Ian Andreas Miller. 17 July 2001.
There are many controversial Bishjo Senshi Sr Mn topics. Unfortunately, the debating techniques that are used are very often of poor quality. There's a tendency to misuse and abuse logic in these debates. It is my hope that this site will give the reader a better understanding of why many of those statements are fallacious.
Several names of common fallacies can be found in the list below. Each kind of fallacy has a definition and at least one example. More often that not, however, an example falls into more than one category. The classifications are not cut-and dried.
Many of these examples have been taken from forums, Web sites, and message boards. Some of them, however, have been rephrased here for the sake of clarity.
Stephen's Guide to the Logical Fallacies is a great place to learn more about sophistry and faulty reasoning.
False Dilemma: A false dilemma assumes that two (or only very few) options are available when in fact other alternatives exist. This sort of "reasoning" is also referred to as "black and white thinking."
1. I use "Outer Senshi" because there is no way I'll type out 'soldiers of the outer solar system' every time I want to refer to Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and Saturn.
This assumes that the only options are "Outer Senshi" and "soldiers of the outer solar system." In reality, there are many other names that could be used.
2. We're not told it specifically, but because of how Sailor Pluto acts around King Endymion in the manga, it's safe to assume that she's got a crush on him.
This assumes that the only option is that Sailor Pluto's actions indicate only a crush, when in reality she could have had any of the other kinds of feelings for him. The arguer should also explain what he or she means by "crush" because that word can mean different things to different people.
3. Two of the senshi don't at all fit their mythological namesakes. In Roman mythology, Saturn was the god of time and Pluto was the god of death, but Sailor Saturn is the senshi of death while Sailor Pluto is the senshi of time.
Classical mythology and even Bishjo Senshi Sr Mn aren't as cut-and-dried as this argument suggests. In fact, the arguer has presented an oversimplification of these characters and deities.
Equivocation: Equivocation is the deliberate changing of the meaning of a word or group of words in a conversation.
1. Sailor Saturn is indeed the leader of the Outer Senshi in the manga because she says, "Now it's my turn to lead you" to Haruka, Setsuna, and Michiru.
The words "leader" and "leads" are being used in two very distinct ways, but the one who's arguing is acting as though he or she is using those words consistently throughout the argument. The word "leads," in this case, means something like, "guides" or "directs," but the word "leader" is being used to mean something like, "a person who is in charge or in command." Sailor Saturn isn't saying that she's going to be the one in charge, but the one who guides or directs.
2. In the original Japanese version, the Silver Millennium existed on the moon for one thousand years because the word "millennium" means "one thousand years."
The original Japanese anime and manga never say when the Silver Millennium existed on the moon. The word "millennium" appears in the name, but that doesn't mean that the kingdom lasted for one thousand years. Nor does it mean that the kingdom fell into ruin a thousand years ago. The word "millennium" can also mean "a time of serenity and peace."
3. Since Tuxedo Kamen is the senshi of Earth, it means that Naoko was wrong when she said that only girls or women could be senshi.
Naoko Takeuchi was asked a very specific question: "Can males be sailor senshi?" She said that only women could be. But she didn't say that only women could be senshi. The word senshi in Japanese just means soldier, warrior, or fighter.
4. Speaker One: One of the several Japanese names for the planet Venus is Kinsei. The kanji that represents the sound kin does usually mean "gold." However, when it's used to represent one of the five eastern elements, it stands for the element Metal. Since some of the other planets (Saturn [Earth Star], Jupiter [Wood Star], Mars [Fire Star], and Mercury [Water Star]) have one of the five elements in their names, I think "Metal Star" was what those who created the names had in mind, rather than "Gold Star." There is no element "gold," but the "gold" idea of that kanji does apply to Sailor Venus.
Speaker Two: Wrong! Gold is an element! It's number 79 on the periodic table!
Speaker One has firmly established that "element" in this context refers to one of the five eastern elements, not one of the elements on the periodic table.
Affirming the consequent: This fallacy has the form, "A implies B, B is true, therefore A is true." Arguments of that form are invalid.
1. If the senshi of the solar system fight in separate groups, then Sailor Saturn, Sailor Uranus, Sailor Neptune, and Sailor Pluto can be called the Outer Senshi. It turns out that Sailor Saturn and her three comrades are the Outer Senshi because they identify themselves as "soldiers of the outer solar system." Therefore, since the planets Mars, Venus, Mercury, and Jupiter are closer to the sun than Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, it follows that Sailor Mars, Sailor Venus, Sailor Mercury and Sailor Jupiter are the Inner Senshi.
This is probably where the idea of "Inner Senshi" idea came about. Even if all the soldiers of the solar system are grouped according to the locations of their planets, it doesn't follow that Sailor Jupiter and the others are all automatically "Inner Senshi."
2. All sailor senshi carry Sailor Crystals. Therefore, Tuxedo Kamen, Phobos, and Deimos (who all carry their own Sailor Crystals) are also sailor senshi.
Even if all the sailor senshi really do carry Sailor Crystals, it doesn't mean that all the Sailor Crystal-carriers are sailor senshi.
3. If Sailor Saturn has the ability to destroy the world, that ability is part of her collection of special maneuvers. Another ability is part of her collection of special maneuvers. Therefore, that particular ability can also destroy the world.
The idea that Sailor Saturn's Death Reborn Revolution destroys the world in the manga probably comes from ideas like this one. One of her special abilities may destroy the world, but that doesn't mean all of her special abilities can do that.
Begging the question: Begging the question is what is done when the argument assumes the truth of its conclusion, and then uses that assumption to get to the conclusion. Begging the question is similar to what is known as circular reasoning.
1. Sailor Jupiter is one of the four Inner Senshi because she is grouped with the other three Inner Senshi: Sailor Mars, Sailor Venus, and Sailor Mercury.
The premise is trying to show that Sailor Jupiter is one of the Inner Senshi. It assumes the truth of her being an Inner Senshi and then it uses that assumption to prove that she is one. The key words are "other three." In this argument, the arguer should not be granted the assumption that Sailor Jupiter really is one of the Inner Senshi, but should be made to provide evidence for that claim.
2. We know that Sailor Saturn's first manga maneuver is really named "Death Ribbon Revolution" and not "Death Reborn Revolution" because she attacks with ribbons and the actual name of that maneuver says "ribbon." Its name fits the projectiles.
The conclusion of this argument is that it should be "Death Ribbon Revolution." The premise assumes that the word really is "ribbon" and then it uses that assumption to prove that the name is really "Death Reborn Revolution." In this argument, the arguer should not be granted the assumption that the word is really "ribbon," but should be made to provide support for that claim.
Non Sequitur: Non Sequitur in Latin means, "it does not follow." A non sequitur is an argument whose conclusion is drawn from premises that aren't logically connected with it.
1. Why doesn't Hotaru like milk? It's possible that she's lactose intolerant.
When a person is lactose intolerant, he or she is not able to digest significant amounts of lactose, the predominant sugar of milk. Hotaru simply doesn't like milk. She may not like milk, but that doesn't mean that she has trouble digesting it.
2. There's no way that the Japanese katakana Amazonesu Karutetto could mean "Amazones Quartetto" because it sounds grammatically awkward in English.
Amazones is Greek and Quartetto is Italian. Moreover, Amazonesu and Karutetto are the Japanese spellings of those words. Why should two non-English words, which are written in a non-English script (Japanese), follow English grammatical rules?
3. Takeuchi probably meant "Mendes," an Egyptian goddess of nature, instead of "Maenad," the followers of Dionysus, when she wrote the name of those two women who are associated with Elios. It makes sense because Luna, Artemis, and Diana were aliens from the planet Mau, the Egyptian word for cat.
Even if mau was the Egyptian word for "cat" [and how could we know that?], it doesn't mean that it's related to what Takeuchi intended to name those two women.
Ad Hoc Hypothesis: An ad hoc hypothesis is one that's created solely for the purpose of saving a theory from being faulted. It applies to no other situation and it is not testable. Ad Hoc hypotheses seem as if they can never be shown to be false. However, they could never be shown to be true either because other ad hoc hypotheses could be introduced and used to falsify them.
1. Oh, sure, Sailor Saturn needs to bring down the Silence Glaive to destroy the world, but she needs to say "Death Reborn Revolution" before she brings the weapon down. The same goes for her Silence Glaive Surprise attack in the anime. She needs to say those three words before she can bring down her Silence Glaive.
In both the anime and manga, it's true that when Sailor Saturn brings down the Silence Glaive, her powers will destroy the world. However, in both cases, it's not said that she needs to say any three-word incantation when she uses her weapon. Why are we supposed to believe that she needs to say a group of words at the times mentioned above, while she doesn't have to say anything any other time? Are we supposed to ignore everything we've been told and assume all of the above is true?
2. In the anime, Sailor Saturn brought down the Silence Glaive but its immense power simply wasn't enough to counter the combined power of Pharaoh 90 and the Holy Grail, but merely enough to weaken him for Sailor Moon to finish the job after she dove in to rescue her. We simply don't know and can't really speculate because we know practically nothing about Saturn's powers and how exactly they work.
In both the anime and manga, it's true that Sailor Saturn just needs to bring down the Silence Glaive to destroy the world. Anime and manga sources confirm that. None of those sources state that there are any other conditions or restrictions that apply. None say that she needs to be standing in a special spot for her destructive power to be successful.
Premise: If Sailor Saturn is successful in bringing down the Silence Glaive, then the world is destroyed because of her power.
Premise: The world wasn't destroyed because of her power. (In fact, it wasn't destroyed at all.
Conclusion: She wasn't successful in bringing down the Silence Glaive.]
Why are we supposed to believe, just this once and never again, that she needs to be standing in a certain area just for her powers to work? This ad hoc hypothesis also begs the question. Even if Sailor Saturn needs to be standing in that special spot, how do we know that the Silence Glaive's "immense power" of destroying the world can be used to injure enemies? How could we know that her powers could switch gears like that?
3. Irrashai is fine. The small tsu appears after the ra, but everyone I show it to as irasshai pronounces is wrong. When I spell it irrashai they get it right.
The Japanese script says irasshai. Are we supposed to believe that the spelling rules are different just this once and never again simply because this person claims others pronounce it incorrectly when it's spelled irasshai?
Suppressed Evidence: Arguments contain suppressed evidence when they deliberately leave out information that would refute them.
1. The spellings "Selenity" and "Serenity" are both correct because in Japanese, the r and the l are pronounced as the same letter. So the more correct way of Usagi's name would be SELENITY since there's a goddess named Selene.
This claim is right when it says that there was a goddess in Greek mythology named Selene, but her name wasn't "Selenity." Moreover, the claim doesn't bother to include the fact that Naoko Takeuchi writes the names "Selene" () and "Serenity" () differently in her manga. Moreover, is a legitimate way to spell the English word "serenity" in Japanese.
2. The name Tsukino Usagi, in Japanese, literally means "rabbit of the moon." There's a Japanese tale that associates rabbits with the moon.
Usagi's full name, in Japanese, uses the Japanese characters . The first character means "moon" or "month." The second character means "field," "plain," "wilderness," and other ideas that are related to "field." There is no way that it could mean "of" because that kanji does not represent the possessive particle no. The no parts in the surnames Kino, Aino, Hino, and Mizuno are also represented by that same character . The final three characters in Usagi's full name represent the Japanese word usagi, which means "rabbit." The claim above is suppressing evidence because it fails to say that the name Usagi Tsukino sounds like the Japanese phrase , tsuki no usagi, which does mean "rabbit of the moon." If the name literally meant "rabbit of the moon," the Japanese characters would have to be used.
Fallacious appeal to authority: An argument or statement fallaciously appeals to authority when the authority being cited is not really an authority. A fallacious appeal to authority could also involve citing an expert when experts in the field disagree on a particular issue.
1. Pioneer released the official Japanese version of the SuperS movie with English subtitles. They used "Pupuran" as the name of the fairy who has orange and green hair. Therefore, "Pupuran" seems to be the intended spelling of the name.
The translators at Pioneer indeed used "Pupuran" for the name of that character, but they probably did not care much about the origin of the name. Pupuran is simply the romanization of the katakana characters , which approximate the French term poupelin. A poupelin is a kind of French pastry. Since the translators did not acknowledge the origin of the name (by writing the name as Poupelin), it is difficult to know whether they knew the origin or not. There is also no indication that they worked directly with the animators, so what they wrote in their translation does not necessarily reflect what the animators intended.
2. In the original Japanese anime and manga, the character is named "Sailormoon," not "Sailor Moon." The official books and such show "Sailormoon."
The original Japanese anime and manga sources show both "Sailormoon" and "Sailor Moon." Therefore, the statements in example 2 fallaciously appeal to authority by selectively appealing to authority. They consider the instances of "Sailormoon," but they do not consider the instances of "Sailor Moon." Both variations exist, so not all of the people who worked on the anime shows and the manga books agree that "Sailormoon" is the only way to write the character's name in Roman letters
3. Of course Sailor Saturn's Death Reborn Revolution destroys the world! Almost every site confirms my assertion. Even Hitoshi Doi's site and The Sailor Senshi Page are on my side!
It may be true that may Web sites claim that the maneuver can destroy the world, but the story shows us otherwise. If the Web sites tell us one thing, and the manga shows us something completely different, it would be a fallacious appeal to authority to ignore the manga information and use the information on those Web sites.
4. Saying Jupiter is an inner planet is not necessarily wrong, you just need to know the context. In astrology, Jupiter is an inner planet.
Some astrologers may call Jupiter an inner planet, but not most of them do. The famous astrologer Sydney Omarr called Jupiter an outer planet in his New Millennium Guide. The writers of the book Mysteries of the Unknown: Cosmic Connections state that Jupiter is an inner planet. Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are the only outer planets according to the writers of the popular Super Horoscope book series. However, there is a clear consensus among astronomers that Jupiter is an outer planet. Ms. Takeuchi and the animators do not tell us that Jupiter is an inner planet in the manga and anime continuities. The astronomers consistently call Jupiter an outer planet, and the two continuities are supposed to take place in universes like our universe. (The major difference is that the anime and manga has magic). So, it is more likely that Jupiter is an outer planet in the anime and manga.
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