Who is this book for?
Before I answer that excellent question, let me first show why the book is necessary, if you have a moment. Watch this thirty second clip. It shows as well as anything what our loathsome contemptible ruling class have done to us. The state we are in, and the far worse condition we are rapidly descending towards, must be resisted.
This resistance requires tools. This book is but one small one.
Most of us on the side of Reality do not appreciate the full import of the phrase Culture War. We see the Culture, but miss the War. That is, we see it, but we do not believe it, not in its true sense. Yet we are in a war. It is Good versus Evil. And Evil is winning. Often because we refuse to fight, or don’t know how. This book can help there.
Our enemies have always understood the War. They know its truth. They take it with full seriousness. They fight. We must too.
The fight is spiritual and basic. This book goes to the base, and avoids anything as high level as a policy recommendation. It is not complete. It is only a starting point.
It is meant for those who still hear the echoes of Reality and long to return, but do not know how. It is for giving to the less fanatical young woke, or aged old-school progressive, to provide them with unanswerable arguments in favor of Reality.
This may not, and likely will not, convert many. But it will give some pause, and create in them a hesitation to engage in battles against Reality. Sometimes in War, that little edge is all that is needed.
There is no point giving this book to a fanatic, such as a “Studies” academic. They would refuse to read it. They do not in any case believe in anything but might makes right. However, it is still a good gift to tease them with.
This is not a complex book. It is not scholarly. If you are well read on the right, you will already know everything in it. Still, it has everything in one place, and presents all arguments succinctly, a valuable aide to memory.
It also has certain and definite limitations, which I write about below in the first chapter. We don’t win the War with arguments (such as are in this book) with our enemies, but you first need to win these battles with yourself so that you are well equipped to fight.
I will have more soon. Meanwhile, here is the first complete chapter. You may also download a PDF copy (with Table of Contents). Please do send to all your friends, and especially you enemies.
Get it at Amazon (paper, kindle; it seems to be at all country-Amazons, too), Barnes & Noble (paper and nook), Alibris (link), Super Book Deals (best price so far), ABE Books (at a slight premium).
A Good Beginning
Nice To Meet You
Welcome to the book that proves everything you believe is wrong. Well, not every thing. Only the most important things. If you are in the majority, then a great deal of what you hold true about the world and of life is false.
Let’s be careful with the title. It’s not what you know that is wrong, but what you believe.
This is because you can only know what is true, you can never know what is false—but you can believe anything.
By majority I do not necessarily imply a numerical body count. I mean the bulk of those who hold power and issue the opinions we know we ought to agree with, even when we don’t. The majority includes county- to federal-level bureaucrats and government officials, nearly every individual in the media and politics, the students and professors at all but a handful of universities, those ascendant in business and the professions, those who run almost every “non-governmental” and professional organization, and nearly all intellectuals. In short, everybody important. Our elite. Our Experts. Our rulers.
In the USA, the majority includes those calling themselves Democrats or Republicans, liberals or conservatives, even in many cases religious and non-religious. In other areas of the Western world, the labels differ, but the attitudes and beliefs shared by the majority are much the same.
The majority is steeped in modernity, in materialism, in Equality, Diversity, woke-ism, “critical” theories of various sorts, in weird ideas like nominalism, in scientism, in the here-and-now, and in the love of self and money. And in the hatred of the minority; i.e., those without power.
Some, well used to hearing the start of these kinds of debates, will say the division is between Democrats and Republicans, or liberals and conservatives. Yet traditional political parties and cultural distinctions have nothing to do with our Great Divide. Below I will argue the true fracture is between debased and based, terms I will define shortly.
In the States, we accept each major party claims to represent roughly half the adult population. The parties bicker without ceasing, and it’s clear the disputants believe their arguments are of the utmost consequence. These battles are real enough, but they are internecine trivial disputes over the wrong questions, all premised on largely incorrect assumptions. The true debate should instead be over the fundamental principles that both parties accept and don’t think about, principles which are wrong. Our discussion is about those principles.
If you are well in with in any profession, or are ascending to a leadership position of any kind in our culture, if you are a product of the “higher educational system”, or took seriously the “lower” education you received, you surely believe some whoppers. All the big wrong ideas you hold near and dear will be exposed here. You can therefore think of this book as a dewhopperification of your mind. A cognitive cleanse. A thought tidier.
Or a very bitter pill.
Here’s Where We Agree
Before we come to that, let us first examine the kinds of beliefs not as prone to error, or that produce mistakes not of interest to us.
Each of us know many truths. You surely know which bed is yours, you know that the moon is a satellite of the earth, that parsley looks nothing like sirloin steak, and that four is more than two. These are mundane, highly useful facts, about which you can say you know something and in which you can believe.
We will not speak of such humble truths. Nor will we investigate the typical uncertainty inherent in prosaic political propositions. Like who will win the next election, or what tax rate on the rich is best, or what is the ideal number of agents to post at a border, or even if global cooling (now called global warming, or even climate change) will doom us all. This book does not advance nor advocate any specific policy for any political matter.
This brings us to the depth of our investigation. We can’t know the answer to every important question with absolute certainty, and in some matters we must settle for less than certitude. Our craving for certainty, though, often leads to over-certainty. Over-certainty is important, but specific imprecision in scientific and other theories that involve public matters will not be commented on here (directly). Uncertainty in the unknown is a fascinating subject. If that subject is of keen interest, you can read the award-eligible international seller Uncertainty.
In order to be conclusive, in the fullest meaning of that word, each Chapter below merits a book of its own. Yet this is too much for us. Only the barest bones of the based position can and will be given. Sufficient detail will be presented, however, so that you can investigate each subject more fully outside this book.
Truths You Won’t Like
What will we examine? Things like this list of propositions the majority does not believe, but which are true:
Science cannot answer every question put to it; not now, and not eventually, either. It is not always right to correct a wrong. Women cannot do whatever they like with their own bodies. Men neither. There is no right or wrong side of history. Science is no more self-correcting than any other human endeavor. There is no wisdom in crowds. The source of a proposition has no bearing on the truth of that proposition, even if the proposition is spoken by a “Nazi.” There are differences between the races, and indeed all human groups.
A consensus among elite academics does not prove the belief of the elite academics is true. That you are offended is irrelevant to whether a proposition is true or false. Hypocrites are sometimes the best judges. If animals have rights, they have responsibilities, too. Equality is false and undesirable. Diversity is our weakness. Equity is destructive.
Here are more:
There are no such thing as gays. There are no such thing as transsexuals, either. Defining yourself as your sexual desire is nonsensical. Voting does not make the majority position right and the minority position wrong. Voting is a leading cause of discord. Democracy is rarely to be desired. The commonness of a behavior is not proof the behavior is moral. It is impossible not to be judgmental, or to not discriminate, or even to not try to impose one’s beliefs.
That (or if) certain apes copulate freely is no reason that men should copulate freely. Screaming “Bigot!” is never an argument. Miracles happen. You cannot choose to believe you do not have free will. That because our top minds cannot think of another reason for some phenomenon (like free will) does not prove there is no reason. God exists.
These are only some of the ideas explored in this book. The majority, and that means likely you, are wrong about all of them. This is no idle claim. It will be proved chapter by chapter. In order to do that, we’ll need to use arguments.
We begin with what differentiates good and bad ones. A rigorous investigation of the nature of arguments is left to the Appendix, which can be skipped. But just like leaving off cheese on a pizza, you would regret it.
I admit below that the arguments of this book are, at best, of limited value, to be cherished only by the remnant honestly seeking Truth. This book can also jar loose from the majority the very few who are able to still recognize Reality for what it is. Beyond that, there’s not much arguments can do.
All fallacies are bolded when first introduced. Each Chapter is self-contained, and they do not have to be read in any order, though it’s well to start with the So’s Yer Old Man Fallacy to avoid making it (as you will) as you read the book. You should also at least scan the rest of this chapter so that you and I agree on terms and methods. Few things are more embarrassing than the Equivocation Fallacy, a danger for those who pass over what’s below.
The Basis Of Based
I Am Not A Conservative
The word conservative might have suggested itself as a way to describe Yours Truly as you read. This is wrong. I am most anxious to correct this false impression. I am not a conservative: I am based. You ought to be, too.
Some of you might know that the recent neologism based was formed by shaving the first two letters from debased, to form a new word meaning the opposite of debased, thus completing the pair of a formerly unpaired word (as in gruntled from disgruntled).
Based is everything debased is not. I want you to be based. The purpose of this book is to guide you in that direction, if not convert you.
Debased vs. Based
Here’s a quick, imperfect run-down of what based is. Majority readers will find their hackles rising as they go through this list. Stick with it. You and I will have a chance to argue about each item in the chapters to come. So don’t close the book yet, because you’ll want to see why I think you’re wrong.
Non-procreative sexual activities are debased. Procreation is based. Sexual orientation is debased. Biology is based. Body positivity is debased. Beauty is based. Hyper-processed and industrialized foods are debased. Meat and wine are based. Individualism is debased. Obedience to legitimate authority is based. Drugs are debased. Discipline is based.
Diversity and unchecked immigration is debased. Family and a shared culture is based. “Progress” is debased. Custom and tradition are based. Modern textbooks are debased. Old books are based.
Screaming “Racism!” is debased. Embracing race is based. Equality is debased. Difference is based. Cowardice and effeminacy is debased. Bravery, masculinity, and femininity are based. Unthinking atheism is debased. Worship of God is based. Ignorance and denial of the Nature of things is debased. Understanding the limits implied by Nature is based.
Oligarchy is debased. Liberty is based. Woke is debased. Aware is based.
There are many shades and rich nuances to all these, few are absolute comparisons, and quibbles can be had with all. But I hope you take the point, or at least the flavor. We haven’t reached the stage of arguments yet.
The terms progressive, liberal, Democrat, Republican, libertarian, centrist, Big Con, conservative, neoconmen and the like are, and even to a large extent the terms right and left, are all now debased. This does not imply all those applying these labels to themselves are debased. What it means is that these tags are dead, they carry no force; they are in no way imbued with the spirit of based or debased.
To become based, we need to win souls. In part, and only in small part, this will require argument.
Arguments won’t win the culture war, but they are not unimportant. We are always happy to discover any argument which supports, or purports to support, a position we favor. Why not? It’s nice to have our desires met, and our intellectual longings are just as great, or even greater, than our bodily needs. So pleased are we to find corroboration, any corroboration, however weak, for a favored idea that we readily embrace it even when it is fallacious.
That isn’t always so bad. Many flawed arguments are attractive. Everybody makes mistakes, and the Lord is merciful. Owning up to once believing a fallacy is forgivable when there is true repentance. It’s the uncorrected errors that sink us in deep kimchi. What saps the mind is when we go on believing even after our support has been exposed as fallacious. This, too, is a typical human failing.
Worse, there does not appear to be a reliable solution for this innate intellectual incorrigibleness. Every possible corrective action has been tried, from gentle admonishment to outright punishment. Nothing sticks, not for long. Fallacies thrust deep roots into our discourse, and it is only by the long passage of time, sometimes lifetimes, that once-popular fallacies are removed from the public sphere—usually to be replaced by new ones.
We can rail about this, and try correctives like replacing bad arguments with good ones, as we try in this book, but it’s mostly in vain. Cardinal and convert John Henry Newman, now a Saint, knew about the futility of logical demonstration. “Persons influence us, voices melt us, looks subdue us, deeds inflame us. Many a man will live and die upon a dogma: no man will be a martyr for a conclusion.”
There is no chance, then, no chance at all that the blubberous purple-haired harpies screeching about white supremacy, the soy-wrecked toothpick-armed ackshually sayers, those in the grip of theory, or those whose livings depend on pushing error will be converted by anything I can say.
So why bother? Because it pleases me to solve these little puzzles, and exposure to these arguments will do good for the based remnant, which I hoping will soon include you, to know that their objections to what’s happening out their window are well justified. Anyway, we might even catch a few folks who are wavering between Truth and Falsehood, who want to escape the debased muck.
The best we can do is ameliorate our condition, knowing that even our finest efforts will have but little effect. I thus expect that this book will do no more than provide minor palliative patches to our most frequent flawed arguments.
We have already lost the war over the minds of the majority, even though we will in this book, Chapter by Chapter, win every battle. This is the sad fate of many armies who knew they had to fight impossible battles, but whose honor and sense of duty forbade them to withdraw. We cannot run away from this fight.
What Fallacies Are
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to work.
Every bad or invalid or unsound argument contains a fallacy or mistake in thinking. Nobody knows the complete list of ways thought can go wrong, and it has even been surmised such a list is endless. History supports this contention. There is ample reason to believe the human race is congenitally insane. The late-great philosopher David Stove (whom we shall hear from again) in his essay “What is wrong with our thoughts”, proposed a nosology of human thought, a science and categorization of deliberative derangements, though it is clear from his many examples that a complete list will be a long time coming, if it ever arrives.
Even if the follies of cognition are infinite, some mistakes are more common than others. Every age has its own favorite forays into fiction, driven by fashion, fad, and fantasy, all of which are enforced by the culture’s self-appointed Watchers. Our Watchers, the majority, are employed by universities, the bureaucracy, and the media-entertainment complex. It is true that some of the treasures under the care of Watchers are genuine gold, but the great and growing bulk of their cache is intellectual pyrite.
The balance of truth versus error shifts in time, yet the current age is more eager than average to ferret away any shiny object it finds and call it precious. It never seems to matter much, and it certainly does not to us, what lies under the Watchers’ gaze. The public almost always grants authority and deference to these masters.
Well, and what choice does the public have? Most of us haven’t the ability to think things out for ourselves. We need guidance, and it is only right to bow to true superiors. The problem comes when a soul steps out of line and moves in the direction the Watchers do not like, which is these days is toward the Truth. Would-be apostates meet stiff resistance. Fallacies therefore have tremendous inertia.
Some mental misconstructions are permanent fixtures. Items in this class are by custom given rich Latin names and are, or were, taught somewhere in the “educational system.” They’re taught badly, it must be surmised, because of the egregious ways people invoke the Latin (typically as magical incantations). In our age, the number of folks fallaciously crying Ad hominem! can’t be counted.
At least for the sake of history, the Latin tags should be learnt by those seeking advanced knowledge. But because that language is receding rapidly into the distance, most of the tags no longer resonate and, as we shall see in more detail, are often misapplied. I have therefore chosen more evocative and memorable nicknames, at least for speakers of English, of the most popular and important fallacies of our day. Since this list is indexed on the current mood, it will have to be updated at the point at which mankind moves to new, or other old and long-forgotten, sophistries.
Let’s do some warm-up exercises to limber us up and put us in the mood.
In the scale of human argument, it is so that there are very few instances where we can start with indubitably true premises and move to necessarily true conclusions. We have to look to metaphysics, logic, mathematics, and even theology for the perfection we seek but never or rarely find in ordinary discourse. We’ll here leave much of this perfection alone; it is too rarefied for us. Though the Appendix gives a pr\’ecis on the subject, which is worth a moment of your time. Worth two good moments, rather.
If we don’t want to tackle the toughest themes, neither do we want to swat at gnats. The examples in this book will therefore not be drawn from the netherworld of thought of the sort found on social media, coffee houses, water coolers and the like. We’ll stick with arguments that pass among the well-credentialed Watchers of our time as being worthy.
In the Appendix, I examine a caution that must be here emphasized: because an argument for a proposition or conclusion has been shown fallacious, this does not prove that all arguments for that conclusion are fallacious. It is merely that the argument in question must be jettisoned. But also keep in mind that if the fallacious argument was all a proposition had going for it, yet the conclusion is still held as true after abandoning the argument, the sole justification for it to be true becomes simple desire, a dangerous and terrifying mistake. The argument for the conclusion then becomes, as we’ll see, the Meta Fallacy.
In each Chapter there is at least one example of a fallacy. I try as much as possible to keep these broad or fictional. Real-life examples are transitory, and nobody likes to read yesterday’s news. I’d hate anybody to think I’m picking on them personally—even if they have it coming. Nevertheless, some examples gleaned from the news were too juicy for me to pass up. Timeliness is not essential for us, so even if the examples given seem stale, their lack of importance is only apparent. The logic behind the take-down lasts forever.
Also keep in mind the anchoring effect (which is not unlike the one in economics). The real-life examples I give are about particular people and subjects, even if fictional. The people and subjects themselves are usually not the main interest. The arguments they use are. But it’s hard to keep our minds off the people and subjects and on the fallacies when the people and subjects are themselves fascinating. The more specific the example, the more it is likely the reader will think it does not apply to him. Thus, though I use plenty of actual words by real people, I make up as much as I can. All stories are inspired by real events, though, and readers will I hope recognize similar situations. It is your duty to do so.
There are a few fallacies that ride above or are attached to the others mentioned in the book. Their import is small or large depending on the context. They must still be recognized, even though we do not need a whole chapter for each. I next outline these.
Horribly Common Mistakes
The Controversial Fallacy is a version of Poisoning The Well. A reporter (it is almost always a reporter) will say, “The Congressman holds the controversial opinion that two men cannot be married to one another”, implying by the use of controversial that the Congressman’s opinion on this or some other matter is false. False the matter may be, but it is not proved false by noting that it is in dispute.
Using the word controversial is just one in a long list of ways reporters (and others) signal their virtue—or, rather, vice. The reporter wants to call the Congressman’s belief false, but he knows the rules say he should not interject himself into the story. He does it anyway, subtly, by using the word “controversial.” If he is called on his fallacy, the weasel will escape with equivocation. He will claim there is a real controversy, and that he was only really reporting on this controversy. But of course he is lying: he used the word to flag his disagreement and to show his office mates he knows which way to think.
On the other hand, it is true in some cases the controversy and not the argument is the story, but when it is, sentences like the reporter’s are superfluous.
The Fallacy of Omission is hard to spot, because it isn’t there. This is when relevant, probative, and pertinent information or evidence related to a proposition is known but isn’t given. Nobody can know all things, and even (genuine) experts in subjects slip up. I do not mean honest mistakes like this. I mean purposeful omission. A prosecutor has evidence which will exculpate the defendant, but he hides it so that he gets a conviction. This is so routine in law and politics that we might also call this The Prosecutor’s Fallacy.
This fallacy is mandated as the official editorial position at every major media outlet when reporting on opposition. Good news about the opposition shall not pass! The fallacy is rife. Politicians and lawyers especially, but no less the media, do not want the truth per se; they want to win. If you are on the side of Light, you should want to win. And politics is different than calm argumentation. The point is the Fallacy of Omission is used to generate propaganda, and propaganda works. I repeat that: propaganda works.
The counter-argument is thus to say that not all things can be said about a proposition in every story. This is so. But evidence that casts great suspicion or directly contradicts or even refutes the proposition at hand, if hid, is always cheating. Always.
As I write, it is popular among a segment of the population to consider ex-President Trump an idiot, and, simultaneously, was an all-controlling evil genius dictator. Evidence is adduced to show the idiocy; for example, that he misspelled a word.
This and other similar data are collected, and the judgment is given. Yet all evidence to the contrary is ignored. Like he headed a company worth billions, a status which all but precludes lack of intelligence, at least to some degree. The difficulty may be with the word intelligent. It is often tacitly conflated with or married to virtuous, a terrible habit. Thus, the President’s intelligence is denied because affirming it is equivalent (to them) of asserting his virtue, which they are loathe to admit, or vehemently deny. We need only assert the truth “Mao was intelligent” to refute this error.
Accepting The Wrong Thing
The Conditional Fallacy is perhaps the commonest error, but it is difficult to grasp. It happens when a local truth is confused with a universal truth. The difference between these is explained in the Appendix.
Briefly, a local truth is a conclusion deduced from a set of premises or assumptions that are in some way false, or are not necessarily or universally true. Given “Murdering men is morally good, and George is a man”, we can deduce “Murdering George is morally good.” The false premise is obvious—but they aren’t always easy to spot.
A universal or necessary truth is a conclusion deduced from a set of premises or assumptions which are themselves necessary truths. Given “$7+x=4$”, we deduce “$x = -3$.” Notice (as explained in the Appendix), the first premise carries an enormous bag of tacit premises, including knowing the definitions of the words and symbols used. These tacit premises are often forgotten, or confused.
Now, the Conditional Fallacy is committed in practice because most of us are far less intelligent than we’d like to be. It is related to the Fallacy of Omission.
Is abortion wrong? The Conditional Fallacy is often found in arguments answering this question, such as in the slogan, “A woman’s right to choose.” That’s the premise given as proof for the proposition “Abortion is morally permissible.” But the premise is incomplete. Choose what? Well, the choice whether or not to kill the life inside the mother. Asserting this “right” is therefore circular. Whether or not other arguments exist for or against abortion is irrelevant. Good arguments for abortion, if any exist, do not and cannot make this fallacy into a non-fallacy.
The Non-Fallacy Fallacy may also be called the Stubbornness Fallacy or the I Can’t Hear You Fallacy. It happens when you make a decent point or offer a valid argument and your opponent only pretends to have listened or read it. He acts as if he’s discovered an obvious flaw, a mistake not worth his effort to refute. Your argument is brushed away and your opponent moves on.
Bullies like this one. You hear this in interviews with politicians and famous personages. The newsman has just asked a coherent question (it does happen) which if answered truthfully will damn the politician. So the politician sidesteps it. This is so routine I’m embarrassed to even include it because everybody can see through this ploy. The only reason I mention it is exasperation. Why do the newsmen never follow up until they get an answer to their question? Lawyers always do. “Yes or no, Senator…Yes or no, Senator…” Exhaustion and the easy acceptance of lies by our elites is the only explanation I can think of. The British, God bless them, are particularly adept at this fallacy.
The related It’s Been Refuted So You Can Ignore It Fallacy will be used in answer to all of the arguments in this book by lazy debased reviewers or critics. They will say “The argument he used has been refuted a hundred times. Don’t bother with it.”
Oh yeah, big guy? If it’s so easy to refute, then go ahead and refute it. We’ll wait right here for you. This is close to the Bullshitting Fallacy, where the critic hopes you’ll take his word for it, but where he does not want you to test him.
Means & Extremes
The Little Big Fallacy is difficult. Here’s an example. I say “Men are stronger than women on average”, which is true. You, fresh from the latest superhero movie, say “No! Some women are stronger than some men, which implies women and men are equal!” Propaganda works.
The fallacy also works in the other direction. I say “Boys are at the top of mathematical ability”. You say, “The average scores of boys and girls are the same; therefore, boys are girls are equal.” Accepting the scores are equal does not disprove the observation more boys than girls score best.
Concise definition of the Little Big Fallacy: If you argue the average, your opponent declares an exception; where you argue the exception, your opponent points to the average. In each case he does so to imply the opposite is true.
More examples: you say “Most men who becomes homosexual were introduced to the lifestyle while young by older men”. Your opponent says, “You can’t say that. Some men say they have always felt gay”, thus implying all who adopt homosexuality were born that way, ignoring the evidence that a great many men underwent a form of initiation. Or you say “Some homosexuals engage in `bug-chasing’, where they purposely seek out HIV infection”, your opponent will say, “You hater, you’re trying to paint all homosexuals with that brush”, thus implying you claimed all homosexuals were bug chasers, which is a lie.
Bug chasing is, alas, a real phenomenon.
That Argument Can Put An Eye Out!
Here’s an even more controversial argument, chosen because of its controversy, to make a crucial point. Deep breath first, then. And then again after. Blowing up without considering the argument is the Blowing Up Fallacy.
You say, “Most Jews in the USA are progressives, and progressives hold false and harmful beliefs.” The reaction to this will likely start with accusations of “anti-Semitism”, which might even be true, but which do not disprove the proposition. Supposing the name calling to have failed, your opponent might invoke the Little Big Fallacy and say, “You can’t paint all Jews with the same brush, which is anti-Semitic.” But you only painted a number less than all, not all.
Notice very carefully the point is not whether this proposition is true or false. I choose this example deliberately because it highlights the crucial Harm Fallacy or Consequence Fallacy. Your opponent hears you support a controversial proposition, and if he thinks no one can overhear, he may grant you the argument—he agrees with you—but he will say that it should not be spoken aloud because it could lead to harm if enough people believe what you both acknowledge as true.
This opinion about harm caused by the truth being known may itself become true. Assume it would. The temptation will then be to cast doubt on the proposition because of that potential for harm. When this maneuver is done, it results in a pure fallacy. The proposition stands regardless of how people act on it.
If the speaker of the proposition instead chooses to keep his mouth shut because he too fears the harm, there is no fallacy. “Noble lies”, however, are fallacies. Silence may be more or less prudential depending on a host of exterior (to the proposition) matters, none of which are relevant to the truth of falsity of the proposition. We see this same thing crop up later in discussing differences between the races.
The next, and related, mistake is the Implication Fallacy, a.k.a. Keep Yer Mouth Shut Fallacy a.k.a. the Hate Fact Fallacy, in which a truth is uttered but where your hostile opponent not only pressures you to keep quiet but uses the desire that the hate fact not be true to argue it is not true, in the same way putting a telescope to a blind eye allows you to say there is no signal from the Admiral to withdraw. For instances of this fallacy, see most official bannings from social media platforms and “cancel culture” in general. The desire that hate facts not exist leads to the second biggest fallacy of them all (the biggest we meet last in the book).
This is the Meta Fallacy. Though it’s not the commonest fallacy, is the most devastating of all in daily use. This fallacy occurs when an argument upon which a man has been relying in support of a proposition is shown to be fallacious, yet the man still regards the proposition true because the argument is fallacious. This sounds insane, and it is. The Meta Fallacy is related, in a backward way, to the Controversial Fallacy. The Meta Fallacy has its own Chapter, but its powers of destruction means it cannot have enough emphasis.
Look To The End
There is a technical chapter in the Appendix, mentioned above. You really should read it. Do so now. There’s no hurry.
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Categories: Book review, Culture
Bought it, for some cheery Christmas reading. Bought it partly for the content and partly in recognition for all the succinct content that WB brings us all free of charge every week. Thank you dear host.
I know full well from scanning the content that I will agree with most if not all of it. That is not to say that this is a good way to choose your reading, I like to be challenged and to challenge. That it is in direct contrast to Covidiots (and other establishment doctrine lemmings) who do not want their world view compromised by counter argument.
I have entered (ploughed) into many an argument with cock sure sheeple a lot and they exhibit two distinct characteristics. They ridicule and demand proof for everything I say, regardless of who the onus is on to provide it, and then shut down the discussion because the answer is either compelling or complicated. Dogmatic ideologists (is there another kind) will not be swayed.
I thank you for the regular dose of sanity WB.
Kevin the Cube?
You hater, you’re trying to paint all homosexuals with that brush”, thus implying you claimed all homosexuals were bug chasers, which is a lie.
Yes except the boot’s on the other foot, you’ve been doing the other thing for a long time now and non of your “followers” can tell? Those who can, daren’t say? For the same kinds of reasons as you outline in your “good argument”? example.
There is only one truth…only mad people think there is more than one, which is why the behaviour on line gets madder and madder.
“the madder yo get, the madder you get”
The Mad Hatter really was mad because the tool of his trade was lead.
Most of us know WMB has been warped by his time INSIDE.
Logic is a two edged sword … “Logic is a little tweeting bird chirping in a meadow. Logic is a wreath of pretty flowers which smell bad.” -Spock.
How about that? Star Trek predicted Twitter?
My last post was a sort of complaint that the use of a ‘poor unfortunate’ to compare to the insanity of today was unkind
Since I am waiting for delivery of a paper copy of your book, I am not reading this post. To me, reading this post would be peeking at a Christmas present.
Top drawer stuff, Briggs. Reminds me of Frederic Bastiat; sharp wit, light style, deftly downing big beasts. Bastiat made thinking fun and useful. His essays, “Broken Window Fallacy”, and the “Candlemakers Petition”, among others, made a great impression on me and are justly considered classics. This new book of yours aspires to the same modest yet exalted purpose of demonstrating proper use of the reasoning mind, which is a useful tool that may be used well or badly, depending on the skill and training of the reasoner.
A great obstacle to effective reasoning is overcoming early indoctrination in false narratives. Fortunately, most of us listening to dissenting voices such as yours have already had the humbling experience if discovering that most of what they had, early on, been taught to think was gold turned out to be, on closer examination, fool’s gold. That usually leads to a vow not to be fooled again. Not a simple proposition. You have to be able to examine ideas dispassionately, weigh facts without bias, and swallow conclusions that may taste bitter, at first.
Books such as yours, Doc, are a great aid to that worthy endeavor. And it improves morale for us to see that not all men are going mad, and that reason, truth, and God are yet powerful forces. And that, even if we do not have the power to eradicate sin and folly from the world, we do have the power to reduce their influence on our souls. That’s good work to do. As useful as cutting, splitting, and stacking a rick of cordwood. Maybe even more useful. If I were your neighbor I’d gladly trade that rick for a book or two. You do have a wood burning stove in your Northwoods aerie, I trust?
I already have the book but it is queued up behind Dr Malcom Kendrick’s book: The Clot Thickens (about the real causes of heart disease …)
My partner just ordered, looking forward to it. Ziba
Have to admit, liked it more than I expected to. “That you are offended is irrelevant to whether a proposition is true or false.” The argument fallacies. Based vs debased. “There is ample reason to believe the human race is congenitally insane.“ Propaganda works. I am tempted to read more. As another monk stated, it is futile to engage in positive argument with true believers. However, a delineation of the methods of false argument used by those who fail to doubt what they believe (even when confronted with objective facts to the contrary), could prove useful. Also, the cynical use of propaganda by those who know it is propaganda is worth exploring. Do you touch on the false belief that the “watchers” have the sheeple’s best interests in mind? Particularly when the sheeple have propagated to the point where it becomes a problem of overgrazing the commons?
Yeah, John, we The milliners had an excuse, but you’ve let the cat out of the bag now! I had suspected as much, all along…dismissed it as a mad idea? Hopefully you’re just referring to Vitamin D, exposure again, your new thing. Lack of it causes madness? No,, lack of it causes very little discernible outward symptoms in adults.
AS for your Spocish notions of ‘logic’, it’s saying nothing but as long as you’re thrilled! Spoc said it so it must be true?
I mean this:
Logic is a two edged sword … “Logic is a little tweeting bird chirping in a meadow. Logic is a wreath of pretty flowers which smell bad.” -Spock.
No it isn’t. It’s a cunningly structured sentence to pretend that the word logic is replaceable with “a logical statement” WITHOUT that impacting the truth of the statement… But don’t let that get in the way of a smile
That might be a logical list of definitions, but as we all know, definitions are required before argument can begin. especially when those with Limited, trust, or consistency, are involved in the conversation
In which case, it’s Alice all the way down. I’m with Alice if you need to find me
“There is ample reason to believe the human race is congenitally insane”
Briggs, this tipped the scales. I’m buying your book.
I thought that I agreed with you by saying logic is a two edged sword
Thank you for the pdf! I got the Kindle version of the book yesterday and the table of contents is unworkable (for me at least!). I can use the one included in the pdf now! At least it will provide landmarks!
I know I should have purchased the print version but I wanted to get it and start reading as soon as possible!
No, the point is that the spoc quote is listing definitions. That’s all.
X=’is’1. B= ‘is’6, and so on
Not logic, but fragments of a logical statement, or not, as the case may be.
The moon ‘is’ cheese. Is not logic. It’s a fragment of information. It’s a definition, a label, a place holder,
an assertion. The trick is to prove the definition or in most cases, to prove the argument given the definitions which are not disputed. This is man’s stuff, how come I’m the one having to point it out? Answer?
because most people here are females dressed as men! complaining about men dressing as women! Probably married to horses who don’t eat grass but catch cowboys for tea
Joy, for someone who gets called out so badly andso often to the point of admitting you stop reading and then run off to Essex, you’re certainly one to talk.
The hole you are falling in, with drugged up Alice for company, is the most fallicious one – FEELINGS.
You, of course, like to imply… like the ‘controversy’ example, what you cannot back up with any specifics and again fail to do so again here, like when you claimed you-know-who said “masks cause cancer.” Then couldn’t provide evidence they did, just like you likely won’t provide specifics here as to Briggs making similar fallicies to “all homosexuals are bug chasers.”
Can you provide the specific example, so that we may all examine it? Did you imagine it while taking drugs with Alice? Was it the pill that makes you small and makes everything bigger than it really is? Was ot an obvious joke that you took hyperliterally? I ask this since you readily claim that no-one else, safe you, seems to have noticed it, and while there is no wisdom in crowds nor necessarily truth in consensus, we know through experience that we shouldn’t just blindly “believe all women.”
Just got my copy. Looking forward to many insights and happy hours of reading, for which I am most grateful.
I think that the money used is also debased.
Feel free to go back, with Briggs permission and draw a little more attention to the “important new paper”
which you seem to think is truly important. As to whether you believe that masks cause cancer?
Seems now you’re trying to pretend that it was a joke, where in fact you were taken in by Briggs. Whatever Briggs’ intention was/ is not clear, as so often, but no doubt you supported him without question in the article that was presented. So if you’re still upset because I say you think masks cause cancer and dementia? Well, that’s why. You were nowhere pointing out all the obvious flaws. You did see fit to correct your perceived notions about physiological effects of stress in general, again, assuming way too much about your opponent without knowledge of who you’re dealing with. Too assuming, Johnno, too easily convinced by conspiracy and certainty on matters which never are.
No doubt john B() will enlighten you on the rest, about Alice
Where you’re going to with
“shouldn’t blindly believe all women”? Creepy
for someone who gets called out so badly andso often to the point of admitting you stop reading and then run off to Essex, you’re certainly one to talk.
I notice that, too! you’re not telling the truth Johnno, you’re just behaving like a troll. I said I was going home. I went home. I am not obliged to continue an off topic or any, conversation with you. Nothing to do with being called out “badly” whatever that means.
I call out what you do, as unchecked, unmoderated abuse and obnoxiously bad argument, you call it what you like.
Perhaps you think the quote from Briggs article today is all about you?
I’m trying to find what Briggs did with Briggs…Briggs is trying his best to pretend he didn’t notice…so stop noticing!
“the best way to stop talking about it is just to stop talking about it” WM Briggs
Uncle Mike accidentally posted this comment in an old post.
‘…Married to horses… ‘, with those schlongs! Oh! What a joy, Joy.
DeeeeBeeee, Had to look your word up
People usually say,
“what, with these feet?”
I think that’s funny, but then what do I know?
Was trying to think of a horse eating with a knife and fork, something that wasn’t grass. I think you went somewhere else entirely
Okay… Well… where is it? You didn’t provide it the first two times you were asked and still won’t.
No I didn’t. I accused you of blatantly lying. Please, for the 4th time, back up this accusation.
Well then, should be easy to prove, please link to the thread.
You have an outstanding memory of something that never happened! Please prove your theory about Briggs and I conspiring to claim masks cause cancer, even though according to you it Briggs was “unclear.”
If you are going to accuse someone of saying something and the accused asks you for evidence, then, yes, you are obliged. Not that I can do anything to force you from the other side of the internet. But depending on your decision to plead the fifth, we are then free to draw certain conclusions about your character.
Again with the Feelings fallacy. “That you are offended is irrelevant to whether a proposition is true or false.” When you can’t back up what you said, you are being called out badly.
No, I asked you to back up what you claimed about him, and drew a direct parallel to what you claimed I said without any substantiation before running off.
Well, when you eventually do find it, rather than just alluding to its precense, be sure to put both of us on notice.
Whoops. A hazard of multitasking. Thanks for the fix.
Side note to others. The topic is the FREE first chapter of a WONDERFUL new book. Sticktoit.
Please prove your theory about Briggs and I conspiring to claim masks cause cancer
She didn’t day that. She said words to the effect that Briggs said X and you fell for it ot at least agreed.
Many of your arguments seem to rely on straw men such as this one. You might be more effective if you paid attention to what was said.
All human beings should be well educated, and we are not well educated, so we have poor skills in logic, rhetoric, and reasoning. This will help people catch up in the skills they should have been taught in middle school or certainly high school, as probably most people were in 1930’s America, or thereabout. How to refute BS and know it when you hear it. A valuable skill, and if Americans had it, we wouldn’t be here. Oh, and God. God is an essential part of the equation, without God, we will not ever find our way out of this quagmire. So we need logic, reasoning, and God. Check that, we need God, logic, and reasoning.
It may help. It may not help. I’ve never seen one person change positions based on solid argumentation, have you? And, the people are largely under mass hypnosis, maybe even possessed. “Diabolical disorientation”. It’s a thing. Maybe this is why Jesus asked if there would be faith on earth, when He returns. Many will be fooled, even some of the elect.
Please know, I am not saying what Mr. Briggs is teaching here is elementary, it is applied critical thinking that is a life-long crucial and valuable skill, often lacking in the most intelligent and well educated people, but a skill needed by absolutely everyone. Only that this was once part of a classical education that all Americans received at one point, but which was removed from curriculum, possibly because stupider Americans were preferred over Americans capable of advanced critical thinking. (It worked)
Was listening to the supreme court argument of Dobbs vs. Jackson when the counsel of Jackson said sth on the line of “we have a study using causal inference showed that it is because of Roe rather than any other things that women today enjoy such and such benefits etc.” I was like hmmm wonder what Briggs will say about that 🙂
I bought it a little bit ago as a pre-order. I might even read it. Mostly I just want to support people I agree with. Maybe I’ll give it to my civ nat brother. He asked me today if I’d seen Dave chappelle’s new special and I said no I don’t support people that hate white people. He told me I was misinformed and I was missing out. What to do with these people?
You are doing the work of angels. Bless you.
“…we have a study using causal inference showed that it is because of Roe rather than any other things that women today enjoy such and such benefits etc…”
Even if true, it’s irrelevant to the issue at hand. Said alleged “benefits” (Like what? More opportunities to work in a cubicle at Globohomo Inc?) do not override the moral evil of murdering babies in the womb, something which no decent society has the moral right to sanction through its positive law, no matter how many people may be in favor of it.
Wow, it’s quiet here. Reminds me of going into the office over a weekend.
Causal inference – that’s a new one on me. My first reaction is that it sounds like alchemy, attempting to transform the base metal of correlation into the gold of causation.
Here’s a link to an Amicus brief and an article:
I haven’t gone through the above (yet?), but I assume they must be cherry-picking. I’m sure that the lives of many sociopaths have been improved by the killing of others, albeit with a horrendous cost to society.
I firmly believe that much of today’s devaluation of life can be traced back to Roe. Perhaps the “science of causal inference” could just as easily find a causal link between Roe, certain segments of the population using abortion as birth control, and the outsized incidence of violence within those segments of society.
Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Edmund, who had been looking more and more uncomfortable for the last few minutes, now spoke.
“Look here,” he said, “I hope I’m not a coward – about eating this food, I mean – and I’m sure I don’t mean to be rude. But we have had a lot of queer adventures on this voyage of ours and things aren’t always what they seem. When I look in your face I can’t help believing all you say: but then that’s just what might happen with a witch too. How are we to know you’re a friend?”
“You can’t know,” said the girl. “You can only believe or not.”
I’m deep into the Kindle version and enjoying it immensely. I’m storing up replies I can make when discussing almost anything with the wackos in my life.
However, there are so many typos in the Kindle version…. You know, the kind a spellchecker misses because the word is spelled correctly but it isn’t the word that the author meant to use.
At least I hope that’s the case…
5 days gone by now, and still no reply from Joy.
Yeah, that’s what I figured…
I’m aware of what she said, this is a continuing conversation and I am making fun of her because she calls us conspiracy theorists and accuses us of falling for conspiracy theories. She was also obviously lying, and didn’t take any opportunities I gave her to correct herself, but only dug in deeper. Then you failed to see the sarcasm.
Pro-tip DAV: don’t step in to white-knight if you aren’t keeping up.
Also, since you’ve already stepped in it, do you care to point out other examples of such straw-men on my part? Let’s hear them.
To be clear, I thought the idea of the book and the principles stated in the book were excellent. What disappointed me, and what forced me to return the book, were the very numerous examples of terrible grammar and syntactical errors. Were my name to appear as the author I would be quite embarrassed. One is used to seeing a few of these errors slip by in a book, but what we are talking about here is a situation where these errors are far more than occasional. Was there no one to proofread this book? By the end of the fifth chapter this problem was so egregious that I could no longer support it. It was to a degree, that in my opinion, it represented a disrespect to the reader.