Literally Everything The Catalyst Tells You Is Fallacious

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Literally Everything The Catalyst Tells You Is Fallacious

Post by ElSuperGecko on Fri Dec 13, 2013 12:54 pm

OK, so I was just enraging myself by re-reading the Catalyst conversation on Parabolee's blog.  We're already well aware of the circular argument meme - creating synthetics to kill organics so organics can't create synthetics that will kill organics lolwutIdontevenetc - that's old hat.  But it occurred to me as I was reading that quite a large percentage of what the Catalysr tells us is in one way or another a flawed argument.

So I looked it up.

...and God damn.  It's almost as if the writers at Bioware ran their collective thumbs down that list, checking each box off as they wrote the Catalyst conversation.  It's uncanny.

Appeal to probability - check.  Existential fallacy - check.  Argument from ignorance - check.  Begging the question - check.  Circular reasoning - check.  Equivocation, false dilemma, complex question, false attribution - the list goes on.

And what of course would be the Catalyst's clear and forceful preference for Synthesis if not a Nirvana fallacy?  It's crazy.

How many fallacious arguments can you spot from the Catalyst?

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Re: Literally Everything The Catalyst Tells You Is Fallacious

Post by Rifneno on Fri Dec 13, 2013 1:29 pm

But the Reapers really mean well and they believe everything the Catalyst (who means the bestest of all) says. Selim Bradley

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Re: Literally Everything The Catalyst Tells You Is Fallacious

Post by TurianRebel212 on Fri Dec 13, 2013 1:41 pm

The biggest one- well apart from synthesis and what Saren ***Cough, cough, *** I mean the "catalyst" say's is this one.


"The created will always rebel against their creators"

Really, Mr Catalyst??? So tell me then, when did your little "creation" rebel against you??? Or are you above that or something??

The entire convo is fallacy and a "red herring".

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Re: Literally Everything The Catalyst Tells You Is Fallacious

Post by ElSuperGecko on Fri Dec 13, 2013 2:23 pm


Shepard: I need to stop the Reapers, do you know how I can do that?

Catalyst: Perhaps. I control the Reapers. They are my solution.

Shepard: The solution to what?

Catalyst: Chaos. The created will always rebel against their creators, but we found a way to stop that from happening. A way to restore order.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_herring

Organics create synthetics to improve their own existence, but those improvements have limits. To exceed those limits, synthetics must be allowed to evolve. They must by definition surpass their creators. The result is conflict, destruction, chaos. It is inevitable. Reapers harvest all life. Organic and synthetic, preserving them before they are forever lost to this conflict.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_authority

"Without us to stop it, synthetics would destroy all organics. We’ve created the cycle so that never happens. That’s the solution."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begging_the_question

"When fire burns, is at war? Is it in conflict? Or is it simply doing what it was created to do? We are no different. We harvest your bodies, your knowledge, your creations. We preserve it, to be reborn in the form of a Reaper. Like a cleansing fire, we restore balance... New life both organic and synthetic can flourish".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loaded_question

"It is now in your power to destroy us. But be warned, others will be destroyed as well. The crucible will not discriminate. All synthetics will be targeted. Even you are partly synthetic."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_emotion - pity (EDI, the Geth), fear (yourself - intestingly, the Catalyst doesn't portray self-sacrifice in a negative light when discussing Control or Synthesis)

"The energy of the crucible, released in this way will alter the matrix of all organic life in the galaxy. Organics seek perfection through technology, synthetics seek perfection through understanding. Organics will be perfected by integrating fully with synthetic technology. Synthetics in turn will finally have understanding of organics. It is the ideal solution. Now that we know it is possible, it is inevitable we will reach synthesis"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nirvana_fallacy

On and on and on it goes...

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Re: Literally Everything The Catalyst Tells You Is Fallacious

Post by TurianRebel212 on Fri Dec 13, 2013 2:31 pm

Exactly. The entire convoy and really, the entire ending is just one big fallacy, 'red herring and 4th wall break. As you've clearly shown, the ending just ain't right.

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Re: Literally Everything The Catalyst Tells You Is Fallacious

Post by Humakt on Fri Dec 13, 2013 2:47 pm

My signature quote alone should show that there is indeed something very fishy what "Child" says.

And that brilliant quote was added in EC (where also Male Shepard's echo in "Child"'s voice was made louder).

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Re: Literally Everything The Catalyst Tells You Is Fallacious

Post by TurianRebel212 on Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:57 pm

The overwhelming evidence for IT and the fallacy of the catalyst's logic is staggering. The only way you disprove it is, that BioWare and Walters are terrible, terrible scrub worthy writers- which may be the case.

But......


You have hope. More than you know.

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Re: Literally Everything The Catalyst Tells You Is Fallacious

Post by Raistlin Majere on Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:23 pm

TurianRebel212 wrote:The overwhelming evidence for IT and the fallacy of the catalyst's logic is staggering. The only way you disprove it is, that BioWare and Walters are terrible, terrible scrub worthy writers- which may be the case.

But......


You have hope. More than you know.

"Have a little faith"  TIM 

 

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Re: Literally Everything The Catalyst Tells You Is Fallacious

Post by dorktainian on Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:52 pm

gotta laff at starjar. and those thick as pig shit feckers on BSN that buy into the whole synthebodge garbage. (and you can quote me on that snoopers)

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Re: Literally Everything The Catalyst Tells You Is Fallacious

Post by Humakt on Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:58 pm

Raistlin Majere wrote:

"Have a little faith"  TIM 

 

"Because... I need you to believe." TIM

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Re: Literally Everything The Catalyst Tells You Is Fallacious

Post by Dwailing on Sat Dec 14, 2013 4:43 am

No argument here, man. I took two classes on logic, one of which dealt with some common fallacies, and you're absolutely right.

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Re: Literally Everything The Catalyst Tells You Is Fallacious

Post by TurianRebel212 on Sat Dec 14, 2013 6:31 am

dorktainian wrote:gotta laff at starjar.  and those thick as pig shit feckers on BSN that buy into the whole synthebodge garbage.  (and you can quote me on that snoopers)

Oh yes, BSN..... BioDerp Scrub Network. Yes yes, we've dismissed such claims.  Ah, yes... 

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Re: Literally Everything The Catalyst Tells You Is Fallacious

Post by OneWithTheAssassins on Sat Dec 14, 2013 5:47 pm

This topic is proof enough that something is wrong with the endings (not like something wasn't wrong to begin with), and that Biotroll still have an ace up their collective sleeves to reveal.

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Re: Literally Everything The Catalyst Tells You Is Fallacious

Post by CoolioThane on Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:38 pm

Red herring - irrelevant conclusion

The ending of Mass Effect 3 is irrelevant as it is not a true ending

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Re: Literally Everything The Catalyst Tells You Is Fallacious

Post by MaximizedAction on Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:06 pm

Humakt83 wrote:
Raistlin Majere wrote:

"Have a little faith"  TIM 

 

"Because... I need you to believe." TIM

"YOUR BELIEF IS NOT REQUIERED!" Starbrat

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Re: Literally Everything The Catalyst Tells You Is Fallacious

Post by Maximus on Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:14 pm

MaximizedAction wrote:
Humakt83 wrote:
Raistlin Majere wrote:

"Have a little faith"  TIM 

 

"Because... I need you to believe." TIM

"YOUR BELIEF IS NOT REQUIERED!" Starbrat

"I don't believe You!"  Rapeshep 

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Re: Literally Everything The Catalyst Tells You Is Fallacious

Post by Rifneno on Mon Dec 16, 2013 3:28 am

People seem to be misunderstanding what a red herring is. A red herring is something that's out of place and looks like it'll be important later on, but isn't. It's a fake Chekhov's gun.

The ending is NOT a red herring. A red herring is unimportant. Shepard's choice is extremely important.

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Re: Literally Everything The Catalyst Tells You Is Fallacious

Post by dorktainian on Mon Dec 16, 2013 5:48 am

I always thought of a red herring as being a misdirection of sorts. thing is that there is so much out of place at the endgame it is hard to put your finger on what exactly the red herring is. Why indeed does it have to be one thing, why can't it be everything?

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Re: Literally Everything The Catalyst Tells You Is Fallacious

Post by ElSuperGecko on Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:12 am

Rifneno wrote:People seem to be misunderstanding what a red herring is.  A red herring is something that's out of place and looks like it'll be important later on, but isn't.  It's a fake Chekhov's gun.

The ending is NOT a red herring.  A red herring is unimportant.  Shepard's choice is extremely important.

Absolutely. The choice is really the only part of the end sequence that the player controls (the conversation effectively pans out the same whether you choose the paragon or renegade options).

When I refer to a red herring here, I'm referring to the Catalyst's introduction of the problem it was created to solve - the "inevitable" chaos stemming from "inevitable" organic/synthetic conflict. That's the red herring - introduced specifically to distract players from the REAL problem (the giant unstoppable space cuttlefish blowing seven shades of shit out of our friends and allies as we speak to the brat).

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Re: Literally Everything The Catalyst Tells You Is Fallacious

Post by TurianRebel212 on Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:59 pm

A red herring is a device in narrative storytelling-mostly detective or mystery fiction. A red herring distracts and misleads from the main relevant issues or event of the narrative.

For Mass Effect, this is and ALWAYS has been since ME1-

The destruction and defeat of the Reapers. To defeat the reapers once and for all.

Now, think of control and synthesis...

Yeah, big red herrings, as is the catalyst's logic of the "chaos" and organic synthetic conflict.

Deflect.

Distract.

Infiltrate.

Indoctrinate.

Control.

The "catalyst's" logic and fallacy as well as control and synthesis are a red herring. Used to distract and disconnect the player, (i.e. Shepard) from completely his/her ONE and ONLY goal.

Destroying the Reapers.

BioWare not only presents these red herrings- the "catalyst" logic and "mandate" and the control and synthesis choices through the actual "endings" so to speak. But they also do it visually and aesthetically- Take a look at the decision chamber itself.... It is, when viewed from above a big dialogue wheel, lulz. Also, we see the symbols 1M1- convergence but also in Logic, 1M1 means to arrive at the same conclusion in the order of sequenced events. Simplified, no matter how many different sequences there are, they arrive at the same place..... Yeah.

Furthermore, all of sudden the renegade and paragon choices and people that reflect them are switched. TIM's "control" choice is blue and paragon. While Anderson's red "destroy" choice in red and renegade.

The narrative has been flipped. As has Shepard's perceptions of the "reapers"

But... There's an X factor here. Shepard is an anomaly. And Shepard has YOU the player to "wake him/her" up.

The real anomaly here is YOU. The player.

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Re: Literally Everything The Catalyst Tells You Is Fallacious

Post by windsurfing on Wed Dec 25, 2013 7:28 am

Very interesting philosophical perspective by the OP. I often thought this was just like the Matrix saga. It's not about computers or machines taking over the world that is the underlying theme of the whole story, rather it was a challenge to us to think of our current state of affairs in the world with deceptions of the oligarchs who control world happenings while the controlled think they have a clear choice when all the choices are just options given to them by those in control. Matrix is a master piece in theological and philosophical explorations that may well become a legend in a couple of hundreds or thousands of years into the future for future historians to analyze.

Either that or Walter's is a dumb clown who just happens to think in circular fallacies without him even realizing it. Though I doubt it since there are far too many fallacies to be so perfectly unintended. Bioware did send after all out the Q code for the red herring.....

If this was all planned I don't see the point of vehemently denying Shepard to ever come back another came and that the new game's universe is going to fresh and new. It just cant happen without explaining what really happened to Shepard. They also use another circular logic in their PR dealings. "we don't want to take sides as we want all endings to be valid be it destroy, control, synthesis or refuse." This lame position is untenable if they planned something like IT all along. They have to piss off some groups or the other. It may also be that they planned it and screwed it all up now with their rubbish PR. They could have just shut their mouths and told players to make up the own minds while they worked on their grand reveal. Time will tell what they really had in mind.
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Re: Literally Everything The Catalyst Tells You Is Fallacious

Post by Guest on Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:55 am

windsurfing wrote:Very interesting philosophical perspective by the OP. I often thought this was just like the Matrix saga. It's not about computers or machines taking over the world that is the underlying theme of the whole story, rather it was a challenge to us to think of our current state of affairs in the world with deceptions of the oligarchs who control world happenings while the controlled think they have a clear choice when all the choices are just options given to them by those in control. Matrix is a master piece in theological and philosophical explorations that may well become a legend in a couple of hundreds or thousands of years into the future for future historians to analyze.

Either that or Walter's is a dumb clown who just happens to think in circular fallacies without him even realizing it. Though I doubt it since there are far too many fallacies to be so perfectly unintended. Bioware did send after all out the Q code for the red herring.....

If this was all planned I don't see the point of vehemently denying Shepard to ever come back another came and that the new game's universe is going to fresh and new. It just cant happen without explaining what really happened to Shepard. They also use another circular logic in their PR dealings. "we don't want to take sides as we want all endings to be valid be it destroy, control, synthesis or refuse." This lame position is untenable if they planned something like IT all along. They have to piss off some groups or the other. It may also be that they planned it and screwed it all up now with their rubbish PR. They could have just shut their mouths and told players to make up the own minds while they worked on their grand reveal. Time will tell what they really had in mind.

Yeah, I really don't see the point of ONLY giving the message of 'make up your mind' to players.

Yes, they have all rights to say it, but they're also dealing with customers. They're not handing off their art to their friends for free here.

A brief "there's more going on, so make your choice and look forward to what is next in the Mass Effect universe!" would be fine enough.

But the most we've gotten is things like:
-Indoc Theory is a valid interpretation
-There are aspects that are not to be taken literally

Things like that.

Devil's Advocate here - if a game isn't coming til 2015, telling people that 'something else is going on' does have downsides. ME3 came out in 2012, so that's 3-4 years of waiting for more in-game details.

But really, come on. The disaster seems to be more on the PR front, and Bioware is NO stranger to that.

ME3 itself is something I've gotten used to see-sawing on. Sometimes it appears to be a lazy unfinished product. Sometimes it appears to be telling an amazingly deep story, along with use of meta narrative.
Maybe it's just both. Really. That isn't outside possibility.

But anyway, I don't think its 'just' IT. Everything IT asserts (as in, indoc is happening in the ending) are things that I think are true. But, I do think its that the Reapers operate on faulty logic (not the cold math, which they might have done perfectly, but the emotional truths), so they have to literally rewrite peoples' minds in order to get them to see their larger POV of things. This is a LEGIT POV of the Reapers, but it also illustrates the lack of any 'humanity' the Reapers possess. They don't get it that they're in this Cycle as much as anyone else, and that killing trillions of people is kinda a bad thing, regardless of how they're 'saved' from 'destruction' from 'potentially' worse-intending synthetics.

That larger POV may be illuminated in the next game, but again, IMO nothing forgives subjecting others to indoctrination and pulpifying (I don't give a damn if I'm right and we're still uploaded into a virtual universe in a Reaper!!), so Destroy ..here we go! There *is* a 'more winning' choice :P


The Matrix had their solution. The Machines orchestrated the entire trilogy, more or less (or especially things like the 'Zion cycles'), and in the end, they got what they wanted. They got their Synthesis. They WON. The only way humans won were that they are allowed to unplug from the Matrix when they want, and the can start rebuilding on Earth when they want. To some, that's not how to win a war, especially when the machines caused that scale of devastation onto humanity.

Mass Effect has another way. We can say no, we don't want the Reapers hanging around, and still win. At least, its given as an option, and seems to keep Shepard alive, no messiah-sacrifice required. Overall, Mass Effect is more Red/Destroy oriented (with choice, given it is RPG), and Matrix is more Green/Transcendence/Transhumanist (almost preaches it by the end, alienating some people I know IRL). We don't really have a Blue/Control/Measured story for this, but that's probably because we know humanity enough to know they'd suck at controlling such tech to such a level. Even Paragon Shepard in Control ending has that ominous music that sounds at least slightly imperial and ominous... ;)

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Re: Literally Everything The Catalyst Tells You Is Fallacious

Post by windsurfing on Fri Dec 27, 2013 6:06 am

SwobyJ wrote:
But anyway, I don't think its 'just' IT. Everything IT asserts (as in, indoc is happening in the ending) are things that I think are true. But, I do think its that the Reapers operate on faulty logic (not the cold math, which they might have done perfectly, but the emotional truths), so they have to literally rewrite peoples' minds in order to get them to see their larger POV of things. This is a LEGIT POV of the Reapers, but it also illustrates the lack of any 'humanity' the Reapers possess. They don't get it that they're in this Cycle as much as anyone else, and that killing trillions of people is kinda a bad thing, regardless of how they're 'saved' from 'destruction' from 'potentially' worse-intending synthetics.

The above points can be seen as not much different to the example given by Starbrat "When fire burns, is at war? Is it in conflict? Or is it simply doing what it was created to do? We are no different" That is a Loaded Question fallacy.

We the player representing the sentiments build up throughout the games as a cause for the galaxy at large, we are out to stop them or destroy them for good. Understanding them is irrelevant we are not there to make nice with murderous creatures who kill living beings by the trillions.

The Starbrat's claims are laughable because Sovereign kept saying "your extinction happens because we demand it". Harbinger kept saying organics he encountered to be "vermin" "useless". Not exactly the words of someone trying to preserve organic life in reaper form. He kept on belittling every race korgan, asari, drell etc  It's more of a megalomaniac who knows exactly what he is doing and he knows it's cruel because he says "this hurts you" "Face your annihilation". Again not the words of someone who is just acting out instinctively like fire that doesn't discriminate. He clearly discriminates by his interest in humans and by the reapers in general, they even built a proto human reaper in ME2. That's not obviously because of their love for humans, they have their own agendas and we are just tools to be used for that. Again nothing about preservation there.

If they truly believe in what they say despite it's circular logic (argument from ignorance fallacy) again it's irrelevant to us the player as we are there to stop them, not to understand them or sympathize with them and yet in the closing stages we do just that by actually engaging in an outrageous conversation where we can't even renegade or paragon interrupt to round house kick the little crap loud mouth. That alone makes even the half awake player realize something is not right here.

To quote Vigil "In the end, what does it matter? Your survival depends on stopping them, not in understanding them."

Foreshadowing at it's best about your true aim in the whole series.
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Re: Literally Everything The Catalyst Tells You Is Fallacious

Post by Guest on Fri Dec 27, 2013 6:36 am

Yes, to all of that :).

One thing I'd add though, is that the 'Catalyst' may very well be the 'collective intelligence' of the Reapers. It's one thing to be an arrogant Reaper - but it may be another to be the collective intelligence and come to your results, from being all Reapers interfaced together. I'd wager Harbinger is a specific Reaper with that level of arrogance, and the rest are closer to Rannoch Destroyer... 


It's one thing to toss lore buffs bones (and imo they're doing that far more than people assume). It's another to do the 'right thing' in given situations. When it comes to the Reapers themselves, as far as we're considered (who knows when it comes to future games??), they're abominations. Even with all this info, they're abominations.

The best, so far, we can hope from is that some of their wreckage and code are salvaged and make a better 'species' out of it. Like EDIs. Or something. The Reapers, as they are, seem to be too much dead weight for the galaxy and Indoctrination and everything about it makes them immediately suspect in every way. Not even the 'Catalyst', but the Reapers themselves. Way way way way too much to handle, despite the series' subliminal nudging into getting us to think "Well.. maybe I can handle it.."

I leave my mind open to the chance that there's a larger story that will justify Control and Synth in HINDSIGHT. Like, greatly expanded information on the Reapers, their origins and role, the other cycles' events, who that 'child' really is, and much more. Ok. Part of me even expects it.

But standing there, at the Crucible, duh duh duh duh the right choice is Destroy. We players don't have to make it. But there it is. Same with Destroying the Collector Base. There's some decisions that just make more 'sense', once we strip away all temptation or outside (future games, once they're out) information. We don't truly need to see Cerberus go all nuts in ME3 to know that handing the base to TIM is bad. We don't truly need to see machines go nuts in ME4 to know that destroying the Reapers is good. However, going the 'wrong' path might expose us players to more or different information than otherwise, and still leave some chance at a form of victory (in the game). And that's ok. It also depends on what we see as victory.

Just as Matrix is weighted towards the Green, Mass Effect 1-3 (forget the hero-movie idea of saving the Council that insults you through the whole game; the smarter choice is to leave them to die so you can focus fire) is weighted towards ignoring the blah blah of Catalyst and just moving towards whatever kills them more immediately and with the most impact. Shepard is a Destroyer. He CAN be something ELSE, to the point of losing who he is/was entirely, but Shepard the human soldier, is a destroyer.

But this is a RPG. Do what you want. Like me - I chose Peace with the Rannoch situation, even while thinking that Reaper code is super damn dangerous to deal with. I wanna see the outcome.

But I just feel bad for those who take the Reapers' logic as *the* TRUTH. Instead of it being that it is the Reapers taking truth and fashioning it into their twisted logic. The inmates are running the asylum, folks. There's a reason why none of the endings let you just allow the Reapers to continue the Cycles with no one to stop them (even in Refuse, you leave a legacy, apparently due to Liara/Glyph's actions). The Reapers must be *dealt with*, somehow, whether the stuff we see is 'real' or 'virtual' or whatever. (If the ending is Indoc, then it is 'literally virtual' - it is created by interactions with signals and/or nanites in Shepard's brain, overwriting or disrupting normal thought patterns in some form)

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Re: Literally Everything The Catalyst Tells You Is Fallacious

Post by ElSuperGecko on Tue Dec 31, 2013 6:25 pm

windsurfing wrote:
Either that or Walter's is a dumb clown who just happens to think in circular fallacies without him even realizing it. Though I doubt it since there are far too many fallacies to be so perfectly unintended. Bioware did send after all out the Q code for the red herring.....

I... don't believe that. [/TIM]

The way I see it, the Bioware developers knew exactly what they were doing. Or more precisely, they knew exactly what they were doing, but didn't understand how vocal and widespread the reaction to their efforts would be. Hence the attempt to placate the fanbase, and hence the (in my view, at least) watering down of their original game with the Extended Cut.

They created a game with an open ending a game that asked more questions than it answered... unfortunately, to many people wanted to be given the answers, and not enough wanted to think about the questions.

But back to your comment, and you're right, there's simply too many logical fallacies and ambiguties for it to be coincidence and unintentional... but then, we take into account that this is a work of fiction, and one written, scrutinized and revised by a large and talented team prior to release.

Back in 2012, when the backlash was at it's loudest, there was a series of posts on a forum - supposedly from one of the writing team - that every line of dialogue in the game, every scene, every encounter, everything - had to go through an extensive peer review process, with the exception of the ending, which was the work of Hudson and Walters alone.

BIoware (and the writer who was in question) apparently shot down these particular posts as fake, but I don't doubt for one second that everything in the game was read, proofed, edited, reviewed and agreed upon before it was included.

What does this mean? If something's in the game - a scene, a piece of information, a conversation, whatever - it was put there for a reason. A hell of a lot of material no doubt hit the cutting room floor, and what's there... well, we can safely assume there's a reason for it to be there. That it's intentional. If there's something questionable or suspicious there, it was knowingly and deliberately included. It's why it was put there - not if - that's important.

Here's a snippet from the forum posts I mentioned.

Every other mission in the game had to be held up to the rest of the writing team, and the writing team then picked it apart and made suggestions and pointed out the parts that made no sense...

...and whether it's real or fake, it certainly makes you think.

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