Wednesday, September 12, 2012

"Whatever I say (about your side) doesn't apply to me / my side" fallacy

When a defender of a suspect scheme want to throw out some sort of "conspiracy theory" that would explain why his opponent is on the wrong side, their logic often does not stand up to scrutiny, because they clearly meant that it doesn't apply to their own side, but not why not. This is best illustrated in an example:

S: The Big pharma would never release medicine that actually CURES conditions because they are out to make money! If it cures the condition, they will no longer make money!  Therefore you should buy (my miracle cure) instead!
Did you see the problem?

Why doesn't what he said, about "seller of cures are all liars because if it actually cures anything they would be able to sell any more", apply to whatever HE is selling?

Yet all sorts of scammers are using this explanation to "insinuate" that their own "miracle cure" is somehow "better" than the "big pharma" drugs and treatments.

This is a variation of "pot calling the kettle black". It is best classified as a red herring, because it neither proves nor disproves "(my miracle cure) works."

The same type of red herring also works when it comes to answering criticism by implying some sort of conspiracy against the scheme. Here's a real response from a real "Acting COO" only two weeks before they were shut down as a Ponzi scheme:
Essentially, the memo was a rehash of a number of the unsupported criticisms we’ve already seen posted on the Internet by self-appointed critics with no standing in the professional community.  In other words, it was completely false.)
...  Like all our critics, he [who wrote the offending memo] was behaving unprofessionally by acting on false information. 
I assure you that these two quotes was NOT taken out of context, and this "Acting COO" never did provide any "proof" on why all the critics are liars and outsiders. Now that they were shut down by the Feds, it's clear he spoke out of his arse. He weaved some sort of "conspiracy" that critics of his scam acted on 'false information' and should not be believed because they had 'no standing in the professional community'.

As there's no proof that the information was "false" other than his say-so, and "no standing in professional community" clearly means "they are not part of us", it's nothing more than red herring worked into propaganda.

And doesn't what he said apply to himself? He claims his critics are using false information. How does he know he's not acting on false information himself?

How about "standing in professional community"? Which one? Isn't he a self-appointed critic (of his critics)? Does he have any standings in the critic's community? And isn't that just an invitation to "us vs. them" fallacy and appeal to group sympathy fallacy?

But it *sounds* authoritative, and *confident*.

So it's propaganda, not truth.

See below for related fallacies and red herrings.
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