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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The "No true Scotsman" fallacy

"Imagine Hamish McDonald, a Scotsman, sitting down with his Glasgow Morning Herald and seeing an article about how the "Brighton Sex Maniac Strikes Again." Hamish is shocked and declares that "No Scotsman would do such a thing." The next day he sits down to read his Glasgow Morning Herald again and this time finds an article about an Aberdeen man whose brutal actions make the Brighton sex maniac seem almost gentlemanly. This fact shows that Hamish was wrong in his opinion but is he going to admit this? Not likely. This time he says, "No true Scotsman would do such a thing.""

--- Antony Flew, Thinking About Thinking (1975)

I'm more familiar with this in its "No true Christian" variant.
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