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Tue Jul 26, 2016, 01:41 PM

"NRA talking point(s)" is a thought-terminating cliché:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clich%C3%A9#Thought-terminating_clich.C3.A9

Thought-terminating cliché

In his 1961 book Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of "Brainwashing" in China psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton introduced the term "thought-terminating cliché".[15] This refers to a cliché that is a commonly used phrase, or folk wisdom, sometimes used to quell cognitive dissonance. Though the clichéd phrase in and of itself may be valid in certain contexts, its application as a means of dismissing dissent or justifying fallacious logic is what makes it thought-terminating.

Lifton wrote:

"The language of the totalist environment is characterized by the thought-terminating cliché. The most far-reaching and complex of human problems are compressed into brief, highly reductive, definitive-sounding phrases, easily memorized and easily expressed. These become the start and finish of any ideological analysis."[15]

In George Orwell's 1949 novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, the fictional constructed language Newspeak is designed to eliminate the ability to express unorthodox thoughts.[16] Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World society uses thought-terminating clichés in a more conventional manner, most notably in regard to the drug soma as well as modified versions of real-life platitudes, such as "A doctor a day keeps the jim-jams away".[17]

In her 1963 book Eichmann in Jerusalem, Hannah Arendt described Adolf Eichmann as an intelligent man who used clichés and platitudes to justify his actions and the role he played in the Jewish genocide of World War II. For her, these phrases are symptomatic of an absence of thought. Arendt wrote, "When confronted with situations for which such routine procedures did not exist, he [Eichmann] was helpless, and his cliché-ridden language produced on the stand, as it had evidently done in his official life, a kind of macabre comedy. Clichés, stock phrases, adherence to conventional, standardized codes of expression and conduct have the socially recognized function of protecting us against reality, that is, against the claim on our thinking attention that all events and facts make by virtue of their existence."

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Response to friendly_iconoclast (Original post)

Tue Jul 26, 2016, 01:46 PM

1. So when the term "controllers" is used by some here when referring

to people who advocate for gun regulation and registration, is that also an example of a thought-terminating cliché?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 26, 2016, 01:50 PM

2. No, because it accurately describes their goal(s), whereas "NRA talking point(s)" is used...

...regardless of whether or not the thing being dismissed is an actual 'NRA talking point'.

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Response to friendly_iconoclast (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 26, 2016, 01:52 PM

3. So if I use the term NRA-type talking points would that avoid the dreaded label?

Or if I talk about the "I bought the gun for self-protection" fallacy would that avoid the label?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #3)

Tue Jul 26, 2016, 01:57 PM

4. No, because it would still be an attempt to circumvent critical thought, either in the mind...

...of the speaker or the listener.

Or if I talk about the "I bought the gun for self-protection" fallacy would that avoid the label?


That is not a fallacy- it is a declarative statement that is either true or false, depending
on the individual speaker's motive when buying said gun.

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Response to friendly_iconoclast (Reply #4)

Tue Jul 26, 2016, 02:01 PM

5. "NRA talking point(s)" is also a genetic fallacy, as it attacks the purported source...

...and not the content of what is said.

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Response to friendly_iconoclast (Reply #4)

Tue Jul 26, 2016, 02:19 PM

6. A fallacy in your response:

That is not a fallacy- it is a declarative statement that is either true or false, depending
on the individual speaker's motive when buying said gun.


Yes, it is a declarative statement, but it is neither true nor false. Guns have been used defensively, but mere possession of a gun is not a guarantee. So it is a fallacy to declaratively state that guns provide personal protection.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #6)

Tue Jul 26, 2016, 03:02 PM

8. I must demur here, as your last line was not quite what you said originally.

So it is a fallacy to declaratively state that guns provide personal protection.


is different from

"I bought the gun for self-protection"


is, in fact, no different from saying that "I bought a car to get to school/work" or

"I bought a Chromebook to go online/write reports with"

Neither of these imply a guarantee that you won't drive into a bridge abutment or
get your identity stolen via malware or phishing email.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #6)

Tue Jul 26, 2016, 03:28 PM

11. Oh, I agree there is no guarantee.

 

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Response to friendly_iconoclast (Original post)

Tue Jul 26, 2016, 02:30 PM

7. Another example: Follow the money trail....

 

Uttered by everyone who wants to reduce complex discussions to the level of secular Bible-quoting. Hardly anyone used that God forsaken expression before Watergate. Now it is thrown out there by anyone who wants a short-cut to know-it-all status. What a crock of economic determinism. May as well go home and watch Gilligan's reruns.

EDIT: I didn't know this use of mind-numbing use of cliche had a label. I have noted the phenomenon over the years, and esp. now, and termed it Conversation Killer, or Conversation Stopper, or ford-chevie (an example of the caliber of talk that ensues). Thought-terminating sounds so clinical.

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Response to Eleanors38 (Reply #7)

Tue Jul 26, 2016, 03:19 PM

9. 'Thought-terminating cliché' is concise, pithy, and a great response to those who use them

In the case of 'NRA talking point(s)'-if someone cares to argue the matter, point out that
the Eddie Eagle "If you see a gun, don't touch it and go tell an adult" line is
a real, honest-to-FSM, NRA Talking Point- then ask them if it is therefore invalid advice...


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Response to friendly_iconoclast (Reply #9)

Tue Jul 26, 2016, 03:26 PM

10. I kind of like the ring of TTC.

 

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Response to friendly_iconoclast (Original post)

Tue Jul 26, 2016, 05:25 PM

12. I've always said ...

... that "NRA talking points" is a Brady Bunch talking point.

But I've always liked to have the last word ...

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