Logic is the process of drawing a conclusion from one or more premises. A statement of fact, by itself, is neither logical or illogical (although it can be true or false).
As an example of how logic can be abused, consider the following argument which has been widely propagated on the Internet.
- Premise 1: Hillary Clinton supports gun-control legislation.
- Premise 2: All fascist regimes of the twentieth century have passed gun-control legislation.
- Conclusion: Hillary Clinton is a fascist.
One way of testing the logic of an argument like this is to translate the basic terms and see if the conclusion still makes sense. As you can see, the premises may be correct, but the conclusion does not necessarily follow.
- Premise 1: All Christians believe in God.
- Premise 2: All Muslims believe in God.
- Conclusion: All Christians are Muslims.
This is a rather extreme example of how logic can be abused. The following pages describe others.
It should be noted that a message can be illogical without being propagandistic -- we all make logical mistakes. The difference is that propagandists deliberately manipulate logic in order to promote their cause.