The Bullshit Klaxon

Awooga! Bullshit! Bullshit!

Listening to the Pod Delusion on my way to work, I heard a blatant real life example of Godwin’s Law – in a piece on male circumcision there was a recording of a rabbi making the ‘point’ that the only world leaders to have banned the practice were Hitler and Stalin.

Yup, someone was actually prepared to say that in public and carry on speaking as the audience to the debate laughed at him.

Now I could go on a long rant about what I think of people who think their rights as a parent negate the rights of their offspring. I could object long-windedly to cutting babies up for dubious reasons. But who’d read that? Those are just opinions and there’s a more important ideal:-

I’d like to propose that any public debate should include a simple device – the Bullshit Klaxon.

The Bullshit Klaxon would be manned by someone who was well up on logical fallacies and could identify for example, the appeal to authority, godwin’s law, the classic ‘You don’t have an answer, therefore goddidit’ etc.

Any time anyone trotted out one of these fallacies there would be a loud ‘Awooga!’ And they would be forbidden for speaking for the rest of the debate.

We must do this, because it says so in a bronze age book? Awooga!

Someone I met once had a personal experience, so it must be universal? Awooga!

You can’t believe something, therefore it isn’t true? Awooga!

I don’t mean I want a klaxon going off whenever there’s someone I disagree with. I’d like that, but it isn’t reasonable. Whereas it definitely is reasonable that public debate, especially large public debates that include elected officials, be policed for logical fallacies.

This would aid democracy, and mean that a lot of the loud, idiot voices would be drowned out by even louder awoogas.

It would also be a blow against religious freedom, what with the modern popular religions all being based on logical fallacy. The curtailment of religious freedom is of course a good thing, and I know because I personally can’t take the idea of God seriou- AWOOGA!

Oh all right, just because I can’t believe doesn’t mean there definitely isn’t a god. However, religions have done so much damage to so many people that surely – AWOOGA!

All right, that’s not a logical argument against all religion either but… look, just stop it. My opinions are facts, your facts are just opinions!

Erm. Yeah, Bullshit Klaxon. That’s what we need.

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