18 May 2015

Logical Fallacies: The Enemy of Any Argument

We, as a military service, tend to be of the logical variety. We attempt to approach issues logically and methodically in order to find and administer the best solutions for the problems at hand. We are well trained in putting aside the majority of our emotions in order to successfully accomplish the mission in the most efficient, effective, and safe way possible. The problem with being logical all the time though, is it is not an infallible method. We sometimes run into logical fallacies. Logical fallacies, the enemy of any argument, can come in many shapes and sizes.

When attempting to argue a point, no matter the position you take, some of these fallacies may find their way into your discussion. Many people will agree that the best way to solve an issue is to approach it rationally and logically and decide upon the solution that is best, even if it might be unpopular. In many arguments you may see one debater or the other attempting to use emotions to rile up listeners or supporters to their cause. While this is an effective method to garner and win support, it rarely leads to what could be deemed as the right choice. In the American political arena, we often see these emotional attacks coming from both sides in order to fire up the base of support. Issues such as gay marriage, abortion, assisting the poor, and many others can utilize emotion to get support for or against a specific cause.

Sometimes in politics we can also see the logical fallacies abused in order to score points with voters as well. More often than not we see attacks specifically against the other candidate instead of against his position, which is a logical fallacy. When attempting to find and direct the most efficient and effective solutions, it is generally best to be logical about things, but that will always have the weakness of logical fallacies.

Even as a largely logical compendium of people such as RallyPoint, we find ourselves falling into the trappings of logical fallacies. Many examples of these types have been included in the picture that was added to this post. How can we best understand these fallacies and attempt to remove them from our arguments in order to logically arrive at the best solutions? Do you find yourselves falling into these traps often? Should we as military professionals strive to be above them?

Comment below or start the conversation here and connect within the military community.

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