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#41 Phi for All

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 11:30 PM

Can I suggest that any claim that a logical fallacy has taken place needs to have it explained.

 

Just disagreeing with somebody should not constitute such a thing.

 

Don't most people here name the fallacy, so you can look it up and see what they're talking about? They should.

 

And to be absolutely clear, the logical fallacies we try to avoid are a fairly small list of the total. Strawman is the most abused, imo, which is a subset of the Red Herring. These divert discussion away from the focus, and they're really annoying to people who can't let something wrong go uncontested (which is probably most of us).

 

Personal attacks are another, and are a subset of the ad hominem. We attack ideas here, but since many find it hard to separate their ideas from themselves, there is much confusion and many misunderstandings.

 

For the most part, however, a logical fallacy is bad if that's all you've got. If I'm arguing that censoring internet access is like burning books, that it will inevitably lead to more restricted access, that's actually a Slippery Slope fallacy. However, if I can back that up with historical evidence where book burning led to more book burning (which isn't that hard to find), then it becomes more than fallacious logic.


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#42 swansont

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 10:10 AM

 

Don't most people here name the fallacy, so you can look it up and see what they're talking about? They should.

 

And to be absolutely clear, the logical fallacies we try to avoid are a fairly small list of the total. Strawman is the most abused, imo, which is a subset of the Red Herring. These divert discussion away from the focus, and they're really annoying to people who can't let something wrong go uncontested (which is probably most of us).

 

Personal attacks are another, and are a subset of the ad hominem. We attack ideas here, but since many find it hard to separate their ideas from themselves, there is much confusion and many misunderstandings.

 

For the most part, however, a logical fallacy is bad if that's all you've got. If I'm arguing that censoring internet access is like burning books, that it will inevitably lead to more restricted access, that's actually a Slippery Slope fallacy. However, if I can back that up with historical evidence where book burning led to more book burning (which isn't that hard to find), then it becomes more than fallacious logic.

 

I would add that false accusations of logical fallacies fall under the umbrella of a red herring fallacy, i.e. a fallacy of distraction.  If you accuse someone of a fallacy often the discussion shifts to whether or not it was a fallacy, rather than the topic that had been under discussion. It's fairly important to have a decent familiarity with what constitutes a logical fallacy — not all insults are ad hominem, for example (though an insult would be a rules violation on the forum).


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#43 imatfaal

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 11:21 AM

 

I would add that false accusations of logical fallacies fall under the umbrella of a red herring fallacy, i.e. a fallacy of distraction.  If you accuse someone of a fallacy often the discussion shifts to whether or not it was a fallacy, rather than the topic that had been under discussion. It's fairly important to have a decent familiarity with what constitutes a logical fallacy — not all insults are ad hominem, for example (though an insult would be a rules violation on the forum).

 

and not all ad hominem need be insulting - the fallacy is the proposed connexion between a person's character and the validity of their argument eg "you're too good-natured and honest to be able to explain the workings of the criminal mind" .  Although the vast majority are insulting - and any non-insulting can almost be seen as insulting through the implication that the characteristic renders the person unable to form a correct argument.

 

With regards to the questions of logical fallacy (in a related thread) there is a nice distinction which needs to be recognized; questioning the arguments and conclusions of a paper merely through an adverse characterisation of the publication is close to fallacious whereas questioning the papers evidentiary impact through the same means is not.  Two preprints on arxiv with similar referencing and methodology etc have a similar import (very little) - when one of those papers goes through the peer review process necessary to be published in a top-tier journal and the other is published in a vanity pay-for-print journal then there is a clear difference between the two when it comes to evidentiary impact


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#44 swansont

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 12:34 PM

With regards to the questions of logical fallacy (in a related thread) there is a nice distinction which needs to be recognized; questioning the arguments and conclusions of a paper merely through an adverse characterisation of the publication is close to fallacious whereas questioning the papers evidentiary impact through the same means is not.  Two preprints on arxiv with similar referencing and methodology etc have a similar import (very little) - when one of those papers goes through the peer review process necessary to be published in a top-tier journal and the other is published in a vanity pay-for-print journal then there is a clear difference between the two when it comes to evidentiary impact


There's an underlying convention that scientists try and publish in the highest-prestige journal they can, appropriate for their paper. If it's rejected, you work your way down. So a paper published in a brand-new, pay-for-print journal raises legitimate questions about whether it was submitted to (and rejected by) one that is better established and more prestigious, and why.


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#45 imatfaal

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 01:02 PM

There's an underlying convention that scientists try and publish in the highest-prestige journal they can, appropriate for their paper. If it's rejected, you work your way down. So a paper published in a brand-new, pay-for-print journal raises legitimate questions about whether it was submitted to (and rejected by) one that is better established and more prestigious, and why.

 

Agree completely.  This point often comes up in controversial topics in which the massive weight of scientific evidence is clearly on one side and not the other  - eg climate change denial, anti-evolution threads, relativity is wrong etc. - and in these cases I think it necessary to be especially clear that it is the preponderance of evidence which informs our decision and not some prejudice against novel and unusual ideas nor against the sort of journals in which such ideas are published. 


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#46 CharonY

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 07:43 PM

One should also keep in mind that peer-review is not the end of the discussion, just the beginning. It is the low bar to pass to be considered scientifically valid. If something does not even pass that bar, skepticism is appropriate.

 

And with start of a discussion I mean in the context of other evidence that have passed that bar, not, for example, in the context of a random web site with garish layout.


Edited by CharonY, 29 October 2014 - 07:55 PM.

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#47 swansont

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 08:17 PM

One should also keep in mind that peer-review is not the end of the discussion, just the beginning. It is the low bar to pass to be considered scientifically valid. If something does not even pass that bar, skepticism is appropriate.

 

And with start of a discussion I mean in the context of other evidence that have passed that bar, not, for example, in the context of a random web site with garish layout.

 

Indeed. It means no obvious flaws were found. Since this is a model, the true test is whether it matches with experiment. I don't see where the model has been applied to historical data to see if it works.


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#48 Harold Squared

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Posted 7 July 2015 - 04:14 AM

I must agree with DrRocket's evaluation of "reputation points". To present the flip side of the coin, a banned member may very well have spoken the truth.

Of course once that person is banned we can only guess at what they have to say.

I am under no obligation to respond or even to read each individual post and am becoming more of a placid pachyderm but I do not bear the responsibility of a moderator, nor do I wish to.

Thanks to those who tirelessly seek to improve the quality of discussion here.

 
Indeed. It means no obvious flaws were found. Since this is a model, the true test is whether it matches with experiment. I don't see where the model has been applied to historical data to see if it works.

This should become easier in the age of electronic records, I would assume. Do you agree?
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#49 ajb

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Posted 7 July 2015 - 06:24 AM

To present the flip side of the coin, a banned member may very well have spoken the truth.


It is not so much about the 'truth', but the usually the attitude and how one responds to questioning. Being wrong is no a reason to be banned.
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#50 StringJunky

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Posted 7 July 2015 - 06:49 AM

Without exception, people are only banned for being arses.


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#51 swansont

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Posted 7 July 2015 - 09:52 AM

I must agree with DrRocket's evaluation of "reputation points". To present the flip side of the coin, a banned member may very well have spoken the truth.

 

That's not a flip side, because reputation is not a criterion for suspension. There may be correlation, because the behavior that gets one suspended often irritates a participant or several to the point of downvoting posts exhibiting the objectionable behavior.

 

Further, being right or wrong or is not a factor in suspension. People are suspended because they break the rules. Being right is not a shield against this, and questioning the status quo is not a factor. It's about following the rules and engaging in civil scientific discussion. (i.e. facts and rigorous analysis, not rhetoric or posturing)


 
This should become easier in the age of electronic records, I would assume. Do you agree?

 

Not necessarily. Data formatting is not standardized and rarely documented, and this is a huge headache for analysis. Electronic historical records may be in a storage format of file structure that's not useful. Let's say I have some on a zip drive or floppy disk saved in a proprietary format of a program that hasn't been supported since mac OS 7. How easy is that to process?


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#52 DevilSolution

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Posted 5 January 2016 - 08:43 AM

Me So Great!!!! 

 

Nothing about being sexist in the rules? i guess theres not many around.

 

Im guna skuttle along and make thread about how women getting the vote correlated with the downfall of our once great nation. (true, i got sources)

 

Whats the triple post about rules and all that? I been getting jolly past few weeks.

 

Should add a rule about not getting drunk, its not healthy for the community or the person drinking!!!!!!!!!! (also got sources)


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#53 swansont

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Posted 5 January 2016 - 10:43 AM

Me So Great!!!! 
 
Nothing about being sexist in the rules? i guess theres not many around.

 

Sure there is. Part of rule 2.1:
"Slurs or prejudice against any group of people (or person) are prohibited."
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Minutus cantorum, minutus balorum, minutus carborata descendum pantorum          To go to the fortress of ultimate darkness, click the up arrow ^

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