Fallacy Friday!

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

(The Straw Person) This fallacy takes the opponents argument and restructures it, creating an extreme version that no one could possib...

Friday, April 29, 2016

Today's Logical Fallacy is... Lying with Statistics!

(Snow Job, statistical fallacy, misunderstanding the nature of statistics [form of]; type of Half-Truth, Non Sequitur, Red Herring)

This fallacy occurs when someone deliberately supports their position using figures, numbers, and statistics that are either irrelevant or presented in a convoluted manner so as to confuse and manipulate others (different from misuse of statistics that is not deliberate). This fallacy is often mixed with other fallacies, such as overgeneralization (extrapolating to a larger group without a logical link), correlation/causation (ignoring other potential factors), and appeals to emotion.

Friday, April 22, 2016

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

(derailment, “does not follow,” irrelevant reason, invalid inference, non-support, argument by scenario, false premise, questionable premise)

Literally translating as “does not follow,” this fallacy occurs when the conclusion has no logical connection to the premise. All formal fallacies are a type of non sequitur (including post hoc, hasty generalization, slippery slope, and many others.) It is important to recognize that while the conclusion may be true, it is still a faulty argument if they support it using an irrelevant premise. Non sequiturs are easy to identify when they are absurd (e.g. “If peanut butter is healthy, why don’t horses talk?”), but this is not always the case (e.g. “She drives a BMW, so she must be rich.”)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Encouraging Self-Reliance through Liberal Ideals

One of the biggest complaints against liberal ideals (especially socialism) is that it increases dependence and decreases self-reliance. And I think we can all agree that self-reliance is incredibly important and should be encouraged.

Which is why I am liberal.

Let me explain.

Friday, April 15, 2016

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

(Cherry-Picking, Card Stacking, Incomplete Information, Texas Sharpshooter, suppressed evidence, fallacy of incomplete evidence, argument by selective observation, argument by half-truth, fallacy of exclusion, ignoring the counter evidence, one-sided assessment, slanting, one-sidedness)

Commonly referred to as “cherry-picking,” this fallacy occurs when someone uses an argument that contains some element of truth while selectively omitting important details in order to deceive or misrepresent the facts in order to prop up a false conclusion. The stronger the evidence that is omitted, the more grievous the fallacy. This fallacy also occurs when you search for a pattern or evidence that fits your argument as opposed to adjusting your argument to fit the evidence. This fallacy can be a false dichotomy if the details that are omitted are in the “grey” area in between two falsely opposing positions.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Today's Logical Fallacy is... Essentializing!


This fallacy proposes a person or thing “is what it is and that’s all that it is" and, at its core, will always be what it is right now. This is related to the fallacious argument that something is a certain way "by nature" or based on its origin (genetic fallacy). This is a fallacy because it uses existing negative perceptions and stereotypes to make someone's argument look bad without actually addressing the argument's merit.

Friday, April 1, 2016

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

(Ad-Hoc Reasoning, No True Scotsman, Stacking the Deck, Ignoring the Counterevidence, One-Sided Assessment, Slanting, “Double-Standard”)

This fallacy occurs when someone applies standards, principles, or rules to other positions while claiming that their position is exempt from them - without adequately justifying the reasons for their exemption (if there is a viable reason, it's not fallacious). It often occurs when someone is emotionally attached to their beliefs as our minds will subconsciously create ways to continue justifying our beliefs (see cognitive dissonance). 

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