Drug testing

Critical Thinking To Go: Dodging The Pepperoni Pizza Fallacy

Today we commonly hear in the news journalistic items about religion and politics, or faith and something else, where the suggested "duo du jour" usually sit in opposition to one another. One could do this, of course, just as easily with other areas of human thought, as with sociology vs. history, or economics vs. psychology. But most people do not seem nearly as interested in this exercise as they seem anxious to set "religion" over against whatever other area they might find interesting.

But this represents quite an odd way to view things (at the very best), and one might rightly call it propaganda (at the worst) in many instances. You see, life does not come at us in slices, as though it were one very large pepperoni pizza to go. When humans experience an event, we do not encounter it in a parade of neatly snipped segments, as though the civil war first showed us its psychological effects, then came its economic aspects, only after which we then got a look at its technological innovations.

Just as with the runningback who grasps a fumbled football in the midst of many linesmen, life happens to us "all at once." Only after taking in an historically important event, and reflecting on it a bit, can we slice it up to study some of parts or aspects in isolation from the others -- as pundits might do, say, in an economics textbook. This, of course, makes students especially prone to confuse the way things happen on paper with how they occur on a battlefield, or in the midst of a revolution.

Now this fallacy -- the error of confusing real life with its written counterpart, does not show up in informal logic texts. But it should, since it clearly misleads many these days.

So, what to call it? I at first tried the "fallacy of compartmentalized reality." But the students in my head just blurted out, "WhatEVER." Then I mused, "fallacy of reflective segmenting." But I didn't understand that one myself. Finally, I landed on the more user-friendly label, the "Pepperoni Pizza" fallacy. Surely students could grab and digest this supreme combination of words (or was that "combination supreme"?).

By way of illustration, I recently engaged a lively proponent of Mr. Darwin's views. In the course of our discussion, he suggested that evolutionary notions merely comprised "biological theories," and that I had mistakenly inquired about the ethics of it all. Here, the pepperoni began to fly.

He didn't seem to realize (as Mr. Darwin clearly did) that theories we might properly call "biological," (or scientific) can -- and often do -- have obvious ethical implications. Ideas have logical effects not restricted to one academic field. You cannot win a debate by simply putting an arbitrary fence around an idea and yelling at its offspring, "Now stay!" Like illegal aliens, they tend to jump the borders when you aren't looking.

This means that Darwinism, neo-Darwinism and "Punctuationism," like all other ideas, have logical consequences (implications) that affect every area of human thought and life. This is why you can find evolutionary ideas discussed in psychology textbooks, history books, and even pop magazines.

In any case, evading or ignoring certain aspects of an idea's logical consequences to gain the upper hand in a debate -- or else to keep one's ship from sinking altogether -- now has a name. Armed with this knowlegde, you can clearly and distinctly show others when the need arises, that life tranpires only as a set of integrated circumstances, and that ideas have logical effects not properly limited to any one academic field.

Reality and logic do not come made-to-order with extra cheese, so you don't get a discount on them with a coupon. To make a good case, then, we must follow the rules of valid and sound reasoning.

Carson Day has written approximately 1.3 gazillion articles and essays, many with very insightful, if alternative, viewpoints. He presently writes for Ophir Gold Corporation, and specialized in the history of ideas in college. He has been quoted in the past as saying "What box?" and remains at large despite the best efforts of the civil authorities.

You can visit the Ophir Gold Corporation blogsites at http://scriberight.blogspot.com (Writing With Power), http://ophirgoldcorp.blogspot.com (OGC's Free Web Traffic), or http://ophirgold.blogspot.com (Church and State 101)

In The News:

Images revealed during NASA's Juno mission have captivated the internet.
An extremely rare U.S. currency note from the late 19th century is expected to sell for up to $3 million when it is auctioned next year.
It's now beyond official: Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, pose a danger to public health and welfare, according to an exhaustive review that looked at 275 scientific studies published over the past nine years.
An Indiana officer got a stunning view of the Geminid meteor shower — known as one of the best meteor shows of the year — from his patrol car late Wednesday.
The shape of your brain may say a lot about the Neanderthal in you.
WASHINGTON — A historic Transylvanian castle that may have once imprisoned Vlad the Impaler — likely inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula — still stands today.
A polar bear cub no bigger than a guinea pig was caught on video at the Berlin Zoo snuggling with its mother.
In an effort to better grasp the sun's past, present and future, Colombian and Spanish researchers made visualizations that meld the last 400 years of recorded solar observations.
The oldest giraffe living in North America died Thursday at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado at age 32.
Stargazers, get ready to bundle up as you catch one of the best meteor shows of the year — the Geminid meteor shower.

Phony-Baloney Detection Lesson #2

Appeals to AuthorityListen to this quote by a guy I... Read More

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Web

I really believe there are things nobody would see if... Read More

Evolution and Exorcisms

EVOLUTION: More surprising to me as I consider where my... Read More

Joseph Bonaparte and The New Jersey Devil

Joseph Bonaparte and The New Jersey Devil:"Commodore Stephen Decatur was... Read More

Animus Mundi and Intelligent Design

Animus Mundi:The World Mind or Critical Mass of intellectual and... Read More

Conspiracy Theorist

Rudyard Kipling on Masonry: "the closest thing to a religion... Read More

An Amazing, Hazy Look Into The Future

Sometimes we all sit and think. Sometimes we doodle with... Read More

The Earth Energy Grid

EARTH ENERGY GRID: - Sedona, Arizona is not only my... Read More

Tempus Fugit and the Dollar Doesnt

Money is time, a commodity which can be used to... Read More

My Insight into Numerology

From time to time, we wonder about the mystery that... Read More

Reducing Human Population Growth

Due to the indoctrination of World Religions and their control... Read More

Platos Atlantis: Fact, Fiction or Prophecy?

Atlantis is often described as paranormal or mythical, but is... Read More

Teilhard de Chardin

FATHER PIERRE TEILHARD de CHARDIN:He is one of my heroes... Read More

Visions Of Heaven And Hell On Earth

Let us now pessimistically endeavour to communication the sentient of... Read More

The Early Life of Jesus

INTRODUCTION:Yeshua bar Joseph or Yeshua ben Joseph has become known... Read More

Why Im Glad Im Not a Minority Writer

I'll admit that I used to be jealous of my... Read More

Einstein and Eirugena

ALBERT EINSTEIN: - "I am satisfied with the Mysteries of... Read More

The Cosmic Eggs

One of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World is... Read More

Its Not Your Fault!

Saying goodbye is easy for the traveler. I am a... Read More

Archetypes

DEPTH PSYCHOLOGY (ARCHETYPES): - "All material bodies are condensations of... Read More

Goths

To start this chapter we have a response from the... Read More

Satus Anxiety

'Every adult life could be said to be defined by... Read More

Alumpeth Devi Temple of Kerala in India

Alumpeth temple is an ancient kalari temple of Sri Bhadrakali... Read More

Youre Wrong

Isn't it amazing how often you're wrong? I mean that... Read More

Choice and Social Acceptance in Human Organizations

Let's discuss choice and social acceptance. I had the most... Read More

led garage light flood light led Pete's produce ..