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Fallacies

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Mon Oct 23, 2006 4:41 am
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Snoink says...



Fallacies are flaws in logic. Basically, if you try to use these methods, you won't get away with them. Why? Because you won't make sense.

From stereotyping to personal attacks, look here for a quick how-to on what NOT to do.

1. Hasty Overgeneralization (Stereotyping)

“Everybody knows about the Mayflower.”

Avoid words that use absolutes, such as everybody, nobody, all, always, and never. Also, please remember that when you put whole masses of people in two categories, you’re probably generalizing too much. Because, let’s face it. Nobody’s going to completely fit the mold entirely – and that’s a fact! :D

With this thought in mind, remember that when you’re arguing with someone, don’t lump them into categories without asking first. You may be very surprised at the real answer…

2. False Analogy

“A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.”

This is a comparison between dissimilar things that just doesn’t hold through. While arguing with my cousin, my brother did something like this where he tried to compare video games to romance novels. The result? We laughed at him.

But sometimes, false analogies actually get paid attention to, for some particular reason. Enough. If you’re comparing something completely different with each other, it’s probably not going to be a good comparison.

3. False Cause and Effect

“Every time I wash my car, it rains.”

Nope. Believe or not, this statement is not scientifically true. It may seem like it’s true when you wash your car and it rains, but unless you can prove it, don’t state it.

This point once again proves how important sources are. If you don’t cite your sources, then your point has died even before it began.

4. Either/Or

“Either you’re with us or against us.”

Good for Westerns… bad for arguments. There is no purely black and white world and many variations of gray in between our beliefs. Yes, it’s true. You can believe one thing and not believe another thing, even though they’re somewhat close in belief! So yes, there are Christians who believe in evolution, despite all whatever.

This goes with the hasty overgeneralizing too. Think about it.

5. Non sequitur /Off-topic

Going from an attack about Wal-mart to how lettuce is crunchy.

Basically? If your argument wanders too much, it’s not going to be effective. Period.

6. Out of Context

Check this out! This is from my story, FREAK:

Tingles suddenly ran down her spine and she almost stopped, but then he whispered to her, “Don’t stop now!” So she continued on, the little hairs on the back of her neck bristling as he played with her.

Wait… HOLD THE PRESSES!

That is something taken out of context. This is actually the quote, taken in context:

“Here,” he said. “You’re really good at this one scale and that’s fantastic. Now start it off, just as you usually do. When you play the third scale step – that would be this note – I’m going to start the same scale on the tonic. Then, as soon as you play the fifth scale step – this note – I’m going to join in with my left hand. Sound fun?”

The freak had no idea what he meant, but she agreed anyway. She bit her lip to concentrate and then pushed down on middle C. For the first two notes, it was just her playing single notes, but as soon as the third note came, Sadie’s father joined in. Tingles suddenly ran down her spine and she almost stopped, but then he whispered to her, “Don’t stop now!” So she continued on, the little hairs on the back of her neck bristling as he played with her.


Now it doesn’t sound like it came off of an adult magazine, no? ;)

Lots of things get misquoted, from the bible to scientific articles… the list goes on. Be smart about what you quote and NEVER deliberately misquote it.

7. Personal Attacks

“Vote for me because he’s an idiot.”

Personal attacks are NEVER allowed under any circumstances. First of all, the argument is really lame and the logic just doesn’t compute. At all. And, in civilized debating, there are no obscenities flying around either. Just don’t insult. It’ll make life much easier for you and me. ‘

8. Circular Reasoning

“UFOs don’t exist. I’ve never seen one, therefore they don’t exist.”

Repeating the same thing over and over again is a fallacy. Yes, we know that. So why are we supposed to listen to you again? You can help this by getting more specific and NOT speaking in generalities. A little bit of research goes a long way too.

9. Composition Fallacy

"Because I like earrings, everyone likes earrings."

"Because one politician in Washington is corrupt, all must be corrupt."

Basically, this fallacy is when you assume that, because one part is true, all parts are true. But that's not necessarily the case. Research the subject matter better.


For more fallacies, check out The Fallacy Files! (Thanks to Cthulhu!)
Last edited by Snoink on Mon Oct 23, 2006 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Mon Oct 23, 2006 9:07 am
Poor Imp says...



A note on Snoink (^_^): The Encyclopedia Britannica explains thus...

The classification widely adopted by modern logicians and based on that of Aristotle, Organon (Sophistici elenchi), is as follows: - (1) Fallacy of Accident, i.e. arguing erroneously from a general rule to a particular case, without proper regard to particular conditions which vitiate the application of the general rule; e.g. if manhood suffrage be the law, arguing that a criminal or a lunatic must, therefore, have a vote; (2) Converse Fallacy of Accident, i.e. arguing from a special case to a general rule; (3) Irrelevant Conclusion, or Ignoratio Elenchi, wherein, instead of proving the fact in dispute, the arguer seeks to gain his point by diverting attenton to some extraneous fact (as in the legal story of "No case. Abuse the plaintiff's attorney"). Under this head come the so-called argumentum (a) ad hominem, (b) ad populum, (c) ad baculum, (d) adverecundiam, common in platform oratory, in which the speaker obscures the real issue by appealing to his audience on the grounds of (a) purely personal considerations, (b) popular sentiment, (c) fear, (d) conventional propriety. This fallacy has been illustrated by ethical or theological arguments wherein the fear of punishment is subtly substituted for abstract right as the sanction of moral obligation. (4) Petitio principii (begging the question) or Circulus in probando (arguing in a circle), which consists in demonstrating a conclusion by means of premises which presuppose that conclusion. Jeremy Bentham points out that this fallacy may lurk in a single word, especially in an epithet, e.g. if a measure were condemned simply on the ground that it is alleged to be "un-English"; (5) Fallacy of the Consequent, really a species of (3), wherein a conclusion is drawn from premises which do not really support it; (6) Fallacy of False Cause, or Non Sequitur (" it does not follow"), wherein one thing is incorrectly assumed as the cause of another, as when the ancients attributed a public calamity to a meteorological phenomenon; (7) Fallacy of Many Questions (Plurium Interrogationum), wherein several questions are improperly grouped in the form of one, and a direct categorical answer is demanded, e.g. if a prosecuting counsel asked the prisoner "What time was it when you met this man?" with the intention of eliciting the tacit admission that such a meeting had taken place.


Circulus--most common. Too often one debates from the stance of a 'foregone' conclusion in one's own mind. As it's accepted without thought, it's not often stated for the debate. Confusion follows; not to mention unstable debates on unstable inference.

Polar opposite of Snoink's conversational tone; but they ought to compliment eachother. ^_^
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Mon Oct 23, 2006 7:11 pm
Snoink says...



Hehe, yeah. :) I added one by the way, lol.
Ubi caritas est vera, Deus ibi est.

"The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly." ~ Richard Bach

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Mon Oct 23, 2006 7:38 pm
Poor Imp says...



Now you only need ten to make it roundly even. ^_^ (I hope our good debaters take the time to read...)
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Mon Oct 23, 2006 8:42 pm
Areida says...



Very nice, Snoink. :)

I thought that adding a couple of the Latin meanings and such might make it more official-sounding. For instance:

- Non Sequitur literally means, "it does not follow."
- My logic book (an Aristotelian curriculum) called False Cause and Effect post hoc ergo propter hoc, i.e. after this therefore because of this.
- Personal Attacks could also be called the Ad Hominem (or "to the man") fallacy, because they attack the person and not the person's argument.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head. I'd have to check out my logic book to see if they list any more fallacies that would be good for our YWS debaters to be aware of. :D
Last edited by Areida on Mon Oct 23, 2006 10:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Mon Oct 23, 2006 9:01 pm
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LamaLama says...



Muchas Gracias senorita snoink.
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Sat Jan 19, 2008 5:54 pm
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~Volant~ says...



I've got one more; Badwagon. Making someone feel stupid for doing something. Like, "No one in their right mind would wear orange."
Writer's Block: n. The term for when your characters are fed up with all that you put them through and go on strike.

My characters laugh at me when I tell them who's boss. :(




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Sun Jan 27, 2008 9:52 pm
scotty.knows says...



Volant, that's called appeal to the majority.

Appeal to the majority =

75% of Americans prefer Cheerios to Wheaties. Cheerios must be better than Wheaties.

But that's not true! All we said was that three out of four people prefer Cheerios.

The right way of saying that would be:

75% of Americans prefer Cheerios to Wheaties. More Americans like Cheerios than Wheaties.
'Merikuh!




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Wed Apr 02, 2008 6:56 am
casey_kent says...



Thanks Snoink. This was my homework! lol
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Fri Apr 11, 2008 9:12 pm
Galatea says...



Also, not a fallacy, but sarcasm is absolutely inappropriate on these boards, especially used to (usually) incorrectly represent an opposite point of view.

For example: I'm a smelly republican! I love war and I love Jesus! I don't need to think for myself because the government does it for me! War is awesome! Poor people are lazy! Etc. etc.

Oh, and the use of the :roll: emoticon. Same thing as rolling your eyes at someone. Totally dismissive and inappropriate.
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Mon May 05, 2008 9:14 pm
harrypotterbooklover101 says...



That is so wierd and that is weird!
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Sun May 11, 2008 7:54 pm
Griffinkeeper says...



Galatea wrote:Also, not a fallacy, but sarcasm is absolutely inappropriate on these boards, especially used to (usually) incorrectly represent an opposite point of view.

For example: I'm a smelly republican! I love war and I love Jesus! I don't need to think for myself because the government does it for me! War is awesome! Poor people are lazy! Etc. etc.

Oh, and the use of the :roll: emoticon. Same thing as rolling your eyes at someone. Totally dismissive and inappropriate.


:roll:
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Tue May 20, 2008 9:16 am
melkor says...



Very nice snoik, you put all i would have said into better words.

10 POINTS!


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Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:30 am
seeminglymeaningless says...



I will make sure I put these points to good use, Snoink, thank you for outlining them for me.

And onto my reply:

No one at all will know these points, because people are like fishes in the stars. This is because when people try to think, their brain asplodes. So either you should rewrite this, or get get rid of it completely! Did I mention that in 1625 in London alone, an outbreak of the Bubonic Plague (also known as the Black Death / transmitted by fleas carried by rats) resulted in 35,000 deaths. And again in 1665 - another 20,000 died! Wikipedia defines death as, "the ... biological .. living organism ... of life's cessation as well ... [the] ... body." References

Pursonly I belief you only rote dis topik cuz yer a fruitcaking, pink, slimey pig! And if ur a pig, then all the other modorators are pigs too! I have never ever ever seen you in rael lyf, so maybe you don't evenn exist!

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Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:26 am
Snoink says...



If you want me to add another fallacy I forgot, please PM me.

*Locked*
Ubi caritas est vera, Deus ibi est.

"The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly." ~ Richard Bach

Moth and Myth <- My comic! :D