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Argument Fields: False Dialectics

The argument fields collected here I am terming, with some reservation, false dialectics. Dialectic begins with common opinion rather than known facts and "reasons to a contradiction"—that is, it sorts out common opinion to identify and discard contradictions and arrive at a narrower but more certain truth. While it begins with opinion dialectic ends with "truth" as the results of a dialectical critical process. Unlike rhetoric, which remains pragmatic, partial and contingent, or analytic, which begins from observable facts and produces empirically verifiable theories (it's more complicated than that but let's start there), Dialectic makes truth claims. Three umbrella genres of dialectic with common roots in Western thought are philosophy, theology and ideology. The argument fields dealt with here are "false dialectics" because all three, each in different ways, are dialectics masquerading as analytics, claiming to begin from or reason to scientific facts when in fact they begin from conclusions that are analytically either false or unproveable; whereas a sound dialectic is honest about the derivation and truth value of its first principles.

SURFER BEWARE: In putting this information on the web I run the risk of incidentally promoting that which I seek to debunk. Each of these fields I heartily abhor for different reasons: Conspiracy theories habituate paranoid and sloppy habits of thought; Creation scientism, especially when taught in schools (!), fatally obstructs understanding of normal science; and holocaust denial is an execrable attempt to whitewash the worst atrocity in modern Western history, to exonerate the perpetrators of the Holocaust and those who identify with them, and to blame its victims for reminding us they exist. In each case I have listed material put out by practitioners of the false dialectic, followed by information about them from saner, more accurate sources.

Selected References for Conspiracy Argument, Revisionist History and Pseudoscience
Holocaust Denial
Creation Scientism
Conspiracy Theory
Denial Organizations:
Institute for Historical Review
CODOH (Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust)
Barnes Review

Conspiracy Organizations:
Freedom Portal
Conspiracy Theories

Information Resources:
The Nizkor Project

Information Resources:
Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences
Creationism vs. Evolution

Information Resources:
Conspiracy Theory Index