Fallacies (المغالطات)

Fallacy 5 : Misleading Vividness

FALLACIES:

MISLEADING VIVIDNESS

~EXAMPLE~

The Fallacy of Misleading Vividness is a logical fallacy describing some occurrence or event in vivid detail, even if it is an exceptional occurrence, to convince someone that it is a problem.

Example:

M: I’ve been speaking to a brother about khilafah and I’ve realized that we need to work for its re-establishment.

R: What? You’re talking to that HT brother again? Bro, I wouldn’t do that. These people call to a radical version of Islam and could get you locked up for life; you’ll be stigmatized, lose your job, be divorced and ruin your whole family. I know a brother who went through the same thing! I’d stay away bro.

 Notes

  • This argument is purely psychological and is based on the ‘availability heuristic’. Thus, if a person does actually know instances of where someone has been locked up on anti-terror charges and ruined his life as a consequence, then the opponent’s claim might seem all the more persuasive. But this has no bearing on truth.
  • The opponent/objector’s statement also has no bearing on the strength or evidence of the argument.
  • R’s knowing a person that went through difficulties in carrying the call to establish khilafah (if he in fact does really know someone like that) does not in any way make the argument true. The most exceptional (drastic, worse case…) occurrence or scenario is used as a psychological manipulation against the listener.
  • Everyone fears imprisonment, loss of life, etc. but these realities do not make the opponent’s argument true.
  • In the broader realisation and vision of the da`wa carrier these things should matter little anyway.
  • The reward of everlasting life with Allah (swt) far outweighs any worldly difficulties.
  • Also, what people think to be dangerous or what they designate as priorities do not override Allah’s priorities and desires, i.e. what He (swt) demands of us.

 

s.z.c.

London 2006.

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