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Thread: Just Plain Wrong

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    Re: Just Plain Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    The word isn't the problem, the way it is used in people's arguments is. When people use it as the basis for a moral argument, they are engaging in a logical fallacy.
    Which fallacy?
    "It is written in the eternal constitution that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." - Edmund Burke

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    Re: Just Plain Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    Which fallacy?
    Naturalistic. Which is different from the appeal to nature fallacy in that a naturalistic fallacy only has to resemble the appeal to nature, but is not required to be an actual appeal to nature. It can be an appeal to any number of things, like "normal" for instance. Instilling pleasure is another commonly used basis for naturalistic fallacy.

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    Re: Just Plain Wrong

    The naturalistic fallacy is not a strict, logical fallacy. It only applies if you accept certain modern, Enlightenment assumptions about distinguish between fact and value, is and ought and certain other nominalist and rationalist assumptions. It does not apply to those, like most pre-modern, Western and non-Western thinkers who did not accept such assumptions. Indeed it would seem close to unintelligible nonsense to a Plato or a Shankara (even those most afflicted by chronological snobbery can hardly, in a way that would totally convince themselves, write off such thinkers as simply being completely illogical and missing the obvious).
    Last edited by Wessexman; 12-23-11 at 01:55 AM.
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    Re: Just Plain Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    The naturalistic fallacy is not a strict, logical fallacy. It only applies if you accept certain modern, Enlightenment assumptions about distinguish between fact and value, is and ought and certain other nominalist and rationalist assumptions. It does not apply to those, like most pre-modern, Western and non-Western thinkers who did not accept such assumptions. Indeed it would see close to unintelligible nonsense to a Plato or a Shankara.
    It was once normal to beat your wife. Are you saying that you think that it was therefore also moral to beat your wife when it was normal to do so?

    It was once perfectly normal to own people who were darker than you. Was it therefore moral to own people who were darker than you when it was normal to do so?

    The examples of the flaws in the logic can go on and on and on. It's clear that the logic employed is fallacious, regardless of whether or not an individual is willing to accept the fact that it is.

    The added bonus of an "appeal to normalcy" is that if one definition of normal is used it is always an appeal to majority, and if the other common definition is used it is always circular reasoning.
    Last edited by Tucker Case; 12-23-11 at 02:00 AM.

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    Re: Just Plain Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    It was once normal to beat your wife. Are you saying that you think that it was therefore also moral to beat your wife when it was normal to do so?
    Yes, those are the sorts of modern, Enlightenment assumptions I mean.
    "It is written in the eternal constitution that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." - Edmund Burke

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    Re: Just Plain Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    Yes, those are the sorts of modern, Enlightenment assumptions I mean.
    Those aren't assumptions. They are just reiterations of the arguments used by those who make an appeal to normalcy with the terms altered and the date changed. The only assumption that is made is that which is made by the person making the argument (that assumption is that normal = good).

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    Re: Just Plain Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    Those aren't assumptions. They are just reiterations of the arguments used by those who make an appeal to normalcy with the terms altered and the date changed. The only assumption that is made is that which is made by the person making the argument (that assumption is that normal = good).
    It is clear, looking at the edit you made to your last but one post, that you are referring to normal simply in the sense of average. Obviously I would agree with you in criticising that notion if it was then used as the basis for a moral judgement. But normal isn't used in this sense alone, indeed seeing as it is based on the root 'norm' I would say it shouldn't be used simply as average anyway( but that boat has long sailed it seems), as I said it is a problematic term, at least unless it is defined succinctly.
    Last edited by Wessexman; 12-23-11 at 02:19 AM.
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    Re: Just Plain Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCourtesy View Post
    Actually statistics WILL give you the outcome of it being 50/50 regardless of how many times it has come up heads before. The difference would be, are you measuring something with independent variables (the case you just pointed out) or something with dependent variables (like a deck of cards).
    Sure if they apply the right formula. I was being facetious about it. I have seen teachers use poor examples to illustrate dependent variables though. It was the coin flip example.
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    Re: Just Plain Wrong

    Tucker; even when we are talking about normal in something close to the sense of the 'average' or 'usual', it is not clear that one can never use it for arguments like this. One certainly cannot use it if one simply tried to say that such and such was immoral because it was not usual. But one might be able to construct an argument relating man's usual intuitions or how, on aggregate, he has felt, reasoned and pronounced on behaviour, to what is normal in the sense of correct, proper or even moral. You'd have to lay the groundwork for this, you certainly, as noted, couldn't simply assert it; but it is not impossible to make respectable arguments of this kind. C.S Lewis certainly includes one in his excellent The Abolition of Man.

    One might even argue that the pre-modern and non-Western arguments about nature and normalcy, though they don't use normal in the sense of 'usual' or 'average', can conceivably be reasonably easily stretched to give a lot of credence to a healthy individual's innate feelings on moral issues and such like.
    Last edited by Wessexman; 12-23-11 at 03:00 AM.
    "It is written in the eternal constitution that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." - Edmund Burke

  10. #810
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    Re: Just Plain Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    Unless of course they had some sort of essentialist or realist philosophy or perspective, like the vast majority of people in the pre-modern West and outside the West.
    This is not the pre-modern West... something that no longer exists. Outside the west would have their own concept of "normal" which fits in my philosophy perfectly.
    "Never fear. Him is here" - Captain Chaos (Dom DeLuise), Cannonball Run

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    See with you around Captain we don't even have to make arguments, as you already know everything .
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