Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty – Part 7/10

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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