Common logical fallacies

From BoyWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

This article represents an attempt to catalog some common named logical fallacies which have grown up over the years around boylove arguments. This article does not attempt to catalog ordinary logical fallacies which can be investigated in articles on logic or debate in mainstream resources. Rather, it attempts to focus on specific named fallacies within the boylove community. Many times, these fallacies are simply ordinary fallacies renamed or repackaged into a boylove context, but because the terminology has become common within the community, they have been compiled here.

Reductio ad absurdum fallacies

The Attack of the X-Year-Olds is a fallacy in which the debater attempts to discredit a generalized statement about children by picking an absurdly young age and combining it with an out-of-context act. This fallacy was originally named by Dylan Thomas in an argument comparing child sexuality to child education in which the advocation of allowing gifted children to enter the university at early ages was rebutted by an argument demonstrating the absurdity of expecting all four-year-olds to perform at a university level. Another common incarnation of "The Attack of the X-Year-Olds" argument is when an argument for the lowering or elimination of the age of consent is rebutted with claims about the absurdity of having anal sex with two-year-olds or other similarly random or out-of-context replies.

The BoyChat Autoimmune Disease is an overreaction fallacy coined by Maintenance Elf to describe the situation in which a number of bad experiences causes a response in the community wherein all similar situations are suspect and treated with hostility. The main example is that of fake boys posting on BoyChat, which resulted in all posts in which the poster claims to be a boy, whether or not there is any evidence of deception, are immediately followed by rude and dismissive accusations of being a liar, a law enforcment officer or a troll. The comparison to an autoimmune disease is based on the probability that while often people claiming to be boys are not being honest, a premature hostile reaction is also likely to alienate genuine boys before they have a chance to establish their identities, thus depriving young boylovers of the benefits of the community.

Misdirection Fallacies

The Bait Fallacy is the name for a charge leveled by Dylan Thomas at certain laws, child advocates and vigilantes which present arguments in the interest of "protecting the children" while they seem principally designed with the goal of trapping alleged sex offenders. The name comes from one common incarnation of the argument wherein a troll or child advocate will say to a boylover for whom there is no evidence of illegal activity, "I hope you go to jail," ignoring the fact that in order for the boylover to go to jail, he would have to commit an illegal act against a child. In this sense, child advocates often seem to be willing to use children as bait in order to catch their imagined offender. Often laws and political arguments which focus strongly on tracking of sex offenders after conviction and release degenerate into this fallacy, when prevention efforts are entirely (or principally) focused on individuals already found guilty of crimes against children.

The Frankenstein Effect is the name given by Dylan Thomas to the fallacy employed in arguments used against conversation and discussion among boylovers. The basis of this fallacy is the idea held by many vigilantes and child advocates that merely discussing boylove in a completely legal context is in itself an offense which must be prevented. The consequence of preventing boylovers from speaking to each other and to the public in general is that of driving boylovers underground or isolating them from their respective communities. In both cases, the expected result is that once boylovers are completely isolated and have no place to learn from other boylovers how to handle their attraction in a legal and ethical way, they begin to believe they really are the monsters that the media repeatedly ensures them that they are and become more likely to act out in inappropriate and illegal fashions. Thus, the act of persecuting boylovers politically in effect creates the monster that the child advocates claim to be protecting children from.

The Frame Error or Frame Fallacy is another fallacy well-established in mainstream arguments but bears repeating due to the frequency with which it appears in boylove arguments. This fallacy is the result of changing an assumption in a system and then reaching conclusions without propogating the consequences of that change through the system. The classic simple example comes from an intentionally humorous statement made by Tyler: "I'm glad I'm not a girllover because if I were, then I'd have to be around girls, and I'd just hate that." However, Frame Errors in themselves are often not amusing at all, as when arguments are made to the effect that lowering the age of consent would result in many unprepared children being expected to have sex. This kind of reasoning does not take into account that lowering the age of consent would have consequences which include earlier preparation, sex education and an increased awareness at younger ages of the issues regarding sexuality, as well as a corresponding increase in the activities of pro-abstinance organizations and family involvement which would work to mitigate sudden extreme reactions.

Moral Judgment Fallacies

Drawing the Line At One's Own Heels is a fallacy already well-defined in a mainstream context, but is particularly used in the boylove community to refer to attempts to define what qualifies as boylove in and of itself. Its most classic formulation comes up in age-based debates historically held between teen boy lovers and little boy lovers about their specific attractions. In one case, a teen boy lover might say, "I can see being attracted to a thirteen-year-old, but you're talking about an eight-year-old and that's just wrong." Because the teen boy lover is not attracted to the younger child, he extrapolates his own feelings to the entire group and assumes that anyone attracted to something he is not must be wrong. Note that arguments which address legitimate concerns about age-based issues (which allow for fair presentation of differing points of view) do not necessarily commit this fallacy; in other words, someone who says, "I don't think eight-year-olds are biologically capable of engaging in sex," is making an empirical (and possibly incorrect) argument, but not line-drawing. Someone who, on the other hand, says, "I could never be attracted to an eight-year-old, that's just wrong because boys aren't attractive until they're thirteen," is drawing the line at his own heels.

The High Boylover Priesthood is a fallacious construct proposed by Dylan Thomas to describe the act of attempting to set a moral standard for all boylove based on an individual's own personal moral beliefs. The High Boylover Priesthood is described in more detail in its own article, but effectively it is a variation of the "Drawing the Line At One's Own Heels" argument that has the identifying additional quality of serving as a type of gatekeeper standard for boylove as a whole. Its hallmark expression is, "A real boylover would..." (or in the negative, "A real boylover would never...").

Fallacies of logic

The Anecdotal Osbervation Fallacy is when someone puts forward a generalized argument based on his/her own personal experience. As one boylover once put it "I'm talking to you from experience I was sexually active from the age of 6 and all the way through my childhood with other boys." Just because this person was sexually active from the age of six, this does not mean that all boys have the need or the cognitive skills to be sexually active at six.

Reductio ad anus Fallacy (term coined by Kes) occurs when one associates sex between men and boys with anal sex. It can take two opposing forms:

  • a) when someone equates sex between men and boys with anal sex, and therefore with something that might be (or perceived as) highly traumatic, in an attempt to discredit all instances of sexuality between men and boys.
  • b) when someone argues that anal sex between men and boys rarely takes place, therefore sexually expressed friendships between men and boys are not traumatic.

Both forms, however, are fallacious as none is based on evidence. Proponents of Reductio ad anus Fallacy ignore that anal sex seems not to be very much sought by boylovers ("seems" because Theo Sandfort's sample was non-representative and Clarence Osborne's experience is anecdotal) and that research based on college national probability samples (see Rind et al. (1998)) clearly showed that the type of sex (touching, oral, anal, etc) is not correlated with the way boys experience sex (positive, negative, nautral).