Fabulous Fallacies

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Fabulous Fallacies Empty Fabulous Fallacies

Post  aqalieh95 on Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:35 pm

Fabulous Fallacies
Ad Miseracordiam: the reader is told to agree with the proposition because of the pitiful state of the author.
Example: I should be given an extension on my essay, because my grades are not that great, so my parents have taken away all of my privileges, made me pay my own car insurance, and break-up with my boyfriend.

Begging the Question: making an argument, the conclusion of which is based on an unstated or unproven assumption.
Example: Abortion is murder, because baby killing is a form of murder.
Have you stopped cheating on tests?

Black and White Thinking: a limited number of options (usually two) is given, while in reality there are many more.
Example: Either you are in favor of national defense, or you favor allowing other nations to dictate your foreign policy.
It’s not TV. It’s HBO.

Contradictory Premises: has two assertions that cannot both be true (i.e. If one is true, the other has to be false)
Example: The used car salesman said, “You can’t trust those other car salesmen. They will say anything to get you to
buy a car from them.”

Dicto Simpliciter: assumes that what is true of the whole will also be true of the part, or that what is true in most
instances will be true in all instances.
Example: I’d like to hire you, but you’re an ex-felon, and statistics show that 80% of felons are recidivate.
Lucy must be rich or have rich parents, because she belongs to ZXQ, and ZXQ is the richest sorority on campus.

Equivocation: the same term is used with different meanings
Example: No one who has the slightest acquaintance with science can reasonably doubt that the miracles in the Bible
actually took place. Every year we witness countless new miracles in the form of recombinant DNA, micro-
chips, transplants and the like.

False Analogy: the two objects or events being compared are relevantly dissimilar
Example: Banning shops from selling drug paraphernalia in order to curb drug abuse makes as much sense as banning
bikinis to reduce promiscuity.

Hasty Generalization: the sample is too small to support an inductive generalization about a population
Example: All of those movie stars are really rude. I asked Kevin Costner for an autograph in a restaurant in Westwood
the other day, and he told me to get lost.

Hypothesis Contrary to Fact: treats hypothetical situations as if they were fact.
Example: If you had only tasted the stewed snails, I am sure you would have liked them.
If Hitler had not invaded Russia and opened two military fronts, the Nazis surely would have won the war.

Non-Sequitor: (meaning” it does not follow”) irrelevant reasons are used to support a claim.
Example: I wore a red shirt when I took the test, so that is probably why I did so well on it.
Mr. Boswell couldn’t be the person who poisoned our dog, because when I used to take the dog for a walk, he
always smiled and said “Hello” as we walked by.

Oversimplification: multiple causes for an event or occurrence are reduced to one or two.
Example: School violence has gone up and academic performance has gone down ever since organized prayer was
banned in public schools. Therefore, prayer should be reintroduced, resulting in school improvement.

Poisoning the Well: discrediting what a person might later claim by presenting unfavorable information (true or false)
about that person.
Example: Before turning over the floor to my opponent, I ask you to remember that those who oppose my plans do not
have the best wishes of the community at heart.

Post Hoc: because one thing follows another, it is held to be the cause of the previous thing
Example: My computer was working fine until I installed this new software; now it freezes every time I turn it on! I am
writing the manufacture of the software to have them pay for the damages.

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