Friday, September 25, 2015

Today's Logical Fallacy is... Balance Fallacy!

(False Balance, Argument to Moderation, Argumentum ad Temperantium, Golden Mean Fallacy, False compromise, Gray fallacy)

The opposite of the false dichotomy, this fallacy occurs when someone asserts that the extremes are always wrong and the middle ground is always right or when we give equal weight and credence to both sides of an argument regardless of the evidence supporting the sides for the sake of being "fair." This isn’t to say that the middle ground is always wrong; sometimes it may be the best option. It's a fallacy when we assume that the middle ground must be right because it is between two extremes. This fallacy does not occur when pointing out flaws in both sides of an argument while remaining, or appearing to remain, undecided.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Today's Logical Fallacy is... Genetic Fallacy!

(fallacy of origins, fallacy of virtue)

The term “genetic” here refers to the Latin meaning of the word “gen” – to create – usually in reference to the beginning of something. This fallacy is a type of association fallacy where the conclusion is based entirely on the origin of something or someone rather than the actual argument being presented and thus transferring whatever negative or positive association of the origin onto the current argument. It is a fallacy because it offers no relevant argument; the validity of an argument has no bearing on where it came from. This fallacy encompasses a wide variety of other fallacies including the Ad Hominem, Appeal to Ancient Wisdom, Appeal to Authority, Appeal to Nature, Appeal to Tradition, Favoritism, Guilt by Association, Tu Quoque, and “They’re Not Like Us.”

Friday, September 11, 2015

Today's Logical Fallacy is... Dogmatism!

This fallacy occurs when one doctrine is pushed, often intensely, as the only acceptable conclusion and that that belief is beyond question. Dogmatists are unwilling to even consider an opposing argument and believe that they are so correct that they can’t even examine evidence to the contrary. Some even believe that thinking about questioning the position is wrong. Anyone who disagrees with the position is branded as either stupid or evil.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Today's Logical Fallacy is.... Appeal to Tradition!

("If it ain't broke, don't fix it," argumentum ad antiquitatem, Appeal to Antiquity, Appeal to Common Practice, Appeal to the Old, Old Ways are Best, Fallacious Appeal to the Past, Appeal to Age, Proof from Tradition, Appeal to Past Practice, opposite of “Appeal to Innovation”)

This fallacy is based on the argument that an idea, practice, or position is better, correct, justified, and/or acceptable just because it has “always” been practiced or believed. Usually this argument comes from the individuals or group that is served particularly well by that position, and it often takes the form of, “We shouldn't challenge time-honored customs or traditions,” or “We should continue to do things as they have been done in the past.” We often fall subject to this fallacy because we don’t often like change. Not only is it psychologically comforting to adhere to older practices and ideas, sticking with what has always been done is easier and requires less effort.