[教育時評] Fallacies in Social Media 社交媒體的邏輯謬誤

It’s fake news! You have no right to criticize me! Why do you support violence?!

最近不論看哪方面的新聞、論壇或辯論,總有以下這幾個邏輯謬誤暗藏其中。希望同學可以意識到並且不被這些謬見所誤導,學會以多元的角度看待議題並批判性的思考。


1. denial 否定


Person A: Did you read the news about the president’s controversial phone call to Country X?

A: 你有閱讀關於總統的爭議性致電X國的新聞嗎?

Person B: Can you show me a recording of the president’s conversation? No, right? It’s fake news.

B: 你可以展示總統的對話給我嗎?不能,對嗎? 那就是個假新聞。

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Person A: Look at these articles on the brutal suppression of ethnic minorities in Country X.

A: 看看這些關於X國內武力鎮壓少數民族的文章。

Person B: How can you believe propaganda? These sources (the Associate Press, Wall Street Journal, BBC, Reuters, and NPR) are biased against Country X.

B: 你怎麼可以相信宣傳? 這些來源(美聯社、華爾街日報、BBC、路透社和NPR)對X國有偏見。

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Explanation: This one is not a logical fallacy in itself because it does not attempt to progress the discussion. It is a form of psychological defense mechanism in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite overwhelming evidence. Complete denial is the most common tactic of negation used. The denier may even use fallacies such as ad hominem (personal attacks), and moving the goalposts (dismissing evidence to a claim by asking for some other unfulfillable piece of evidence) to justify his denial.

這對話本身並不屬於邏輯上的謬誤,因為否定者甚至沒有嘗試進行討論。否定是一種心理防禦機制,當一個人面對的事實令其不快、無法接受,他仍會堅持否定該議題儘管已有大量的證據佐證。然而,完全否認是最廣為運用的否定策略。拒絕者甚至可能使用邏輯謬誤,例如人身攻擊,搬龍門(通過要求其他無法實現的證據來駁回證據),以證明其否定為合理正當。

ad hominem (人身攻擊):

https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/logic_in_argumentative_writing/fallacies.html

moving the goalposts (搬龍門):

http://utminers.utep.edu/omwilliamson/ENGL1311/fallacies.htm


2. tu quoque–You too! 你也一樣


Person A: Country X is violently suppressing minority groups.

A: X國使用暴力鎮壓少數族群。

Person B: Country Y is much worse. It starts wars everywhere.

B: Y國更糟。 它在世界各地挑起戰爭。

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Person A: Candidate X lied about his assets.

A: 候選人X謊報其資產。

Person B: So what if Candidate X lied about his assets? Candidate Y is rich.

B: 候選人X撒謊了他的資產會怎樣,候選人Y可是有錢人呢。

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Explanation: This is a form of ad hominem fallacy, and it is used to defend the problems with one’s own argument by pointing out that the other side made the same mistake(s). It is a fallacy because the moral character or actions of the opponent are irrelevant to the logic of the argument.

這是人身攻擊謬誤的一種,使用者會透過指出另一方犯了相同錯誤來為自己的觀點辯護。這是一個謬論,因為反對者或其所屬之族群的道德品格或行為通常與論證的邏輯無關。

Tu quoque is a fallacy that intends to discredit the opponent’s argument by asserting the opponent’s failure to act consistently in accordance with its conclusion(s).

Tu quoque (你也一樣)是一個謬論,以透過主張對手同樣犯了其所批評之錯,無法言行如一,來使其論述無效。

The renowned 20th century Chinese writer Lu Xun wrote on this specific fallacy in his article “Foreign Countries Have It, Too.” In the article, Lu Xun ridicules his country and claims that China could always blame other countries when criticized. Lu states, “Everything that China has, foreign countries have it, too. Foreigners say that China has many bedbugs, but the West also has bedbugs." In contemporary society, Lu’s bedbug argument is used to ridicule unscrupulous people who attempt to cover up their mistakes by pointing at the flaws of others.

20世紀中國著名作家魯迅甚至在其文章《外國也有》中撰寫了此謬誤。文中魯迅嘲弄了當時的中國。每當批評時,便聲稱其他國家也有相同的錯誤來掩蓋本國的錯誤。其名言為: 「凡中國所有的,外國也都有。外國人說中國多臭蟲,但西洋也有臭蟲。」在當代社會中,魯迅的臭蟲論被用於批評為掩飾自身錯誤而不擇手段之人。

外國也有: http://bit.ly/37sMMnc


3. red herring 紅鯡魚


Person A: What are the factors that caused the X people to protest? Millions of people are protesting.

A: 到底是什麼導致X國人抗議? 數百萬人正在抗議。

Person B: Did you see the business that was just burned down by those people? They are not protestors. They are rioters!

B: 你有看到那些人把那家店燒掉嗎?他們不是抗議者,他們是暴徒!

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Explanation: Person B does not address the causes of the protest. Instead, he focuses on the violent actions of a small minority of protestors to shift focus. Not all protestors support violent actions.

Person B 沒有對抗議的原因發表看法。相反地,他以專注於少數示威者的暴力行動來轉移對話焦點。並非所有抗議者都支持暴力行動。

The origin of the term red herring is debatable. One popular tale states that escaping convicts used the pungent fish to throw off hounds in pursuit.

紅鯡魚作為轉移焦點的代名詞了來由眾說紛紜。有個普遍流傳的故事描述了氣味強烈的紅鯡魚被監獄逃犯用於擺脫警犬的追緝。

Red herring fallacies are frequently used in public relations and political propaganda. Media and politicians often use new events or misinterpreting issues to shift the attention of the masses from core issues. The fallacy is often used with bandwagoning to deal with governmental or corporate crises.

紅鯡魚謬誤常用於公關與政治宣傳。媒體與政治人物時常以新的事件或曲解議題的方式,來轉移大眾對核心議題的關注。紅鯡魚普遍運用於政府或企業危機的處理,也可與樂隊花車謬誤搭配運用以混淆群眾。

bandwagon (樂隊花車/從眾效應):

Bandwagon Fallacy

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There are many more logical fallacies like hasty generalizations (e.g. I never encountered persecution in Country X, so persecution does not exist) and straw man (e.g. Why should we give them freedom? Do you want to destroy our country?). If you are interested in learning more, please refer to the links below.

還有更多常見的邏輯謬論,比方輕率概化(例如, 我從未在X國遭遇過迫害,因此迫害不存在於X國)和稻草人謬論(例如,我們為什麼要賦予他們自由?你想摧毀我們的國家嗎?)。如果同學對邏輯謬誤有興趣深入研究,請參考以下的連結。

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Logical Fallacies 邏輯謬誤:

https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/logic_in_argumentative_writing/fallacies.html

https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/fallacies/

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References

Informal Fallacies. (2019, November 11). Retrieved November 21, 2019, from https://www.txstate.edu/philosophy/resources/fallacy-definitions.

Niolon, Richard (April 8, 2011). “Defenses". psychpage.com. Richard Niolon. Retrieved 2019-11-21.

Purdue Writing Lab. (n.d.). Logical Fallacies. Retrieved November 21, 2019, from https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/logic_in_argumentative_writing/fallacies.html.

Image: https://hoot.excelsior.edu/the-owl-logical-fallacies-and-social-media-arguments/

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