...thanks for that reference. I realized in thinking about this over the past couple of days that one of the truly valuable things that I believe comes from higher education is a grounding in these principles.
When we are aware of the classic fallicies, we have no excuse for being misled by the common easy tactics employed by populist leaders. We may still do it, but we've been given a chance to know better.
...All the world looks like -well- all the world,
when your hammer is Perl. ---v
Yeah! I was looking for someone who'd ever heard about it! It seems to be the religious folk's favorite one, too. Oops, I was about to forget those 'conspiracy theory' freaks. They also love this kind of twisted reasoning.
SLL - Brazil
The "pursuit of happiness" is an early example of
postmodernism (a.k.a., newspeak, or Humpty
syndrome). The original wording was "pursuit of property",
but that wording would have lead to an unfortunate lack
of support from certain circles (i.e. the poor majority),
so it was reworded to sound more innocuous. This is
bog-standard postmodernist behavior: misuse and/or
redefine extant terminology not by accident but
deliberately, in order to mislead and confuse people
into agreeing with you who otherwise don't. Reinhold
Neibuhr mastered the technique so well that to this day
a lot of folks think he was a Christian theologian,
whereas he was in fact a secular philosopher with
some really... unusual ideas, ideas that
are highly inconsistent with Christianity. A lot of
education textbooks make heavy use of this technique
also; it's pretty scary if you examine it too closely.
Incidentally, it is generally held to be Ben
Franklin who came up with the wording that
was ultimately used ("pursuit of happiness").
I'm not sure how we know that, though.
Now that is interesting. Happen to have sources to name? However, though your points that fit the topic more closely, what I actually meant was something different.
Happiness is not something you have, but something you are, a state to achieve. You cannot "pursue" it. No external influence can bring you happiness if you are not happy, nor can take it if you are happy, even though external forces may bring excitement or grief.
Of course, assuming it was a rewording, it would be doubly ironic that this fallacy has been the ideal for many generations to follow..
I listen to the radio at work, and during the afternoon drive-time there are scads of commercials, most of them are read live by the D.J.'s. Those are fine in that, sure, they contribute to the "solid hour of commercial-free rock", even though the readings, in their conversational tones, actually are commercials (a fallacy in and of itself), but they're typically better than the real commercials which are eventually aired.
Here's an example of one of the pre-recorded commercials that raises the ire in me:
WOMAN: "I have a busy schedule." ANNOUNCER: "Charlotte has a busy schedule." WOMAN: "Between hunting for parking, dealing with traffic, picking up the kids, dropping off the dry cleaning, buying groceries and paying the bills, I just don't have time to balance my checkbook. That's when I discovered Worry-Free Checking (tm) from XYZ Bank." ANNOUNCER: "New Worry-Free Checking (tm) from XYZ Bank is perfect for anyone on the go. You can check your account online, transfer funds, pay bills online, all at a time when it's convenient for you." WOMAN: "Thanks, XYZ Bank. With Worry-Free Checking (tm) I have more time to devote to the important things."
Now, the questions I have to ask begin with this: who in the world has absolutely no time in their "busy" day to do some menial task? Who out there absolutely must balance their checkbook while they're picking up the kids? Are we led to believe that time is of the essence, even on the most unimportant things? Who has that level of stress and burden in their life? Will an extra product or service make it that much better? Feh. I most certainly would not want to be married to this woman. I'm probably not thinking straight here, but advertisements like this irk me. I'm really not sure which fallacy this would fall under, possibly Straw Man, but may I suggest a new fallacy?
How about "Appeal to Beleaguerment"?
-Shawn / (Ph)Phaysis If idle hands are the tools of the devil, are idol tools the hands of god?
It has a fancy latin pseudonym/name/description, therefore it must be true, profound, important,...
I can quote the fancy latin pseudonym, therefore I must be an expert.
Adsum e contrario e vox populi, advocatus diaboli.
Haud ignota loquor, exceptis excipiendis, ex hypothesi docendo discimus audaces fortuna iuvat; carpe deim!
Absit invidia. :)
Examine what is said, not who speaks.
1) When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
2) The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible
3) Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Arthur C. Clarke.