I Made a New Word XLIII

Argumentum Ad Plausible

A logical fallacy that used to occur only sporadically, but requires a name now that we’re living it every single day.

It is a theory of events related to each other by cause-and-effect; the person advancing the theory, who in the realm of reality is not known for respecting cause-and-effect, mistakes its plausibility for its proof. See, we sit down with our enemies to talk out our differences with them, and war is avoided. It could happen!

And when it doesn’t — when reality runs up against theory, and it turns out they disagree — the exuberant demonstrate that sanity has deserted them, or avoided them for the time being, by declaring that reality lost and theory won. See, never mind what you saw happen just now, what’s supposed to happen is this…and then they recite the same sequence of events again.

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It is an insistence on engaging in experimentation, coupled with an intellectual disability to engage in true experimentation.

If we just issue a credit for cars that are traded in, we can save the auto industry.

We “stimulate” the economy, and it “primes the pump,” we get the money flowing again…businesses start hiring and people have jobs.

I just think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.

That Victory Mosque in New York…don’t you go telling the Imam he needs to build it somewhere else. If you do, it will be interpreted all over the world as a knock on Islam, and bloodshed will result. Better to just let him build it right where it is.

Let’s elect Obama to be our President, because sophisticated or not, He certainly comes off that way. He impresses everybody around Him, everywhere He goes. He’ll command respect, represent our country well, reach agreements with our allies and our enemies that couldn’t have otherwise been reached…there will be some kind of big “change” that will give us lots of “hope,” and as an added bonus we will “all” be “part of something” that’s really really “big.”

I’m an actor, but I’m just starting out. I wash dishes at this restaurant while I’m between jobs.

No, see, the county government widens this highway with stimulus funds…and what you’re not taking into account, is they buy all this asphalt that they otherwise wouldn’t have bought, and the asphalt manufacturer, he goes out and buys some new trucks, and then the truck manufacturer hires some new people, and…and…and…

Elena Kagan is going to turn that stuffy, stodgy old Supreme Court around once she is nominated — she is so funny!

It is the creation, or validation, of a new strategy — by means of sending some more synaptic jolts toward that part of the brain that is responsible for creativity. Regardless of your political leanings, that’s just a bad mix. Reality has its own reality: It doesn’t care how many people are rankled by it, and it doubly doesn’t care whether you find it entertaining. It just chugs along.

If you think A should cause B, because it gives you a warm feeling to think so…reality might disagree. And if it does, you can take your B and stick it. Well, it seems we have a lot of people walking around who just can’t see that. Perhaps they don’t know what it looks like to see an idea put to a test, and so they don’t notice themselves failing to do this. But to them, explaining how the idea works, is equivalent to testing it. They are not accustomed to seeing a thing…causing another thing. And so when they hear themselves expressing a simple cause-and-effect relationship, they imagine something wonderful has taken place.

They think their theory has been absolutely proven. When, in fact, they haven’t even conjured up any particularly persuasive evidence to support it.

See, we’re gonna legalize drugs, see, and then the black market, which exists only because the drugs are illegal, that’s gonna go away, see…and then when people try the drugs who otherwise wouldn’t have tried the drugs, they’ll find out it really isn’t that great and drug use is gonna go way down. But meanwhile, because it’s legal, we’ll be able to TAX it, see, and then, and then, um, we’ll raise all this money from the people who decide they want to go ahead and use it, see, and we’ll have SO MUCH MONEY! All these state governments in debt, the federal government in debt, that will just be a thing of the past. We’ll pay it all off overnight.

He never would have been able to shoot her, or even break into her home, if he didn’t have a gun. We need to get rid of all these guns. Then nobody will ever shoot anybody because there won’t be any guns.

I’m not going to argue with all of this. Drugs certainly will be legal if they stop being illegal…that’s just recognition of a simple fact. But the rest of it seems to be a new tragedy for the times in which we live. People confuse the plausibility of an idea with its proof.

And when the idea is proven not to work, they can’t see it. They can’t process the information, because they’ve already seen it “proven” the other way.

Cross-posted at House of Eratosthenes and Washington Rebel.

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