Fallacy Friday!

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

(Cherry-Picking, Card Stacking, Incomplete Information, Texas Sharpshooter, suppressed evidence, fallacy of incomplete evidence, argument ...

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.


This fallacy is common in the age of internet debates and is often committed by individuals who are lazy (unwilling to actually examine their opponents’ position), pseudo-intellectuals (those who want to use a new word without actually having the intellectual discipline to apply it appropriately), and/or hoping to distract their opponent by using it as a red herring. In order to avoid this fallacy, you should attempt to find rational and logical reasons to defend the weak position in order to determine if it is truly valid.

Examples:

The argument from design supports the proposition "God exists." The argument from design is fallacious. Therefore, God does not exist.

Ivan: You cannot borrow my car because it turns back into a pumpkin at midnight.
Sidney: If you really think that, you’re an idiot.
Ivan: That is an ad hominem; therefore, I can’t be an idiot.
Sidney: I beg to differ.

Karen: I am sorry, but if you think man used to ride dinosaurs, then you are obviously not very well educated.
Kent: First of all, I hold a PhD in creation science, so I am well-educated. Second of all, your ad hominem attack shows that you are wrong, and man did used to ride dinosaurs.
Karen: Getting your PhD in a couple months, from a “college” in a trailer park, is not being well-educated. My fallacy in no way is evidence for man riding on dinosaurs, and despite what you may think, the Flintstone’s was not a documentary!

Recognizing that Amanda had committed a fallacy in arguing that we should eat healthy food because a nutritionist said it was popular, Alyse said we should therefore eat bacon double cheeseburgers every day.

Obama is a Democrat because the sky is blue (obviously a non-sequitur, but it doesn’t invalidate the conclusion).

“If you (a lay person) cannot explain to me exactly how this science works, then it is false.”

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