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How To Lie

This technique reverses our way of thinking and makes unsupported or circular assumptions. It typically operates like this:

- State the conclusion

- Assume the issue being considered is either true or false (as required)

The point of this technique is to paint a desirable or undesirable picture (or consequence) of an event or circumstance assuming that the issue is either true or false. Now, please note that in this type of argument it is never stated why the issue is either true or false. No arguments for or against are ever provided. The issue being considered is always assumed (to be true or false) and then the consequences are used as convincing tool to accept either the truthfulness or falsehood of the argument itself. It is sort of a backwards circular argument.

For example:

Society will be overrun by crime if we don't build more prisons.

In this statement we don't provide any argument in favour of building more prisons. We don't explain why building prisons will decrease crime. We don't provide arguments against the views of our opponents and so on. The only thing we do is to present a possible catastrophic future if we don't do what we say it must be done and with this image we attempt to spook you into supporting us to create more prisons. See how it works? First we present a conclusion and then we assume we are right in our premise, then and then we let you conclude that the premise must be right because the conclusion is right! See how this little circular argument process works? It is insidious because we have been trained to think in this way and it looks like common sense.

Politics

Some philosophers declare that these techniques are not OK when dealing with philosophy, but they are OK when dealing with decisions or decision in politics. This is, of course, bull manure. If a technique is undesirable then… the technique is undesirable. It is not acceptable not permissible for politicians to use this type of argument because by their very nature they actually lack arguments! That's the whole point.

If a politician wishes to use conditional scenarios (i.e. possible future scenarios based on possible political decisions) then they must present valid Inductive Arguments for them. For example, they could present polls or statistics from other countries or multiple opinions from experts and so on. It is never good enough to look at the possible consequences to justify a decision.

However, using this technique to lie is quite popular precisely because it is so convincing and easy to use. This is so because our brains "join the dots" so to speak. Our brains will attempt to match a pattern to the Fallacy and as such, fill-in the blanks. In other words, we will self-convince ourselves of the truthfulness of the Fallacy.

Take our example above. We will instantaneously assume that by building more prisons, more criminals will end up in prison thus reducing the crime rate. However, that may not be the case at all. For example, more prisons will do nothing if we don't have more police. Or perhaps criminal laws are draconian and the definition of "crime" is as ludicrous as tossing a wrapping paper on the street. Or perhaps our geographic location is unique because it supports a large migrant population and as such it only looks criminal in nature; and so on. As we lack arguments, our brain will fill-in the details and make us feel happy if we assume the Fallacy as true.

It is for this very reason that we are showing you How To Lie, as it takes one to unmask another.

Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.

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