Fallacy Friday!

Today's Logical Fallacy is...Non Sequitur!

(derailment, “does not follow,” irrelevant reason, invalid inference, non-support, argument by scenario, false premise, questionable premi...

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Closer Look at Me: MyDailyShe Guest Post

I know I've been away from my blog far too often recently, but this whole dissertation-thing kinda sucks it out of you. But worry not - I've already started working on new content (now that I'm post-quals - yay!). 

In the meantime, check out my story on MyDailyShe - You get a close-up look at why I'm doing what I'm doing and how I hope to make the world a little better. 


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A colleague asked, “Are you aware that someone in your audience might be a sexual assault survivor?”
Yes. Yes, I am aware.
I am a sexual assault survivor, and I am dedicated to fighting sexual assault.
For more... "Bridging Gaps Between Scientists and the Public" 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

When Mormons Abandon Morality

This isn't likely to be my most coherent post. You see, it's 2 am, I've slept for two of the last twenty-four hours, and I'm not likely to fall asleep again for a while. But the nightmares are back, and there's really not a lot I can do about it.

I know I am not alone. So many others like myself are awake with the same fears, repetitions of the same terrors. All uniquely customized to match our individual stories, made-to-order horrors just for us.

The gay couple watching as their house is burned down. 
The Muslim woman attacked in the street as her hijab is ripped off and called a terrorist.
The unarmed black man kneeling as he faces a loaded gun.
The woman reliving her sexual assaults again and again.

As a multiple sexual assault survivor who every day has to tell myself that I deserve better, that This is not okay, that Things will get better, I have to admit that that mantra sounds especially hollow today.

Half of the country doesn't think that I do.
Half of the country thinks that this is just fine.
Half of the country doesn't think that there's a problem in the first place.

When the party of "family values" elects a man who openly admits to sexually assaulting women, who brags about wanting to have sex with his daughter, who has decades of recorded, flagrantly sexist comments, then I don't want your family values. If that's what your family looks like, then I want no part of it.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Today's Logical Fallacy is... Diminished Responsibility!

This fallacy occurs when we argue that our behavior should be excused because of impaired judgment, e.g. telling your teacher that they should grade your exam leniently because you were hung over and “it’s not my fault.” It is a contemporary fallacy that has arisen out of the misappropriation of the American legal concept, “diminished capacity” (that punishment for criminal acts should be decreased if the criminal’s judgment was impaired and thus would not have committed the crime under normal conditions). While being drunk may mean that you aren’t charged with first degree murder, it doesn’t mean that you are free of guilt or can’t be charged with second degree murder, and it doesn’t make the consequences of your actions any less severe. Likewise, the fact that you were hungover doesn’t somehow make your answers to your test less incorrect, and you must still live with the consequences of failing; your poor judgment in getting drunk the night before the test doesn’t excuse your performance.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Today's Logical Fallacy is...Appeal to Spite!

This fallacy occurs when someone uses existing spiteful and bitter feelings in order to dismiss an opponent’s position. Instead of actually evaluating evidence for the opponent’s position, they are exploiting the emotions of those listening in order convince them. We do this to ourselves if we justify disagreeing with someone out of existing spite instead of examining the issues. This is especially useful when combined with stereotypes (the overgeneralization fallacy) toward a particular demographic. For example, saying that you can never vote for a career politician because they are all untrustworthy combines stereotyping (all politicians are untrustworthy) with the appeal for spite (a general dislike for politicians).

Friday, August 26, 2016

Today's Logical Fallacy is...There Is No Alternative!

(TINA , Get Over It, the fait accompli, Taboo, I wish I had a magic wand.)

An extension of the false dichotomy, this fallacy occurs when someone states that a position must be taken because there are no other realistic alternatives, that all other options are irrelevant, or that since a decision has been made, there’s no going back. While it may be that the position being supported is the best position, outright dismissing other alternatives suppresses critical thinking. It relies on the acceptance of the inevitable (regardless of whether or not it is inevitable) by suggesting that we are powerless to do otherwise.

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