Your top 3 most hated logical fallacies.
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07-07-2014, 07:30 AM
RE: Your top 3 most hated logical fallacies.
Strawman:You misrepresented someone's argument to make it easier to attack.
By exaggerating, misrepresenting, or just completely fabricating someone's argument, it's much easier to present your own position as being reasonable, but this kind of dishonesty serves to undermine honest rational debate.


Begging the question:You presented a circular argument in which the conclusion was included in the premise.
This logically incoherent argument often arises in situations where people have an assumption that is very ingrained, and therefore taken in their minds as a given. Circular reasoning is bad mostly because it's not very good.


appeal to authority:
You said that because an authority thinks something, it must therefore be true.
It's important to note that this fallacy should not be used to dismiss the claims of experts, or scientific consensus. Appeals to authority are not valid arguments, but nor is it reasonable to disregard the claims of experts who have a demonstrated depth of knowledge unless one has a similar level of understanding and/or access to empirical evidence. However it is, entirely possible that the opinion of a person or institution of authority is wrong; therefore the authority that such a person or institution holds does not have any intrinsic bearing upon whether their claims are true or not.

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07-07-2014, 07:41 AM
RE: Your top 3 most hated logical fallacies.
(07-07-2014 07:21 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  IMO logical fallacies have become a crutch. There are so many of them and some can be interpreted in so many different ways, you can apply a "logical fallacy" to most any statement.

This is how Taq spends 99% of his time - seeing how he can spin a completely legitimate statement into is interpretation of a logical fallacy.

Unless it's so blatantly clear and obvious that it's a grievous violation of a fallacy, I will usually ignore them because attacking the fallacy does not promote healthy debate.

The other time I will call it out is if a person keeps falling back on a particular fallacy.

Other than that, I will address the fallacy and argue the point in hopes that the person will understand why it is a fallacy.

I think in a debate some times a fallacious statement can actually be more reasonable than a logically correct statement. I notice that when an atheist debates an apologist on something like the cosmological argument, like the Matt vs Sye debate, a red herring or a not entirely correct appeal to common sense can cut through a mire of logical arguments that have hit a dead end. A debate, however, has a sense of showmanship that perhaps a discussion or a paper need not have. It is certainly possible to construct a logical argument that does not contain fallacies.

I think the problem is misattributed fallacies. It is unreasonable to expect your opponent to completely present your argument in its entirety before refuting it, for example. Sometimes arguments are implied implicitly rather than explicitly. This doesn't make them invalid and not stating them explicitly doesn't mean an argument is a non-sequitor. Calling out someone for a fallacy doesn't necessarily make them wrong, and in and of itself it is not a very intelligent or useful rebuttal. Sometimes I notice that happening here. It can make for a less illuminating, and sometimes a more unnecessarily combative, discussion.

Correctly identifying a fallacy and then explaining the nature of it can be helpful for disseminating an argument when applied appropriately, and when use against someone who is capable and willing to to appreciate the fallacy. The last bit is often the most challenging part.
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07-07-2014, 07:49 AM
RE: Your top 3 most hated logical fallacies.
I don't really pay much attention to fallacies, but there is one I love and hate the most:

The Argument from Fallacy: "Argument X has a fallacy; therefore it must be false" basically.

I see it all the time; even here, I see people out-right deny and reject a statement because it contains a fallacy without actually providing a counter-statement outside of calling out the fallacy.

It irks me.

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07-07-2014, 08:19 AM
RE: Your top 3 most hated logical fallacies.
(07-07-2014 07:49 AM)Free Thought Wrote:  I don't really pay much attention to fallacies, but there is one I love and hate the most:

The Argument from Fallacy: "Argument X has a fallacy; therefore it must be false" basically.

I see it all the time; even here, I see people out-right deny and reject a statement because it contains a fallacy without actually providing a counter-statement outside of calling out the fallacy.

It irks me.

This.

You said it a lot better than me.

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07-07-2014, 09:05 AM
RE: Your top 3 most hated logical fallacies.
Special Pleading, Begging the Question/Circular Reasoning, and Non Sequitur.

Special Pleading - Rob, why don't you accept the Bible as a source of truth? And stop comparing it to the Koran! That's just a book of myths.

Begging the Question/Circular Reasoning - Rob, why don't you trust the Bible? It's the inerrant word of God!

Non Sequitur - Rob, if you believe that Jesus could have been a human, why don't you feel he was divine. He claimed to be God. So, he must have either been remarkable (divine), insane, or lying? Therefore, he is God.


(Yes, I've seen all three of these in the last week, thank you Den of Baptists.)
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07-07-2014, 12:13 PM
RE: Your top 3 most hated logical fallacies.
(07-07-2014 07:30 AM)Metazoa Zeke Wrote:  Strawman:You misrepresented someone's argument to make it easier to attack.
By exaggerating, misrepresenting, or just completely fabricating someone's argument, it's much easier to present your own position as being reasonable, but this kind of dishonesty serves to undermine honest rational debate.


Begging the question:You presented a circular argument in which the conclusion was included in the premise.
This logically incoherent argument often arises in situations where people have an assumption that is very ingrained, and therefore taken in their minds as a given. Circular reasoning is bad mostly because it's not very good.


appeal to authority:
You said that because an authority thinks something, it must therefore be true.
It's important to note that this fallacy should not be used to dismiss the claims of experts, or scientific consensus. Appeals to authority are not valid arguments, but nor is it reasonable to disregard the claims of experts who have a demonstrated depth of knowledge unless one has a similar level of understanding and/or access to empirical evidence. However it is, entirely possible that the opinion of a person or institution of authority is wrong; therefore the authority that such a person or institution holds does not have any intrinsic bearing upon whether their claims are true or not.

The fallacy of the stolen concept. That is accepting and using a higher level concept while denying a lower level concept that it depends on. Every theist is guilty of this fallacy no matter what arguments they present.

Argument from ignorance.

Begging the question.

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07-07-2014, 01:32 PM
RE: Your top 3 most hated logical fallacies.
The "A bullshit answer is better than no answer" argument, which also can be considered the same as the "God of The Gaps" argument. Any time there is something that science has not yet answered, they say "We have an answer: God did it! So, since we have an answer and you don't, then we're automatically right until you prove us wrong!"

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07-07-2014, 03:31 PM
RE: Your top 3 most hated logical fallacies.
One of the most annoying is that someone is a coldblooded psychopathic super-manipulator and anything that shows one isn't is presented as example how good manipulator the person is. How to call it? Unfalsifiable hypothesis? Well, it usually doesn't come packed as formal argument, but as a way of responses and the pattern of thinking behind that. Anyway, conspirational thinking is very close to that - is there a sound explanation that doesn't include conspiracy - it's evidence that government tries to cover it up so there definitely is a conspiracy. Or that anything good is evidence for god and anything bad evidence for satan/necessary for free will etc.

Straw man. I was hit by that so many times in discussion that it pretty starts to drive me mad. But is seems to me a lot of people just can't read and they don't even thing, they just read three firsts words and use the reply they've seen somewhere without noticing that it actually address something totally else.

Ad hominem - Well, this is kind of cheating, because there are definitely other fallacies I hate more. But it can't be combined with the two as a conversation stopper.
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07-07-2014, 05:05 PM (This post was last modified: 07-07-2014 05:19 PM by Can_of_Beans.)
RE: Your top 3 most hated logical fallacies.
(07-07-2014 05:59 AM)morondog Wrote:  And ad hominem... I mean... suddenly my argument is invalid 'cos I added 'motherfucker' to the end of it? Pretty sure Samuel L Jackson disagrees, motherfucker.

Good news! 'Motherfucker' doesn't automatically equal ad hominem. Smile

For example, telling Ray Comfort "the shape of the banana doesn't prove God made the earth for humans because humans selectively bred bananas for that shape, taste and texture you stupid motherfucker" would be just fine. Whereas telling him that because he fucks mothers his banana argument must automatically be wrong would be a fallacy.

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07-07-2014, 05:11 PM
RE: Your top 3 most hated logical fallacies.
The Argument from Ignorance is my most loathed probably, the Appeal to Ridicule angers me, and Argumentum ad Populum is an annoying albeit not so often used peeve of mine.

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