Logical Fallacy Land Revisited

Last week I shared a crazy email I got from some crackpot (yes, that's a well deserved ad hominem attack there) trying to sell me noni juice.

Now, I think I can safely say that juice is good for you, to a certain extent. In many ways, it's way better to eat the whole fruit, because juice usually has a very high glycemic index since it no longer has any fiber in it, and usually has a lot of sugars that get metabolized quickly, spiking your blood sugar levels. But, most juice does have vitamins, some minerals, and antioxidants. While it's good to consume your vitamins and minerals in food, antioxidants have lately been under a lot of study, some positive, some negative. So while it's good to get them in food, it's probably not beneficial to go out of your way to consume huge amounts of them.

So noni juice, which comes from the noni tree in Southeast Asia, probably has some basic goodness to it. But it's not a miracle cure. See the above link to the wikipedia article that says that noni juice has never been proven to do much of anything and can't be sold as a medical cure for anything. It's just juice, people. Overpriced and sold as a multi-level marketing scheme.

The crazy email I shared the other day really tickled my funny bone because it was so ridiculous though. Some of you commented with great rebuttals (thank you very much!), but I thought I'd go through it myself with the name of the logical fallacy in bold after the false claim made. Here's the letter again:

I am an old guy who has lived in more places than most even visit, done more different types of things than most even consider doing, much actually less do. And I have had many more professions than most. (Appeal to Irrelevant Authority. So he's an active old guy who can't hold a job. Irrelevant)

As a result, I am more more experienced and knowledgeable than most. I am also an Agnostic Atheist Activist who has been an Atheist for around 67 of my 75 years & an Atheist Activist for over fifty years. (Appeal to Irrelevant Authority. What does that have to do with noni juice?)

I tell you these things so you will know I have more than a clue about the things I share. (about irrelevant fields, at best. But even that is anecdotal. We don't know you. You might be a  20 year old high school dropout who lives with his mother. It means nothing in regards to the sales pitch forthcoming!)

While this is about SKEPTICS i have written many other things which should be of interest to REAL “Rational” and Critical Thinkers” (I am very sad to report MANY Atheists are NOT other neither rational or logical than on any subject other than that on the existence of one or more gods.) (Not all atheists are skeptics. Atheists by definition are just those who have no belief in any gods. Period. Irrelevant to the point at hand. Non Sequitur)

Yes, being a Skeptic is great!

ONLY do NOT let your Skeptiism Over Ride your common sense and your use of rational, logical and critical thought as James Randi and some others have. (Apparently this guy has no idea what skepticism is. Skepticism: any questioning attitude, or some degree of doubt regarding claims that are elsewhere taken for granted. Skepticism is an approach to accepting, rejecting, or suspending judgment on new information that requires the new information to be well supported by evidence. This is also Poisoning the Well)

Randi and some skeptics think because they do not know of something. it can not exist, or be true. They totally fail to even consider the possibility some things which ONLY sound as if they are “too good to be true” may actually BE true. (Completely false and a Strawman Argument. Skeptics rely on a body of evidence for any claim, they don't appeal to their own authority. I accept the theory of relativity even though I don't understand it completely or see how it applies to my daily life because there is a body of evidence proving its existence.)

As I grew up during WWII, the surrender of the Japanese ending it, seemed to be, to the entire world, “too good to be true” (Irrelevant fluff)

During the Cold War, the 101st Airborne the Division I was a paratrooper in at the time, came very close to parachuting in to Berlin when the Russians were building the Berlin Wall. (We were in the aircraft on the runway with the engines running waiting tor the “GO” Order.) (Appeal to Emotion, also Anecdotal and Irrelevant)

Years later, when I watched the Berlin Wall being torn down, I can assure you, it seemed to be “Too Good To Be True” (Appeal to Emotion, also Anecdotal and Irrelevant)

Every week, there are people who win lotteries and I am sure when they do, it seems, it IS “Too Good T Be True” to them. (Appeal to Ignorance, maybe also Gambler's Fallacy. While it may seem too good to be true for me to win the lottery, someone usually wins, so statistically it's just as likely that I will win as anyone else. Of course the odds are still extremely slim)

The point is that SOMETIMES, things which sound or seem, Too Good Too Be True, actually ARE TRUE! (Appeal to Ignorance. Just because you don't understand something and it appears too good to be true doesn't mean it actually is. It simply means you don't understand all the factors involved or how something works.)

Randi “et all” do not take the advice of Benjamin Franklin and Herbert Spencer who said: “To condemn without investigation is nothing but sheer foolishness.” Ben Franklin

“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all argument, and which cannot fail to keep man in everlasting ignorance.
This principle is condemnation without investigation.” Herbert Spencer (Strawman Argument. In fact, James Randi and other true skeptics do indeed investigate serious claims. In The Moral Landscape, Sam Harris addresses this issue. If people are talking out of complete ignorance or delusion there's no need to take them seriously.)

So, DO NOT BE, as Randi is, A FOOL! (Ad Hominem)

Do not dismiss really looking into, and researching something ONLY because you believe it SOUNDS as if it, MAY BE “Too Good To Be True” (Argumentum Ad Nauseum)

You see, I KNOW James Randi has done this as he has done it to me!

I offered to spend $40.00 of my Social Security income (Appeal to Emotion) to send Randi a bottle of a “miracle” to help him cure his flu he’d for weeks, Instead of Randi having an open mind and be willing to look at the facts concerning it, instead of his being willing to even try it, FOR FREE, the IDIOT (Ad Hominem, also completely Anecdotal) just called it “Snake Oil”

While at the time, it had only been 8 (or more) years I’d been drinking and using it topically, it has now been over 13 years of my use & study. And even after all of this time, IT STILL AMAZES ME! (Argument from Incredulity. Just because a juice amazes you, doesn't mean it isn't anything more than a placebo effect. People are amazed by the placebo effect all the time.)

It IS a “Junior Miracle” when an highly intelligent & very experienced Agnostic Atheist Activist like me calls ANYTHING a “Miracle” (Sort of an Appeal to Irrelevant Authority)

Yet, I KNOW what I’ve been drinking and when needed, using topically for OVER Thirteen Years IS an Natural Immune Boosting MIRACLE! (This is Anecdotal Evidence, and for all we know, an outright fabrication. Also it's impossible to boost the immune system. That's a false claim that means nothing. Argument from Incredulity. Just because it seems like a miracle doesn't mean it isn't explained in a natural way. It just means your ignorant of things like the placebo effect.)

One which not only effectively treats illnesses and injuries on both the insides and the outsides or our bodies, it does the same for ALL other mammals, animals, reptiles & birds as well!! (Unscientific, unsubstantiated and outrageous claim)

It IS and HAS been doing great things for me ever since I started drinking it in Sept. of 1997. IF YOU WANT I can send you a description of them (Anecdotal Evidence)

ONE (of many) which happened as soon as I started (at age 62) was that ALL the Aches & Pains of OLD age were GONE! (and Still are) (Anecdotal Evidence, Argumentum Ad Nauseum)

Due to the very phenomenal success of the company I get mine from, many others jumped “on the band wagon” Thus, there are some 300 brands, it can be bought from health food stores, Cosco from other network marketing companies as well. (I sell if for what I pay for it.) (Bandwagon Fallacy/Argumentum Ad Populum. Just because lots of people buy this "snake oil" doesn't mean it isn't just juice)

I do what I can to spread the word about it because, while I am a grumpy old man, I see no reason why people & pets, as well their livestock, should sufffer needlessly and/or die prematurely simply because they do not know of it. (Appeal to Emotion)
The above was the post in which I did not mention the name of this miracle as I figured anyone who wanted to know could contact me.

I thank you for your time and may we all, “Live Long and Prosper!

Please, Take Care!

*Name deleted*

“A Pro Iraq War Agnostic Atheist Activist, 101st Airborne Vet and an Iconoclastic, Philosophizing, Beach VolleyBall Playing Grumpy Old Son Of A Beach!” (Appeal to Irrelevant Authority)

I really love Nature’s Immune Boosting Healing “miracle” I’ve been drinking and using topically since September of 1979 when I was 62. (Studies show Noni Juice boosts your immune system over 150%! (Unsubstantiated claim. These "studies" are not cited and are not conclusive. Also, you can't "boost" your immunity. That's a false claim that means nothing at all.)

Even after over 13 years of my use, Noni Juice Still, Just Totally AMAZES Me!  (Argument from IncredulityAnecdotal Evidence, Argumentum Ad Nauseum)

http://tni.com/110405 (Advertisement for Tahitian noni juice. The site is a multi-level marketing scheme)

A TEA PARTY Supporter (WTF? Could this be any more spammy and poorly placed? Does this person even know what atheism/skepticism and teabaggery means? And how they are diametrically opposed in every way?)

And a member of All of the following: (Appeal to Irrelevant Authority)


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