Thought-terminating cliché

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This is when a simple concept, such as for example Good versus Evil, used to convince people to abstain from thinking. To instead uncritically accept a certain narrative or dogma. Thus, thought-terminating clichés can be very potent tools for promoting dichotomism, categorism and narrativism.

When somebody says "You are wrong, because of reasons", the argument is probably not meant to be taken seriously but instead acknowledged as a metaphor for "meh, I don't care to analyze or discuss this issue right now". When "reasons" is replaced with some buzzword, there is a huge risk that it is mistaken for a serious argument. Mistaken not only by the audience, but especially by the person who makes the argument. It is easy to fool oneself. Note that any word can be misused as a buzzword, including every word presented on this site. What you always need to ask yourself is this: Are you using this concept as a tool for thinking, or as a tool for abstaining from thinking?

The exploration of usage of thought-terminating clichés is a core issue in books such as 1984 and The Banality of Evil.

Note that while any concept may be misused as a thought-terminating cliché, some terms and concepts lend themselves to this far more easily than others. We should therefore strive to build a discourse that discourages this practice.

See also the wikipedia page on this topic.