The list of the most common fallacies . I met them in every forums, they are very frequent on Historum too.

Oct 2018
Adelaide south Australia
Interesting, had not heard of that logical contradiction, but it makes sense

However, it was not my intention to make an absolute claim and I don't think I did. I said 'tends to' , which allows exceptions. It was my intention to criticise dogmatic thinking, in that IT TENDS to lead to absolutism. I think that statement is true, and logically consistent. It was not my intent to argue a principle without exceptions. Apologies if it came out that way..

Is absolutism always mistaken? I can't argue 'always', but as a moral relativist, I will claim ' usually'.

--and yes, I can sometimes be guilty of black and white thinking, although I try not to.

"All generalities are lies' (anon)
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Oct 2018
Adelaide south Australia
I can think of only two at present

1. Moon hoax conspirators.

2. Flat Earthers.

Many hoax conspirators and many other conspiracy nuts use some of of the most basic fallacies; including argument from ignorance. and non sequitur.

The biggest problem with conspiracy theories is that they involve a LOT of people., often hundreds or more. Virtually impossible for word not to leak out--as the saying goes; a secret known by three people will only stay secret if two of them are dead.

Flat earthers are a bit different. They have their own website and forum, from memory, I think it's called "The Flat Earth Society" I joined at one point, and couldn't tell who was serious and who was taking the piss. .. From what I cam remember the basic logical flaw to their arguments tends to be using syllogism to make truth claims and the non sequitur. These are not your everyday fringe loons. It's fun to check out.

Found the links below. This stuff is OUT THERE, in The Twilight Zone. there seems to be a lot more online than before. GOOD GRIEF! They're breeding!.

Flat Earth Debate

Nov 2016
in that IT TENDS to lead to absolutism. I think that statement is true, and logically consistent. It was not my intent to argue a principle without exceptions. Apologies if it came out that way..

Is absolutism always mistaken? I can't argue 'always', but as a moral relativist, I will claim ' usually'.
I am a moral absolutist in the sense that human rights are the only acceptable basis for a system of moral and ethical values. Every concept contradicting human rights is considered false by me. This is an example of ´black-white-thinking´, though it is quite unusual to connect this badly connoted term with the generally positively connoted human rights concept.

As to moral relativism, seemingly favored by you, I am very skeptical. I am not quite sure how it is meant by you. Is it meant that way that you would - on the territory of an indigene tribe, for example - NOT try to protect a woman from being burned by men who accuse her of being a ´witch´ (what is even in our days possible in some... hmm, cultures)? Would you argue for yourself that in this place the human rights concept is not valid since it is the territory of a tribe which favors other values? Or would you think that human rights are valid independent on time and space because they are universal (what is my view)? Do you believe in human rights at all? Did you not write in another place that they don´t exist, in your view?

The Self-Contradiction of Cultural Relativism


(2) Moral relativism: "There is no absolute binding morality; rather, each culture has its own moral standards that cannot be judged by the standards of other cultures", in short: "Morality is relative to culture".

This is objectionable:

Cognitive relativism claims the validity of truth only within the framework of a particular culture. Now a statement about the moral system of a culture A by a representative of culture B (philosopher, anthropologist, etc.) is only meaningful under the condition to make a true statement, since the claim to validity on truth is an essential element of a statement (exception: a lie, which fakes this claim). Thus the relativist contradicts what is said by him, since the claim that every culture has only relative standards is a statement of truth about every culture. The proponent assumes that he has absolute knowledge about the relativity of all cultural value systems, even if he has never heard of the South American tribe of the Guarani, for example, and does not know their system at all, so he cannot judge whether this system is perhaps an exception to the claimed rule (principle of fallibilism: the refutation of a hypothesis can never be ruled out).

The real self-contradiction, however, is, as already said, the claim to the absolute truth value of one's own statement, whose content claims the exact opposite, namely that true statements are culture-relative. The consequence is that a truth-relativizing statement is only true in the context of a certain culture, i.e. does not include other cultures. But it is precisely this inclusion that the relativist achieves with statements such as "all values are relative (i.e. limited) to a certain culture".

A resulting dilemma for postmodern relativists is their view that no culture can be attributed a superiority over another, thus opposing to cultural philosophical tendencies that consider Occidental//Western culture superior to past cultural levels and the rest of the present world. Typical representatives of the evolutionary position were the founder of anthropology, Edward Tylor, and his successor James Frazer. They believed to recognize common patterns (universals) in the diversity of cultures, which point to a fundamental unity of humanity, whose diversity owes itself to coincidental developments in different places at different times. Accordingly, every culture, including early historical and contemporary gatherer/hunter cultures, can be explored and understood in principle, as if they were only certain forms of a basic mentality common to all human beings. The relativists claim, however, that each culture has developed its value and belief systems independently of others and cannot be analyzed and evaluated using generalized ´universal´ patterns. In the anthropological field, the counter-reaction against the universalism of Tylor, Frazer and others began by Bronislav Malinowski in the 1930s and was continued by E.E. Evans-Pritchard and currently Clifford Geertz, Nurit Bird-David and many others.

As already mentioned, the relativistic dilemma shows above all in the fact that from the point of view of the relativists no culture has to be considered superior to another, but that this point of view is evaluated by its representatives as an important philosophical achievement that is superior in truth to other positions such as the evolutionary one of Tylor or Frazer. This is precarious enough in terms of the relativity of statements of truth, but it is not yet a contradiction within the same cultural framework. However, the self-evaluation of relativism becomes such a thing when one considers that precisely those cultures which the relativists want to save from evolutionary universalism do not know the cultural principle of relativity at all, but regard their respective systems (especially their religions) as absolutely binding. From the relativists' point of view, these cultures should therefore be classified as philosophically/morally/cognitively inferior, since the principle of cultural relativism is unknown to them.

Another example is human rights, which are defined as universal, i.e. valid everywhere on this planet, including territories where they are not legally recognised. It would be absurd if human rights only applied until the territorial borders of a state or a tribe and were overridden behind them by the application of local moral principles that deviate from them; on the contrary, they apply everywhere where there are humans. Strangely, the relativists see it differently when they claim that every culture has a right to its own value systems, which must not be measured against the criteria of Western morality. At the same time, every relativist would of course hurry to assure that he or she fully supports the ideal of human rights.
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Oct 2018
Adelaide south Australia

That you find moral relativism objectionable is absolutely your right. I have no investment in what you believe or find acceptable.

I make no claim to philosophical rigour ,and will make no attempt at debate.

I will try to explain, not justify, my position:

I grew up in a devout Irish Catholic home. That was very much about moral absolutism. and black and white thinking in everything else.

My current beliefs formed and set while I was at University, from age 29 t0 38,. first when taking my only year of philosophy studying largely ethics,.

Things began to come together when I found my discipline, Social Anthropology. I spend five years, and finished with a double major.

When asked for a definition of Social Anthropology, a professor replied "'it is the study of meaning"'

After a couple of years I became convinced that cultural relativism is a valid way to study other cultures. It took a couple of more years before I accepted the notion of moral relativity. That final bit of the journey came when a friend made the claim "there are no moral absolutes" We argued, and I went off and thought about it for about a year..

I finally concluded, that in a general, but not absolute sense, there are no moral absolutes. By that I mean if I take a given moral absolute, I can come up with an exception, even to some of our most extreme taboos .This has been helped along by being able to refer to a wide range of other cultures, from widely different parts of the planet and levels of development.

YES, morality is a cultural construct. If it is not, from whence does it come?.

I concede that there may indeed be moral absolutes about which I have not heard. Does this make me a moral relativist, or an 'exceptionalist' ? (if there is such a thing)

I hope I've explained my position clearly, All I'll say in conclusion is it is not my intention to create a philosophically sound principle. The position I have come to hold is above all pragmatic and comfortable. Yet, it is not the whole story. In day-to-day life, I remain a 'cultural Catholic. This means I tend to pretty much follow the values of my youth: Don't lie, cheat or steal., treat all people kindly, refrain for violence, be actively charitable, giving a little more than you can afford--my life goal; that there be a difference for the better for me having been alive.

Well, you asked..:rolleyes:
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Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
Cool website, OP.

How about appeal to tradition fallacy....? I don't think I saw that one there.