Fallacy Friday!

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

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

Friday, July 29, 2016

Today's Logical Fallacy is... Paralysis of Analysis!


This fallacy occurs when someone claims that since we will never know everything, we should always avoid making decisions because any decision we would make would be illegitimate. Related to the appeal to ignorance fallacy, the primary difference here is that, instead of claiming that we will never “know” something due to lack of information, this fallacy claims that we should never “decide.” This fallacy is most easily committed when dealing with circumstantial evidence as it’s easier to dismiss.

Friday, July 22, 2016

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

(Mind Your Own Business - MYOB; You're Not the Boss of Me; Taboo)      

This fallacy prohibits discussion of your own behavior or viewpoints because it is private and thus “None of your business,” regardless of how dangerous, corrupt, absurd, or offensive it is. While freedom to think and act independently is essential in a successful society, this freedom doesn’t necessarily come without consequences. Some viewpoints and behavior doesn’t necessarily end with you and can have ripple effects on others and are therefore subject to scrutiny.   


“So what if I was driving 25 over the speed limit? It’s none of your business. You’re not a cop.” (Your right to drive doesn’t supersede the right of others to have safe roads, and if you drive recklessly, then you may lose your right to drive.)

“What I do in my own home is none of your concern.” (If what you do in your own home includes harming children or other adults, then it absolutely is someone else’s concern.)

Friday, July 15, 2016

Today's Logical Fallacy is... Hot-Hand Fallacy!

Counterpart to the gambler’s fallacy, this fallacy occurs when someone predicts the outcome of a chance event to be the same as the last event (unlike the gambler’s fallacy that predicts the opposite outcome of the last event). People tend to believe that, since inanimate objects are random, they shouldn’t show tendencies (being “hot” to a particular color or number), so any streaks are based on the performance of the person generating the results. Someone in a “losing streak” gives up because they have gone cold, and vice versa.


“I’m on a losing streak, so I should quit while I’m a head.”

“Red is hot tonight! I know what I’m betting on.”

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Why We Can't Be "Color Blind": Taste the Privilege

If the world were color blind, we wouldn't have racism, but unfortunately, the world doesn't work that way. Too many people not only see color (which in itself isn't a bad thing) but also use color as means of casting judgment. And so while those who refuse to see color may not themselves be racist, they can't do anything to fight against racism. It's the difference between refusing to steal and stopping a thief, the difference between refusing to hit your wife and standing up against a man who beats his.

One requires only self-discipline; the other requires courage. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Today's Logical Fallacy is... Inconsistency!

(Kettle logic, internal contradiction, logical inconsistency)

This logical fallacy occurs when an individual makes contradictory claims, usually by asserting that rules are followed for some beliefs, arguments, or claims but not others. It is often done by presenting multiple contradicting arguments supporting one point, and it can vary on how obvious the contradiction is. The person making the fallacy is often unaware that they are being inconsistent; lazy thinking and emotional investment can affect their perception of this fallacy. Authority figures can often get away with this fallacy because their position often protects them from challenge.

Friday, July 1, 2016

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

(poor pattern recognition, the “sticking your head in the sand” defense, “despite overwhelming evidence”) 

The opposite of the hasty generalization, this fallacy occurs when someone refuses to draw the appropriate conclusion from a clearly recognized pattern; the phrase “despite overwhelming evidence” is an indication that someone is about to commit this fallacy. Their refusal to accept what is most likely true is usually due to either their not really caring about the truth or their having a vested interest in their position (for example, cognitive dissonance occurs when someone is emotionally invested in a position and therefore likely to dismiss evidence against their position).

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