Talk:Thought-terminating cliché

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Social Politics[edit]

It seems that all the examples in this section are themselves examples of Thought-Terminating Cliches, i.e. the assertion that replying to opponents of same-sex marriage with accusations of homophobia is 'totalitarian' (a word which can only be used to describe the nature of a state); a similar problem with the idea of 'free speech' being used to silence discussions (as free speech also applies solely to a state's restriction of speech. If one individual or non-state group criticises another, even falsely, it is still simply them exercising their own free speech); the assertion that the term 'Islamophobia' is used in the same way as the term 'homophobia' is also an example, as it does not provide an argument as to why that usage is erroneous; the part about toxic masculinity is based entirely on a common misunderstanding of the concept (i.e. that it is a way to criticise men or that masculinity is never desirable. In fact the term specifically refers to ways in which current conceptions of masculinity are harmful *to men specifically*).

This last point especially, but to an extent the others as well, also raise the question of the validity of the sources. The entire section is sourced from op-ed pieces, whilst other sections (generally) seem to have much more rigorous sources, due in part to their restriction to purely factual claims, rather than the subjective claims in this section.

There is also the issue of the title of the section. How is 'social politics' defined as distinct from 'politics'. Politics is by its very nature 'social', as it deals with societies. There is a WP article called Social Politics, but it is the name of a gender studies journal and thus there is no precedent for its employment as a term on WP and it is defined nowhere.

I propose that the whole 'Social Politics' section be removed, or at the very least given a major overhaul to make it clear what the title means, and to ensure it only contains neutral, factual information relating to the title of the article as a whole. I've tried to do the former, but it got reverted, so I'm raising the issue here. Devgirl (talk) 20:44, 12 August 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Although I can see where it is you are coming from, in fact, there did once exist a section explaining this very issue that mere declarations of a cliche itself constituted as such; the purpose of this section is to highlight where the use of such fallacious logic has been implemented before. If you look at the sources where these examples have been sourced from, they go into more detail on the issues they are referencing and why their logic is flawed, perhaps even dangerous.
What may be a better solution is that rather than removing this information is to re-write this section appropriately, and as you suggest to integrate it into different sections on the page, the main distinction to me between politics and social politics is that politics referred to the criticism towards government's, whereas social politics did not but. Maybe a better title for this section then would be "Social movements" or something along those lines.
In any case, I disagree with the simple deletion of this section. Revising the section I believe would be a better solution. UnniKnox (talk) 12:43, 14 August 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Incorporating the section into other parts of the article wouldn't change the fact that the only 'evidence' for its claims are op-eds. Unless valid sources can be found that indicate not just that these things are happening, but that they are TTCs, they're simply misleading, and the article as a whole suffers for it. Devgirl (talk) 21:40, 15 August 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The intention of this section (Criticism of use) is to showcase critiques from valid sources, in regards to the sub-section that is currently from the likes of The Independent and from notable writers such as Breda O'Brien. The point of this section is to highlight historical and, when possible, current examples of where TTC's are applied and what their potential resulted effects are. With your suggestion, shouldn't this entire section therefore be removed, rather than just this sub-section since it is all of a similar format? Perhaps I'm still having trouble interpreting what it is you are criticising, the fact that the sentences within this prose are possible TTC's themselves doesn't strike me as an issue since it is essentially a list of topical examples, not a debate in of itself like the reference material they are sourced from. Please correct me if this is a misinterpretation. UnniKnox 23:57, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
As I have explained, though the citations are from generally accepted sources, the individual articles are not acceptable sources, as they are all op-eds (opinion editorials), rather than news reports. To use an exaggerated example, it would be like citing a cartoon as 'evidence' of a controversial factual claim simply because said cartoon is syndicated in the Washington Post. I will remove the section for now, but feel free to find factual sources. Devgirl (talk) 19:50, 27 August 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Echoing Devgirl, these appear to be trivial mentions of the phrase TTC mid-way through an op-ed, not actual critiques of the concept. Axem Titanium (talk) 06:35, 24 September 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Inappropriate Example[edit]

The following example was given in the Thought-terminating cliché article:

  • "It's not a religion; it is a relationship." - Intends to divert criticism, and is considered to be an assertion absent of any evidence or reasons that rely on one's confusion. "Tell me why it's not a religion. Tell me what a relationship is exactly."[7]

THE PROBLEM: The commentary asserting that this phrase "intends to divert criticism" is unfounded and, in most cases, factually incorrect.

Regardless of what the 'source [7]' of that example says, the introduction of a distinction between 'religion' and 'relationship' in Christian belief is a conversation STARTER, not a conversation ENDER. It draws attention to the peculiarity of the Christian deity seeking a love relationship rather than ritualized service.

THE EVIDENCE: All of Christian teaching can be boiled down to two commandments: to love God and to love one another:

  • But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:34-40 NLT)

This is because "God is love" (1 John 4:7-11 NLT) and no other service we give counts: "If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing" (I Corinthians 13 NLT).

THE SOLUTION: This example is incorrect, misleading, anti-religious, and adds nothing to the discussion so it should be removed. (talk) 02:15, 28 December 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In the source it was an example of the strawman fallacy anyway so it was synthesis on the part of the editor who added it. —PaleoNeonate – 07:33, 8 August 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"We've had enough of experts"[edit]

I haven't come across this idea before today, but I wonder whether Michael Gove's ridiculous comment on expertise should be added to the examples? Gwaka Lumpa (talk) 20:25, 10 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The source after where it says "Historical personalities listed to also have used such clichés include Joseph Stalin of Soviet-Russia, Ruhollah Khomeini of the Iranian Revolution, Pol Pot of the former communist country Democratic Kampuchea and Mao Zedong of the Communist Party of China."

First off, that doesn't really contribute much useful information to the article; maybe say some of the ways they used Thought-terminating clichés instead of just a simple list of a few people?

Also, idk about this idea chief: "ADVERTISING AND THE SPREAD OF BUSINESS, DEMOCRACY AND KNOWLEDGE, demonstrates that advertisements benefit both industry, corporations, democracy and spread freedoms." - from the lulu book summary accessed 7/12/2021

It seems perfectly valid to say that some people do use the label of conspiracy theory as a TTC. Even relatively commonly accepted ideas can get dismissed as conspiracy by some people sometimes, which in that use is definitely a thought-terminating cliché. This is also not a matter of political opinion here either, as the person who undid that edit stated. Political ideas aren't the only kinds of ideas that can be dismissed as conspiracy by someone as a TTC.

"End of"[edit]

I'd suggest the Britishism of ending an argument with "end of" as an example of this. Although I don't know if it is really a "cliche" but it is a kind of "punctuation" intended to terminate any debate.