A typical SJW will be using one or more logical fallacies. It is helpful to understand the most common ones.
It is unlikely that you can persuade a SJW that these logical fallacies pose any problem for him or her. If they stopped using logical fallacies, their program would be seriously impeded. As you will see, logical fallacies are integral to the SJ world-view, as it is commonly understood.
However, understanding these fallacies may be helpful to you, because this may give you more confidence in your own viewpoint. In addition, it may be helpful to share this information with other students who have not yet been “converted” to the SJ world-view, to help bolster their confidence as well.
SJ Logical Fallacy #1: Genetic Fallacy (AKA Ad Hominem Fallacy)
“The genetic fallacy is committed when an idea is either accepted or rejected because of its source, rather than its merit.
“Even from bad things, good may come; we therefore ought not to reject an idea just because of where it comes from, as ad hominem arguments do.
“Equally, even good sources may sometimes produce bad results; accepting an idea because of the goodness of its source, as in appeals to authority, is therefore no better than rejecting an idea because of the badness of its source. Both types of argument are fallacious.”
One of the main tools that SJW’s use against white people is to tell them that what they have to say is not valid because of “white privilege”, if they disagree with SJ theory or with something that a “person of color” has said.
This is a textbook example of the “Genetic Fallacy”. Something cannot be true if one person says it, and then magically become false if someone else says the same thing.
If a black person says “2+2=5”, this is false. It does not become true because it is a black person saying it. If a white person says “2+2=4”, this is true. “White privilege” does not cause something true to become false, just because a white person has said it.
Truth and falsehood are equal opportunity. Or, we could say, truth is the great equalizer. Anyone, no matter how powerful or how powerless, no matter their skin color, or gender, or religion, or any other personal attribute, can speak the truth. And anyone, no matter their personal attributes, can speak falsehood.
Your viewpoint deserves to be considered on its merits, and not accepted or rejected because of your skin color. The same is true of another person’s viewpoint.
When a SJW says “check your privilege”, what this means in practice is that your viewpoint has less validity (or even no validity at all) because of one of your personal attributes that, according to SJ theory, gives you privilege. It is a Genetic (or Ad Hominem) Fallacy. It is used in order to invalidate your viewpoint in the perceptions of others, and also to create self-doubt in you. Do not buy into this fallacy. It is insidious.
It can be useful to explain to the SJW that you do not buy into this fallacy, so that he or she can better understand your point of view. However, don’t bother trying to persuade the SJW to give up this fallacy themselves, because that is a non-starter.
Knowing that an SJW processes information in terms of the Genetic Fallacy can help us communicate more effectively with an SJW. This is one reason why the story of Professor Jason D. Hill is of extra value to us. It is already a fantastic story on its own merits. In addition, because it comes from the perspective of a black person, there is at least a very small chance that Professor Hill’s story can get through the filters of a SJW. A very small chance is better than none at all.
“For whites to be led to feel guilt and shame on behalf of historical slave owners because of sharing a common skin color is horrifyingly wrong-headed.” This viewpoint is just as valid, no matter who says it. However, in the perception of a SJW, it is automatically invalidated when a white person says it. So, it’s useful to show the SJW a black person who says essentially the same thing.
Now, there is a grain of truth in a part of what SJWs say. It is true that if I am a white person, I will never fully understand what the experience of being black is like. In addition, I will never fully understand the experience of any other human, whether they are black, white, or some other color. Each of us is the sole authority on our own personal experience. It can be useful and interesting to listen to the experiences of others.
However, once we move from the area of personal experience to facts, conclusions, and universal truths, in this domain, our viewpoint has just as much right to be considered on its merits as anyone else’s. We have full standing to agree or disagree with someone else’s conclusions, regardless of skin color.
“Appeals to popularity suggest that an idea must be true simply because it is widely held. This is a fallacy because popular opinion can be, and quite often is, mistaken. Hindsight makes this clear: there were times when the majority of the population believed that the Earth is the still centre of the universe, and that diseases are caused by evil spirits; neither of these ideas was true, despite its popularity.”
This logical fallacy is often used by SJWs to attempt to discredit voices of “people of color” who dissent from SJ principles. For example, a SJW may say, “Professor Hill’s experience is not the typical experience of a black person in America,” and thus attempt to invalidate Professor Hill’s conclusions.
This suggests that an idea is valid if it is popular (in this case, popular amongst black people). However, there are many other reasons that an idea can be popular, besides validity. For example, if an idea transfers responsibility for a problem to someone else, this can make the idea popular. If an idea suggests that the world owes something to a group of people, this can make the idea popular amongst that group. Sometimes a false idea can have an appeal that causes the idea to gain popularity.
SJW’s “logic” is also frequently impoverished by relying too much on personal experience, rather than including all the available data. Conclusions that we can draw just from our own personal experience are often wrong, because we each have a limited viewpoint. A person who is only considering his or her personal experience in one local area may well conclude that the earth is flat. It looks flat from our own perspective. Probably, most primitive people indeed believed that the world was flat. This is not because they were stupid. It’s because all they had to go on was their own personal experience, which was quite limited. As societies gained capabilities to gather and process data beyond personal experience, they began to figure out that the world was round.
However, SJWs often elevate the personal experience and conclusions of the “right” people (people of color who accept SJ theory) to the level of unassailable fact. For example, “Speaking as a black person, I have had the experience of being stopped by the police more than my white friends. Therefore, the police are racist. And because I know the police are racist, therefore, when a black person is killed by the police, I know it’s because of racism.”
Now, I do not doubt this speaker’s experience of being stopped by the police more than an average white person, and I do not doubt that this is a common experience amongst black Americans. And it is easy to step from these experiences to the conclusion that blacks are targeted by the police due to racism.
However, to limit ones data to personal perspectives, and to reject other data, is a flat-earther strategy. It’s true and there’s really no nice way to say it.
Now, I am not saying that all BLM supporters are flat-earthers. There are some amongst them who are open to looking at other data, and they just haven’t come across it yet. There are some who sympathize with the experience of BLM people, without necessarily agreeing with everything they say.
However, it is nonetheless useful for you to understand why over-emphasizing personal experience over other kinds of data is a poor evidence procedure, and it can indeed lead entire groups of intelligent people to a wrong conclusion. So don’t be fooled by the appeal to popularity and the over-emphasis on personal experience that may be used to support BLM’s conclusions, and other SJ dogma. Look at all the data, consider your own experience as a human being, and think for yourself.
SJ Logical Fallacy #3: Appeal to Pity
“An appeal to pity attempts to persuade using emotion—specifically, sympathy—rather than evidence. Playing on the pity that someone feels for an individual or group can certainly affect what that person thinks about the group; this is a highly effective, and so quite common, fallacy.
“This type of argument is fallacious because our emotional responses are not always a good guide to truth; emotions can cloud, rather than clarify, issues. We should base our beliefs upon reason, rather than on emotion, if we want our beliefs to be true.”
If you ever read the writings of Ta Nehisi-Coates, for example, and if you empathize with him, you will probably have a sense of anger and pain. When I read his writings and do my best to take on his perspective, my experience is one of intense suffering. Even though we can assume that our empathy with him is not completely the same as his experience, if we are in an empathic emotional state, we are likely to want to agree with him, and want to support whatever solutions he suggests.
It is useful, as humans relating to other humans, to have empathy for their feelings and experience (at least for a moment). And for sure, anyone who suffers, whether due to racism or any other cause, deserves our sympathy and emotional support.
However, if we are a seeker of the truth, it is just as important to be able to step out of empathy as it is to step into it. We can literally step back, take a deep breath, and view the situation from a distance. We can ask ourselves, “What else do I know about this situation? What other conclusions are possible? Is his solution likely to work, or is it actually a dead-end? Are there other possible solutions?” We can gather objective data about the situation and include this data in our thinking.
One thing that is useful to know is that many people who are in emotional pain are choosing “solutions” that don’t work. These solutions are what are known as “coping strategies”.
Some coping strategies are considered positive, in that they are quite functional. And some are considered negative. When someone is stuck in emotional pain, and unable to take action to alleviate their suffering, there is a good chance they have chosen a negative coping strategy.
A coping strategy sometimes is better than nothing, in that it helps a person facing a major problem to at least survive. However, coping strategies can also be quite limiting, and tend to cause additional problems. Here are some examples of negative coping strategies:
“….In Externalization, you blame others for your problems rather than owning up to any role you may play in causing them.”
“Low-effort syndrome or low-effort coping refers to the coping responses of minority groups in an attempt to fit into the dominant culture. For example, minority students at school may learn to put in only minimal effort as they believe they are being discriminated against by the dominant culture.”
Of course, it is not useful to diagnose an individual, or to make assumptions about them just because they are a minority student. If you confront someone and say “You are using such-and-such coping strategy” this could easily make the situation worse.
However, it is very useful for you to know that often someone who is in emotional pain is not aware of a solution that actually works. The solutions they come up with will often lead to additional problems. (With a skilled facilitator, the resources to solve a person’s suffering can generally be found within their own experience. However, while they are in a state of suffering, they are often not in touch with effective solutions.)
So it is perfectly fine to disagree with someone who is suffering. Be kind to them; however, continue to think for yourself and don’t be swayed by someone’s emotions.
I recommend that you spend some additional time learning about logical fallacies. It can be useful for each of us to examine our own thinking for fallacies, to find where we need to gather more data or re-examine the data that we have. If we find a logical fallacy in our thinking, this does not necessarily mean that the idea is wrong. It does mean, however, that the logic we are using does not lead inevitably to the conclusion.
In addition, having perfect logic does not necessarily mean that our conclusion is correct, because we may be relying on incomplete or inaccurate information.
For example, we could say, “Because all dogs are pink, and Rover is a dog, therefore Rover is pink.” The logic in this statement is impeccable. However, because we are starting out with incorrect information (“all dogs are pink”) our logical conclusion is also incorrect.
Now, because SJWs aren’t very logical, they play on emotions. By getting people to feel guilty for past sins of the country, they can manipulate people’s behavior. However, in the next chapter you’ll discover how to acknowledge our country’s past misdeeds–without any guilt trip whatsoever! Click below on the right….