Monday, June 9, 2014

Subcultures - or Why the Rhetoric of One Often Sounds Like the Opposite Group

Of course one can read the above picture and disagree with what it says about either subculture you belong to (or of course, if you belong to neither it doesn't apply to you).  Of course Christianity views the resurrection of the dead as being something totally different than zombies.  Of course most Atheists don't believe that nothing existed before the big bang because energy and matter cannot be created nor destroyed according to our understanding of physics.

Now let's get real...this is bumper sticker sells but doesn't communicate anything other than, "we're part of the same subculture, HIGH FIVE!!!"  Rarely does this mentality lead to unbiased discussion and dialogue, regardless of how rational we might view ourselves (sorry Free Thinkers) or how enlightened we view ourselves (sorry, well...all groups actually).  The same stupid rhetoric sneaks its way into EVERY subculture that finds itself at odds with either the larger culture or another subculture...look on Youtube comments if you don't believe me.  I've seen ad hominems attacking people on the right or left politically regardless of whatever country you are in.  This is a failure of logic, and really represents an inability for a given subculture to have honest discussion outside of their own group...and we ALL do this.  My response, "get out more."  For example, I've watched a Youtube video that claims one possible reason most game show hosts are conservative is that they are rich, old, white guys.  What is being implicitly stated here is that rich, old, white guys have more of a chance of being conservative.  While I think this is a thinly veiled modus ponens fallacy (or Affirming the Consequent)...or at best he's reaching for a correlation/causation thing which I don't think can be demonstrated with mathematical accuracy.  Of course in the interest of fairness, one can find conservative examples of logical fallacies.  That being said, look at the comments of his video?  They are mostly logical fallacies!  Very few people respond back who disagree for several reasons.  Typically, what will happen is what I like to call, the "atom bomb accusations," or a list of ad hominems targeted NOT TO THE PERSON who is being disagreed with necessarily, but meant to evoke an emotion of detestation and distrust of the message through name-calling and show-stopping.  These often take these words in the modern era:

1) zealot
2) racist
3) bigot
4) homophobic
5) socialist
6) fascist
7) extremist
8) intolerant

And the list goes on.  Sometimes of course, someone truly is one of these labels, but if you're going to call someone that, truly demonstrate it before you drop it.  And to those who read and follow these, do us all a favor...learn some logic and don't be swayed by these labels before you make up your mind.on a given issue.

Now, I'm off to a dog and pony show (not literally).  here's a video of logical fallacies and examples to keep you busy!!!


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