Debate Guide: Cognitive distortions
- "Pedophiles preach a set of twisted rationalizations that encourage and justify abuse. The testimonies of child molesters, who have been shown to express cognitive distortions, often read like NAMbLA pamphlets"
Rationalisations may be rational. To simply state that something has been "rationalised" and thereafter fail to explain the faultiness of that rationalisation is a sign of weakness. It is this weakness that we see in the highly subjective analyses of pedophile message boards as havens for cognitively distorted reasoning. These "distortions" are in fact identified whenever a pedophile author argues or makes an assertion against the medical or legal status quo. By defining a common or objectionable argument as distorted and establishing that because it is common in a certain sample, that sample is inherently distorted, the observer achieves nothing but a cynically veiled circulus in probando argument. So in conclusion, the rare, but often abused "cognitive distortion" argument is a lazy and hypocritical abuse of scientific authority if ever there was one.
Circulus in probando:
- "We can trust what the bible says about God ... because it is the inspired word of God".
- "We know that the pedophiles are cognitively distorted ... because the pedophiles use cognitive distortions".
One example justifies the assumed authority of God with the assumed auhority of God. The other justifies the prevalence of assumed cognitive distortions by identifying a prevalence of assumed cognitive distortions.