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View Diary: A Series On Logic: Informal Fallacies, Part 3 — Un-Appealing Gimmicks (60 comments)

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  •  Right; relevance is the key. (1+ / 0-)
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    grumpynerd

    The Sarah McLachlan ads certainly show an example in which the sympathy to which the ads appeal happens to be directly relevant to the ads' main point.

    The fallacy occurs when it's beside the point — as in "Vote for State Representative Bubba Joe for Senate because he endured 30 years of hardship on his family farm" (never mind his current salary, or how his family is doing now, or more importantly, whether his platform has anything to do with helping those in a similar situation now, & so on....).

    Tell Congress: DON'T BREAK THE INTERNET! Learn about the OPEN Act.

    by Brown Thrasher on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 04:53:21 PM PDT

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    •  Let's take your example. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brown Thrasher, dotdash2u
      "[you should] Vote for State Representative Bubba Joe for Senate because he endured 30 years of hardship on his family farm"
      This is not a fallacious argument, because it's not an argument at all. It's an unsupported statement.

      I think what we'd be intended to construct around this is something along these lines:

      (1) You should vote for somebody who is concerned with your problems.

      (2) Somebody who has experienced economic hardship is more likely to be concerned with your problems than somebody who hasn't.

      (3) Bubba Joe has experienced economic hardship.

      (4) Therefore it is likely you should vote for Bubba Joe over somebody who has never experienced economic hardship.

      This is something even more common than informal fallacies; it is a weakly supported argument. You might have to make do with it if you were totally ignorant of anything else, but there's probably much more significant information, e.g.:

      (5) Bubba Joe's voting history shows he's a heartless S.O.B. who serves only people with money.

      If that is true, then it almost goes without saying that it would be convenient for Bubba Joe if his constituency was so worried that President Obama was born in Kenya that they didn't pay much attention to what Bubba was up to.

      I've lost my faith in nihilism

      by grumpynerd on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 06:27:42 PM PDT

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      •  Wouldn't it also just be a sales pitch? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brown Thrasher

        The seven most common techniques of propaganda used in advertising are:

            Testimonial
            Glittering Generalities
            Transfer
            Plain Folks
            Bandwagon
            Name Calling
            Card Stacking

        Simple advocacy in the form of a sales job, the problem being it's framed as something else.  That's my take.

        ***Be Excellent To One Another***
        IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

        by potatohead on Sat Apr 14, 2012 at 11:03:48 PM PDT

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