Saturday, September 29, 2012

Bad Argument: "My [whoever] would never lie to me" fallacy

English: This is an example of a SCAM website.
English: This is an example of a SCAM website. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
One of the most often defenses for a possible scam is "I knew [whoever] and s/he would never lie to me, therefore this cannot possibly be a scam."

This is NOT a valid defense because it has a fundamental assumption, that [whoever] actually *knew* it's a scam. What if s/he does NOT know? What if s/he is also a fraud victim? What if s/he knew it's fishy and did not share the doubt?

This can happen easily. Take a contemporary example, that horrible movie that was inciting riots all over the Middle East for insulting Prophet Mohammed and Islam? It was originally filmed as "Desert Warriors", then completely re-dubbed to change the dialog. The entire cast and most of the film crew (all except the "director") were mislead. They would not have made the movie if they knew it's going to be re-dubbed and used to insult Islam.

Urban Legends are the same way: they are spread by people to other people as stories, and they are repeated as as other people took the story at face value instead of wink-nudge-not-really. On the Internet, jokes are often picked up as "real" stories. That joke about Samsung paying Apple's damages in truckloads of pennies? It was a joke, folks. Not real. Doesn't prevent it from hitting "hot list" on Google+ as people passing it on as if it's true.

Scams work exactly the same way: from person to person. And it's always the same excuse: my [whoever] would not lie to me.  Previously I have identified the four levels on how a scam will spread (mastermind, core shills, judas goats, sheeple). Only master mind (and sometimes, core shills) will know it's a scam, but those people are like the 1% (or less). The rest are Judas goats and sheeple.

And what does sheeple say? The judas goats (who don't know it's a scam) told them to join, it's great opportunity, and all that.

Frankly, you need to have your "crap detector" tuned up. When you detect crap, you'd know it. And don't take crap from any body, even your family, friends, and such people.
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