(ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON 3/26/2014)
This is a new category, and will be updated from time to time.
The subject matter will focus on current issues, and how many of those who give opinions and commentary in Public Forums often violate the basic rules of Logic and Critical Thinking. Often this is done so casually, that it implies a disdain
for proper intellectual discourse.
All examples are not meant to be considered true to life, they are being used for illustrative purposes only.
Some of the definitions I will use are my own, others can be found in Textbooks, Websites and Essays that are used to teach Logic and Deductive Reasoning. If a definition is of my own creation, I will indicate it.
Lets get started.
TOPIC- Gun control laws.
Reporter- "Senator, results from National Crime Reports indicate that your State, has one of the highest rates of violent crime and murder convictions in the nation. Do you think that your States Gun Laws are responsible for this, and what changes would you support to bring these rates more in line with the national average."
Senator- "My Constituents believe that the Second Amendment is essential to guarantee the Freedom of all Americans. If we start taking away Guns from law abiding Americans, then only the Criminals will have them."
This is what I label as a case of:
1) A QUESTION IS ASKED ABOUT A CERTAIN TOPIC.
2) THE ANSWER, WHILE STILL ON TOPIC, DOES NOT
ADDRESS THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE
3) INSTEAD, THE RESPONSE ATTEMPTS TO TURN THE
CONVERSATION INTO AN AREA OF THE TOPIC NOT
COVERED BY THE INITIAL QUESTION.
This is a Tactic of many politicians, who want to avoid controversy by not taking a stand that may upset a certain portion of the electorate.
Why do I call it MISDIRECTION?- Those of you familiar with Stage Magicians know that the success of many illusions relies on getting the audience to pay attention to what one hand is doing, while ignoring the other. It is this hand that is actually performing the necessary work to make the Trick believable.
MISDIRECTION in the above example, (Gun Control Laws), is an attempt to draw attention away from what is actually asked, and focus it on information that has nothing to do with the question. Since it remains on Topic, the answer is the deception to draw attention away from the initial question, and focus it on unrelated information.