every day with a heightened sense of purpose. I highly recommend it.

“The Summit is capable of hooking readers and luring them to search for Book 2 to discover more about Dr Philip’s surreal trek into the mysterious unknown universe. This thick book is well worth the read and to share…”

“Mind-blowing statements and speculation (‘…everyone is a non-physical thought form conceived in the Mind of God, preserved for all eternity because God’s thoughts never die…’). Many will find Meyers’ journey up the Mountain intriguing—and possibly even life-changing.” (BLUEINK REVIEW)

“In its effort to grapple with fundamental questions about the meaning of life, it raises questions that have echoed throughout the ages, including about where we come from, where we are going, who we are.”  (CLARION REVIEW)

 
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PENDING PUBLICATIONS IN THE SERIES

 
The following titles in the Elysium's Passage series are projected to be released as follows: 

THE ASCENT summer 2022

THE SUMMIT fall 2022

QUANTUM LEAPS spring 2023

SURREAL ADVENTURES summer 2023 

MYSTICAL ROMANCE fall 2023

HE ELIXIR spring 2024

THE RETURN sometime in 2024/25

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