🧠 Logical Fallacies (en, ru)

Appeal to the Mind πŸ“Ž

Appeal to Anonymous Authority πŸ“Ž

Using evidence from an unnamed 'expert' or 'study' or generalized group (like 'scientists') to claim something is true.

'They say that it takes 7 years to digest chewing gum.'

Appeal to Authority πŸ“Ž

Claiming something is true because an (a person holding authority) 'expert' says it is.

'Over 4000 prominent scientists and engineers dispute global warming.'

Appeal to Common Practice πŸ“Ž

Claiming something is true because it's commonly practiced.

'This bank has some problems with corruption, but there's nothing going on here that doesn't go on in all other banks.'

Appeal to Ignorance πŸ“Ž

A claim is true simply because it has not been proven false (or false because it has not been proven true).

'Nobody has proven to me there's a God. So I know there is no God.'

Appeal to Incredulity πŸ“Ž

Because a claim sounds unbelievable, it must not be true.

'The eye is an incredibly complex biomechanical machine with thousands of interlocking parts. How could that exist without an intelligent designer?'

Appeal to Money πŸ“Ž

Supposing that, if someone is rich or something is expensive, then it affects the truth of the claim.

'If it costs more, it must be better.'

Appeal to Novelty πŸ“Ž

Supposing something is better because it is new or newer.

'Awesome! The latest version of this operating system is going to make my computer faster and better..'

Claiming something is true because the majority of people believe it.

'Milk is essential for healthy bones.'

Appeal to Probability πŸ“Ž

Assuming because something could happen, it will inevitably happen.

'There are billions of galaxies with billions of stars in the universe, so there must be another planet with intelligent life on it.'

Appeal to Tradition πŸ“Ž

Claiming something is true because it's (apparently) always been that way.

'The government has always existed, therefore society cannot live without one.'

Appeal to the Emotions πŸ“Ž

Appeal to Consequences of a Belief πŸ“Ž

Arguing a belief is false because it implies something you'd rather not believe.

'That can't be the Senator on that sex-tape. If it were, he'd be lying about not knowing her, and he's not the kind of man who would lie.'

Appeal to Fear πŸ“Ž

An argument is made by increasing fear and prejudice towards the opposing side.

'Before you know there will be more mosques than churches.'

Appeal to Flattery πŸ“Ž

Using an irrelevant compliment to slip in an unfounded claim which is accepted along with the compliment.

'Intelligent and sophisticated readers will of course recognize a fallacy like this when they read one.'

Appeal to Nature πŸ“Ž

Making your claim seem more true by drawing a comparison with the 'good' natural world.

'Of course homosexuality is unnatural. You don't see same-sex animals copulating.'

Appeal to Pity πŸ“Ž

Attempt to induce pity to sway opponents.

'The former dictator is an old, dying man. It's wrong to make him stand trial for these alleged offenses.'

Appeal to Ridicule πŸ“Ž

Presenting the opponent's argument in a way that makes it appear absurd.

'Faith in God is like believing in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.'

Appeal to Spite πŸ“Ž

Dismissing a claim by appealing to personal bias against the claimant.

'Don't you just hate how those rich Liberal Hollywood actors go on TV to promote their agendas?'

Appeal to Wishful Thinking πŸ“Ž

Suggesting a claim is true or false just because you strongly hope it is.

'The President wouldn't lie. He's our leader and a good American.'

Faulty Deduction πŸ“Ž

Anecdotal Evidence πŸ“Ž

Discounting evidence arrived at by systematic search or testing in favor of a few first hand stories.

'I'm going to carry on smoking. My grandfather smoked 40 a day until he died at the age of 90.'

Composition πŸ“Ž

Assuming that characteristics or beliefs of some of a group applies to the entire group.

'Recent terrorist attacks have been carried out by Islamic groups, therefore all terrorists are Muslims.'

Division πŸ“Ž

Assuming that characteristics or beliefs of a group automatically apply to any individual member.

'Many Conservatives wish to ban gay marriage, discredit climate change, and deny evolution, therefore all conservatives are homophobic, anti-environment creationists.'

Design Fallacy πŸ“Ž

Assuming that because something is nicely designed or beautifully visualized, it's more valid or better.

'Elementary OS is the most well designed and best looking Linux distribution, therefore it is clearly superior.'

Gambler's Fallacy πŸ“Ž

Assuming a history of independent outcomes will affect future outcomes.

'I've flipped a coin 10 times in a row and it's been heads each time, therefore the next coin flip is more likely to come up with tails.'

Hasty Generalization πŸ“Ž

Drawing a general conclusion from a tiny sample.

'I just got cut off by the woman driver in front. Women can't drive.'

Jumping to Conclusions πŸ“Ž

Drawing a quick conclusion without fairly considering relevant (and easily available) evidence.

'She wants birth control in her medical cover? What a slut!'

Middle Ground πŸ“Ž

Assuming because two opposing arguments have merit, the answer must lie somewhere in between them.

'I rear ended your car but I don't think I should pay for the damage. You think I should pay for all the damage. A fair compromise would be to split the bill in half.'

Perfectionist Fallacy πŸ“Ž

Assuming that the only option on the table is perfect success, then rejecting anything that will not work perfectly.

'What's the point of these anti-drunk driving ad campaigns? People are still going to drink and drive no matter what.'

Relativist Fallacy πŸ“Ž

Rejecting a claim because of a belief that truth is relative to a person or group.

'That's perhaps true for you, but it's not true for me.'

Spotlight πŸ“Ž

Assuming an observation from a small sample size applies to an entire group.

'This large shoe manufacturer employs children in sweatshops. Therefore all shoe companies are evil child-slave owners!'

Sweeping Generalization πŸ“Ž

Applying a general rule too broadly.

'Those young men rioted because they lacked morally responsible fathers.'

Undistributed Middle πŸ“Ž

Assuming because two things share a property, that makes them the same thing.

'A theory can mean an unproven idea. Scientists use the term 'the Theory of Evolution', therefore evolution is an unproven idea.'

Garbled Cause & Effect πŸ“Ž

Affirming the Consequent πŸ“Ž

Assuming there's only one explanation for the observation you're making.

'Marriage often results in the birth of children, so that's the only reason why it exists.'

Circular Logic πŸ“Ž

A conclusion is derived from premises based on the conclusion.

'Stripping privacy rights only matters to those with something to hide. You must have something to hide if you oppose stripping privacy rights.'

Cum Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc πŸ“Ž

Claiming two events that occur together must have a cause-and-effect relationship. Also known as 'Confusing Causation with Correlation'

'Teenagers in gangs listen to rap music with violent themes. Rap music inspires violence in teenagers.'

Denying the Antecedent πŸ“Ž

There isn't only one explanation for an outcome, so it's false to assume the cause based on the effect.

'If you get a degree, you'll get a good job. If you don't get a degree, you won't get a good job.'

Ignoring a Common Cause πŸ“Ž

Claiming one event must have caused the other when a third (unseen) event is probably the cause.

'We had the 60s sexual revolution, and now people are dying of AIDS.'

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc πŸ“Ž

Claiming that because one event follows another, it was also caused by it.

'Since the election of the President, more people than ever are unemployed, therefore the President has damaged the economy.'

Two Wrongs Make a Right πŸ“Ž

Assuming that if one wrong is committed, another wrong will cancel it out.

'Sure - the conditions in this prison are cruel and dehumanizing, but these inmates are criminals!'

Manipulating Content πŸ“Ž

Ad Hoc Rescue πŸ“Ž

Trying to save a cherished belief by repeatedly revising the argument to explain away problems.

'But apart from better sanitation, medicine, education, irrigation, public health, roads, a freshwater system and public order.. What have the Romans done for us?'

Begging the Question πŸ“Ž

Hiding other contributory factors and supporting the truth of your claim without any evidence other than the conclusion of your claim.

'All illegal drugs are harmful - that's why they're illegal.'

Biased Generalization πŸ“Ž

Generalizing from an unrepresentative sample to increase the strength of your argument.

'Our website poll found that 90% of internet users oppose online piracy laws.'

Confirmation Bias πŸ“Ž

Looking only for evidence that supports your argument while ignoring contradicting evidence.

'It's obvious – 9/11 was an American-government led conspiracy to justify the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. No plane hit the Pentagon. The Twin Towers collapse was a controlled demolition… etc.'

False Dilemma πŸ“Ž

Presenting two opposing options as the two options while hiding alternatives.

'We're going to have to cut the education budget or go deeper into debt. We can't afford to go deeper into debt, so we'll have to cut the education budget.'

Lie πŸ“Ž

An outright untruth repeated knowingly as a fact.

'I did not have sexual relations with that woman.'

Misleading Vividness πŸ“Ž

Describing an occurrence in vivid detail, even if it is a rare occurrence, to convince someone that it is a true.

'After legalizing gay marriage, school libraries were required to stock same-sex literature; primary school children were given homosexual fairy tales and even manuals of explicit homosexual advocacy.'

Red Herring πŸ“Ž

Introducing irrelevant material to the argument to distract and lead towards a different conclusion.

'Why should the senator account for irregularities in his expenses? After all, there are senators who have done far worse things.'

Slippery Slope πŸ“Ž

Assuming a relatively small first step will inevitably lead to a chain of related (negative) events.

'If we legalize marijuana, more people will start using crack and heroin, then we'd have to legalize those too.'

Suppressed Evidence πŸ“Ž

Intentionally failing to use significant and relevant information which counts against one's own conclusion.

'This Iraqi regime possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons.'

Unfalsifiability πŸ“Ž

Offering a claim that cannot be proven false, because there is no way to check if it is false or not.

'He lied because he's possessed by demons.'

On the Attack πŸ“Ž

Ad Hominem πŸ“Ž

Bypassing the argument by launching an irrelevant attack on the person rather than their claim.

'Anyone that says we should build the Ground Zero Mosque is an American-hating liberal.'

Burden of Proof πŸ“Ž

I don't need to prove my claim - you must prove it is false.

'I maintain long-term solar cycles are the cause of global warming. Show me I'm wrong.'

Circumstantial Ad Hominem πŸ“Ž

Stating a claim isn't credible only because of the advocate's interest in their claim.

'A study into the health risks of mobile phones involved mobile phone companies, therefore the study cannot be trusted.'

Genetic Fallacy πŸ“Ž

Attacking the cause or origin of a claim, rather than it's substance.

'Of course, mainstream liberal media aren't going to say Barack Obama is a Muslim.'

Guilt by Association πŸ“Ž

Discrediting an idea or claim by associating it with an undesirable person or group.

'Oh you want to relax the anti-terrorism laws just like the terrorists want us to do. Are you saying you support terrorism?'

Straw Man πŸ“Ž

Creating a distorted or simplified caricature of your opponent's argument, and the arguing against that.

'You say Israel should stop building settlements on the West Bank in violation of the treaty, so you're saying Israel doesn't have the right to be a nation?'

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