Thou shall not commit logical fallacies.
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09-06-2012, 02:34 AM
Thou shall not commit logical fallacies.
Here's a nice interactive site on logical fallacies:
http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com


You can link the various relevant fallacies to your opponents if they commit one. An interesting way to show why your opponent's arguments are flawed.

Welcome to science. You're gonna like it here - Phil Plait

Have you ever tried taking a comfort blanket away from a small child? - DLJ
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09-06-2012, 03:37 AM
RE: Thou shall not commit logical fallacies.
Hehe:
Quote:Circular reasoning is bad mostly because it's not very good.

Oh yes Big Grin
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09-06-2012, 04:31 AM
RE: Thou shall not commit logical fallacies.
This is great!
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09-06-2012, 02:42 PM
RE: Thou shall not commit logical fallacies.
Thou shallt not commit linguistical fallacies either.
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10-06-2012, 02:45 PM
RE: Thou shall not commit logical fallacies.
I like the site, but I don't necessarily agree... straw men are a fallacy kinda, because it's only natural to address your opponent's argument when presenting your argument ("Now a person might say this is wrong because of...") and it's impossible to read minds. And as Wikipedia says (and I agree), it's a useful tactic even done on purpose.

A slippery slope isn't always a fallacy, but only when the conclusion doesn't follow the reasoning but rather from an assumption. Appeals to emotion, even though I avoid them, aren't logically fallacious (except when used as emotional blackmail). And of course there's nothing wrong with an appeal to authority if the authority is credible, as almost every argument either comes from shared human experience or an appeal to an authority of some sort.

To reiterate -- I like the site, but I wish it explained why each one is a fallacy. I find that I have to do that way too often and wish there was a shortcut for that. If they did that, I imagine it would trim the list, too.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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10-06-2012, 03:17 PM
RE: Thou shall not commit logical fallacies.
This is a cool site. Smile

I could have used it when Pachomius changed from ignorantly curious to blatant asshole. Angel

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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10-06-2012, 04:23 PM
RE: Thou shall not commit logical fallacies.
I think naming logical fallacies is confusing, and kind of pointless. The only thing to remember is the definition of valid: if the premises are true, the conclusion must be true.

The fallacies by name are just showing specific types of arguments that people make where the conclusions can still be false i.e. the conclusion does not logically follow from the premises given by the person's argument. If you know what validity is, knowing fallacies by name can be pointless. If you don't know what validity is, knowing fallacies by name can be confusing.

I'll give an example:

If someone is in the process of argument and says, "You're ignorant, thus you (the conclusion of your argument) are wrong" that is a logical fallacy, because someone being ignorant doesn't automatically lead to their conclusion being false.

If, however, you have made an argument already, that's logically valid, sound and relevant, then you proceed to saying to your opponent, "You're ignorant", you opponent can't then say, "I got you, that's a fallacy for attacking my character". That would, if anything, just validate you accusation of them being ignorant.

Same type of deal can happen with appeal to authority. If you are arguing for an economical policy, for example, and you have already established a fact based argument, naming well respected professors of economics that agree with you isn't an appeal to authority, it's insult to injury, at a certain point.

You just have to be careful. A lot of those things can be used as great rhetorical devices. When a person is properly adding rhetoric to an already great argument, great rhetoric shouldn't be confused as logical fallacies.

I'll see if anyone notices the problem with using an example containing economical policy.

The Paradox Of Fools And Wise Men:
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell
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10-06-2012, 04:31 PM
RE: Thou shall not commit logical fallacies.
(09-06-2012 02:42 PM)Scarlet Pimpernel Wrote:  Thou shallt not commit linguistical fallacies either.
Shall or shalt, there is no shallt.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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10-06-2012, 06:32 PM
RE: Thou shall not commit logical fallacies.
Of course it's useful to study (and therefore name) fallacies. When people fall into the same fallacies time and again due to the innate cognitive limits of ours species, then identifying these fallacies and presenting them in a way that fits our limits is naturally beneficial.

Straw man is a defined on the site as misrepresenting someone's argument to make it easier to attack. If you state their true argument and debunk that you are not guilty of this fallacy.

Slippery slope is not particularly well defined on the site, and might be better stated as "stating that if we allow A to happen, Z will happen because it is a more extreme version of A - when there is no logical argument made as to why Z would necessarily happen"

Appeal to emotion is defined on the site as "Manipulating an emotional response in place of a valid or compelling argument.

Appeal to authority is a tricky one. There are clear cases where it is OK to appeal to authority, such as providing references for factual statements for which the authority is a known... authority. Just bear in mind that if the credibility of the authority falls, so will that part of your argument. There are also clear cases where it is not OK to appeal to authority, such as "I was in a sermon where the guest speaker presented the Kalam Cosmological Argument. I don't remember how it goes but it was very convincing. You should believe it too, because this guy has been all across the country"

None of these invalidate the logical parts of an argument if those logical parts stack together, but none of these has any positive logical impact either. They are used to give an argument a false degree of authority and that should be guarded against.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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10-06-2012, 07:33 PM
RE: Thou shall not commit logical fallacies.
(10-06-2012 04:31 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(09-06-2012 02:42 PM)Scarlet Pimpernel Wrote:  Thou shallt not commit linguistical fallacies either.
Shall or shalt, there is no shallt.

Big Grin
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