It’s easy to criticize those that think differently than us. But it’s in an honest assessment of ourselves that we can approach a closer approximation of what is absolutely true.
I’m big on logical fallacies. If something’s not logical, or the argumentation isn’t sound, it’s a strong red flag that the position being raised has no teeth to it and can be dismissed.
The various blocs on the Right in which I’d be crudely typified (conservative, Republican, Christian) don’t seem to be as rampant with logical fallacies as does the overgeneralized Left… progressives, Democrats, and the godless.
And yet there are two baseless debate tactics I’ve seen commonly on the Right.
Perhaps the Left isn’t as debate-illiterate as I think they are. Perhaps my vision there is how I account for the Left coming to such preposterous conclusions. I’ve already written against those inconsistent rationalizations, so here I will discuss the two logical fallacies I notice in great frequency in my own camps – the improper use of analogy and the fallacy of composition.
Using an analogy is a thin line that many fail to do correctly. Analogies should be implemented to look at a situation from a different perspective, putting the scenario in a more familiar setting to better ascertain it. They should not be used as proof that something is the way it is.
For example, we could remove a dozen zeroes from the national debt and equate the federal branch’s income and expenses with terms we use for our household budget, so we can more easily digest a subject which is typically intimidating. But, it would be wrong to think that the government does or should budget exactly like households.
I’ve seen this fallacy used frequently in Christian apologetics – a method of evangelism utilizing honest research and logic to prove the supremacy of our faith. It’s very easy to put God in human terms so we can understand the relationship between him and us. (e.g. He is a more perfect father than anyone has ever had biologically.) But he doesn’t always operate like us. His role as our father sometimes plays out differently than does even a good dad. God’s fatherhood does not look the way it does because earthly paternity is the way it is. In fact, it’s the other way around.
The next logical fallacy is that of composition. It’s mistaking a part for the whole.
I’ve heard this many times on The Daily Wire, an internet Mecca for conservatives where leaders like Ben Shapiro, Matt Walsh, and Candace Owens lambast progressivism. They’ll catch wind of a solitary person posting lamentations of their lived experience on TikTok and critique it as if that person were as much a spokesperson for the Left as Pelosi.
It plays out as follows in this fictitious example.
TikTok user: “People need to realize that we trans-species people have existed for centuries. It’s not new that I’m now identifying as a pegasus.”
Daily Wire: “As if a man thinking he’s a woman wasn’t fantastical enough, people are coming out as literal mythical beasts.”
Did you notice the fallacy? “People are” omits hard numbers because the instances are yet rare. But, in passing, it sounds like this newest frontier of the sexual revolution will be in our neighborhood next week. In actuality, it was just the one TikTok user.
Whether you’re on the Right or Left or you’re a centaur or human grandmother, study up on logical fallacies. Do an honest assessment of how you argue your convictions. If it doesn’t make sense, consider believing what does.