‘No true Tibetan would ever think or do such a thing!’ Sound familiar? Well, every time you say ‘no true…… (nationality/religion) would…. (action/quality)’ it’s a logical fallacy. One of the worst examples of this fallacy being ‘no true woman’ would ever……..!
”No True Scotsman is a logical fallacy by which an individual attempts to avoid being associated with an unpleasant act by asserting that no true member of the group they belong to would do such a thing; this fallacy also applies to defining a term or criteria biasedly as to defend it from counterargument which can be identified as a biased, persuasive, or rhetorical definition. Instead of acknowledging that some members of a group have undesirable characteristics, the fallacy tries to redefine the group to exclude them. Sentences such as “all members of X have desirable trait Y” then become tautologies, because Y becomes a requirement of membership in X.
The fallacy does not occur in defining a group or label narrowly to begin with, but in narrowing it by excluding evidence that contradicts an initially broad definition.”
”Phrases such as “un-American,” “un-Christian” or “inhuman” are widely used in politics and media to distance oneself from a subject, defining them as outside the bounds of what the speaker considers to be truly ‘American,’ ‘Christian’ or ‘human’ behaviour. These phrases strongly suggest the No True Scotsman fallacy, since the use, for example of “un-American” to describe specific political activities by some American citizens implies some special definition of “American” beyond mere nationality. (It is not a fallacy if such a special definition is consistently applied, though that doesn’t make it a sensible definition.)”
So before you open your mouth to utter the words ‘no true…….. would…..’ think again unless you want to appear like an illogical twit! 🙂
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