Fallacy of the Week – “No True Scotsman” Fallacy

“No True Scotsman” Fallacy _ the arguer defines a term in a biased way in order to protect his position from rebuttals.

Example:

“You can believe what you want about Creation but no real scientist would agree with you. You don’t have any degrees!”

The “No True Scotsman” fallacy is actually made up of several fallacies. It’s a blend of equivocation and begging the question (possibly with an epithet) with a twist of faulty appeal to authority thrown in for garnish.

The redefinition of terms coupled with a derogatory remark makes this fallacy a popular weapon in heated debates when the two sides run out of intelligent things to say.

In our example above, suppose we brought in a well-known and highly credentialed expert to weigh the evidence. If he agreed with the Creationist, he could be dismissed as not being a real scientist. If he disagreed, one could use his notoriety as a faulty appeal to authority.

Truth exists in what is, not who says it. Reality is a powerful voice and it always gets the last word.

 

Next Week:

Fallacy of the Week – Question-begging Epithet

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One thought on “Fallacy of the Week – “No True Scotsman” Fallacy

  1. I am 62…I consider myself well read not in for example the science or philosophy of Marxism, but the n the real world out come of that evil religion..so after seeing a steady fall into the abis of Marxism in my lifetime, and giving them the benefit of the doubt and playing nice, I have come to the conclusion that being nice doesn’t work against pure evil..I believe that line has been crossed and they only understand strength. In other words, no more step backwards…it’s time to fight fire with fire..What would be your thinking on that train of thought..

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