I have recently been drawn into the vast wasteland of Twitter. I wasn’t watching where I was going.
I am struck that but for use of logical fallacies, some people would have nothing to say. Best that they stay quiet. But, they won’t. They are amongst the loudest in the room.
I know what I say sounds arrogant. Maybe it is. But, to me, this is an unfortunate truth. Very few people seem even remotely aware of the basics of logical thought. Few schools require a course in logic. We are reaping the consequences of poor education.
Texas recently sought to outlaw the teaching of Critical Thinking in high schools, and the Republican cadre seeking this foolishness admitted the truth. Critical thinking teaches students how to think for themselves thus making them less like to blindly capitulate to authority, whether it be parents or church or government. The Far Right, which is far wrong, wants obedience, not thinking.
Logic corresponds with rational thought. Those who think and speak in logical fallacies are irrational. Their thinking is impaired. They do not have a clue this is the case.
Listen to our politicians speak. Frightening, if you know the basics of logical communication. Most frustrating of all, one cannot dialogue effectively, much less share a meaningful dialectic, with another who is lost in fallacy land. Lost, they don’t know where their mind is.
Fallacies are convenient when one is seeking to support an insupportable position. The fallacy speaker understandably does not expect his audience to know the difference. People are very vulnerable to that which they do not understand, and fail even to know they don’t understand or why.
It is so interesting to read the correspondence exchange during the Uncivil War. Ordinary folks spoke with eloquence in script written letters well thought out and artistically written with great care and respect for words, thinking, and communication.
Not so, today. As our basic application of clear, logical thinking diminishes, so does our thinking. This deterioration in thought and communication, and the resultant reduction in ability to think creates great vulnerability to the Lie. Thoughts become almost exclusively the domain of feelings, emotion, and intractable belief systems that filter out any data that might challenge the desired belief system.