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More Halachic Fallacies! In Latin!

March 13, 2016

First the new ones:

Scriptum Ergo Regula, or “written, therefore rule.” This is the fallacy that allows some to claim that every facet of the printed siddur, or any idea that occurs in a halachic work, has halachic weight. This is simply not true, and is reminiscent of what I heard, I believe in R’ Schachter’s name, in response to someone’s not believing that the rabbi could take a particular position: “Write it in a book, then shoot me.” “Why should I shoot you?” “Because when people see a position written in a book in the name of someone dead, it suddenly becomes a halacha.”

Disimilis Ergo Malus, or “different, therefore bad.” This is the Hatham Sofer’s hadash asur min hatorah motto on steroids, and a common, normal, and unfortunate aspect of all human behavior and social interactions, and is also the source for may ills that plague Jewish religious life, like allergic Judaism and baseless hatred.

Et Non Viderunt Ergo Indicium, or “we have not seen, therefore proof,” a translation of the Hebrew lo ra’inu r’aya. The type of argument advanced, for example, at the beginning of Yoreh De’ah that women should be disqualified for ritual slaughter because we have never seen women perform ritual slaughter. This argument was rejected by many rishonim in many theoretical discussions, but was the practice by default for many. Related to the previous fallacy, but explicated earlier in history.

And the older ones:

Reductio ad Voluntas

Incrementum ad Institutum

Muntz’s Fallacy

The Yarmulke Fallacy

The “Are You Rav Elyashiv?” Fallacy

Reductio Ad Opinionibus At Dissiderent





From → logic, original

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