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In having discussions about difficult topics, people often shut down conversation though the use of a logical fallacy. We discus a few of the ones that I often see.


  • A straw-man is a bad-faith argument where you argue against a distorted version of your conversation partner’s position
  • A red-herring is an argument that’s unrelated but sounds like it might be
  • Whataboutism is the attempt to point to something that is worse when someone points out a flaw in some system or person.
    • The canonical example comes from the Soviet Union who would respond to criticizm regarding human rights by pointing to the times/events where the West had a bad human rights record such as slavery.
    • The fact that something else is bad doesn’t make the first thing good
  • The Balance fallacy is treating all arguments as equal regardless of evidence, validity, etc.
  • If you can recognize these issues, you can stop and responds with greater clarity.
  • One of Brighter Evening’s goals is to help people to be better able to understand the world so that we can make better decisions.


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