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 Application of a No True Scotsman fallacy?
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

9677 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2020 :  09:25:38  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So, there's a question that has been brewing on my mind. It pops up every now and then, I'd like to see it resolved.

This story happened perhaps two years ago, and was an argument on Facebook. An argument which has since been deleted because it eventually involved heated emotions and not-so-nice words.


There had been an Islamic Terrorist action somewhere. In a response to that, a picture was circulated on Facebook basically saying that Because the terrorist act was committed during Ramadan, they couldn't have been Muslims because Muslims don't do such things on Ramadan.

I mentioned that I was pretty sure this was a good example of a No True Scotsman Fallacy. Several people objected to this and promptly labelled me an islamophobic bigot.

Normally I would have dismissed their opinions as non-consequential as they weren't known for being good skeptics. But one of them was a proficient mathematician who's opinion I've come to respect on many skeptic-related issues, and she is smart and logical minded.
This is what made me hesitate in my dismissal.
If I recall correctly, she insisted that in order to qualify as a No True Scotsman Fallacy, the qualifier needs to be arbitrary and unrelated to the issue.

I, of course, disagree with her estimation.
No matter what name of the logical fallacy committed in the terrorist-attack-during-ramadan, it's still a fallacy.

You could as well say that anyone who drives a car during the Sabbath cannot be a Jew, or anyone who has money cannot be a Christian, etc.

Am I right or wrong in calling this a No True Scotsman?
Should I have called it something else? (besides "a fucking stupid argument")

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
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"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

26013 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2020 :  23:05:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So with the construction "No true X verb Y," it's only definitely not a fallacy when X and Y stand in direct opposition. "No true Christian denies the divinity of Jesus," for example, because Christians by definition believe in the divinity of Jesus.

So, get your detractors to show you a definition of "Muslim" that includes a prohibition on committing acts of terror during Ramadan.

Maybe if the terrorists were caught eating during daylight hours while also terrorizing people, the argument would have been better, since fasting during Ramadan is obligatory.

But no, even then it's ridiculous. Christians murder people all the time, despite the commandment against it. What makes a person a Christian isn't mere adherence to the rules, which is why they're so big on forgiveness. Islam appears similar in that regard.

Hehehe. "No true programmer comments his code." It's neither arbitrary nor unrelated, but it'd definitely be a No True Scotsman fallacy.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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45 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2020 :  00:09:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send MagicMissy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
fallacy of no true scotsman "when someone attempts to protect a claim by defining terms in a biased way".....No way

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25 Posts

Posted - 09/29/2020 :  09:54:39   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send farrowpledge a Private Message  Reply with Quote
No true feminist fallacy?
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