Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Phantom of the Distinction: A Musical

To be completely honest, I only wanted to make a joke about Phantom of the Opera. This post has little to nothing to do with the musical, please carry on.

The Phantom Distinction fallacy is when people spend time arguing about which term is better than the other, when there is little to no distinction between them. This can often result in a battle for superiority because people often just want to argue and prove their argument is the right one versus openly discussing the fact that there is never really one definition for a word.

One example of this would be males when they discuss they are all for equality of the sexes, but do not self-identify as "feminist", due to the feminine nature of the term. While one could argue that the term "meninist" (which also isn't even a real thing, but I digress) came from, it doesn't accomplish the goal that these males set out for. The term "feminist" did originate as a term for women, but over time it has just become synonymous with the term "equality" rather than anything else. Thus, creating an alternative term is not necessary and provides a nice example of the Phantom Distinction fallacy.

Another example of this can be seen through people who share the same ideology arguing over the best way to discuss their platform. As a person who often agrees with liberal ideals I have seen this most often between liberals. While it is critical to always self-analyze your language and understanding of issues, discussion can quickly become a battle of who is the most "woke" or has the most "progressive ideas". I do agree that open discussion is necessary for change, however, when people within the same group begin to tear each other down rather than rally together and fight it is the opposite of helpful. Instead of arguing about things that we as progressives and liberals are doing "wrong" we need to work together. Often times we are fighting just for the sake of status, rather than helping someone genuinely understand. We are fighting over ideas and terms we don't need to fight about.

Overall, humans as a species will always fight for power and dignity. We are always going to try and prove ourselves right, so I don't believe this will ever really go away. However, it is always important to step back and ask, "Do I really need to argue about this, or are we overall fighting the same fight?" While this post didn't really educate you about the Broadway hit, I hope you can take away some interesting new information!

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