(Classifications of propaganda techniques taken from: Asking the Right Questions; M. Neil Browne & Stuart M. Keeley. How to Think About Weird Things; Theodore Schick & Lewis Vaughn).
“Well you could quote lenin nightingale but … (a slight shaking of the head) … or any other Trotskyist (another slight shaking of the head). Ad Hominem Attack: If you can’t refute the argument, attack the person presenting the argument. The intent is to discredit said person. Note that such an attack does not address the issue at hand (should lenin nightingale’s work be used as reference), but rather constitutes a diversion.
“The head of the RCN would disagree with lenin nightingale”. Appeal to Authority; Some “higher authority” is invoked as evidence in support of a claim.
“Do you really think that lenin nightingale’s plan for all hospitals and nursing homes to be run by committees of workers would be best for nursing?” Appeal to Fear: Propagandists may try to scare you with fearsome predictions of what “the other guy” will do if his plan is adopted.
“Everybody knows that lenin’s plan to abolish the GMC and NMC and replace them with a democratically elected committees run by doctors and nurses is a Trotskyist fantasy”. Appeal to the People: A common fallacy of attempting to support a claim on the basis of popularity. Remember that something that “everybody knows” can be wrong.
“There is a shortage of nurses”. Arguing from Ignorance: A common fallacy of claiming that some hypothesis is true based on lack of information, that being: that there as many nurses who have jumped off the Titanic of Nursing as constitutes the claimed shortage.
“The government have reduced the number of nurse training places, therefore we have a shortage of nurses”.
Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc: A common fallacy. It confuses temporal relation with causation. The fallacy is that since b came after a, then a must have caused b. Consider that there may be several possibilities for what caused b and the time relationship could be just coincidence.
“What lenin suggests would not be supported by Florence Nightingale”. Appeal to Tradition: We’ve always done it this way. That might be true, but it might not constitute a reason to keep doing it this way.
“Nursing either goes down the route carefully planned by the RCN and the NMC or it throws itself off lenin’s cliff”.
This is the False Dichotomy fallacy. It consists of framing the issue to make it appear that there are only two options. One option is made to look terrible, with the implication that the other option presented is the only choice.
“If the RCN conference adopt a motion, then such voices as lenin’s are irrelevant”. Hasty Generalization: Simply look at a small sample of some population then generalize it to the whole population.
“What lenin suggests, ditching revalidation by biased employers, would not solve the problem of loss of trust by the public and government in nursing”. Perfect Solution: This faulty premise makes the claim that, since the proposed action will not solve all of the problem, it is not the desired solution and should be rejected. This is fallacious because most modern problems are complex enough that no single perfect solution exists.
“If we put cameras in all places of nursing, then we are on the road to the complete abandonment of maintaining the dignity of patients”. Slippery Slope: This one is used a lot. It argues that if we do a, then there is nothing to stop b from happening. If we do b, then c must surely follow. Obviously, results a, b, and c are undesirable. The fallacy is used as a reason for not doing a. The flaw is that there is usually no causal connection between a, b, and c.
“If we abandon nursing as a degree profession, as lenin suggests, then … Straw Man: The user of this tactic invents some misleading picture of an opponent’s ideas so that the fake view can be knocked down easily. Since the original idea has been misrepresented and distorted, the audience may think that the original idea has been knocked down when only the fake straw man view has been hit.
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