Diaries Magazine

Logic is Fallacy

Posted on the 25 October 2021 by C. Suresh

"Here he comes! This is the guy I was talking about."

I don't know how you guys feel if, when you walk in to join a group, someone says this. Me, I feel that I should have stayed back home curled with a book. Daniel walking into that den of lions would probably have been less scared.

"The guy who has a problem with every way decisions get made?"

"Hey, wait! That's not true," I bleated.

"Tell me guys," said the chap who announced mu august presence, "If everyone in your group said something is right, what do you say?"

"That it is right, of course."

People really did say things in chorus, even when not in school!

I said, "But that is a logical fallacy - argumentum ad populum. Just because something is believed by everyone..."

I stopped, the knowing grins on everyone's face and the 'Was I not right?' gesture from the main lead stopping me.

"Ok! If, on whether to trust a person from a certain community, your dad says 'No'?"

"Of course, they cannot be trusted!" There is always a best student in any class, pushing to answer the way the teacher wanted him to!

Drat him. Otherwise, this would have been a huge mistake and I'd have escaped. I mean, really, setting up people's dads as authority figures that they would necessarily follow? Really?

The inquiring look in my direction prompted me. "Authority Bias," I growled, not really keen to play the buffoon's role thrust upon me but not knowing how to wriggle out. "What is said by an authority figure in your life - teacher, leader, guru, whoever - is not proof that it is true."

"Do you trust this new man who has joined this office?"

"No way! He is an MBA and you know how that last guy from IIM behaved. He will try to push himself up by undermining us."

I was silent and the Master of Ceremonies took over my role.

"AND our man will call it 'Straw Man' or 'False Equivalence' or 'Non Sequitur' or some such nonsense."

I could not make out the looks that were cast in my direction. They seemed a strange amalgam of anger and pity.

"This guy...he will not even accept the most common thing that we all do since childhood. I mean, when you failed in Maths and your father started looking for a cane, did you not scream, 'My brother also failed in three subjects...why did you not beat him?'"

"Of course!" The chorus was back in action again.

"What would you call that?"

"Whataboutery," I mumbled.

There was a horrified silence. Then on chap whispered, "What do you have against people thinking for themselves?"

I was stung. "Thinking for themselves. I WANT them to do it. Why do you think..."

"Then why are you opposing all the tools of thinking?"

"Tools of thinking? These are not tools of thinking, they are all logical fallacies - how not to think."

The MC laughed. "You don't get it, do you? That's because your basic assumption IS a fallacy."

"AND what would that be?" I shouted.

"You assume that logic exists!"

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