OFF TOPIC: Fallon’s Fallacy

OFF TOPIC: Fallon’s Fallacy January 22, 2021

I wrote and published a post recently in which I argued there is a good chance that someone (including possibly Donald Trump) will attempt to shoot, kill, or seriously harm Donald Trump in the next year or two. I also commented that I would NOT mourn such an event but would instead CELEBRATE such an event by popping open a bottle of champagne.  (Note: I have no plan or intention to shoot, kill, or physically harm Donald Trump.)

This upset a die-hard Trump supporter who, along with millions of other IDIOTS, bought Donald Trump’s BIG LIE that Trump actually won the November 2020 presidential election.

Along with various other rantings, Cheryl Fallon offered an ARGUMENT for her clearly mistaken belief:

To NOBODY’S surprise, Fallon’s argument contains a basic logical fallacy, a fallacy that we see frequently here at The Secular Outpost in arguments for the existence of God: the fallacy of EQUIVOCATION.  Because of this fallacy, her argument FAILS.

Here is the core of Fallon’s crappy little argument:

1. President Trump received 74 million votes in the 2020 presidential election.

2. 142.5 million people voted in the 2020 presidential election.

THEREFORE:

3. Joseph Biden received no more than 68.5 million votes in the 2020 presidential election.

This core argument is UNSOUND, because premise (2) is FALSE.

But Fallon supports premise (2) with the following sub-argument:

4. There were 216 million Americans who were registered to vote in the 2020 presidential election.

5. 66% voted in the 2020 presidential election.

THEREFORE:

2. 142.5 million people voted in the 2020 presidential election.

Fallon provided ZERO EVIDENCE in support of the factual claims made by premises (4) and (5).  So, she FAILED to provide a good reason to believe that premise (2) was in fact true.

According to The Washington Post (and other sources as well) the TURNOUT for the 2020 presidential election was 66.3%:

So, it appears, at first glance, that premise (5) is TRUE.  But this is NOT the case.  Statistics on voter TURNOUT are usually given in relation to the number of people who were ELIGIBLE to vote, and what that means is the number of people who were of voting age at the time of the election.  In other words, TURNOUT statistics are usually NOT based on the number of people who were registered to vote.

Premise (5) is stated in an UNCLEAR way.  It has at least two different possible meanings:

5A. 66% of the people who were OLD ENOUGH to vote, voted in the 2020 presidential election.

5B. 66% of the people who were REGISTERED to vote, voted in the 2020 presidential election.

Claim (5A) is TRUE, but claim (5B) is FALSE.  Statistics for TURNOUT (such as the 66.3% figure in the Washington Post) are relative to the number of people who were OLD ENOUGH to vote at the time of the 2020 presidential election.  There were MANY MILLIONS MORE people who were OLD ENOUGH to vote than there were people who were REGISTERED to vote in the 2020 presidential election.  This is because many people who are OLD ENOUGH to vote were not REGISTERED to vote (duh!).

If we interpret premise (5) to mean the claim made in (5A), then that premise would be TRUE, but the argument would FAIL because there would be a logical disconnect between premise (4), which talks about the number of REGISTERED voters, and premise (5A), which talks about people who are OLD ENOUGH to vote.  So Fallon’s sub-argument for premise (2) would be logically INVALID.

On the other hand, if we interpret premise (5) to mean the claim made in (5B), then that premise would be FALSE, because the percentage of REGISTERED voters who actually voted in the 2020 presidential election was significantly higher than the percentage of people who were OLD ENOUGH to vote who actually voted, and thus was significantly higher than 66%.   So, if we interpret (5) to mean (5B), then Fallon’s argument is UNSOUND because it rests upon a FALSE premise.

Therefore, on either interpretation of premise (5), Fallon’s argument FAILS.  It fails because it commits the fallacy of EQUIVOCATION, based on the UNCLEAR and AMBIGUOUS meaning of premise (5) of her argument.

Trump did NOT win the 2020 presidential election, except in the confused minds of the fools who were gullible enough to believe the constant lies and bullshit pouring out of the mouth of Donald Trump.

 


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