Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty – Part 10/10

February 4, 2012

On January 1, 2012 at 21:01, in Part One of the China-India Comparison with Lots of Facts, Sid said in a comment, “How can one engage in an ad hominem attack by asking questions? I’m simply trying to get the root of your ideology. What, besides being delusional, would cause someone to come to such conclusions? There had to be an event. If it’s not Vietnam or something to do with teaching (i.e. a lack of respect), it’s got to be something. Something regarding racism, perhaps?

These are loaded questions that achieve a similar goal that ad hominem does but more subtly, and as we’ve learned, they are often used rhetorically, which is a question asked merely for effect with no answer expected, serving the questioner’s agenda.

In fact, rhetorical questions rarely appear in academic discourse because they are logical fallacies.

In these loaded questions, Sid infers that because I do not agree with his opinions of China, there has to be something wrong with me, but as we have learned from Professor deLaplante, this is not the case.

Then the next day on January 2, 2012 at 22:03, Sid launched a series of ad hominem attacks against my character. He said, “You’re a mythomaniac, a propagandist, and endorser of one of the most repressive regimes in the world. And your website is a series of disconnected nonsense decorated by retarded videos. You can’t construct an argument to save your life, and the sycophants who show up here saying, ‘Yes, Lloyd, I agree with you,’ belong in Sgt. McGillicuty’s Travelling Nutbar Show.

“Your ideas are an advertisement for how whacky you are, and you’re so whacky, you don’t even realize it. Ever wonder why no one except other crazies post comments here? I’ll tell you: those thousands of viewers read your posts and think, ‘Good god!’

“Not all the bold font on Earth can make you make sense Lloyd. This China business is a lost cause. I suggest you give it up and get some help.”

After having been slandered once again by Sid, I was curious about his character, since he was so fixated on mine.

I then spent a few days thinking about what makes Sid tick and did some research. I went over his comments and use of logical fallacies, examined how he often diverted the topic when he couldn’t hold up his end of the argument, and on January 14, 2012 at 13:00 in a comment in Part 2 of The Economic Health of BRICS, I suggested that Sid may suffer from “Obsessive-compulsive Personality Disorder” and provided one of those “retarded videos” that explained what this disorder was in addition to information from the U.S. National Library of Medicine – The World’s Largest Medical Library.

Sid’s last response arrived at 20:19 on the same date. “You’re an imbecile Lloyd, a soft headed moron,” which caused me to reconsider that Sid might suffer from “Narcissistic Personality Disorder” instead of “Obsessive-compulsive Personality Disorder” or possibly a combination of both.

“People with narcissistic personality disorder are typically described as arrogant, conceited, self-centered and haughty… Despite this exaggerated self-image, they are reliant on constant praise and attention to reinforce their self-esteem. As a result, those with narcissistic personality disorder are usually very sensitive to criticism, which is often viewed as a personal attack.” Source: Narcissistic Personality Disorder – Psychology.about.com

Professor deLaplante was right when he said in one of his videos that it was a waste of time debating people such as Sid, which, as you know, isn’t his real name. In fact, SID is an acronym for “Studying Intellectual Dishonesty”.

For more information on Professor deLaplante and logical fallacies, I suggest reading the two-part interview of him on Psych Central’s World of Psychology.

Return to Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty – Part 9 or start with Part 1

 

Meet the real Sid and learn about him from his own words and the opinions of others

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty – Part 9/10

February 3, 2012

In Part Eight, Associate Professor of Philosophy Kevin deLaplante explains in his YouTube video how a good argumentative essay should be written with a logical structure.

An intellectually honest debate/argument follows a similar process avoiding logical fallacies such as Ad Hominem, Red Herrings, Straw Figures, Cognitive Biases, Cultural Bias, Confirmation Bias, Weasel Words, Begging the Question, Appeal to Authority, and Appeal to Ridicule, etc.

Then there is the Fallacy of Many Questions (complex question, fallacy of presupposition, loaded question, plurium interrogationum) – someone asks a question that presupposes something that has not been proven or accepted by all the people involved.

The loaded question fallacy is often used rhetorically, so that the question limits direct replies to those that serve the questioner’s agenda.

In the twenty-three comments that followed the first question of the debate, which was comparing the cultural practice of piety in Taiwan with China, Sid diverted the topic using Red Herrings and Loaded Questions a number of times. This would be a tactic that Sid would use again.

Instead of spending hours showing you, I invite you to enter the debate with the first question.  If you have read this far in the Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty series and have watched Professor deLaplanet’s videos, you should have few problems recognizing Sid’s use of logical fallacies to divert attention away from topics he could not present an argument against.

Professor deLaplante says, “What if you don’t know HOW to respond to the best objections? Answer: Maybe you should reconsider your position, or at least suspend judgment on it.”

When faced with this choice, Sid often resorted to the  use of logical fallacies (especially red herrings, ad hominem and loaded questions).

In fact, Sid didn’t follow his own advice. In an Amazon reader review, he wrote of “Red Capitalism” he says, “There are too many interrogatives; sometimes they come in bunches, and it’s not always easy, or at least for a layperson like me, to know if they’re rhetorical or not… ‘Never form an argument from questions,’ and ‘Avoid asking the reader questions,’ are fundamentals a professor would tell a first-year student.”

An example of Sid ignoring his own advice may be found in a comment he left for The Ignorance Factor of Bias. In addition, in Part 5 of this series, there was a short video that touched on the topic of loaded questions.

Continued on February 4, 2012 in Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty – Part 10 or return to Part 8

 

Meet the real Sid and learn about him from his own words and the opinions of others

 

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty – Part 8/10

February 2, 2012

That “Dirty Secret” that Associate Professor of Philosophy Kevin deLaplante talked about in the Part 6 video was one of the five Essential Components of Critical Thinking, which are:

1. Logic

2. Argumentation

3. Rhetoric

4. Background Knowledge

5. Attitudes and Values

Professor deLaplante says, “While logic and argumentation are essential components of critical thinking, they are not sufficient—not by a long shot. What’s missing is the importance of background knowledge.

“Background knowledge informs critical thinking at multiple levels… but you cannot learn this in a critical thinking class or from a textbook. One of the most important elements of critical thinking cannot be taught—at least not in the way you can teach formal logic and fallacies.

“Background knowledge comes from living in the world and paying attention to what is going on.

“Mastering this component of critical thinking requires a dedication to life-long learning, a genuine openness to different points of view and a certain humility in the face of all that we don’t know.  This isn’t a set of skills you can master with worksheets and work examples. This is a philosophy, a lifestyle choice. Textbooks don’t talk about this or at last as much as they should.”


How to Write a Good Argumentative Essay: Logical StructureSource: The Critical Thinking Academy

“The ability to evaluate the premise of an argument cannot be taught in a critical thinking class,” Professor deLaplante says. “The reason is obvious. This is a question of background knowledge. Lack of background knowledge causes one to believe in a hoax. All the logic in the world won’t make up for ignorance.… The easy way is to set out looking for weaknesses in an argument. The danger here is the desire to refute another position than to understand it. This is the wrong motive, which is a desire to win an argument.”

In fact, Sid was only interested in winning the argument or making it appear that he had won, and he took advantage of my ignorance of logical fallacies in his attempt to achieve this goal.

Sid did not consider that lifelong learning was more important than my ignorance of logical fallacies.  Lifelong learning never ends unless you shut your mind to it. Even now, I may not know as much about logical fallacies as Sid, since he appears so skilled at using them, but I know more now than when I started the debate.”

Continued on February 3, 2012 in Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty – Part 9 or return to Part 7

 

Meet the real Sid and learn about him from his own words and the opinions of others

 

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty – Part 7/10

February 1, 2012

In Part One of this series, I said, “Before this series concludes, you will discover that Sid knew about logical fallacies and may have taken advantage of my ignorance.”

In part four of the debate, Sid said, “In addition to directing the reader toward a particular conclusion, begging-the-question language assumes a premise has already been established.”

According to The Writing Center at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, “Begging the Question is a complicated fallacy; it comes in several forms and can be harder to detect than many of the other fallacies we’ve discussed…”

However, “Sometimes people use the phrase ‘beg the question’ as a sort of general criticism of arguments, to mean that an arguer hasn’t given very good reasons for a conclusion…”

If Sid was aware of the complicated logical fallacy known as ‘begging the question’, we may conclude that he knew what he was doing throughout the entire debate, which may explain why he didn’t answer my question of how many books he had read on logical fallacies and why he avoided answering questions other’s asked.

Then there is this pull quote from a comment of Sid’s I deleted on January 11, 2012 at 12:22. “There is no red herring argument here. A red herring occurs when you divert from the main issue to a side issue. But if a side issue has been introduced (i.e. the boiling of water), you introduced it.”


Critical Thinking’s Dirty Secret – Source: The Critical Thinking Academy

However, Sid was wrong. I was not the one that introduced the Red Herring that changed the topic. Sid did that when he said how contaminated China’s rivers were, which had nothing to do with the topic of that post. The topic of the post was which country was doing a better job supplying water to its people—India, a democracy, or China with its one party republic. The only mistake I made was to swallow the bait of Sid’s Red Herring. After all, the goal of a Red Herring is to divert attention away from a topic that is difficult or impossible to prove wrong.

The Writing Center at UNC says of a Red Herring that “Partway through an argument, the arguer goes off on a tangent, raising a side issue that distracts the audience from what’s really at stake. Often, the arguer never returns to the original issue.”

At 14:17, Sid said, “You can quote or copy-and-paste all the fallacy definitions you wish, but you’ll never be able to employ them in argument or rebuttal. You lack the wherewithal.

However, why would I want to employ logical fallacies in an argument or rebuttal when such tricks are intellectually dishonest?  It would appear that Sid meant I could not match his skills using logical fallacies to decieve people. At least, that seems to be what he implies.

At 19:21, Sid said, “I don’t give a shit what those dictionaries say. It’s not called weasal words. It’s called begging the question language, or begging the question reasoning… You might want to learn what those newfound logical fallacies mean before you copy and paste Lloyd.

In the four previous examples, Sid revealed that he knew exactly what he was doing, and Professor deLaplante, in Part One‘s video, was right when he said, “A fallacy is a bad argument. What makes it bad is certain GENERAL FEATURES that characterize arguments of this TYPE, and arguments of this type can often be MISTAKEN for GOOD argument,” which is what Sid was counting on.

Continued on February 2, 2012 in Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty – Part 8 or return to Part 6

 

Meet the real Sid and learn about him from his own words and the opinions of others

 

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty – Part 6/10

January 31, 2012

In Part 5 of Associate Professor of Philosophy Kevin deLaplante‘s video series of logical fallacies, he explains the Straw Figure fallacy.

Professor deLaplante says, “The Straw Figure Fallacy involved criticizing a distorted, exaggerated or otherwise misrepresented version of an argument and claiming to have refuted the original argument.  It often involves knowing or willful deception and a refusal to ‘play by the rules’.”

“When someone is willing to knowingly misrepresent an argument,” Professor deLaplante says, “they are no longer playing by the rules. They are more concerned with the appearance of winning than with argumentation itself. When you see this going on, you should correct the misrepresentation and get the discussion back on track. If it is an honest mistake and the arguer is willing to correct their misunderstanding, that is great. But if you catch them doing this again and again, then there is probably no point in engaging argumentatively with this person, because they have shown you that they are unwilling to play by the rules.”


Cognitive Biases: What They Are, Why They’re Important – Source: The Critical Thinking Academy

Another example of Sid’sintellectual dishonesty was an argument over Water – the Democracy versus the Authoritarian Republic.

This post compared India and China and what each country was doing to supply water to its people. I asked this question, “Is freedom of expression and of religion more important than water?”

Logically, the answer would be ‘water’ was more important than freedom of expression and of religious choice, because we die within a few days without water but can live a full life without the two abstract freedoms of expression and choice of religion. The post provided evidence that China was doing more than India to supply water to its people, and closed with, “What happens to life when there is no water?”

The logical answer was that we will die quickly without water, but will not die due to limits on freedom of political expression or from a limited choice of religions.

However, the first comment from Sid introduced another Red Herring into the conversation and changed the topic. Sid’s first sentence said, “An estimated 75 percent of China’s river water is not safe for drinking or fishing, according to Rob Gifford, author of China Road.”

Sid says, “Hmmm. Interesting stuff. Hundreds of millions of Chinese people without access to safe water or santitation; a dire warning from the world bank…”

Again, this was not the topic of the post and was misleading. In fact, this was when Sid introduced the Straw Figure Fallacy distorting the argument, as Professor deLaplante says, “with willful deception and a refusal to play by the rules.”

In my reply, I attempted bringing the topic back to the original premise by pointing out that unsafe water was not the issue, because the Chinese boiled their water before drinking it, which common sense says to do with contaminated water.

Sid then claimed that was not the reason why Chinese people drank warm water and then introduced several more topics in rapid succession without evidence to support them, which had nothing to do with which country was doing a better job planning ahead to provide water for its people—contaminated or not.

My next reply said Sid’s comment was a logical fallacy, a Red Herring. Sid then changed the topic again with another Red Herring leading to a series of Straw Figure Fallacies and ended by asking if I had ever read any books on argumentative logic, which had nothing to do with which country was doing a better job of bringing water to its people.

I replied by asking Sid to answer the same question on how many books he had read on argumentative logic, which he ignored in all of his subsequent comments, which I then deleted (a total of eighteen between January 11 – 14). Some quotes from a few of those comments have been used as examples of logical fallacies in this series of posts.

Continued on February 1, 2012 in Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty – Part 7 or return to Part 5

 

Meet the real Sid and learn about him from his own words and the opinions of others

 

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty – Part 5/10

January 30, 2012

In Part Four’s video, Associate Professor of Philosophy Kevin deLaplante talked about the Red Herring fallacy. He says it is easily confused with the Straw Figure fallacy.

The Red Herring is anything that distracts you from following the trail (topic) of the original argument and is distracting enough to make the audience want to follow the new trail (topic), which is an irrelevant distraction away from the original argument and main issue.

For example, when Sid, in our debate, introduced something that changed the subject, which raised a new issue that wasn’t relevant to the previous line of discussion, the fallacy occurred when Sid concluded something from this different issue or presumed that some conclusion has been established.


The “Straw Figure” Fallacy. Source: The Critical Thinking Academy

“In this respect,” Professor deLaplante says, “the fallacy is very much like a Straw Figure fallacy in that you are mistakenly or misleadingly say you won the argument or refuted the argument”, which was when Sid avoided engaging with the original argument.

However, the Red Herring is different from the Straw Figure fallacy in that a Straw Figure involves distorting or misrepresenting some original argument and then knocking down the distorted argument.

Straw Figure: Arguer misrepresents an opponent’s position.

Red Herring: Arguer tries to distract the attention of the audience by raising an irrelevant issue.

There are many examples of Sid introducing Red Herrings into the argument where he ignored the original argument and changed the subject. In Part 2 of the debate, I asked, “How would you describe the differences you observed between how piety is practiced in mainland China and Taiwan?”

Sid immediately introduced a Red Herring with “First, as the term pertains to Taiwan, there is no such thing as mainland China. There is China, and there is Taiwan. The word ‘mainland’ denotes a connection, but there isn’t one and never really has been.”

Sid’s response had nothing to do with piety, and if I had not been ignorant of logical fallacies, I would have been aware of what he was doing and challenged it.

Then Sid asked his first of many loaded questions when he said, “Approximately 90 percent of Taiwanese want nothing to do with China, and why would they?”

What does this have to do with piety? In fact, there was no evidence with a link to support the claim that 90 percent of Taiwanese want nothing to do with China, which was often the case with Sid’s Red Herrings throughout the debate. Unfortunately, my response was to spend hours researching and writing replies.

The recent results in Taiwan’s presidential election indicate that a majority of Taiwanese may favor reunification with China or at least closer ties. On January 14, 2012, Fox News.com reported, Taiwan’s China-friendly president wins re-election with 51.6 percent of the total against 45.6 percent for Tsai Ingwen of the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party.

Fox News said, “Ma’s Nationalist Party also retained control of the 113-seat legislature, though with a reduced majority. Speaking before thousands of jubilant supporters in downtown Taipei, Ma said his China policies had resonated with voters. ‘They gave us support for our policy to put aside differences with the mainland. To search for peace and turn it into business opportunities.'”

In addition, Sid introduced so many Red Herrings, that I couldn’t respond to all of them, which is why I decided to write comments and new posts and spend more time with these new topics.  When I did respond to some of Sid’s Red Herrings, he often ignored what I wrote while posting more Red Herrings that I often scrambled to respond to, which was my mistake.

Sid’s alleged contempt for me appeared to increase as evidenced by his numerous ad hominem attacks after I started to ban his logical fallacies. In addition, his use of Judgmental language – insulting or pejorative language, may have been intended to influence my judgment. Examples: “You’re an imbecile Lloyd, a soft headed moron,” andYou lack the intelligence to argue, so you ban.”

Continued on January 31, 2012 in Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty – Part 6 or return to Part 4

 

Meet the real Sid and learn about him from his own words and the opinions of others

 

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty – Part 4/10

January 29, 2012

In Part Three’s video, Associate Professor of Philosophy Kevin deLaplante talked about the abusive Ad Hominem fallacy. This is the fallacy of rejecting a claim or an argument given by someone because we don’t like something about the person, and we mistake criticism of a person for criticism of his or her claim or argument.

Professor deLapante’s most blatant example was, “Your argument is bad because YOU SUCKI!” — The problem isn’t with criticism or praise, it is with confusing the judging of a person with the judging of an argument.

Several examples of Ad Hominem attacks that Sid used on this Blog are listed here. However, you may discover that Sid did not use the Ad Hominem fallacy during the debate, which ended on December 8, 2011. The reason may be because he was getting away with his intellectual dishonesty since no one was stopping him. Sid’s use of the Ad Hominem fallacy comes afterwards.

On January 2, 2012, Sid said, “You’re a mythomaniac, a propagandist, and endorser of one of the most repressive regimes in the world. And your website is a series of disconnected nonsense decorated by retarded videos. You can’t construct an argument to save your life, and the sycophants who show up here saying, ‘Yes, Lloyd, I agree with you,’ belong in Sgt. McGillicuty’s Travelling Nutbar Show.

“Your ideas are an advertisement for how whacky you are, and you’re so whacky, you don’t even realize it. Ever wonder why no one except other crazies post comments here? I’ll tell you: those thousands of viewers read your posts and think, ‘Good god!’

Note – I should have started deleting Sid’s comments when his use of Ad Hominem occurred.
However, I started deleting them on January 11, 2012


The “Red Herring” Fallacy. Source: The Critical Thinking Academy

Here are a few examples of Sid’s ad hominem fallacies from the Deleted Comment File —

On January 11 at 14:17, Sid said, There is no such thing as weasal [Note: proper spelling is weasel] words. Again, that’s teenagese [Note: no such word]. You could never use the term weasal words in academic discourse, just like you could never use dude, LMAO, bittersweet, etc. There are proper – adult – terms for such things. That you used the phrase weasal words underscores a dearth of knowledge, juvenility, or both.

“You can quote or copy-and-paste all the fallacy definitions you wish, but you’ll never be able to employ them in argument or rebuttal. You lack the wherewithal.”

On January 11 at 19:21, Sid said, You lack the intelligence to argue, so you ban. What do all those books you’ve discovered say about that?” [Note: This was after he claimed there were no books on the topic, and I proved him wrong.]

On January 12 at 09:21, Sid said, You delete the posts because you’re a propagandist and by extension a censor. You don’t have the intellectual wherewithall to debate, so you ban.”

On January 12 at 09:24, Sid said, “Banning my comments only makes you look like a bad sport. You can’t argue – you don’t know how – so you delete.”

On January 12 at 17:22, Sid said, You just don’t know how to debate, so you cheat by deleting your opponents’ remarks.”

On January 14 at 20:19, Sid said, “You’re an imbecile Lloyd, a soft headed moron.”

In the Ad Hominem video in Part 3, Professor deLaplante says an argument is a collection of claims linked by relations of logical entailment or support. The plausibility or implausibility of those claims and their validity or invalidity of the argument given isn’t determined by facts about the moral character of the person asserting the argument… Facts about someone’s moral character by themselves don’t make it anymore less likely that their arguments are good or bad.

Ad hominem arguments rely on the following types of premises:

(Almost) any claim that P makes about X is (probably) false, because of some feature of P.
Meaning, (Almost) any claim Lloyd makes about China or the Chinese is (probably) false, because of some feature of Lloyd’s moral character as defined by Sid.

or

(Almost) any argument that P gives about X is (probably bad, because of some feature of P.
Meaning, (Almost) any argument that Lloyd gives about China and the Chinese is (probably) bad, because of some feature of Lloyd’s moral character as defined by Sid.

Continued on January 30, 2012 in Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty – Part 5 or return to Part 3

 

Meet the real Sid and learn about him from his own words and the opinions of others

 

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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