157

Because they expect arguments, not inflammatory noise No, I am calling them an idiot because that's ... just my bloody opinion. Exactly that: just your opinion. An opinion is not an argument; it is not a syllogism, it is not reasoning, it is not fact, it is not evidence, it is not anything other than just that: your [expletive] opinion. So why do ...


148

It may very well be a poor argument, but it's not a logical fallacy People are too quick to jump on the "fallacy" bandwagon. There is no logical fallacy occurring here. It may very well be an argument that is not particularly convincing (In fact, I wouldn't use the argument), but there is nothing logically fallacious about it. If a person asks "If you ...


126

It is the False Dilemma or Bifurcation Fallacy. If you don't like it, then move. Let's say you have caused some problems by questioning the decisions, speech, and actions of someone who is actively seeking social, economic, and/or political power. And you're confident that you have every right -- or even duty -- to do so. Those in power who are profiting ...


77

If an opinion isn't intended as an argument, it is noise Frankly, nobody wants to hear your opinion unless you have some point to make about it. You can have the opinion that a person is an idiot, but if you're putting in the effort to type it in then you obviously have some point to it. I don't state every opinion I have on every post I make on the ...


72

Circular reasoning doesn't "discredit" any point of view --if anything, it demonstrates internal consistency. However, it also doesn't provide any external support for a point of view. It has no legitimate force against anyone not already convinced of the conclusion. This is a structural issue entirely independent of the question of whether we're ...


68

The issue here, as it often is, is that colloquial English is horribly ambiguous, which makes any sort of precise and rigorous discussion difficult. But with sufficient effort, it is possible to make claims precisely, and once you do that, the problem disappears. Alice states that the sky is blue. Bob states that we live in a simulation. Let's assume for ...


65

If you are so smart why aren't you rich? If this country is so bad why don't you leave? If it is so easy why aren't you doing it? These types of rhetorical barbs rely on what is called an enthymeme, and argument with implicit parts. If X then why not Y? relies on Y not being in evidence, and suggests that X must not be the case. Enthymemes can be valid, when ...


54

Geoffrey refers to feedback loops as a valid example of circular reasoning. This is not correct: they can be valid but they are not circular. Instead they are an example of reasoning by induction. It is not a implies b and b implies a. Instead it is an implies bn and bn implies an+1. That is valid so long as you can start it off with a0. For example, it is ...


52

There is no argument, therefore there can be no fallacy There is no fallacy here, no logical error in argument as e.g. in affirming the consequent. This is so because there is no argument here at all - only an expression of viewpoint. Fallacy presupposes argument. No argument, no fallacy : the concepts are tied.


50

Marx, socialism and communism Neither Marx nor Engels provided a blueprint for the socialist state. There could in their view be no such thing as a communist state since under communism, with no class-rule or management needed, there would be no state because no classes. Even the Soviet Union described and understood itself as socialist, not communist : ...


50

A fallacy in an argument requires that there be an argument at all. What you're describing: Then someone counters, "What do you mean by 'bites'? Define 'biting people'. Define 'dog'." is not even an argument. There is no fallacy there, because it doesn't even make a claim. What it does – in the example you present – is bog down the discussion with ...


49

There are multiple good answers here, including references to modus tollens and the contrapositive (both of which are correct). What helps me understand this concept is a more intuitive/layman's perspective. Say that if it's raining, you ALWAYS bring an umbrella outside. (Assume that you have a perfect memory). Therefore we have: Raining -> Umbrella ...


41

It looks like you've hit upon the concept of almost surely in probability theory. Something occurs "almost surely" if it happens with probability 1, but there still exist situations where that thing does not occur. The infinite coin flips problem is a great example - with infinite coin flips, you will almost surely see at least one result of heads, that is, ...


38

First, my standard observation that the term 'fallacy' is often misused. A fallacy, properly put, is a mistake in the structure of an argument that makes a claim invalid without considering the sense or meaning of the argument. You're actually asking about a rhetorical tactic: an effort to persuade someone (reasonably or unreasonably) of the 'truth' of a ...


36

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 which a proposition is disproven by following its implications logically to an absurd conclusion.... The fallacy is in the argument that could be reduced ...


35

One fallacy that might fit is proof by intimidation. Here is Bo Bennett's description: Making an argument purposely difficult to understand in an attempt to intimidate your audience into accepting it, or accepting an argument without evidence or being intimidated to question the authority or a priori assumptions of the one making the argument. An arguer ...


35

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 someone created a piece of art, they have full rights to allow or prohibit its reproduction" Frank: "Oh, so when I take a selfie in the city, I need to ...


34

In general, if your opponent insists on claiming that her source provides substantiation in a way it clearly does not, that is false attribution, however, it should be noted that such a counterclaim is largely contextual. Now, since your opponent insists it is evidence, she has shifted the burden of proof to you. If you ask for where the proof is in the ...


33

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.


33

When you say "the phenomenon of cats being born into this world is natural," what that means is, "the phenomenon of cats being born into this world is part of the set of natural phenomena." In other words, "is" here indicates belonging to a particular set, as it often does when there is only a predicate adjective. There is more than one element in this set (...


32

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," that is a perfectly good argument (assuming it isn't suppressing other relevant information). But if you say "This boy lied 19 days in a row, therefore what ...


32

EDITED 9/11/2020 What is the name of this fallacy: Is 101 binary or decimal? I prefer to call it the either-or fallacy, but it is also known as false dilemma among others. The idea is that a choice is given that constrains to two or perhaps a few options when a much broader reading of responses is both possible and warranted. In your example, 101 is a ...


31

Generally speaking, in philosophical discussions, it is often required to provide definitions for words that seem obvious otherwise, let me give you an example: When you say : The King of France is bold . Russell may ask you, what do you mean by The? (I will not talk about the theory of descriptions here). And Russell's question here would be legitimate, ...


29

This fallacy is generally called argument from incredulity, or argument from failure of imagination. https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Argument_from_incredulity It also is a subset of the argument from ignorance. Informal fallacies often overlap, and bleed into each other. This fallacy is a common one,even among respected philosophers, as it is a ...


29

Here is the argument: No N is not-N. No not-N is N. All C are N. No R are C. Thus: No R are N. The syllogism is invalid for two reasons. First, the third premise denies the antecedent (cats) of the fourth. There can be other animals that are normal. Wikipedia: Denying the antecedent; Formal fallacy. Second, a term that is distributed in the conclusion (...


29

What do you call the fallacy of thinking that if A statistically causes B, then A implies B? For the original title quoted above, the closest is probably correlation implies causation, deducing a cause-and-effect relationship solely on the basis of an observed statistical correlation. The Latin name is cum hoc ergo propter hoc (with this, therefore because ...


23

In any communication, there is a context in which that communication is occurring. If they believe they are in a context of debate, and that your statement is intended to be part of the debate, then they are justified in declaring your statement to be an ad-hominem within that context. If you believe you are not engaging in a debate, and are instead merely ...


23

Basically, my question is, why do people assume that any insult is an ad-hominem fallacy, when, according to the definition, only certain insults are ad-hominem fallacies. The simplest answer here is that people do not all assume that any insult is an instance of an ad-hominem fallacy, and those that do are sometimes mistaken. Firstly, an ad-hominem fallacy ...


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