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160 votes

Why do they say I am committing a fallacy when I am just insulting someone?

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 ...
MichaelK's user avatar
  • 5,144
78 votes

Why do they say I am committing a fallacy when I am just insulting someone?

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, ...
Challenger5's user avatar
  • 1,147
75 votes

What is the fallacy “X is bad, Y is worse, therefore X is not bad” called?

This is (at least a subset of) the fallacy of relative privation. From Wikipedia >> List of Fallacies >> Red herring fallacies Fallacy of relative privation ("not as bad as") – dismissing an ...
Edwin Ashworth's user avatar
74 votes

Is the “no true Scotsman'” fallacy actually a fallacy?

To my understanding, the no true Scotsman fallacy is not captured in the syllogism No Scotsman microwaves his tea. Angus microwaves his tea. therefore Angus is not a Scotsman. Rather, it may be ...
Math Keeps Me Busy's user avatar
73 votes

Is “If white privilege exists, why did Elizabeth Warren pretend to be an Indian?" a fallacy, and if so, which one?

“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 ...
Conifold's user avatar
  • 43.3k
69 votes

If a person claims to know anything could it be disproven by saying 'prove that we are not in a simulation'?

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 ...
Ray's user avatar
  • 1,352
68 votes

Is Yoda committing a fallacy?

The argument you're trying to formulate (as a rebuttal to Yoda) is this: do successfully IMPLIES try fail to do IMPLIES try THEREFORE (do successfully OR fail to do) IMPLIES try However, this ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
  • 30.2k
61 votes

Fallacy by Sherlock Holmes 'Eliminate the impossible, and what remains must be the truth'

There's a fallacy called Holmesian fallacy. A Holmesian fallacy (also Sherlock Holmes fallacy or process of elimination fallacy) is a logical fallacy that occurs when some explanation is believed to ...
Double Knot's user avatar
  • 3,919
51 votes

Does the no true Scotsman fallacy apply to anti Stalinist etc. communism?

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 ...
Geoffrey Thomas's user avatar
  • 35.8k
50 votes

Is it a fallacy if someone claims they need an explanation for every word of your argument to the point where they don't understand common terms?

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 ...
bignose's user avatar
  • 601
49 votes

I have trouble understanding this fallacy: "If A, then B. Therefore if not-B, then not-A."

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 ...
eurieka's user avatar
  • 599
47 votes

What fallacy is the belief that we are special because our existence on Earth seems improbable an example of?

I believe you're thinking of the anthropic principle. There are actually two variations: The strong anthropic principle says that the universe was made the way it is so that humans could exist. The ...
Era's user avatar
  • 836
44 votes

Fallacy by Sherlock Holmes 'Eliminate the impossible, and what remains must be the truth'

Holmes' advice is correct if and only if you assume a complete search was done to list all possibilities before starting the elimination process. Note that Sherlock Holmes is both incredibly observant,...
Flater's user avatar
  • 1,330
43 votes

Isn't the notion that everything will occur in an infinite timeline an example of the gambler's fallacy?

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 ...
Nuclear Hoagie's user avatar
41 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 ...
Cort Ammon's user avatar
  • 17.9k
40 votes

What fallacy is the belief that we are special because our existence on Earth seems improbable an example of?

The underlying problem (and fallacy) with this argument is sometimes referred to as the 'Texas Sharpshooter' fallacy. One is standing from a position of a known situation and asking what are the odds ...
Ant's user avatar
  • 401
39 votes

Is attacking an argument because it's machine generated an ad hominem fallacy?

It is fallacious to make the formal argument that a conclusion is false because of its provenance. It not fallacious to dismiss an argument out of hand because it comes from a source which is well ...
g s's user avatar
  • 6,175
38 votes

Is there a name for the fallacy whereby the other party to the debate only suggests, does not articulate, what their point is?

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 ...
Ted Wrigley's user avatar
  • 20.1k
36 votes

Is there a fallacy about "appeal to 'big words'"?

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 ...
Frank Hubeny's user avatar
  • 19.4k
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 ...
Mark Andrews's user avatar
  • 6,294
35 votes

What type of rhetorical device is the offering of a source which is really long and not specifying what part of the source is relevant?

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 ...
J D's user avatar
  • 27.5k
35 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 ...
IMil's user avatar
  • 500
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.
Jishin Noben's user avatar
  • 1,008
34 votes

What kind of fallacy is it to say if abolition of something isn't possible, we shouldn't attempt to address it at all?

The fallacy is comparison to perfection. Commonly known as the Nirvana fallacy. It is a common rhetorical maneuver. The person performing the move compares all opponents to perfection, finds them ...
Boba Fit's user avatar
  • 1,015
34 votes

Are there any fallacies in Stephen C. Meyer's argument for classical theism from the Big Bang singularity?

There are several. First, both Meyer and Morgan are attacking a strawman argument: no atheist or physicist worth their salt will affirm they know that there was nothing before the Big Bang. We don't ...
armand's user avatar
  • 6,672
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,"...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
  • 30.2k
33 votes

Where is the fallacy here?

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 ...
probably_someone's user avatar
33 votes

What is the name of this fallacy: 101 is either binary or decimal?

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 ...
J D's user avatar
  • 27.5k
33 votes

What is the name of the fallacy where people assume that complex ideas are automatically better?

If somebody said "your argument is simple, therefore it is wrong", that would definitely be a fallacy. But that is not what "your argument is too simplistic" is supposed to mean. ...
kaya3's user avatar
  • 784
32 votes

Is "I cannot imagine a mechanism for X to happen, so X can never happen" a named logical fallacy?

This fallacy is generally called argument from incredulity, or argument from failure of imagination. It also is a subset of the argument from ...
Dcleve's user avatar
  • 14.3k

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