More Warmonger’s Fallacies Exposed

This post continues the previous post and the quotes are taken from this discussion.


„Peace is slow war, because conflict can occur in peacetime; and war is fast peace, because cooperation can occur during wartime.“

Fallacy: Abstract meaning fallacy
I ask myself if the author of this assertion is aware of his/her great predecessor. „War Is Peace, Freedom Is Slavery, and Ignorance Is Strength“ phrased Orwell already. This fallacy, maybe, is not so obvious to everyone. It has to do with redefining the meaning of words. Usually this is accomplished by making it more abstract, and the author of the above quote is just caught in the act. The author tries to convince us that there are similarities between peace and war and by that tries to blur in our minds the borderlines between them. This is just an intermediate step to what G. Orwell wrote sarcastically.

Ross David H

“The main thing that war provides, is the same thing that bankruptcy provides in a market economy, which is that if an organization (nation or company) drops … , then it is removed.”

Fallacy: False analogy (at least partially) which again leads to redefinition of war.
To put it simple, there are great differences (obvious to everyone) between war and bankruptcy, which is the reason why we use different words. One of the great advantages of bankruptcy is that it involves less collateral damage. So I suppose, we all may agree, if war were transformed into bankruptcy, humanity would enormously benefit. Thus, let us study the following questions: What blocks states from competing like companies, or what allows them to cause so much destruction in the wake of their competition? Why bankrupted states manage to merely change facade instead of being removed completely?


“You put a fallacy here yourself (appeal to common sense). In fact, it is not obvious to everyone why that is a false analogy.”
“Another fallacy (straw man; putting words in someone else’s mouth). Nowhere did I try to justify wars as engines of progress (you seem to lack the liberal arts skills of critical reasoning and close reading as well).”
“But how can you disagree with a conclusion before studying something first?”
Fallacy: Red Herring.
He is probably good at selling Red Herrings. The post is neither about fallacies nor about studying slavery. The post is about beneficial effects of war ‘in the long run’ (whatever that means). BTW “beneficial effects” in connection with war sounds equally wrong to me as “progress” connected with war, so there is no straw man in rephrasing a false claim. Sorry I won’t discuss the other allegations. Peace is more important though.

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5 thoughts on “More Warmonger’s Fallacies Exposed

  1. There is one fallacy you are not accusing anyone on SEF blog, and that is the naturalistic fallacy. The one about deriving ought from is. In my opinion it’s the fallacy a scientist must avoid in cases like this. Committing it is the only thing you can use as a pretext to call somebody a warmonger. Alas, nobody there has made any assertions about war being good or beautiful. Saying: “war was good for civilization” doesn’t mean “it was moral to wage wars”. It just says that war had some effects on societies. Scientists perceive them as “good” in their positivist-progressivist manner. Somebody else might call them “bad”. But nobody can call those effects “immoral”, being that that term is used only relative to human actions. As usual, most of the misunderstanding comes from the use of language. Most of the posters there use the type of language that is most similar to the language used in popular science, while you’re reading it as if it were expert language. Unweaving the rainbow one would say…

    • Thank you for this comment though I don’t feel like committing a naturalistic fallacy. I exposed some fallacies and that’s all about it. I feel responsible to do so as those fallacies are easily spread and abused. Ok, that doesn’t say that anyone who employs them is actually a warmonger. Some people simple repeat “unconsciously”. To wake them up was my sole intention.

  2. In some cases naturalistic fallacy is implicit – being the part of the “straw man” committed by somebody, i.e. being an accusation. I humbly suggest that you might have done that as a consequence of a justifiable emotional reaction to the idea that a group of scientists/humanists might be defending the idea of war being good. This might sound as an authority fallacy: I follow the work of many posters of SEF, and besides the tendency of some of them to be too politically conservative, I couldn’t detect anything that counters good scientific and humanistic practices. Although some of them suffered attacks from the “science and humanities left”… Guess it’s because “sociobiology boogeyman” hasn’t yet been put to sleep. Other thing, the consequence of discussions like that one on SEF, or the books like Morris’, Turchin’s, Azar Gat’s or Lawrence Keeley’s (to name a few that caused some outrage on the left) might have far more positive outcome on the political praxis than any of the attacks on them. They are helping to explain the logic of war. I know I should elaborate more on that one, but that’s something one could make a nice study of – needs time and a lot of reading.

    • Igor thank you so much for explaining the community to me. Yes, I agree those people are not genuinely evil. Maybe abused sometimes 😉

      My point is:
      You cannot understand how to prepare a soup if you are the potatoes in it. 🙂
      What I want to say is that many of those who discuss social evolution are just part of the story, not the independent observers they think they are.

      An anti-naturalistic or anti-moralistic position doesn’t help too much in this case. No matter whether you identify yourself as carrots or potatoes, you are still swimming in the same soup. Willful negation of naturalistic/moralistic fallacies just becomes an other fallacy (:-
      (The soup in this analogy being the morality defined by society. Maybe I write a separate post about that.)

  3. Although your “argument from the soup” does have some appeal it tends to be too formal. It implies self-censorship and/or intentional deceit of public and/or themselves (talking about those potatoes :-)). Following your argument: if soc-evo people are “owned” by some ideology, what makes you sure that you are not owned by a different one … or the same in some strange way? Sounds a bit like conspiracy theory? Alas, it’s you who opened that door.
    Hope you don’t take offense from my comments, they are the fruit of attempts in free thinking just as yours above 🙂

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