Dealing With Irrational People
Let's face it. You can't really deal with them. You need logic to win your case, and it's something they just don't have. Anyway, let's look at a few of the common types of irrational behavior.
AMAZINGLY BAD ANALOGY: Example: You can train a dog to fetch a stick. Therefore, you can train a potato to dance.
FAULTY CAUSE AND EFFECT: Example: On the basis of my observations, wearing huge pants makes you fat.
I AM THE WORLD: Example: I don't listen to country music. Therefore, country music is not popular.
IGNORING EVERYTHING SCIENCE KNOWS ABOUT THE BRAIN: Example: People choose to be obese/gay/alcoholic because they prefer the lifestyle.
THE FEW ARE THE SAME AS THE WHOLE: Example: Some Elbonians are animal rights activists. Some Elbonians wear fur coats. Therefore, Elbonians are hypocrites.
GENERALIZING FROM SELF: Example: I'm a liar. Therefore I don't believe what you're saying.
TOTAL LOGICAL DISCONNECTION: Example: I enjoy pasta because my house is made of bricks.
ARGUMENT BY BIZARRE DEFINITION: Example: He's not a criminal. He just does things that are against the law.
ANYTHING YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND IS EASY TO DO: Example: If you have the right tools, how hard can it be to generate nuclear fission at home.
IGNORANCE OF STATISTICS: Example: I'm putting ALL of my money on the lottery this week because the jackpot is so big.
IGNORING THE DOWNSIDE RISK: Example: I know that bungy jumping could kill me, but it's 3 seconds of pure fun!
SUBSTITUTING FAMOUS QUOTES FOR COMMON SENSE: Example: Remember "all things come to those who wait." So don't bother looking for a job.
IRRELEVANT COMPARISONS: Example: $100 is a good price for a toaster, compared to buying a Ferrari.
CIRCULAR REASONING: Example: I'm correct because I'm smarter than you. And I must be smarter than you because I'm correct.
INCOMPLETENESS AS PROOF OF FACT Example: Your theory of gravity doesn't address the question of why there are no unicorns, so it must be wrong.
IGNORING THE ADVICE OF EXPERTS WITHOUT GOOD REASON: Example: Sure the experts say you shouldn't ride a bicycle in the eye of a hurricane, but I have my own theory.
FOLLOWING THE ADVICE OF KNOWN IDIOTS: Example: Uncle Horace says eating pork makes you smarter. That's good enough for me.
REACHING BIZARRE CONCLUSIONS WITHOUT ANY INFORMATION: Example: My car won't start. I'm certain the spark plugs have been stolen by rogue clowns.
FAULTY PATTERN RECOGNITION: Example: His last 6 wives were murdered mysteriously. I hope to be wife #7.
FAILURE TO RECOGNIZE WHAT'S IMPORTANT: Example: My house is on fire! Quick, call the post office and tell them to hold my mail!
OVERAPPLICATION OF OCCAM'S RAZOR (WHICH SAYS THAT THE SIMPLEST EXPLANATION MUST BE CORRECT): Example: The simplest explanation for the moon landings is that they were hoaxes.
INABILITY TO UNDERSTAND THAT SOME THINGS HAVE MULTIPLE CAUSES: Example: The Beatles were popular for one reason only: they were good singers.
JUDGING THE WHOLE BY ONE OF ITS CHARACTERISTICS: Example: The sun causes sunburns. Therefore the planet would be better off without the sun.
BLINDING FLASHES OF THE OBVIOUS: Example: If everyone had more money, we could eliminate poverty.
BLAMING THE TOOL: Example: I bought an encyclopedia but I'm still stupid.
TAKING THINGS TO THEIR ILLOGICAL CONCLUSION: Example: If you let your barber cut your hair, the next thing you know he'll be lopping your limbs off.
PROOF BY LACK OF EVIDENCE: Example: I've never seen you drunk, so you must be one of those Amish people.