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Demonizing III: Demonic Genetic Fallacy

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A genetic fallacy is a flawed argument that comes in negative and positive variations.  In the negative version a perceived defect in the origin of a claim or thing is taken as evidence discrediting the claim or thing itself. The positive variation is an error in reasoning in which the origin of a claim or thing is taken to be evidence for the claim or proof that the thing is good. A Demonic Genetic Fallacy is, as would be expected, always negative. A genetic fallacy, demonic or not, differs from the ad hominem fallacies in that a strictly defined ad hominem always targets an individual while the genetic fallacy can be used to target groups or institutions. The demonic version of this fallacy involves two steps, the first of which distinguishes the demonic from the normal genetic fallacy. First, the target, which is the origin of the claim or thing, is demonized. As noted in the first essay on the subject, demonizing is portraying the target as evil, corrupt, dangerous or threatening.  This can be done in the usual three ways: selective demonizing, hyperbolic demonizing or fictional demonizing. Selective demonizing is when some true negative fact about the target is focused on to the exclusion of other facts about the target.  Hyperbolic demonizing involves greatly exaggerating a negative fact about the target. Fictional demonizing is simply lying about the target. Second, the attack on the origin of the claim or thing is taken to discredit the claim or thing. The demonic genetic fallacy has the following two forms: Premise 1. Claim (or argument) C originates from group G. Premise 2. Group G is demonized. Conclusion: Therefore, C is false (or the argument fails). Premise 1. A originated from O. Premise 2. O is demonized. Conclusion: A is discredited. The reason why the demonic genetic fallacy is a fallacy is that demonizing a group or origin has no bearing on the truth of a claim, the quality of an argument or the. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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