Enough of the Faulty Logic allready!
Lynn has a new book!
Teachng Logic in a Whackadoodle World
In a world swirling with illogic, a frustrated mother hires an online tutor to help her daughter make sense of it all. The lessons they share provide a blueprint in critical thinking that we can all use in a wold surrounded by fake news, non sequiturs, ad hock excuses, and poor reasoning. Part story, part logic class, Teaching Logic in a Whackadoodle World takes its readers on a humorous journey though the many logical fallacies that permeate our politics and our world.
Check out this excerpt from Chapter Fifiteem:
The Moralistic Fallacy
“I think maybe we should call it a day,” I told her. “If you learn too many of these fallacies all at once, they begin to blur into one another.”
“Wait,” she said suddenly moving closer to the computer screen and lowering her voice. “I want to ask you about one more thing. Something kinda personal.”
“Okay,” I said carefully. It’s always a bit dicey when students begin to break the student/tutor barrier by bring up personal issues.”
“My cousin has been staying with us since the lock down happened. His Mom’s an emergency nurse, and she didn’t want to leave him alone during the day, plus she didn’t want to accidentally make sick.”
“Sounds like a good plan.”
“Well anyway,” she began her voice getting even softer. “He’s kinda got a bad temper. He’ll just go off on people it they don’t do things the way he thinks they should be done. He doesn’t hit or anything, but he just has no patience at all, and when he does go off, it’s kinda scary.”
“Sounds tough to get used to,” I said tentatively.
“Yeah,” she nodded impatiently. “But what I wanted to ask about is what he says when he is mad. He is always yelling about what people should do, or shouldn’t do. It seems kinda crazy to me to get so mad about what other people are doing, or not doing. Anyway, I was wondering about how he uses the word should and shouldn’t all the time. It seems like he’s caught in a loop or something, and that is what makes him so angry. I was wondering if he might be caught up in one of these fallacies. And if so which one?”
I let out the breath I’d been unconsciously holding. This would be easy to answer. “Well actually,” I said with relief. “He is caught in a fallacy. It’s called The Morality Fallacy. And strangely enough, some scholars consider The Morality Fallacy an inverse of The Appeal to Nature Fallacy.”
“Inverse means opposite.”
“I know that,” she scowled. “I just don’t seen how this Appeal to Morality has anything to do with my cousin.”
“Whenever people refer to what ought to be, rather than what is, they are appealing to what they perceive to be moral, rather than to the facts in front of their face.”
She nodded slowly, “So he’s stuck in what ought to be rather than dealing with what is.”
“Uh huh,” I nodded back. “It is a frame of mind that can get a person very frustrated.”
“So how do I help him?”
We were back in dangerous territory. I’m paid to give lessons, not advice. “When I figure that out, I’ll let you know. Until he sees it for himself, well…” I let my voice fade into a sigh. She seemed unhappy with my answer, so I added, “Perhaps the bigger question is how are you going to accept him the way he is rather than wondering how to mold his behavior into what you believe it ought to be.”
She sat back startled, but said nothing. I could see the wheels turning in her mind as she considered my words.
“Same time tomorrow?” I asked. She nodded silently, and we signed off.
* * * *
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