Getting to the Truth of the Matter

Gray, Gray, My World Is Gray

Fallacy lives in the gray area.

So, what is a fallacy? We have things that are true, things that are false, and all the gray in between. Fallacies are the gray areas. Fallacy is not all bad. Fallacy is the basis of humor and wordplay. Fallacy is very effective in presenting the truth. Fallacy only moves over to the dark side when it’s kept in the shadows to deceive people.

A mistaken belief.

A belief is something that you accept as true without facts, through faith. If the facts prove otherwise then your belief becomes untrue, a falsehood. If the facts prove that the belief is true, then your belief takes a step up to knowing. A mistaken belief becomes a fallacy when the evidence dictates true or false and the belief is maintained.

Incorrect or invalid reasoning.

The reasoning process is very structured. It follows all the rules we learned in mathematics. Instead of numbers, we use words. If A = 1 and B = 2 and C = 3, A together with B equals C. Or 1 + 2 = 3. It is invalid and incorrect to mix it up and say C together with A equals B, or 3 + 1 = 2. What works for numbers is also valid with words. Instead of magnitudes (numbers represent the magnitudes of measurements), words represent truth values. Truth values can be combined in equations like numbers.

O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive! Walter Scott

Making a statement that, purposely, has multiple meanings is fallacy. Presenting something as true when we know it is false is a deception. A purposeful attempt to deceive is lying. Many fallacies fall into this category.

Attributing human feelings to inanimate objects
The human mind is swayed by emotions. Applying these emotions to objects changes the perception of those objects which then sways the mind when the object is referenced. This is an insidious way to deceive and sway. It is common in advertising and politics. Propaganda uses this extensively.

Activities based on fallacious assumptions.

Fallacy is a mainstay of pseudo-science. There may be some truth in a pseudo-science, but a lot of it is belief or deception. Climate change is an example. Obviously, there are cyclic changes in the climate. We have geologic evidence of long term changes. We have historical and recorded evidence of shorter term changes due to the sun. Attributing these changes to mankind is a fallacy. Could it be true? Possibly. But there is no evidence. There is no proof, only speculation. The motives behind presenting something without proof are suspect.

We are surrounded by fallacies.

Talking to people, listening to news, books, TV shows, and a lot more. Figuring out true and false, right and wrong is something that is part of our daily life. And is essential.

When fallacies are thrown in the mix, our minds can get overwhelmed and devolve to accepting the most repeated, or the loudest as the truth even though it is not true. Learning about the forms of fallacy allows our minds to automatically weed out most of the garbage.

Fallacies occur when information is misrepresented in some way or another. Sometimes unknowingly, too often on purpose.

Fallacies take many forms and the people around us use them all, knowingly or unknowingly. Fallacies are not always an outright lie. A fallacy occurs when one statement does not lead to another in a truthful way. They are usually a twist of something taken out of context.

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