måndag 5 januari 2015

Annihilate the one-way naturalistic fallacy!

One of the worst pseudo-arguments used by ivory tower advocates, if not the worst one, is the one-way naturalistic fallacy. The fallacy consists of purporting to be of the opinion that a "should" cannot derive from a "is" and using it as a defense against accusations of one's theories supporting a particular political agenda, but at the same time accusing opposing theories of leading to a certain political agenda. The standard formulation of the fallacy is to say that not all followers of the opposing theory must support the political agenda in question and that the theory should not matter for the political views, but at the same time emptying those statements of relevance by claiming that public support of the opposing theory "increases the risk" of said political views. That is, effectively using arguments from putative adverse effects but camouflaging them under a disguise to hide the fallacies. Even worse, those who "argue" in that way invariably advocate theories that can be distorted into a political agenda just as easily as can the theories they oppose, but simply ignore that fact. Worse still, and this is why it is on a blog about getting science going again, the distinction between in-academia debate and public debate that is implicit in the fallacy is part of pro-ivory tower rhetorics.

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