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Logical Fallacies

Definitions and Examples of Logical Fallacies

Dallin Lewis

on 24 March 2011

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Transcript of Logical Fallacies

Logical Fallacies Begging the Question You assume the conclusion you are trying to prove; circular reasoning "We know God exists because we can see the perfect order of His Creation, an order which demonstrates supernatural intelligence in its design."

“I have a right to say what I want, therefore you shouldn’t try to silence me”

Women have a right to choose whether to have an abortion or not, therefore abortion should be allowed”

“The unborn has a right to life, therefore abortion is immoral”. Either/Or You create a false dichotomy, limiting a complex issue to only two options
Sometimes there really are only two options, but in arguable issues, it is not often the case
"Either we rebuild the World Trade Center or the terrorists win."

"We must raise taxes, or the country will go bankrupt." False Analogies Comparing two things or issues that do not share much in common at all. People are like dogs. They respond best to clear discipline.

A school is not so different from a business. It needs a clear competitive strategy that will lead to profitable growth.
Hasty Generalization
Example of faulty induction, when you assume something is the case based on superficial evidence "Some Muslims are terrorists; therefore, Islam is a dangerous religion." Non Sequitur "It does not follow." Trying to tie together two unrelated ideas.
Very common in advertisement (especially sex-appeal ads).
"If you buy this car, your family will be safer."

"The government spent $1 million studying North American forests. The government is obviously wasteful with our tax dollars."
Post-Hoc Fallacy Assuming a causal relationship that is not warranted. "Since Lebron James moved to Miami, my car won't start working. It's all his fault!" "There wasn't all this unemployment when Pres. Obama was elected. Everyone must have lost their job because he came into office."
Slippery Slope Assuming that moving in one direction will necessarily lead to an extreme on that side.
"If we have universal health care, this country will soon become just like Stalinist Russia." "If Arizona keeps their new immigration law, the whole country will become just like Nazi Germany."

Red Herring Strawman Fallacy Ad hominem A misleading piece of evidence that doesn't relate to the argument at hand. The piece of evidence might be valid, but it doesn't relate in the current context. "The level of mercury in seafood may be unsafe, but what will fishers do to support their families?" This is when you create a misleading depiction of the other side's argument in order to knock it down. "People who don't support the proposed state minimum wage increase hate the poor." "Environmentalists think that human beings are a plague on the planet." When you make a personal attack rather than actually debating the claims being made.
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