57 votes
Accepted

What fallacy in Pascal's Wager allows replacing God with the devil?

This is not the only issue with Pascal's Wager, but what is described in the question is called the fallacy of proving too much. It happens when an argument is structured in such a way that the ...
  • 41.7k
45 votes

Why doesn't philosophy have higher standards for its arguments?

Do you have a proof that we don't hold ourselves to higher standards? There's actually a rather interesting little corner of mathematics called "proof theory." It deals with the question of what a ...
  • 17.3k
38 votes

What is this logical fallacy? (Nothing new under the sun?)

Its a funny thing. Like David Blomstrom, I don't think this is actually a fallacy. The trick is that, in order to have a logical fallacy, one must have a logical argument. This consists of premises ...
  • 17.3k
36 votes

Is reductio ad absurdum a fallacy?

Reductio ad absurdum is not a fallacy. Rather, RAA is correct reasoning that exposes a fallacy. From the Logically Fallacious page for it: [RAA is a] mode of argumentation or a form of argument in ...
  • 5,629
36 votes

Is reductio ad absurdum a fallacy?

Your example is not a valid case of Reductio ad Absurdum. It's just an example of an absurd argument. A real example would be: Miles: "Copying a DVD is stealing" Frank: "Why?" Miles: "If ...
  • 512
34 votes

What fallacy is assuming something is the case because of past events

This is not a fallacy, just the old problem of induction. A case of hasty generalisation would be to conclude that the witness tends to lie, if you have observed it two times in a row.
  • 1,007
33 votes

What fallacy is assuming something is the case because of past events

All informal fallacies take their force from their similarity to strong arguments. In this case, if you say "This boy lied 19 days in a row, therefore we have good reason to disbelieve him on Day 20,"...
  • 24.9k
32 votes

Is there a name for this fallacy when someone says something is good by only pointing out the good things?

The specific fallacy is cherry picking evidence to support a conclusion. This is one of the most common fallacies committed by people with actual intention to be rational and is based on the invalid ...
  • 7,743
23 votes
Accepted

What fallacy dismisses problems by presenting "bigger" problems?

This is officially called the fallacy of relative privation, colloquially better known as appeal to worse problems, or "children are starving in Africa" argument. The implication is that anything ...
  • 41.7k
23 votes

Is it a fallacy to say that a sane person cannot apply rational thought to the motivations of the insane?

The second premise is false unless "heinous crime" and "insane" are defined to make it true by definition, in which case the definitions are question begging. But because people committing heinous ...
  • 41.7k
22 votes
Accepted

Why bother with anything else besides Aristotle's syllogistic logic?

Aristotle's syllogistic logic is too weak for serious work. It does not readily express multi-place predicates. You cannot express two-place relations like, "John loves Mary", or three-...
  • 18.6k
22 votes

Does a counterargument exist to the claim "Too much diversity is a problem/cannot be controlled"?

Sigh... The notion of 'diversity' only makes sense from an ethno-nationalist perspective of mono-ethnicity. Sure, if everyone is just like the collective 'me' governmental problems decrease ...
  • 16.2k
21 votes

Is reductio ad absurdum a fallacy?

Frank’s argument is not a reductio. It is an argument from analogy, which is not deductive reasoning and needs to be evaluated differently (Mark’s answer adequately covers the fact that reductio is ...
  • 5,177
20 votes
Accepted

Is rejecting A not equivalent to accepting ~A?

"Belief" is a modality; thus, you are right in saying that "do not believe P" is not equivalent to "to believe not-P". Compare with possibly and necessary : The operator ◊ (for ‘possibly’) can be ...
20 votes

Dawkins on God: What are the strongest counters to his argument?

Since philosophers don't tend to comment on his argument, one can only speculate about why they don't, but the most likely answer is that it is a bad argument which was already addressed early in the ...
19 votes

Why doesn't philosophy have higher standards for its arguments?

If I'm understanding your question correctly, then you're basically asking "why doesn't philosophy have the same level of rigor as mathematical proof?" I think there's two parts involved in ...
  • 24.3k
18 votes

What fallacy is assuming something is the case because of past events

I think I found something that comes close: Appeal to probability (Wikipedia) An appeal to probability (or appeal to possibility) is the logical fallacy of taking something for granted because it ...
  • 461
17 votes

Is it a fallacy to say that a sane person cannot apply rational thought to the motivations of the insane?

I think the fallacy is something along the lines of: Because we cannot provably apply rational thought to what motivates every insane person, every time, we can never apply rational thought to the ...
  • 17.3k
17 votes

What kind of a logical fallacy is giving an example from the past - in order to justify present unjustice?

This is called an Appeal to tradition. Wikipedia states Appeal to tradition (also known as argumentum ad antiquitatem or argumentum ad antiquitam, appeal to antiquity, or appeal to common practice) ...
15 votes

What fallacy in Pascal's Wager allows replacing God with the devil?

I don't think we can categorize it under a single fallacy. Furthermore...why would we want to? We'd have to explain our reasoning anyway. What we do instead is simply look for the premises of the ...
  • 1,865
14 votes

What fallacy in Pascal's Wager allows replacing God with the devil?

The questioner believes that Pascal must be committing a fallacy since he reasons that Pascal's reasoning can be applied to other cases, e.g., to show the existence of Black Magic or Satan. The ...
14 votes

Why doesn't philosophy have higher standards for its arguments?

Philosophical theories are more like scientific theories than mathematical theories, in that they have empirical content. As such, there aren't any (universally agreed upon) "first principles" that ...
  • 3,756
13 votes

Does a counterargument exist to the claim "Too much diversity is a problem/cannot be controlled"?

The counter argument is that a more diverse government is more representative. If your prime objective is to streamline decision making, then replace the elected government with a dictatorship so that ...
  • 5,977
12 votes

Is there a name for this fallacy when someone says something is good by only pointing out the good things?

Short Answer What you seem to be interested in is not so much a fallacy, but is called paltering. Long Answer Is there a name for this fallacy when someone says something is good by only pointing out ...
  • 15.1k
11 votes

Why are French postmodern philosophers (like Baudrillard) so hard to read/understand?

John Searle apparently asked Michel Foucault, and Pierre Bourdieu, why they wrote so badly. (Apparently they were both much clearer in conversation or when lecturing, and Searle respected them both ...
11 votes
Accepted

Why do people who subscribe to self-refuting skeptical philosophies still argue with others?

Your position would be reasonable against the kind of absolute relativists and radical skeptics that you describe. Unfortunately, those are only convenient straw men that are easy to refute, which is ...
  • 41.7k
11 votes
Accepted

Example of an unsound argument with true premise and true conclusions

The sky is blue Therefore, grass is green. The premise and the conclusion are both true. But the argument is not sound, because it's not valid. And it's not valid because the conclusion doesn't ...
  • 6,368

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