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Offline coberst

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Negative Thinking is NOT Critical Thinking
« on: 08/11/2008 14:07:20 »
Negative Thinking is NOT Critical Thinking

Negative thinking often displays itself in ad hominem attacks. Often a forum has one or more individuals who have grown to think of themselves as the local ‘shaman’; these individuals try all kinds of ways to reject others who they fear will take away some of their ‘power’, so they use all forms of negative attacks to reject that new person.

I have seen instances of individuals who are very anti-intellectual devise means for rejecting any form of ideas that appear to be intellectual.

Ideologues are always fighting against other ideologues and they use every means to reject non-conforming ideas. I see that especially in anti-theism ideologues. I had one instance of an individual rejecting the works of Becker because Becker uses the word "faith", such a word was like the appearance of a snake under the bed.

We are indoctrinated in our ideologies and we are constantly fighting either for ours or against another, this leads to various techniques to throw off any invading new ideas. Also I am convinced that our schools and colleges have made people unconsciously fearful of any serious concepts that have not been introduced to them by a teacher. Self-learning is unconsciously an alien concept.


 

Offline Make it Lady

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« Reply #1 on: 08/11/2008 18:55:28 »
As a teacher I would often use the different knowledge sets the pupils had to add depth to a lesson. I would also allow the faster and more interlectual pupils to use the library and do self study given wide guidelines. I would get them to report back and teach the class something they had discovered for themselves.

As 'Sharon' of this forum, I suggest if you have a problem with an individual on this forum, that you e-mail them direct and sort it out. I have done that in the past. However please remember when you post that this is, on the whole, a science forum and moving away from science can get peoples backs up.
 

Offline dentstudent

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« Reply #2 on: 10/11/2008 07:44:19 »
Just so everyone can play, here are the rules.


These are from the website "The Skeptics Guide to the Universe".

"Top 20 Logical Fallacies" (in alphabetical order)

1. Ad hominem An ad hominem argument is any that attempts to counter anothers claims or conclusions by attacking the person, rather than addressing the argument itself. True believers will often commit this fallacy by countering the arguments of skeptics by stating that skeptics are closed minded. Skeptics, on the other hand, may fall into the trap of dismissing the claims of UFO believers, for example, by stating that people who believe in UFO's are crazy or stupid. 

2. Ad ignorantiam The argument from ignorance basically states that a specific belief is true because we don't know that it isn't true. Defenders of extrasensory perception, for example, will often overemphasize how much we do not know about the human brain. UFO proponents will often argue that an object sighted in the sky is unknown, and therefore it is an alien spacecraft. 

3. Argument from authority Stating that a claim is true because a person or group of perceived authority says it is true. Often this argument is implied by emphasizing the many years of experience, or the formal degrees held by the individual making a specific claim. It is reasonable to give more credence to the claims of those with the proper background, education, and credentials, or to be suspicious of the claims of someone making authoritative statements in an area for which they cannot demonstrate expertise. But the truth of a claim should ultimately rest on logic and evidence, not the authority of the person promoting it. 

4. Argument from final Consequences Such arguments (also called teleological) are based on a reversal of cause and effect, because they argue that something is caused by the ultimate effect that it has, or purpose that is serves. For example: God must exist, because otherwise life would have no meaning.
 
5. Argument from Personal Incredulity I cannot explain or understand this, therefore it cannot be true. Creationists are fond of arguing that they cannot imagine the complexity of life resulting from blind evolution, but that does not mean life did not evolve. 

6. Confusing association with causation This is similar to the post-hoc fallacy in that it assumes cause and effect for two variables simply because they are correlated, although the relationship here is not strictly that of one variable following the other in time. This fallacy is often used to give a statistical correlation a causal interpretation. For example, during the 1990’s both religious attendance and illegal drug use have been on the rise. It would be a fallacy to conclude that therefore, religious attendance causes illegal drug use. It is also possible that drug use leads to an increase in religious attendance, or that both drug use and religious attendance are increased by a third variable, such as an increase in societal unrest. It is also possible that both variables are independent of one another, and it is mere coincidence that they are both increasing at the same time. A corollary to this is the invocation of this logical fallacy to argue that an association does not represent causation, rather it is more accurate to say that correlation does not necessarily mean causation, but it can. Also, multiple independent correlations can point reliably to a causation, and is a reasonable line of argument. 

7. Confusing currently unexplained with unexplainable Because we do not currently have an adequate explanation for a phenomenon does not mean that it is forever unexplainable, or that it therefore defies the laws of nature or requires a paranormal explanation. An example of this is the "God of the Gapsâ" strategy of creationists that whatever we cannot currently explain is unexplainable and was therefore an act of god. 

8. False Continuum The idea that because there is no definitive demarcation line between two extremes, that the distinction between the extremes is not real or meaningful: There is a fuzzy line between cults and religion, therefore they are really the same thing. 

9. False Dichotomy Arbitrarily reducing a set of many possibilities to only two. For example, evolution is not possible, therefore we must have been created (assumes these are the only two possibilities). This fallacy can also be used to oversimplify a continuum of variation to two black and white choices. For example, science and pseudoscience are not two discrete entities, but rather the methods and claims of all those who attempt to explain reality fall along a continuum from one extreme to the other. 

10. Inconsistency Applying criteria or rules to one belief, claim, argument, or position but not to others. For example, some consumer advocates argue that we need stronger regulation of prescription drugs to ensure their safety and effectiveness, but at the same time argue that medicinal herbs should be sold with no regulation for either safety or effectiveness. 

11. The Moving Goalpost A method of denial arbitrarily moving the criteria for "proof" or acceptance out of range of whatever evidence currently exists.
 
12. Non-Sequitur In Latin this term translates to "doesn't follow". This refers to an argument in which the conclusion does not necessarily follow from the premises. In other words, a logical connection is implied where none exists. 

13. Post-hoc ergo propter hoc This fallacy follows the basic format of: A preceded B, therefore A caused B, and therefore assumes cause and effect for two events just because they are temporally related (the latin translates to "after this, therefore because of this").
 
14. Reductio ad absurdum In formal logic, the reductio ad absurdum is a legitimate argument. It follows the form that if the premises are assumed to be true it necessarily leads to an absurd (false) conclusion and therefore one or more premises must be false. The term is now often used to refer to the abuse of this style of argument, by stretching the logic in order to force an absurd conclusion. For example a UFO enthusiast once argued that if I am skeptical about the existence of alien visitors, I must also be skeptical of the existence of the Great Wall of China, since I have not personally seen either. This is a false reductio ad absurdum because he is ignoring evidence other than personal eyewitness evidence, and also logical inference. In short, being skeptical of UFO's does not require rejecting the existence of the Great Wall. 

15. Slippery Slope This logical fallacy is the argument that a position is not consistent or tenable because accepting the position means that the extreme of the position must also be accepted. But moderate positions do not necessarily lead down the slippery slope to the extreme. 

16. Straw Man Arguing against a position which you create specifically to be easy to argue against, rather than the position actually held by those who oppose your point of view. 

17. Special pleading, or ad-hoc reasoning This is a subtle fallacy which is often difficult to recognize. In essence, it is the arbitrary introduction of new elements into an argument in order to fix them so that they appear valid. A good example of this is the ad-hoc dismissal of negative test results. For example, one might point out that ESP has never been demonstrated under adequate test conditions, therefore ESP is not a genuine phenomenon. Defenders of ESP have attempted to counter this argument by introducing the arbitrary premise that ESP does not work in the presence of skeptics. This fallacy is often taken to ridiculous extremes, and more and more bizarre ad hoc elements are added to explain experimental failures or logical inconsistencies. 

18. Tautology A tautology is an argument that utilizes circular reasoning, which means that the conclusion is also its own premise. The structure of such arguments is A=B therefore A=B, although the premise and conclusion might be formulated differently so it is not immediately apparent as such. For example, saying that therapeutic touch works because it manipulates the life force is a tautology because the definition of therapeutic touch is the alleged manipulation (without touching) of the life force. 

19. Tu quoque Literally, you too. This is an attempt to justify wrong action because someone else also does it. "My evidence may be invalid, but so is yours." 

20. Unstated Major Premise This fallacy occurs when one makes an argument which assumes a premise which is not explicitly stated. For example, arguing that we should label food products with their cholesterol content because Americans have high cholesterol assumes that: 1) cholesterol in food causes high serum cholesterol; 2) labeling will reduce consumption of cholesterol; and 3) that having a high serum cholesterol is unhealthy. This fallacy is also sometimes called begging the question. 

http://www.theskepticsguide.org/logicalfallacies.asp
 

blakestyger

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Negative Thinking is NOT Critical Thinking
« Reply #3 on: 10/11/2008 09:32:53 »
dentstudent - that is excellent and should be required reading for everybody, everywhere, for ever.
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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« Reply #4 on: 10/11/2008 11:48:45 »
I second that. If more people could see bullrubbish for what it is, the world would be a better place.
 

Offline dentstudent

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« Reply #5 on: 10/11/2008 12:05:48 »
This list was for me something of a revelation - I was suddenly able to classify arguements that I "knew" were somehow wrong, but hadn't had the appropriate tool to measure them against.

Since this site is science based, perhaps there should be a permanent page or such focussed on critical thought and evaluation processes and which can be used as a reference?
 

blakestyger

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Negative Thinking is NOT Critical Thinking
« Reply #6 on: 10/11/2008 15:10:59 »
These are what you learn at the beginning of a philosophy course as they are some of the pitfalls that, often unwittingly, can be incorporated into a debate. That said, it's not confined to philosophy - you can hear these mistakes made in any radio/TV debate where politicians are defending their corner - especially straw men.

Another favourite is when a politician is asked to say would would happen if so-and-so...and they invariably reply "I can't possibly be expected to speculate on the future". That is until they're asked what they'd do if they were to find themselves in government - then they'd happily bang on for hours.
 

Offline Make it Lady

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« Reply #7 on: 10/11/2008 21:49:28 »
Yes a philosophy thread would be great. I could avoid it then.
 

paul.fr

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Negative Thinking is NOT Critical Thinking
« Reply #8 on: 10/11/2008 22:24:21 »
Yes a philosophy thread would be great. I could avoid it then.


firstly, this has to be the best post ever on this forum, and secondly, I don't think you are alone .
 

Offline Make it Lady

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« Reply #9 on: 11/11/2008 17:49:44 »
God you scared me, I thought you meant someone was watching over my shoulder.
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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« Reply #10 on: 13/11/2008 09:39:38 »
Coberst. Over the years I have met many people who qualify as self appointed experts and guardians of a forum who rabidly attack even when unprovoked in a bid to elevate their dominance.  Having had dogs for many years and bred them, one develops an understanding of how to control the upcoming youngsters without undue chastisement and punishment, and this leads for a very peaceful home. Caesar Milan, a brilliant dog trainer has perfected the art to using very few commands and mostly body language. Unfortunately a forum does not provide body language capabilities so we resort to text. Sometimes text can be a great tool for explaining, and sometimes due to cross boundaries, interpretation of the written word somehow fails to sound to the people reading it as it is intended to sound. Maybe this can also stir up an argument against the poster as an inability to make a point crystal clear allows others to see their soft underbelly exposed and ripe for attack.

On the whole, the people of the Nakedscientists form are courteous, considerate, helpful and even charming. Yet we are all human and some of us have good days an bad days, so it is also worth considering that the person you are conversing with may have just burned a hole in their favourite shirt with the iron, or kicked their toe up getting out of bed on the wrong side.   

Sharon and Paul.
The Great Philosophers of science would be turning in their grave if they read that you are not interested in the many years they spent scribbling down their thoughts and interpretations.

Dentstudent: Great post and thanks for the list, this is one list that is worthy of a place on any science forum.
 

Offline Make it Lady

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« Reply #11 on: 13/11/2008 21:26:27 »
I'm very good at body language but I don't think you would be able to control me....dog whisperer or not. Please do not refer to forum members as dogs. Some of us may be slightly barking but our bark is often worse than our bite.

So am I the dominant bitch? I doubt it!
 

Offline Make it Lady

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« Reply #12 on: 13/11/2008 21:28:39 »
PS off to do an inset on critical thinking at a primary school tomorrow. I'm the co-ordinator for the course. See I do care!!!!
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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« Reply #13 on: 21/11/2008 17:42:33 »
Sharon I’m smiling at your post and don't know how to respond to it without getting into deeper water. Do not want to unleash the dogs of war.

Personally, I think you are a lovely, talented, witty provocateur. And an asset to the forum, as for being dominant, it certainly does not show in your posts or choice of subject matter at primary education level :P


PS off to do an inset on critical thinking at a primary school tomorrow. I'm the co-ordinator for the course. See I do care!!!!
 

paul.fr

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Negative Thinking is NOT Critical Thinking
« Reply #14 on: 22/11/2008 16:51:29 »
PS off ...

Is this because the forum would not allow you to insert a swear word?
 

paul.fr

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Negative Thinking is NOT Critical Thinking
« Reply #15 on: 22/11/2008 16:56:23 »


Sharon and Paul.
The Great Philosophers of science would be turning in their grave if they read that you are not interested in the many years they spent scribbling down their thoughts and interpretations.

Andrew,
considering you think most of science is wrong, it is a bit rich of you having a go at me for not liking philosophy. I would like to see a philosophy and religion section, but only if we had the option to view those posts.

I find the idiots that post such topics here drive me to the bottle, they have no true idea what they are on about and just post to annoy people, something I would never do!
I would also like the option (tick box) to make members and their posts visable or not, i would then not have to read the crap posted by persons with A as an initial.
 

Offline Make it Lady

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Negative Thinking is NOT Critical Thinking
« Reply #16 on: 22/11/2008 17:02:12 »
Sorry Paul, I'm too busy listening to Bark to insert an appropriate swear word. Have to go, I'm chasing my tail.  
 

paul.fr

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Negative Thinking is NOT Critical Thinking
« Reply #17 on: 23/11/2008 20:27:23 »
That's very negative thinking, Sharon. Have you tried critical thinking? It's all the range at the pound!...sausages!
 

Offline dentstudent

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Negative Thinking is NOT Critical Thinking
« Reply #18 on: 24/11/2008 13:43:17 »


Sharon and Paul.
The Great Philosophers of science would be turning in their grave if they read that you are not interested in the many years they spent scribbling down their thoughts and interpretations.

Andrew,
considering you think most of science is wrong, it is a bit rich of you having a go at me for not liking philosophy. I would like to see a philosophy and religion section, but only if we had the option to view those posts.

I find the idiots that post such topics here drive me to the bottle, they have no true idea what they are on about and just post to annoy people, something I would never do!
I would also like the option (tick box) to make members and their posts visable or not, i would then not have to read the crap posted by persons with A as an initial.

I wrote a post recently then withdrew it because I thought that I was being too reactionary, but I can see that Paul has similar thoughts (though mine are targeted elsewhere). I would like a filter that means if there is any post that uses the words "energy" and "healing" together in the same breath, then the poster is automatically vapourised. Is this too much to ask?
 

the grouve

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Negative Thinking is NOT Critical Thinking
« Reply #19 on: 24/11/2008 17:45:11 »
Negative Thinking is NOT Critical Thinking

Negative thinking often displays itself in ad hominem attacks. Often a forum has one or more individuals who have grown to think of themselves as the local ‘shaman’; these individuals try all kinds of ways to reject others who they fear will take away some of their ‘power’, so they use all forms of negative attacks to reject that new person.

I have seen instances of individuals who are very anti-intellectual devise means for rejecting any form of ideas that appear to be intellectual.

Ideologues are always fighting against other ideologues and they use every means to reject non-conforming ideas. I see that especially in anti-theism ideologues. I had one instance of an individual rejecting the works of Becker because Becker uses the word "faith", such a word was like the appearance of a snake under the bed.

We are indoctrinated in our ideologies and we are constantly fighting either for ours or against another, this leads to various techniques to throw off any invading new ideas. Also I am convinced that our schools and colleges have made people unconsciously fearful of any serious concepts that have not been introduced to them by a teacher. Self-learning is unconsciously an alien concept.


Interesting, will ponder. The university of life certainly has it's place.

In the words of Oscar Wilde "It is sad to know, but the most important things in life to learn, cannot be taught" Or something like that.

 

paul.fr

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Negative Thinking is NOT Critical Thinking
« Reply #20 on: 27/11/2008 23:20:36 »

Interesting, will ponder. The university of life certainly has it's place.

In the words of Oscar Wilde "It is sad to know, but the most important things in life to learn, cannot be taught" Or something like that.



WOW!!!

I post about idiots who just post crap to annoy people, and along comes oliver! would you believe it?
 

Offline Make it Lady

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Negative Thinking is NOT Critical Thinking
« Reply #21 on: 27/11/2008 23:36:24 »
Please sir, I don't want any more.
 

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Negative Thinking is NOT Critical Thinking
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