Intellectual dishonesty is the advocacy of a position known to be false. An argument which is misused to advance an agenda or to reinforce one's deeply held beliefs in the face of overwhelming evidence contrary.
The terms intellectually dishonest and intellectual dishonesty are often used as rhetorical devices in a debate; the label invariably frames an opponent in a negative light. It is a round about way to say "you're lying".
The statement that all hurricanes are caused by global warming is intellectually dishonest. Stating as fact that lung cancer is unrelated to cigarette smoking is intellectual dishonesty.
Intellectual dishonesty is dishonesty in performing intellectual activities like thought or communication. Examples are:
Rhetoric is used to advance an agenda or to reinforce one's deeply held beliefs in the face of overwhelming contrary evidence. If a person is aware of the evidence and agrees with the conclusion it portends, yet advocates a contradictory view, they commit intellectual dishonesty. If the person is unaware of the evidence, their position is ignorance, even if in agreement with the scientific conclusion. If the person is knowingly aware that there may be additional evidence but purposefully fails to check, and then acts as though the position is confirmed, this is also intellectual dishonesty.
The terms intellectually dishonest and intellectual dishonesty are often used as rhetorical devices in a debate; the label invariably frames an opponent in a negative light.
The phrase is also frequently used by orators when a debate foe or audience reaches a conclusion varying from the speaker's on a given subject. This appears mostly in debates or discussions of speculative, non-scientific issues, such as morality or policy.