Fun with fallacies 11: You either agree 100% with what I said or you hate women

false dichotomyThe false dichotomy is one of those fallacies that many people do not notice in a heated discourse. My impetus for writing another fun with fallacies and picking this fallacy was that I ran into a youtube video where the core argument on an abstract level was “Either you accept all aspects of an ideology, or you are an enemy of that ideology”. If you’re read my post on religion vs ideology, here is your sign

At the core of a false dichotomy is a choice between two things, but those two are not your only options. “You are either with us or against us” is a false dichotomy in that you can always be ambivalent. One area in which humans are very prone to this type of fallacy is in our love lives. I’m fairly certain that everyone who reads this has had a friend with “oneitis” who is playing the “If I don’t get with her, I’ll be alone for the rest of my life.”

A way to spot a false dichotomy is by comparing the choice to the choice of “Live or die” there are only 2 options here, if you think there are more then odds are someone is trying to convince you through using a false dichotomy.

 

 

 

Grounded theory and the PUA community

grounded theoryI touched on grounded theory as a research method in my short introduction to research methodology. To expand on it, grounded theory is an approach that turns the research paradigm on its head. Where a positivist and phenomenologist tend to start by reading exhaustively on a topic, selecting a theoretical framework and then performing experiments to see if the framework applies in the specific case they are studying in. Grounded theory starts with a question or qualitative observations.

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Fun with fallacies 9: Are you being shifty?

burden of proofShifting the burden of proof, is a fallacy so common that pointing it out is exhausting. The accepted decorum in debates and arguments is that the burden of proof is on the person making a claim. So, if I claim that there is a hobbit living in my television, I have to prove that claim, I cannot demand that it be treated as true until proven false.

This is also a very common argument that Atheists run into when debating believers, where they will run into a variant on

You are making the claim that God does not exist, therefore you have to prove that he does not

The reason why this is burden of proof shifting is that without a claim to there being a god, the Atheist position would not exist. The cause and effect cannot be:

There is no God! – > There is a God.

Where the negative claim comes before the positive claim. The positive claim always comes first and thus has the burden of proof. This is one of the funnier things to see in popular news programs or debate shows, where the people claiming that “X does not exist” are the ones that have to provide evidence.