A New Fallacy

I would like to introduce a new logical fallacy into the world.

The argument from “PROFESSIONALISM”.

This argument is provided by those who wish to change organisations and structures. The conversation might go something like:

“We want to make you work 20 hours more in a week. As a professional you must agree that this would increase the time you have to work.”

Essentially it seems rather a hard argument to try and battle. If you are a professional then you want to do your job to the best that you can. You also think that you are open to change and improving outcomes. So, this “you should agree with me” approach seems rather hard to argue against.

My problem with this argument backing up changes in an organisation is that pretty much anything can be justified using the “you’re a professional and so would want the best for your sector”. This is why the argument shouldn’t be used. If your argument can be extended (a bit like the slippery slope) to back up anything then it invalidates the points you are trying to put across.

“You can’t disagree with these new standards as they surely improve what it is that is expected of you as a professional.”

Again this seems hard to argue against. But there is a counter argument to be made. As a professional I should be expected to do all that I reasonalby can to ensure that I work my best. There is a limit to what can physically be done and the expectation on professionals should stop before that limit is reached.

Time for the world to use arguments that really back up what they want to do. Some evidence wouldn’t go amiss either [not just anecdote].

Negative Quesitons

This is another of those annoying language things that stems from my rather literal language processing unit. See my previous post about starting letters. I am not far enough into the spectrum to follow instructions or comprehension literally but I do struggle trying to answer negative questions in a true manner. Once again there common usage issues that I believe to be amazingly wrong but most people seem to accept them.

If something is amazing then the following:

Is that an amazing aircraft manoeuvre?

is easy to answer. Yes for agreeing with the statement and no for disagreeing. However the question:

Isn’t that an amazing aircraft manoeuvre?

is remarkably hard to answer. I believe the vernacular is to answer “yes” if I am saying that it is an amazing manoeuvre. But if I answer “yes” then I think I am agreeing with the statement which is

Is that not an amazing manoeuvre?

and that reverses the meaning of my answer. Arrrrggghhh! Similarly other questions can confuse me enough that I answer very differently. So, if I had just seen an amazing manoeuvre then the following would be the conversation:

“wasn’t that an amazing manoeuvre?”
“It was amazing”

This means I have not answered an impossible question and also managed to keep my head from exploding with diverse logic implications.
Other examples are:

“aren’t you going to the cinema?”
“isn’t that band great?”

So, please don’t ask me perfectly normal questions, it just hurts.

World suffering and Star Trek

I just thought it would be a good idea to mention two things I have heard recently on a podcast. I have to thank Mike Hall of Merseyside Skeptics for these particular rebuttals:

Ever wondered why there is so much suffering in the world?
It’s because some people are dicks and shit happens. Therefore, we don’t have to worry about supernatural beings with beards in the sky.

Quoting the bible to me?
If what you’re saying would make the same amount of sense and have the same meaning had Captain Kirk said it in Star Trek then I will be willing to listen to your point. The bible is not the word of god. It is the word of men who believe in god. That’s quite a different thing.

There, two nice little things I wanted to remember.