Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Internet Fallacies

Hello internet! Today we’re going to talk about syllogisms and logical fallacies. 
The classic example of a syllogism is: 
1). Socrates is a man 
2). All men are mortal 
3). Socrates is mortal 
This is simple and straightforward logic, although it is also dependent on the assumption that statements 1 and 2 are true. For example: 
1). Socrates is a man 
2). All men are fish 
3). Socrates is a fish 
Would be logical, but untrue. Men are not fish, though I’ve known a few mermaid Otherkin who would beg to differ. 
 A majestic people
However, factual errors are not the only way to mess up a syllogism. Consider the following example: 
1). Lassie is not a man 
2). All men are mortal 
3). Lassie is not mortal 
This is an example of what we might call a Set Error (more properly, the Illict major); the category of “mortal” includes dogs as well as men.  
"I love you, Lassie!"
Of course, in this age of the internet, the above logical errors are not very common. Instead, we must deal with logical errors of the following type: 
1). Socrates is a man 
2). All men are mortal 
3). What about women, shit lord? 
This is an example of an Off-Topic Error, in which the point of the syllogism is ignored in favor of pushing a political agenda. This type of error is common among those who are only familiar with a single worldview and believe that it is the only truth that matters. For example: 
1). Socrates is a man 
2). All men are mortal 
3). Socrates better get right with the Lord before he dies! 
1). Socrates is a man 
2). All men are mortal 
3). The White Race that birthed Socrates is being intentionally wiped out by the Jew 
1). Socrates is a man
2). All men are mortal 
3). This information only distracts the working class from throwing off the chains of Capitalist oppression 
Bear in mind, this logical error has nothing to do with the inherent truth or falsity of the final statement. Perhaps it would be better to say “all humans are mortal.” Perhaps Socrates should accept Jesus as his personal savior before downing a hemlock apéritif. The issue is that whether true or false, these statements have nothing to do with the topic at hand. Being off-topic is not the same as being untrue, though it is the same as being irrelevant.

 While these Off-Topic errors should be familiar to denizens of the internet, there are other, more fundamental logical errors that are even more common: 
1). Socrates is a man 
2). No he isn’t 
3). Yes he is 
4). Is not! 
5). Is too! 
6). Im blocking u 
7). Victory! 
In the Baseless Assertion fallacy, the truth of the statement “Socrates is a man” is never proven or disproven; it is simply asserted. Since neither party is willing to establish any facts about Socrates, each simply Asserts their opinion. 
Interestingly, these fallacies function identically when the initial statement is untrue: 
1). Socrates is a fish 
2). Uh…no he isn’t 
3). Learn to science, bro  
4). What? This is what’s wrong with you “Socrates is a fish” types. Just because I believe Socrates is a Greek philosopher and not a fish, that doesn’t mean I’m anti-science. In fact, scientists can’t even agree what type of fish Socrates was. Was he a trout? A cod? A perch? The SCIENTIFIC THEORY that Socrates was a Greek philosopher used to be accepted by all scientists: Newton, Galileo, even Einstein admitted it was probably true. Just because Stephen Hawking and Bill Nye the freaking Science Guy say Socrates was a fish DOES NOT overturn CENTURIES of SCIENTIFIC CONCENCOUS THAT SOCRATES IS A GREEK PHILOSOPHER. 
5). U man bro? 
6). HITLE- 
"The unexamined life is not worth swimming."
Again, the truth or falsity of the statement “Socrates is a fish” is at no point established, or even directly addressed. Appeals to authority or tradition do not prove the truth of a statement – even a true statement!  
But again, these fallacies assume an intellectual ferment that rises to the level of disagreement. The most common internet logical fallacies take the following form: 
1). Socrates is a man 
2). The cake is a lie 
3). ??? 
4). Profit 
1). MFW Socrates is a man 
2). AwwSnap.gif 
3). Share if you think Socrates is a man, like if you think he is mortal 
2). BACON 

Philosophy FTW!
While the Baseless Assertion at least has the dubious distinction of making claims about reality, in these examples the truth or falsity of a statement is no longer of any importance. Each example is more an ejaculation of emotionally charged syllables than a statement about reality. 
Given the downward trajectory of logical fallacies in the internet age, I can only assume that the next generation of logical fallacy will be something along the lines of: 
1). Socrates is a man 
2). [Thought criminal injected with a cocktail of euphoria-inducing chemicals] 
3). … 
Hemlock 2.0 will result in lower losses of human capital

1 comment:

  1. "The unexamined life is not worth swimming."

    I'm stealin' that.