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Cumulative vs Singular Assertions

Multiple truthful statements used to support an aggregate falsehood. A term to critique this debate style.
  [vote for,

In this contentious world I'm noticing a debate tactic that's increasingly popular that doesn't have a name. It's having numerous points that are technically correct, but that lead to a wrong overall assertion to counter a single correct assertion. Since it's a thing, it should have a name like other things do.

So we'll take a single contention that's true as an example.

Singular contention: The Ford GT40 is a beautiful and very fast car.

Cumulative contentions of somebody debating somebody who made that statement, in the form of a critical cross examination:

1- "You say this is a beautiful car. Please look at this picture of a bug on the windshield that was splattered as it hit the car. We can see the guts, the blood, the body parts. So this is beautiful is it?"

2- "Next picture is of the ThrustSSC, a twin turbofan jet- powered car which achieved 763.035 mph. But you're contending that this car of yours that crawls along at 164 mph is supposedly fast? But OK, let's take away the jet car for a second. Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+: 304 mph. But you're lumbering pile of junk you say is fast scrapes along the ground at almost half that speed, and there you are, ugly and stupid saying how supposedly "fast" your car is. (soon the personal insults get into it, we'll get into Goodwin's law in a second.)

3- "Next picture is of the Parker Solar Probe launched in 2018. Our first witness is rocket scientist Dr Peabody T. Braniac. Dr Braniac, we're going to show you two vehicles, we'd like you to compare them. The Parker Solar Probe and the so called Ford GT40. How would you compare their relative speeds?" (Dr Brainiac) "They're not comparable. The GT40 goes a couple of hundred miles per hour if it's highly modified. The Parker Solar Probe goes 244,225 miles per hour." (jury gasps) "How many times faster is that than the Ford?" "Approximately 220 times faster." (woman in the front row of the jury faints)

4- Now let's look at the person who claimed the 200 mile per hour speed. This next picture shows him with a hooker while on vacation in Amsterdam... "OBJECTION! What does that have to do with the car!" "Overruled, you may continue councillor."

Anyway, that's an example of cumulative vs singular assertions. The singular assertion has one contention, the cumulative ones can go on and on forever with a little creativity and this is a primary tool we use for trying to get to the truth. It's like using pudding to smash rocks yet this horrible tool is still used to engineer solutions to the world's problems.

doctorremulac3, May 20 2020

"Ugly", "slow" and generally "horrible" car. https://www.ebay.co...02%26algv%3DDefault
The Ford GT40. Plus, we're not saying the designer is worse that Hitler, but there's no conclusive proof that he's not. [doctorremulac3, May 20 2020]

Baked! http://www.perseus....ction%3DApoplanesis
... to a crisp, repeatedly. [pertinax, May 21 2020]


       Premise and red herrings.
tatterdemalion, May 20 2020

       //Premise and red herrings//   

       Yes, exactly. Red Herrings vs Premise actually to translate the title.   

       But now I have to look up where the hell "red herrings" came from.
doctorremulac3, May 20 2020

       "The actual origin of the figurative sense of the phrase can be traced back to the early 1800s. Around this time, English journalist William Cobbett wrote a presumably fictional story about how he had used red herring as a boy to throw hounds off the scent of a hare."
doctorremulac3, May 20 2020

       I think "stink bomb" would be a good new incarnation of the term.
doctorremulac3, May 20 2020

       slinging, mud.
FlyingToaster, May 20 2020

       The man in the wilderness said to me,
"How many strawberries grow in the sea?"
I answered him as I thought good,
"As many red herrings as live in the wood."

       Traditional, but quoted by Beatrix Potter.
pertinax, May 20 2020

       Regarding the idea, the phenomenon described is not new at all. There is already a well developed vocabulary to describe rhetorical tricks, much of it recorded (and often applied) by Cicero.   

       Start by googling ...
Suggestio falsi
Suppressio veri

       ... just to get an idea.   

       You see, in ancient law courts, there were no "rules of evidence" such as we have nowadays, so people pulled this sort of trick all the time.   

       So, baked and WKTE.   

       {edit} Ah yes, the particular term you need here is "apoplanesis". See link.   

       "Albeit that this figure may in these respects rehearsed be a necessarie forme of speech, yet may it be abused by evill conscience, subtilty and craft, as when it is used to smother good causes, and to shift out with evill matters, an abuse God knoweth too common."
pertinax, May 21 2020

       OK, that's cool, but I'm zeroing in on multiple, technically true statements adding up to a false conclusion.
doctorremulac3, May 21 2020

       Sounds like an election manifesto.
8th of 7, May 21 2020

       // "apoplanesis"   

       Thank you [pertinax] for another great word.
tatterdemalion, May 21 2020

       This is why I get all my news from internet forums.
sninctown, May 21 2020

       // "apoplanesis" //   

       I'll try to add that to my vocabulary just to have it there, but the chances of me ever finding a person who understands what that is are very slim.
doctorremulac3, May 21 2020

       Don't forget, [doctor], that rhetoric is a dirty game; you may find the word more useful with people who *don't* know what it means.   

       Following on from the example in the body of the idea ...   

       "First of all I'd like to commend counsel for the plaintiff on his brave effort to argue such a weak case. However, that effort is transparently apoplanetic. For example, he cannot deny the beauty of the car, so he shows you instead the ugliness of a bug- splatter. He cannot deny the speed of the car, so he shows you [etc.]"   

       The point to note here is that, as soon as you reach the word "apoplanetic", your opponent is frantically typing it into google to find out what it means while the rest of your audience are stunned into suggestibility by the impression of your superiority, which is constructed from two elements, namely, (1) the condescending back-handed compliment to your opponent and (2) your classy vocabulary.   

       Your calling out his cheesy rhetorical trick (whose name, ex hypothesi, he didn't know) distracts from the fact that you then go on to deploy some rhetorical tricks of your own (starting with anaphora).   

       As I said, it's a dirty game.
pertinax, May 22 2020

       LOL, devious.   

       OK, it's in my arsenal, you sold it.   

       I could also be merciful and explain what it means briefly.   

       Or not.
doctorremulac3, May 22 2020

       It's a messy game because words aren't one diementional. Numbers, maybe, but for that power they lose definition.
wjt, May 23 2020


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