Illicit Conversion

This isn’t about religion. Illicit conversion is a class of fallacy in reasoning which, it turns out, is Donald’s favorite form of argument. Retrieved from one of mariner’s ancient college textbooks on logic, it is nonetheless recognizable today:

Donald would reason that criminals are Hispanics; therefore all Hispanics are criminals. Or, another reasoning, Donald likes rich white people and doesn’t like poor nonwhite people; therefore, what Donald likes is acceptable and what he doesn’t like is unacceptable.

Donald may assume crimes are synonymous with collusion; therefore no collusion means no crimes.

Obviously for Donald, all friends are useful; therefore all those not useful are not friends.

In simple terms, one assumes a premise then uses that premise in an inaccurate way to propose a second premise. A syllogism with a split middle is a specific construct within illicit conversion.

What makes Donald confusing is that he illicitly converts illicit conversions at the drop of a hat. His reporting on the North Korean issue is an example.

Certainly Donald is not the only person who uses illicit conversion. It just may be that everyone is guilty of the practice when it provides an easy answer to a complex situation. How many conservatives or conversely how many liberals must confess to using ‘what one likes is legitimate; therefore what one doesn’t like is illegitimate’? How many think the brand of car they purchased is a superior choice therefore all other brands are somehow inferior?

The loosely defined truths (or untruths) contained in illicit conversions inevitably lead to flawed judgment, prejudice, exclusivity, meaningless pride and in some conditions lead to violence and abuse. Even in strict scientific research, what may be construed as a valid assumption often turns out to be an illicit conversion.

Has one ever used an illicit conversion to justify procrastination or scheduling preferences or which school is best for the children?

Illicit Conversion is a practice that is a bad personal habit until it becomes common enough to influence society. Without illicit conversion, populism cannot exist; identity politics cannot exist; prejudice cannot exist, etc.

The best antidote is curiosity along with engagement. Why does one want to procrastinate? Why do the various financial classes discriminate and isolate? Why is government split between capitalism and socialism? Why does one like their neighbor from the other political party but dislikes everyone else in that party?

One for all and all for one dispels socially assumed illicit conversion – plus add some rational education. Yet, many in the electorate prefer to be guided by illicit conversions for every aspect of life.

Ancient Mariner


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