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Beliefs

CONTENTS

Zen & Understanding the Middle East

Introduction
Sellers' Market
Will to Believe
Rules of Thumb

"The truth is out there "
Use & misuse of words
False information signals more false information
Technical whiz-bang
Understand the Context
Lies, More Lies, Damn Lies and Newspapers
Beware of Generalizations
Theology and scripture
Misleading Statistics
Smoke in your eyes
What is Missing?
Myth versus fact versus narrative
The past was not like the present; the future will be different

Fallacy Recognition in the Middle East

Fallacies and Arguments
Cause and Effect
Slippery Slope
Gambler's Fallacy
Ad Hominem
Authority
Beliefs
Appeal to Novelty
Appeal to Emotion
Appeal to Tradition
False Dilemma or Black and White Thinking
Special Pleading
The Spotlight Fallacy
Who is to Say?

Fallacy Handbook

Beliefs

References - Appeal to Belief  Appeal to Popularity Appeal to Ridicule Appeal to Tradition Bandwagon Peer Pressure

Appeal to Belief - This is used two ways in arguments about the Middle East. The first way is approximately as LaBossiere describes, "everyone else believes this" so it must be so. This is especially potent if your professor or newspaper editor believes it to be so, and if you had better believe it is true if you want your work published. It is a variant of appeal to popularity and appeal to ridicule.

As LaBossiere notes, believing does not make it so. You cannot vote on facts. In history, what people believe to be true, may be as important as what actually is true. Remember the Ash experiment - people became convinced that two totally different sized lines were the same size, because "everyone" believed it to be so.

In the Middle East it is used a second way, to say "All the people in this group believe A, whereas the people in that group believe B. Both 'narratives' are 'legitimate' and have to be accepted. But not all narratives are legitimate. There can be differences of opinion, but inventions, lies and rumors are not fact. "All the X's believe the land belongs to them" doesn't make it so.

Appeal to Popularity and Ridicule - Opinion of others is a powerful persuader. Remember the Ash experiment, in which subjects were convinced that two grossly dissimilar lines were the same length, because others insisted that they were. These are similar to Peer Pressure.

Previous: Authority Next: Appeal to Novelty


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Copyright

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Zionism  Definition and Brief History  A balanced article that covers the definitions and history of Zionism as well as opposition to Zionism and criticisms by Arabs,  Jewish antiZionists.

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Concise Guide to IsraeliZionist CyberSpace

Israel-Palestina  (Dutch) Middle East Conflict, Israel, Palestine,Zionism... Israël-Palestina Informatie gids Israël, Palestijnen en Midden-Oosten conflict... Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a European perspective  Dutch and English.

English  Israel-Palestine.info Guide to the Middle East Conflict (Peace, Zionism, antiSemitism ...)

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