Posted: Jul 25, 2021 8:54 am
by Spearthrower
Ahh so all those apparently Christian maniacal murdering dictators were No True Christians, therefore no Christian has ever been a maniacal murdering psychopath.

So easy.

No true Scotsman, or appeal to purity, is an informal fallacy in which one attempts to protect their universal generalization from a falsifying counterexample by excluding the counterexample improperly.[1][2][3] Rather than abandoning the falsified universal generalization or providing evidence that would disqualify the falsifying counterexample, a slightly modified generalization is constructed ad-hoc to definitionally exclude the undesirable specific case and counterexamples like it by appeal to rhetoric.[4] This rhetoric takes the form of emotionally charged but nonsubstantive purity platitudes such as "true, pure, genuine, authentic, real", etc.[2][5]

Philosophy professor Bradley Dowden explains the fallacy as an "ad hoc rescue" of a refuted generalization attempt.[1] The following is a simplified rendition of the fallacy:[6]

Person A: "No Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge."
Person B: "But my uncle Angus is a Scotsman and he puts sugar on his porridge."
Person A: "But no true Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge."