Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty – Part 9/10

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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One Response to Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty – Part 9/10

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