The Logical Fallacy That Is Facebook

Rising Popularity of the Logical Fallacy on Social Media

I’m so beyond tired of seeing posts on Facebook that compare one tragic incident to another, and claim that people care more about one thing than they do about something else. This is so wrong on so many levels.

Measuring “The Sad”

There is no measurement that can accurately portray who is more upset about what. This is for a few different reasons. First of all, feelings are insubstantial. If you could measure sadness in grams and ounces, maybe it would hold some weight, but you can’t. You also have to consider the extremely biased media coverage that is given to certain events. The fact that the general public as a whole is tragically uninformed is not a basis to proclaim that one man’s death was more “cared about” than another man’s death.

Another reason you cannot measure a person’s empathy is because people simply feel. We are presented with a situation and we have an emotional reaction to it. We don’t hear a tragic story and automatically think, “Well that sucks, but it’s not so bad as what happened to someone else, right? So who cares?” Nobody is like that unless they are a sociopath. Anyone, when properly informed, will respond with a similar level of empathy and sadness toward a tragic event, no matter what it is or who was involved.

Grief Should Remain Unscrutinized

When I was younger, I experienced several deaths that seemed unfair and wrong. The suffering I endured cannot be expressed in words, and neither can the suffering of the families of countless victims. I personally don’t think the media should stick its nose into that sort of grief as it unfolds, but unfortunately, this is what happens. Everyone’s grief is legitimate, and can never be compared to someone else’s. Furthermore, it should NEVER be belittled based on the fact that the details surrounding their traumatic experience are supposedly worth more media attention than something else, and anyone who thinks that’s okay should be ashamed of themselves.

Facebook’s Logical Fallacies Encourage Media Sensationalism

Another issue with this rising trend of logical fallacy on Facebook is that you really can’t compare two unlike situations. Everything is different, happens for different reasons, and is covered by the media because of sensationalism – not to elicit an emotional outcry that will ultimately serve to change society for the better. You may think it’s absurd that someone is upset about one thing they hear, while you are upset about something else, but these are two separate events, and every person is moved by different things because of their own life experiences.

This type of argument is absurd, and often used to try and push people’s views toward a particular agenda. It makes no sense and when you parrot these ideas you end up looking like someone who cannot think for yourself. I’m going to give a list of examples to help explain my point.

Rainbows vs. Fireworks at the White House

rainbow white house

First of all, the White House was decked out in rainbow lights when the Supreme Court made a life-altering decision for thousands of American citizens to uphold their human rights. But many people took this small symbol of social change as a challenge when a week later, the White House didn’t put up red, white, and blue lights to celebrate Independence Day.

The real question here is, has the White House EVER put up red, white, and blue lights to celebrate Independence Day? Not even once, have they? According to this logic, should the American LGBT(etc.) community become enraged that they didn’t get fireworks displayed all throughout the nation to commemorate the momentous occasion? These two events are completely unrelated. Independence Day gets fireworks, barbeques, songs, performances, documentaries, alcohol, parties, and respect, and gays get pretty lights. Deal with it!

Death vs. Death and Racism

all black killed unarmed

Another ridiculous thing I see a whole lot of is people comparing the deaths of different people. People are murdered frequently, and many people are getting offended by the fact that police brutality may hog some of the limelight over, say, a white marine getting murdered two and a half years ago.

Okay, let’s just stop right there. Systemic racism is a huge problem that oppresses and harms black people on a daily basis. They can’t go a day without remembering they are black and that most people in their country look down on them. And then, when the police racially profile them and go too far, enough that the media decides it would make a sensationalistic story that will put their network on the map, these horrific crimes against humanity are belittled and compared to a completely unrelated event. So a marine once got murdered by a minority. Does that mean that racism and police brutality are okay, because all black people might potentially murder a marine?

It makes no sense. They’re not even in the same category. Well, unless you want to use your argument to justify racism and police brutality.

Yes, it is absolutely wrong and disgusting and fucked up that anybody should be murdered, by the police or otherwise. It is horrific, tragic, and evil. But they cannot be compared. The marine who was murdered will likely have a huge media following, if not across the nation then at least in his home state, and he even has a holiday to commemorate his actions and courage for his service to the nation. Minorities who are profiled by the police as a threat, treated brutally, and murdered, just have rednecks on social media getting angry that their death made the newspaper. It’s actually pretty racist.

Attacks On Planned Parenthood

planned parenthood

Something that has been really making me shake my head is the latest trend of attacking Planned Parenthood and comparing it to the brutal act of trophy hunting. Many people have the crazy idea that Planned Parenthood’s sole purpose is to harvest the organs of unborn children and sell them for a profit. Based on this ridiculous lie, begun by a slur campaign from hell determined to get rid of social programs that help poor women, many sheeple are crying out that Planned Parenthood is more evil than animal abuse and we should feel guilty for caring more about animals than we do about people. They are flabbergasted that society hasn’t shut down this program once and for all despite the fact that many are outraged over trophy hunting.

It doesn’t make a lot of sense that these people would prefer seeing animals abused and children born into families where they aren’t wanted, leading to abuse, trauma, neglect, drug use, and a cycle of poverty they may never be able to break out of. Generally, this lifestyle is responsible for higher crime rates and a lower quality of life for the families they are born into. So using the same logic, people who compare the lion to Planned Parenthood apparently prefer child abuse over animal abuse. Bravo. If you don’t understand what I mean, watch this clip. It explains my point perfectly.

More than anything, Planned Parenthood is an organization that helps poor women  that nobody else cares about. They provide health care and screenings for women who could never afford it otherwise. It is a phenomenal organization, and although a tiny fraction of their profit may be spent on performing abortions when needed, like, say, if a woman is raped and her pregnancy may cause complications that would kill her because of a traumatizing event she had no control over, they will help her and give her the option to donate the stem cells to science so that maybe her unborn child could have a hand in curing cancer. Pretty evil, right?

I don’t agree with murder in any form, it’s awful. But I don’t see all the people trying to shut down Planned Parenthood offering to adopt out all the kids they think they’re saving or start a better program for helping impoverished women and their unborn children. The poor babies would just end up born into a hellish cycle that nobody in their right mind would ask for and grow up judged and condemned by the same people who supposedly “saved” them. Sure, adoption sounds nice, but when is the last time you went to your local orphanage and brought home someone to love? It rarely happens, and either way, the unwanted children are put into a hellish foster care cycle, condemned by society, and surrounded by dysfunction, substance abuse, and pain.

Women in Planned Parenthood are too poor to survive on their own, so obviously it’s a great idea to throw an innocent child into the mix. It’s not like being poor is one of the most stressful things a person could go through, and it’s not like people take that stress out on their children and abuse them. I mean, who do those bastards who give a shit about trophy hunting think they are, caring about a lion when 3% of Planned Parenthood’s revenue goes toward abortion?!

The argument makes no sense, and was started by a classist and sexist organization that wants to continue oppressing women. You want to hop on the band wagon? Go for it. But it’s a pretty ignorant argument. At least make sure your argument isn’t a logical fallacy.

Responses To Brutality Toward Animals

lion abuse

There are few things more appalling than the brutal treatment of animals. Most people know this, but for some reason, they don’t like to dwell or admit to it, because they are guilty of benefiting from the  exploitation and abuse of animals on a daily basis.

Recently, news of a wild lion’s torture has come into the mainstream media and elicited a (reasonably) negative response. People are upset and disgusted by its treatment, and finally it seems that animals are getting representation for their suffering in the mainstream media.

But wait, not so fast. People who want to continue utilizing animals without guilt can’t seem to let this one slide. Why should people pay attention to the savage treatment of animals without being made to feel guilty for not caring that people in the USA are murdered too? And that Planned Parenthood still dares to grace the earth on its distorted mission to help impoverished women in horrific cycles of abuse to receive health care?

I just do not see how any of these things are related. Animal abuse is an evil thing. Period. It is not something that you can compare to other evils in the world. Evil is simply evil, and chances are, everyone is just as upset about the brutal treatment of Cecil the Lion as they are about every other fucked up thing that happens in this world. Let it go and show some respect for suffering!

Nobody should be forced to suffer, animal or otherwise, and these arguments are completely illogical. If you want to argue against Planned Parenthood, get your facts straight and argue against the organization. Don’t bring someone else’s torture into it and belittle their suffering to make your stupid point!

The Media Thrives Off Your Ignorance and Outrage

We have to accept that none of us control the media. Everyone with two brain cells and a soul will be outraged when they hear horrible stories, no matter who or what they involve. The media chooses to exploit these stories for their own sensationalist agendas. The news isn’t here to inform the public, it’s here to get ratings, compete with other news broadcasters, and push yellow journalism to its limits to try and get a good story. The more controversy they elicit, the more viewers they can usher into their corner, and the more money they make.

It’s not only manipulative, but it makes people look like sheeple, parrot the thoughts of the broadcasters who bring them this news, and keeps them in the dark about other issues going on. News stations try and get the most shocking story with the most controversial angles possible so that people will start a “dialogue” and refer to their news broadcasting station for all the details. They withhold things and reveal them as they see fit to keep viewers on the hook as the masses begin formulating their opinions about what happened. We are spoon-fed little tidbits that put us right where they want us – glued to the limited amount of information they have chosen to give us and desperate to learn more.

When we don’t know the whole story, we make assumptions. We become the kings of the logical fallacy and start making connections that make no sense to justify an argument that ultimately falls in favor of racism, animal abuse, and sexism. These ridiculous arguments aren’t made because they are convincing and rational, they are made because they push the agendas of the people who put them out there and want to keep the world stuck in the stone age. If you’re okay with that, great, but I just thought I should warn you, you’re making an ass of yourself and belittling a lot of things that matter. If you have a cause, get your facts straight and fight for it the right way. WithOUT getting logical fallacy involved.

 

 

The Cloudiest Day

First draft of a children’s book. Illustrations yet to come.

 

 

The Cloudiest Day

Amanda Bassett

1.

Ellie and Alexia looked up at the sky. It was a beautiful blue.

There were rolling white clouds racing above their heads, and suddenly Ellie gasped and pointed up.

“Do you see that?” she asked in shock.

Alexia stared up, squinting at the clouds, and her jaw dropped.

“Those clouds are moving!”

“I think they are having a race,” Ellie said.

2.

Ellie’s eyes widened as the clouds began to take form, and soon she and Alexia were laying down in the grass to watch the entire race.

Alexia pointed up at the cloud who seemed to be ahead.

“Look,” she exclaimed. “It seems to be a rocking horse!”

“A rocking horse?” Ellie giggled. “How could a rocking horse be in a race?”

3.

High above the girls’ heads, in the sky, the clouds were racing with all their hearts. It was true, the rocking horse seemed to be ahead. They all wanted to win very badly, so that they could be the first to share their special gift with the world below. The rocking horse was panting as it pushed itself along.

4.

“I have to win this race,” it thought to itself. “My gift is important. It is to face all odds faithfully, knowing that even when things seem impossible, they will get better.” And the rocking horse pushed itself as hard as could be.

5.

“That rocking horse sure seems brave,” Ellie said with a smile.

“Yes it does,” Alexia agreed.

They stared at it in admiration until Ellie noticed another cloud passing it by.

“Do you see that?” she asked her sister.

“I do!” Alexia said, staring at the next cloud with wide eyes.

6.

“It’s very important for me to win this race,” the man in the boat thought to himself, huffing as he rowed with all his heart. His boat was very heavy, and piled high with boxes and bags. “My gift is very useful. If I win, I can let everybody know that with a little bit of hard work, you will be able to go far and bear even the heaviest burden. Working hard will get you everything you need.”

7.

The girls watched as he dipped his paddle in the water, pushing himself speedily past the rocking horse.

“I don’t know who I would rather see win,” Ellie said with a frown.

“Neither do I,” Alexia agreed.

Suddenly, another pair of racers appeared behind the rocking horse and the boater, and the girls became distracted by the plight of a terrified rabbit and a mean looking snake.

8.

“I know this is scary,” the rabbit huffed as it ran, glancing over its shoulder as the snake bared its fangs. “But our gift is important, and if I don’t give it to the world then I fear that nobody else will.”

“Yesss,” the snake hissed as it chased the rabbit through the bright blue sky. “If I don’t try to catch this rabbit, it will never find its courage.”

“And if I don’t face my fears, I will never grow stronger,” the rabbit agreed, hopping quickly. “That is my gift to the world – the courage to see past fear and learn your strengths through your challenges. We have to win!”

“We mussst,” the snake agreed.

9.

Ellie and Alexia watched with wide eyes as the snake chomped down at the rabbit. Its tail almost got nipped. The rabbit ran faster with a laugh, and winked down at the girls. Alexia held her hand over her heart, worried for its safety, when Ellie pointed to the sky above the pair.

“Oh wow, look!” she exclaimed. “Do you see that giant snail?”

Sure enough, a giant snail was trailing along, sliding above the rabbit and the snake.

10.

“I really need to win this race,” it said in a low voice. “If I don’t, I can’t share my gift with the world. My gift is special. Without it, how would people know that it’s okay to go slow? I want to give the gift of patience, because sometimes, the biggest and best things take the most time. What was once small and slow can become very large and powerful.”

And with that, the snail’s size brought it beyond the rabbit and the snake. Although they were moving as quickly as they could and the snail was very slow, they stayed under the shadow of the giant snail.

11.

“I bet the snail’s going to be the one to win!” Alexia cried.

“Not so fast,” Ellie countered. “Look!”

Alexia craned her neck, and noticed a woman in a rocket ship zooming by.

“Who is that?” she asked, delighted by the woman’s brightly colored rocket ship.

“I don’t know, but it looks like she’s winning!” Ellie exclaimed.

12.

“My gift to the world is very special,” the woman said, pulling a lever to give her ship a boost in speed. It shuddered beneath her and she began moving very quickly. She found herself traveling far past the rabbit and the snail and moving far past the man in the boat.

“I want the world to know that even girls can do amazing things. In fact, anyone can do anything they set their minds to. My gift is to show the world that we are all very special and full of amazing potential.”

The girls watched in awe as the rocket ship gleamed in the sky, but it stopped short of a huge horse, running powerfully along.

13.

“You will never win this race,” the horse taunted. “For I am large and independent, and my gift may be the most important.”

“What is your gift?” the woman called from the window of her rocket ship.

“I must show the world that it is okay to be wild, and okay not to be tame. We have many carefree instincts that make life fun, so we can live it like a game. Things aren’t so bad when we give ourselves a chance to laugh and to cry. Hello is just hello and good bye is just good bye.”

And with that, the horse lept over the other clouds and sprinted into the lead.

14.

The girls watched with wide eyes as the horse galloped powerfully, striding over the other clouds with ease. It seemed that surely, this majestic creature would win the race. It was so proud and so sure of itself.

“It is very independent,” Alexia nodded.

“And very strong,” Ellie agreed.

“But look,” Alexia said. “There is one last racer we haven’t seen yet.”

A little seahorse was pushing through the sky. It looked like it was swimming as fast as its fins would carry it.

15.

“Nothing will stop me from winning this race,” it panted. “My gift is the best of all. I was given the gift of parenthood, and I must tell the world that it’s okay if your children fall. It’s okay if they learn for themselves, it’s okay if they ask questions. What isn’t okay is to shut them down and crush their independence.”

The little seahorse pushed past the other clouds, in a rush to catch up to the horse.

“Yes, being independent and powerful is important, but it’s more important to be gentle. To let others come into their own and accept them no matter who they become. Without my gift, all the others may be destroyed. And so I must win at any cost!”

16.

The girls watched as the race became more intense than anything they had ever seen before. All of the clouds seemed determined to overtake the others, and were moving as fast as they could. The girls felt sorry for them all, and wished the race would stop so that they could all rest. Neither Ellie nor Alexia knew which cloud they wanted to be the winner more, and so they held hands tightly, hoping that it would be over soon so they would be relieved of their suspense.

17.

The race was tied, with each cloud neck-in-neck. The girls’ hearts thudded in their chests as they awaited the results of the race. Suddenly, a deafening boom pierced through the sky, and the girls watched in horror as all the clouds began to collide. The beautiful white puffs turned grey as the clouds merged together, and Alexia and Ellie were unexpectedly caught in an abrupt downpour.

18.

The rain drenched the girls, and Ellie, being the older sister, threw her coat over Alexia’s head to shield her from it. They tried peering up at the sky, but the rain got in their eyes and they knew it was time to go home. The race was over, and it seemed that none of the contestants had won. The girls walked home, close to tears.

19.

The next day, Alexia and Ellie woke up to a clear and beautiful day like the one before. Normally they would have been excited to go outside, but both of them felt their hearts were heavy with sadness.

Still, they decided to go out and face the day anyway.

“Do you want to go back to where we were yesterday?” Ellie ventured. “Maybe we can find out if anybody won the race.”

“I suppose so,” Alexia agreed. “I can’t think of anything but those poor little clouds.”

20.

When they went back to the field, the girls gasped. Where they had been lying the day before, there was now a field full of people growing. The girls ran through the field, looking at each one in amazement.

“Who are you?” Ellie finally asked a small woman.

“Why, I’m just here to share my gift with the world,” the woman answered softly, looking around sleepily.

“What is your gift?” Alexia asked in a gentle voice.

“Well, I’m not sure,” the woman said thoughtfully. “It feels as if I have several. Maybe I could just pick and choose!”

The woman chuckled to herself before getting comfortable in her leaf again and falling back to sleep.

21.

The girls walked through the rows curiously. All of the new people said the same thing. Each of them wanted to share their special gift with the world, but none of them were quite sure what it was. The only thing they knew for sure was that they had plenty to choose from.

The girls walked back home, puzzled, before they finally realized what had happened.

“All of the clouds have won the race!” Alexia exclaimed. “It must have been a tie.”

22.

“Or maybe it was never a race at all,” Ellie considered. “But they only thought that they were racing. They had to run hard until they crashed and became the same cloud so that they could work together.”

“Maybe that’s why all these people are growing right where it rained,” Alexia said. “Maybe the rain was special, and they are all here to show their gifts to the world.”

23.

The little people began slowly waking up, and soon the girls heard laughter and singing bursting from the field. It brought smiles to their faces. It was the most beautiful sound the girls had ever heard. Soon it was overtaken by soft snoring again, and the girls giggled.

“When they are done growing, they will show everyone else how wonderful they are. I bet the world will be a much brighter place,” Alexia said.

“Do you think we have the same special gifts they have?” Ellie asked. “And maybe they’re here to bring it out of us?”

24.

“I don’t know,” Alexia said, peering out the window over the field of happy, sleeping people. “But I’m very glad they’re here.”

“So am I,” Ellie agreed, joining her sister at the window. “I wanted all of the clouds to win, and it looks as though they have.”

Mr. Exterior

Life starts again somewhere near the end
the pain of the pleasure is lost
All that pretends to be your soul’s friend
slinks away with the freedoms you’ve crossed
Mistakes don’t give in, they’re as guilty as sin
They come up as your feelings come down
And yes sir, I know, that a woman is bold
When her options say shrink, be controlled
No thank you sir, yes sir, I’m sure
I don’t need your cracked boost in this world
And please keep this clear, Mr. Exterior,
Your mistake was made long, long ago.

Pain For The Cure

It seems each day I try to find
this land of peace but fall behind
the broken fragments in my head
cut, bled dry, and lost instead
I search for pain to seek the cure
I wish for calm to cause the stir
I lay awake to fall asleep
I dream of truths that lie beneath
my freckled face and wounded nose
connected to immobile toes
staying firmly where they’re lent
playing dumb to freedom spent
I search for pain to seek the cure
I wish for calm to cause the stir
When thoughts lay dormant in my head
I pounce too soon with plans undressed
Every day I fall behind
this land of peace I just can’t find
With pallid eyes and breaking teeth
I dream of truths that lie beneath
Every window, every door
seems to offer liquid shores
Living a brass lullaby
ringing hopes that never try
I search for pain to seek the cure
I wish for calm to cause the stir
and when the sickness settles in
resent the force I’ll seek again
Seeking pain to reach the cure
Seeking calm to cause the stir
seems to offer so much more
than lullabies behind closed doors
Look outside the window now
Don’t hide your eyes, and don’t look down
Meet your wisdom, greet your youth
Understanding every bruise
Some will stay and some will wait
Some will let you marinate
But every letter scratched away
Is one more breath you hesitate
I search for pain to seek the cure
But she won’t live here much longer
And when I think I’m whole again
Somehow the circle paints an end

Fact or Fiction

Plight of the predators
Piling fact over fiction over lie
Never stop, Never be
Never stop to think
Whatever they claim – believe
Whatever the cage – be free
Deciding, dividing
casualties vs. profit
Deceiving, achieving
a generation of “just drop its”
walk on, walk away
Don’t look back
You’ll remember the day you turned to stone
The day your theory cracked
Mistaking and faking
Solutions to games
Wishing and pushing
to be the first to play
Perverted by poverty
By educationless youth
Miserable in the shadow of self-decay
An abomination of the shelter
Where once you felt safe
Now placing a stone lid over the tomb
The sun is undone – it’s left this room

 

Listen Inside You

Let go of ego
Surrender control
Forgive all transgressors
Accept the unknown
Bow to all passers
Listen to truth
Accept all as masters
Always play sleuth
Seek all the answers
Eat every fruit
Avert new disasters
Treat each as acute
Refuse to take credit
The future is done
Designs made to let it
Prosper as one
One single function
One single hope
One-up destruction
One life eloped
Surrender your ego
To tides of repair
Lead all who follow
With the utmost in care
Welcome tomorrow
Shunning despair
Listen inside you
The answers are there

In Favor Of Beings

Your eyes on that table
looking out, looking through
your head hanging over
new maps, an excuse
wintering summer and smoking out fall
Breathing out poisons to grasp one and all
cutting down lifelines
To print new disease
striking a nation
you inadequately feed
To halt this starvation
to continue to breed
Recycling poison
Recycling greed
I listened in once
My ear to the floor
A conversation started
The next open door
I heard as they spoke of
such adult things
That registered my thoughts
in the favor of beings
Cut down the valley’s fruits for their blood
cut down and plow out and murder and hug
each other in victory of slaughter and pain
Take all the resources, take all to gain
Never mind conscious
She stayed in first grade
Never mind prejudice
It’s here just the same
Never mind the ozone
I hear that it’s safe
Never mind my actions
I’m not to blame
I listened in once
and I heard these things
But once I reflected
ruled in favor of beings
The children are starving
their stomachs in need
The trees disappearing
What will we breathe?
The whole world is ailing
And blinded by greed
Please, doctor, doctor
The world is in need
But the doctor can’t hear me
His stethoscope’s gold
What he thought was a heartbeat
Was death, paid in full.

I Saw Decay

I looked outside the windowpane
And saw decay
Mistakes made by the human race
I saw a world we can’t replace
I saw decay as it erased
The bounty that our greed displaced
In favor of our need for space
Indulgence fattening each face
but the ones in need, greed hesitates
To feed the needy sunken face-
As our own wealth accumulates
The goal behind each fake embrace
Becomes to praise the world’s decay
And save the safe from every day
While the precarious dissipate and pray

Tick Tock

Hidden
Beneath the ashes, under dresses
Miserable tick tock misery tick tock mine tick tock
I feel my brain skip a beat
savoring the missing link
That gap leaping between
Rationality and the unseen
Misery tick tock more of this brain lock can’t keep this place blocked
my brain skips a beat
my consciousness retreats
I stare in disbelief
at my body on the floor
Building walls tick tock raindrops fall tick tock
Branches break, shamrock
Luck lost, tick tock
I feel my brain skip a beat

Baby Steps

Grin in death
Don’t rush life
Take small steps
Speak your mind
Start out small
Build your way up
Little doses
Fill large cups
Let yourself be overwhelmed
Take every opportunity
Don’t shun your emotions
They put you where you need to be
Take every chance you can to learn
Take every opportunity
Don’t drink 32 fluid ounces before bed
It becomes annoying
Accept every thought
Let it pass untroubled
Love slowly prospers
Rush it and it crumbles
Learn when you’re being selfish
And let go of it
Don’t fear the first step
Just take it