Crimes Against Logic: Exposing the Bogus Arguments of Politicians, Priests, Journalists, and Other Serial Offenders / Edition 1by Jamie Whyte
Pub. Date: 09/12/2004
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
Uncover the truth under all the BS
In the daily battle for our hearts and minds--not to mention our hard-earned cash--the truth is usually the first casualty. It's time we learned how to see through the rhetoric, faulty reasoning, and misinformation that we're subjected to from morning to night by talk-radio hosts, op-ed columnists, advertisers, self-help/b>
Uncover the truth under all the BS
In the daily battle for our hearts and minds--not to mention our hard-earned cash--the truth is usually the first casualty. It's time we learned how to see through the rhetoric, faulty reasoning, and misinformation that we're subjected to from morning to night by talk-radio hosts, op-ed columnists, advertisers, self-help gurus, business "thinkers," and, of course, politicians. And no one is better equipped to show us how than award-winning philosopher Jamie Whyte.
In Crimes Against Logic Whyte take us on a fast-paced, ruthlessly funny romp through the mulligan stew of can, folderol, and bogus logic served up in the media, at the office, and even in your own home. Applying his laserlike wit to dozens of timely examples, Whyte cuts through the haze of facts, figures, and double-talk and gets at the real truth behind what they're telling us.
"An incisive philosopher."
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Table of ContentsThe Right to Your Opinion
Prejudice in Fancy Dress
Begging the Question
and post it to your social network
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Logical fallacy is a serious problem that everyone has been guilty of indulging from time to time. Furthermore, accessible treatments of logic are much needed, which makes Whyte’s short book commendable. Unfortunately, between the numerous straw men and attempts at poisoning the well, the reader might wonder if Whyte is a credible source of expertise. The first several chapters expose some of the more current logical problems we encounter in society - ad hominem fallacies and red herrings, which distract from the real questions or issues at hand. Whyte also makes some very good points in his chapters "Shut up!" and "Empty Words." These chapters were generally helpful. In several places, however, Whyte badly misrepresents several philosophical arguments that a man of his back ground should never have missed. He attacks a version of Pascal's wager that Pascal himself would never recognize (p.37-39). Even a cursory reading of the Pensées would have saved Whyte from this offensive and embarrassing treatment of this great enlightenment thinker. Whyte also uses the guise of logic to make his attack on religion (and Christianity in particular). Being an atheist, it is perfectly normal and "logical" that Whyte would do this. There should be no problem with this in and of itself, but he loses credibility by misrepresenting the doctrine of the Trinity and then attacking it (straw man) (p.33). He attacks the logical legitimacy and epistemic virtue of Christianity using strange interpretations of Christianity, and so called arguments for belief that few Christians would recognize. For a more credible and equally interesting book on logic see Robert Gula's "Nonsense."
This book is one of the most interesting books I've ever read. It's easy to read in the sense that the arguments are presented in everyday language, with funny examples, and are explained thoroughly. The fallacies discussed in this book are fallacies everyone is guilty of doing at some point. The goal is to stop using them! It talks about the lack of serious political debate nowadays due to the Motive Fallacy, using the "but still" clause in your arguments, how you really have no right to your own opinions, how we tend to follow authority (right or wrong), and explains why all intelligent, concerned young people are leftists (anti-free trade, pro-environment protection, in favor of redistribution of wealth, a bit feministy, and atheists). This book will enlighten you for sure. Read it with an open mind, wrestle with the topics, try to avoid the fallacies in your lives (or at least be on the lookout) and recommend it to another person to help out humanity.
One of the main reasons for why I chose to read this book is that not only did it seem interesting to me, but it also seemed to have the potential to actually be used in real life as a tool to separate b.s. from truth. This book provides the means to do that, it helps you look at what is going on around you from a different perspective, a realistic point of view that makes it possible to get the truth from lies. Never again will I look at the world in the same way, this book taught me to read between the lines and understand what is reality and what is fiction that was designed to hide that reality. Also, this book is enjoyable to read. Instead of reading a seemingly never ending text of information, it feels like having a conversation with a friend. This book tackles the issues with a sense of humor and realism that only benefits the reader's chances of understanding what the author is trying to convey. I would recommend this book to anyone that wants to find out about the fallacies this world contains and how to avoid them. If you think you know about this already, you don't. Read this book and see for yourself.