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Cyrus
07/13/2009, 04:12 PM
I found a really good list of "debate fallacies," posted by Insin of TheAnimeLounge. Since most people who discuss politics here actively make at least one of these mistakes (including myself), I figured that this would be a nice reference:




Logical Fallacies

Be careful of committing some of these during debate. Recognizing them early can help prevent arguments from being totally unproductive. I have compiled a short list of popular fallacies for your reference. I hope this will help keep debates positive and not simply competitions of faulty rhetoric. I tried to simplify them as much as possible for quick viewing, see the examples if you want further clarification.

1) Straw Man: Creating a position for your opponent that is easier to argue against, but not necessarily a valid characterization. People do this to make it easier to attack others.

Examples of Straw Man -

"People who are very concerned about the environment value the lives of animals over people."
"Tony believes in evolution, so he thinks the world just happened magically by chance."


2) Slippery Slope: Accepting one stance means accepting an extreme version of that stance as well. It is does not take moderate views into account.

Examples of Slippery Slope -

"If we allow abortions to take place, eventually we will be killing newborn babies."
"If we allow American citizens to have guns, soon everyone will be shooting each other."


3) Ad Hominem: Attacking the person who made the argument, and not the argument itself.

Examples of Ad Hominem -

"The guy is prolife, there’s no way his views on abortion could be valid."
"ELK is a Canadian, what does he know about government?"


4) Appeal to Authority: This occurs whenever someone states a claim to be true because so-and-so said it was.

Example of Appeal to Authority -

"Hitman Reborn Forums are awesome, Heero the mod said so."


5) Appeal to Numbers/Popularity: These two are basically the same. They rely on heavy numbers or popular consensus to be evidence of a claim.

Examples of Appeal to Numbers/Popularity -

"Most people on the planet believe in some kind of higher power, therefore God must exist."
"A lot of people liked JFK, he must have been one of the best presidents in history. (actually, most of his presidency was marred by failure)"


6) SPECIAL PLEADING: Add a new equation to try and fix a failing question. This one is common in any religious debate.

Examples of Special Pleading -

"God is beyond our logic, therefore we cannot know."
"God works in mysterious ways."
"We cannot know God. (Usually this occurs whenever you have a debate some sort of religious proposition is shown to be illogical)"


7) Appeal to ignorance: Using what we don’t know as proof.

Example of appeal to ignorance -

"Life definitely exists out in space since it’s so big. (Well it’s true that it is a possibility, but the vastness of space is by no means definitive proof)"


8) Begging the Question: Essentially, this is assuming an answer.

Example of Begging the Question -

America must invest billions of dollars for a bailout, which will save the economy. (But will a bailout work, or help the economy? Perhaps, but it is not proved by that statement.)


9) Non Sequitur: The conclusion does not necessarily match the initial statement.

Examples of Non-Sequitur -

"America will come out of the recession because Obama is the man. (Maybe Obama is the man, but what if his game is off?)"
"We can’t fail, God is on our side. (God seems to be on everyone’s side)"


10) Post Hoc, ergo propter hoc: “It happened after, so it was caused by…”

Examples of Post Hoc, ergo propter hoc -

"When Bill Clinton went into office the economy got a lot better. (Perhaps Bill isn’t the only reason)"
"Insin decided not to go to the pre-semester get together, and after he declined 6 people also declined, therefore Insin not going turned a lot of people off. (Hopefully lol, but they were probably just busy too)"


11) Circular Argument: I think this one is self explanatory.

Example of Circular Argument -

"Religion is terrible, a lot of people are realizing how much crap it is, and since people are realizing how crappy religion is, it’s obvious that religion is terrible. (Yeah yeah, but why is it so terrible?)"


12) Excluded Middle: You essentially dichotomize everything and make it two extremes. I see this one a lot.

Example of Excluded Middle -

"If you aren’t with us, you are against us. Pretty simple."

Missingno
07/13/2009, 04:18 PM
Wow, this is...I don't know a word for it. It feels like English class all over again, but in a good way. I wish everyone on the gym had this basic knowledge.

Mewtant
07/13/2009, 04:21 PM
One of the best posts regarding "arguments" I have seen so far... Can we please make this required reading for a select few??? C'mon, you know who you are...

pat460
07/13/2009, 04:28 PM
Sticky please. Would solve a lot of headaches in the future.

DarthPika
07/13/2009, 04:52 PM
^ Agreed. I'm sick of arguing with people who use all 12 of those. ;)

Regis_Neo
07/13/2009, 04:56 PM
Logical fallacies are fallacies in themselves, as far as I care.

yoyofsho16
07/13/2009, 05:03 PM
13) The DarthPika: Comparing 2 extreme cases (one good, one bad) to prove a point to the good extreme

"Japanese packs are better because I once pulled a Lv X and a Shiny in the same pack. English packs are worse because I pulled an RH Tauros and a Luvdisc in a pack once."

Azure Kite
07/13/2009, 05:04 PM
Aaaah yes. I'm familiar with plenty of these terms, as I do policy debate. Most of us use these without even knowing.

Articjedi
07/13/2009, 05:41 PM
You forgot the moderation fallacy, the one where both sides of an arguement are too extreme so the solution must always be in the middle.

I want to kill puppies
I don't want to kill puppies
Therefore we should kill half the puppies.

Cyrus
07/13/2009, 06:31 PM
Moderation fallacy is an excellent point, Matt, but I didn't "forget" anything - I just copy/pasted this TAL poster's with some minor cosmetic edits (and the whole thirteenth point removed).

Yoshi-
07/13/2009, 06:43 PM
^ Agreed. I'm sick of arguing with people who use all 12 of those. ;)

Didnt you say that the doctor healed you from talking to yourself :P ?

~~~


"ELK is a Canadian, what does he know about government?"

EPIC :lol:

IMO most of these examples are to extreme, no one would really argue like that xD

pat460
07/13/2009, 11:15 PM
IMO most of these examples are to extreme, no one would really argue like that xD

It happens more often than you think. Still think this should be stickied, especially with all the debate threads in the RTC.

Will-iam
07/14/2009, 12:00 PM
Logical fallacies are fallacies in themselves, as far as I care.

In a sense they are logical fallacies since they all more or less beg or display the question without answering or solving it. Though that is not the fault of the logical fallacies rather it is the limitation of our observation obscured in scope by time and space the very essential grounds for the necessity of observation in the first place.

The only logic we can really set out to prove is the logic we ourselves write that is in the realm of the abstract and even then we have to be careful and make sure whatever hypothetical equation is made up, is made up of a formula that persists from start to end.

The logical fallacies are to be avoided at all costs if one wishes to obtain the ascendency of agreement of the audience through fair and logical means; though the end result, since each result is ultimately unique and unto itself will have a solution gone unproven in the laws of logic outside of its periphery or frame of reference.

Ironically we know our observational liberties and limitations and that which provides the liberty to observe simultaneously sets the limits to the laws of obscurity and vice versa which in itself is untenable since it eliminates the constituent/s of cause or ground which will always remain debated and unsolved due to what I have mentioned in this response.

toxictaipan
07/16/2009, 09:03 PM
IMO most of these examples are to extreme, no one would really argue like that xD

No, it happens.

"God is beyond our logic, therefore we cannot know."
God knows I've heard that one enough. That's the go-to line once you ask where God came from. :/

Thanks for posting this! Maybe this will help with some of the idiotic arguements around here.




STICKY PLEASE!

SuperWooper
07/16/2009, 09:23 PM
4) Appeal to Authority: This occurs whenever someone states a claim to be true because so-and-so said it was.

Example of Appeal to Authority -

"Hitman Reborn Forums are awesome, Heero the mod said so."

It is certainly fallacious to rely so strongly on the word of Heero the mod (especially given the subjective nature of his claim), but what if so-and-so is an expert on such-and-such a subject? At what point is it acceptable to take a man's word in regards to an objective matter?

I think #4 should be revised to read:

"This occurs whenever someone states a subjective claim to be true because so-and-so said it was."

Cyrus
07/16/2009, 09:41 PM
The point behind #4 is that the appeal is just to the status, and not to anything greater:

e.g., I believe that Woopers are the greatest Pokemon because SuperWooper said so.

Even if SuperWooper is an expert on Woopers, the person is following SuperWooper based on Wooper's experiences - not his/her own.

Now, if that person were to make a further connection in discussion, then it would be less of a fallacy, if it's even a fallacy at all:

"It is a proven fact that Woopers can withstand nuclear bombs. SuperWooper, the world's foremost expert on Woopers, believes that this is sufficient enough to make it the greatest Pokemon. I am inclined to agree."

That seems more on par with what you're saying.

SuperWooper
07/16/2009, 11:11 PM
All the SuperWoopers and Woopers in that post boggled my mind. You should have gone with Bill Nye the Science Guy and cockroaches.

I think I understand what #4 is designed to discourage. I still think that the word "subjective" should be inserted there to make it not just clearer, but correct. If drawing on the objective study and research of an expert based on his status as an expert is prohibited, how can any non-expert support his position on a topic whose complexities elude him?

Say you cite a journal in a paper for school. If your teacher asks you why you trust the article in the journal, your response would probably be, "It's an acceptable and trustworthy source." And let us say that it is, for the purposes of this imaginary school project. But your teacher tells you that you're only a student, and your knowledge of the subject is inadequate. Furthermore, your teacher claims that, because of your inadequacy, the only basis you have for citing this journal is your trust in the author's scholarly reputation, and not any conviction that what the article says is true.

According to my understanding of how #4 is currently written, the teacher is correct, and the student is guilty of a fallacy in citing this journal. But the teacher is two-faced if he would criticize the student for his mistake, because the teacher okayed the source in the first place. Still, he is correct that the student has Appealed to Authority (#4). How can these things be reconciled? By acknowledging that it is no mistake to rely on the objective word of an expert based on belief in his status as an expert, and that, by consequence, the fallacious thing is to rely on the subjective word of an expert based solely on belief in his expert status.

Articjedi
07/17/2009, 03:15 PM
Actually, now that I think about it, I do recall a weird episode where a student was arguing with his english professor as to using a word that didn't exist. When asked where the word came from, it was a term used in magic: the gathering. So was the student supposed to accept his authority, or was he supposed to keep arguing. Eventually he e-mailed wizards himself, and they said that the word in question was made up. Go figure.

Dr. Mason
07/17/2009, 03:37 PM
Hey kids, welcome to SUPESIES PSYCHIC PREDICTIONS EMPORIUM!

Today, I will predict the outcome of a promising thread.

Oh dear...I see that...

People will enter and claim to never do any of these things...

Haha! Implying perfection of an inherently flawed species!

In fact, several people who are prominently guilty of these are claiming innocence.

So while everyone pats themselves on the back for being such good debaters, let's watch as this turns into a flamefest utilizing all twelve fallacies.

Also, today Supesy will bake Peanut Butter cookies.

THIS POST IS RELEVANT BECAUSE IT IS AMUSING, THEREFORE IT IS RELEVANT

Phazon Elite
07/19/2009, 01:04 PM
^ Agreed. I'm sick of arguing with people who use all 12 of those. ;)

Most people think DarthPika uses an endless cavalcade of fallacies to give his arguments merit, so he obviously does. ; )

drrty byl
07/19/2009, 01:40 PM
16: It is does not take moderate views into account.

Insin hain't even a grapple on the English language, therefore his points are invalid! (see 1, 3, 9 and 11)

yoyofsho16
07/19/2009, 03:57 PM
Most people think DarthPika uses an endless cavalcade of fallacies to give his arguments merit, so he obviously does. ; )

I agree:


^ Agreed. I'm sick of arguing with people who use all 12 of those. ;)

Almost ironic considering that when I read this list, I automatically start thinking of DarthPika's posts.

Dr. Mason
07/19/2009, 09:08 PM
By the way guys those cookies were delicious. I just thought you should know.

Phazon Elite
07/20/2009, 07:12 PM
Almost ironic considering that when I read this list, I automatically start thinking of DarthPika's posts.

In fact, whenever I reply to Darth's posts, I think I'll stick a link to this thread in my statement.

DarthPika
07/21/2009, 09:46 AM
Lets not turn this into a bash DarthPika thread.

toxictaipan
07/21/2009, 08:37 PM
What are you talking about? Every thread is a bash DarthPika thread.

Phazon Elite
07/22/2009, 02:31 PM
Hey, how dare you do what I do on a regular basis.

But it's like catching a fish in a puddle: too easy. Besides, given that most of your posts are bash-whatever-it-is-that-DP-dislikes-right-now posts, it's only fair.

Edit: Forgot to link to this thread: http://pokegym.net/forums/showthread.php?t=104962

Dr. Mason
07/22/2009, 04:28 PM
But it's like catching a fish in a puddle: too easy. Besides, given that most of your posts are bash-whatever-it-is-that-DP-dislikes-right-now posts, it's only fair.

Edit: Forgot to link to this thread: http://pokegym.net/forums/showthread.php?t=104962

Catching fish in a puddle is harder than you think.

ninetales1234
07/23/2009, 02:28 AM
I would reccommend a site called

changingminds (http://changingminds.org). A list of fallacies (http://www.changingminds.org/disciplines/argument/fallacies/fallacies_alpha.htm). They have all kinds of dumb stuff people think and do on that website. My favorites include Availability Heuristic (http://changingminds.org/explanations/theories/availability_heuristic.htm)and Perceptual Salience (http://changingminds.org/explanations/theories/perceptual_salience.htm).

Availability Heuristic- We make a judgment based on what we can remember, rather than complete data.
EX: I'm tellin' ya, almost every intersection I went through on the way here had a red light! (do you remember all the green lights you went through?)

Perceptual Salience- We tend to over-estimate the causal role (salience) of information we have available to us.
EX: I'm sure my friend who has been in a coma for 5 years will recover. I heard a story in the news about someone who recovered after being in a coma for 20 years. (there's a reason that was a news story- what about all the people who were in a coma for 20 years and didn't recover?)


What are you talking about? Every thread is a bash DarthPika thread.
Urge to sig, rising....

Cyrus
05/06/2010, 02:51 PM
Bumping this old, old topic: even though it's old, it's still relevant to many of the issues we're talking about, and I hope a mod stickies it.

Alternatively, a mod or admin could start a new topic using ninetales's list, which is less concise, but far more detailed.

Benzo
05/10/2010, 05:32 PM
What about the fallacie in regards to unexplainable facts? Your mind tells you one thing, while your eyes tell you another. You can debate that all day, and, it will come down to what you interpret what you see to be valid or not, even in reason or with proof from self experiance of witnessing it for yourself.