Friday, August 05, 2005

How they do it - lie, that is

Over on Meditation Matters this morning, I shared a biting little story about how immature people prefer to be lied to. Then I found an article by Allen Snyder entitled, "Logic Deficit Disorder epidemic among regressive right". Snyder outlines how the right uses logical fallacies to deceive. Here is a sample:

Straw man:

I covered this one in a previous article for Smirking Chimp, but it definitely merits repeating. A straw man is an inaccurate representation of an actual argument that, thanks to its new straw form, resembles but is much easier to destroy than the original. Thus, rebuttal requires only that the listener be ignorant of the genuine article and, among the Regressive Right, ignorance is like oxygen -- they desperately need it to survive.

So when ├╝ber-regressive Svengali Karl Rove says liberals wanted to coddle terrorists post-9/11, he attacks a straw man since he knows no liberal ever said such a thing.

When regressives oppose evolution because 'humans didn't come from monkeys', they attack a straw man since no evolutionist has ever said such a ridiculous thing.

When they equivocate pro-choice with pro-abortion, they attack a straw man since pro-choicers are not for abortion, but support the right to choose whether or not to have an abortion.

When they say the progressive solution to gun violence is marching into your home and forcibly taking your weapons away, they attack a straw man, since no reasonable lefty advocates such a thing.

Sadly, the list could go on much, much longer.

Snyder also covers the following:

False dilemma
Ad hominem
Groupthink
Smokescreen
Slippery slope

These are the symptoms of what he calls Logic Deficit Disorder. Read the whole article in order to be instructed on "how they do it."

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