Category Archives: Logical fallacies

New is Not Always Better

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.
– Ephesians 4:14

A few semesters ago I had the privilege of taking a Critical Thinking class.  Any kind of thinking, whether based in logic or emotion, is a type of philosophy.  And everyone is involved with philosophy every minute we’re awake.  For those who claim not to be for such lofty scholarly matters, mind if I take your keys and wallet after punching you in the face?

For those in pursuit of accuracy and consistency in life, sound philosophical arguments are beneficial because it doesn’t just take the what is given at the moment.  Most people develop their opinions over the years due to influences like family, culture, school, Scripture, etc.  Either they sort through what they hear over the years after objective consideration or they take it all in like a garbage chute.  But faith must overcome challenges, otherwise it is weak and worthless.  Unfortunately, we all follow of a series of confirmation biases and we are left with illogical conclusions made from faulty premises.  This severe lack of examination of our thoughts is due to a combination of our ignorance and laziness.  Having to stop and doubt what seems to be agreeable requires a lot of labor that we simply don’t want to deal with.  So we tend to just shrug and keep going along the DeNile River.

Today’s spotlight has to do with something that is cited by many seemingly respectable characters in my life and frankly I’m appalled by it.

– Men shouldn’t be the only ones to ask women out, it’s the 21st century!
– Religion has no place in the postmodern era.
– It’s 2016, why do I have to provide for my kids again?
– Murder is more acceptable at 2pm rather than noon.
– If that’s a new product, it must be the best!

It’s amazing to me how people keep up this consumerist attitude with confidence.  I can say with certainty that I’ve never used this as an argument in my life nor did it ever occur to me to think this way.  Yet it’s whipped out constantly by my family and media like a pair of sunglasses.  Be straight, is this one of those common sense conspiracies? As if each divergent concept automatically merits positive change. Wake up, people! Disregarding the past on a generalized basis is quite juvenile and narrow minded, which ironically stands in the way of progress.   Sorry guys, this means you actually need to dig and get into the how and whys of the matter, instead of lazily dismissing ideas on the grounds of a clock.

So let it be known here and now that I’d have more respect for someone who says we’d be better off because of a claim they personally live out rather than attempting to validate a statement on air.  At least be up front about flaunting your own authority.

Much as we all love our own opinions, we need to keep a lid on dispensing unsolicited addages.  Otherwise if we go around making comments without facts or experts to support us, we’re left with useless conclusions best given to the fire.  We all have our strengths and experience and they are necessary at the table – given appropriate times.   There’s a sea of voices out there to coerce you and ultimately you’re responsible for which ones you follow, so choose wisely my friends!

Karl Barth and C.S. Lewis on the Birth of ‘Chronological Snobbery’

Side note: I would also discourage the opposite side of this fallacy line, appeal to tradition, which is also common.  Old things work fine, yes, but there should be room to grow as well. I wouldn’t want to be one of those who are stuck behind because of pride refusing to learn the new technology (even though I am overly resistant to adaptation).