Friday, January 29, 2016

Today's Logical Fallacy is...Just in Case!

(worst case scenario fallacy)

A type of appeal to emotion, this fallacy occurs when someone’s position is based on an unrealistic worst-case scenario rather than what would probable or realistic. Those who argue these points do so to convince you to make a decision out of fear rather than reason by inflating the perceived cost – not the actual cost – of not accepting their position.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Today's Logical Fallacy is...Moral Equivalency!

A fallacy common in politics, this occurs when two different and unrelated issues or positions are falsely said to carry the same moral weight. This is often used to sway the audience’s perception of the morality of a questionable position or action. It is used in three primary ways:

Friday, January 15, 2016

Today's Logical Fallacy is...Correlation Equals Causation!

(False Cause, Post Hoc or Faulty Causality, or Correlation vs. Causation; post hoc ergo propter hoc)

A very common fallacy both in everyday usage and in formal arguments, this fallacy occurs when someone confuses “correlation” (when things occur at the same time or immediately after one another) with “causation” (when one thing causes another). It is a mistake to assume that the order of events means that one event caused the other for there are many variables that could contribute to the pattern we see. Not only could the pattern be a pure coincidence, it is most often due to a common “third” cause of both events. Statistics play an important role in this fallacy. Many will see a figure and automatically draw a conclusion without thinking of what may have been left out.

Friday, January 8, 2016

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

(Argumentum ad Logicam, Fallacist's Fallacy, Argument from Fallacy, disproof by fallacy, argument to logic, similar to the bad reasons fallacy, form of psychogenetic fallacy)

This fallacy occurs when someone assumes that because an argument has been defended using a fallacy that the argument itself is wrong. Many correct ideas and positions are defended using faulty reasoning, and this is not reason enough to dismiss them (an argument can be invalid and unsound but still have a true conclusion). To say something is fallacious is merely saying that there isn’t a strong connection between the premises and the conclusion, not whether or not the conclusion is true. All that a flawed argument means is that that individual did not adequately defend it. It is similar to the bad reasons fallacy in which the argument is supported using faulty reasoning but not necessarily a logical fallacy.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Today's Logical Fallacy is... Gambler's Fantasy!

(the Monte Carlo fallacy, the fallacy of the maturity of chances)

This fallacy occurs when someone believes that the statistical likelihood of an independent event is directly related to what has happened in the past. For example, in flipping a coin, the odds of an individual flip coming up heads is 50/50, but when we have a 10 flips in a row, many will believe that the odds of all of them being the same is lower than any other series of results when it isn't. In this fallacy, the person thinks that the universe will somehow "balance out" and thus often choose the opposite of they've seen.