Logical Fallacies: The “No True Scotsman” fallacy

This term comes from the example: If Angus states “All Scotsman are brave!” And you give an example of a Scotsman was a coward, Angus might respond, “Well, then, he’s no true Scotsman.”
Angus is claiming that all Scotsman are brave by making “bravery” in what it means to be a Scotsman. This argument is not established by any facts or new information, and is only Angus’ definition what is means to be a “Scotsman.

As I said in my introduction to logical fallacies, this is one that I am very passionate about. Let me explain…

I am a Marine veteran of 9 years of service (yes, I am talking about me, Chivo, the author of the post). This is a thing I am very proud of and earned through many trials and tribulations. Some to my physical detriment. I fought to defend my ideals of what democracy is. And paid the price with my physical health. Not as high a price as some, but that is neither here nor there. I earned my right to be called “Marine”. And I am extremely proud of it.

By now, you might be asking yourself “What does this have to do with a logical fallacy? Bring it or hush it!” Fine, fine, you needn’t be impatience!

Let me pontificate a bit more. Imagine back in 2012. There was a election for something. Something FAIRLY important that your new admin felt very strongly about.

Enough of being obtuse, I backed President Obama and was not shy about it. I stated my intent to vote for him and still stand, not behind it, but in front of it and in defense of it. Still you say, “OOOOKKAY! What does this have to do with the article?!”. You haven’t let me finish….

I was contacted by a fellow Marine, one that I actually had served with. He said, in a nutshell “what are you doing?! You can’t back this guy!” I responded with “I am backing then candidate that I feel that best serves the American public.” Well, after a few rounds back and forth, I got one of the most shocking things I had ever heard(read) ” I thought you were a Marine. You aren’t a Marine.”……

Let’s let that soak in….

Insert expletive laced comments here. For about four paragraphs.

This guy that I had served with and fought side by side with had just claimed that I was “no true Marine” because I voted differently than he did. Voted Democrat, not Republican.

And that is the core of this logical fallacy. When you include a irrefutable claim as part of the definition of the subject, it had better be irrefutable.

Sorry for the tirade! But I did say I was passionate!

Next up, everyone’s favorite: the Ad Hominem!


Contributor: Jonathan Tindell

A native Floridian living in Pennsylvania, eight year veteran of the United States Maine Corp that is in support of responsible gun control, and salesperson in the Oil and Gas industry that believes in climate change, Jonathan is almost the definition of a dichotomy.

See his full bio!

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