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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
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
  • 6,375
34 votes
Accepted

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
  • 6,886
27 votes

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

Others have said that it's a case of moving the goal posts, which it certainly is. If nothing else, that makes it poor sportsmanship in a debate format. Still, it does happen from time to time that ...
Josiah's user avatar
  • 1,931
22 votes

Differentiating an argument from authority from expert testimony

If you try to analyze the argument from authority fallacy in formal terms, it reduces to non sequitur: (1) X says that P. (2) P. (1) doesn't follow from (2), so this is a simple non sequitur (a ...
David Gudeman's user avatar
19 votes

The implication if we discovered that natural abiogenesis is statistically nearly impossible

If, and it's a big if, it could be proved that the probability of the emergence of life through natural causes was exceedingly close to zero, then you could still assume life emerged by chance. Before ...
Marco Ocram's user avatar
  • 23.7k
19 votes

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

Argument from ignorance fallacy. Just because our current scientific understanding cannot fully explain the origin of the universe from the initial singularity, it does not necessarily follow that a ...
Groovy's user avatar
  • 1,177
18 votes

Is it "unscientific" to be sceptical without offering alternative explanations?

Definitely not. To say that it is unscientific is to fall into what is sometimes called the Sherlock Holmes fallacy. Alice seems to be saying that her explanation must be right because she has ruled ...
Mark Foskey's user avatar
18 votes

Is a false dichotomy still a dichotomy?

Your central claim seems to be that an [adjective] x is always an x. However, consider the following examples... An exploded bomb A melted snowflake A fake diamond A wannabee popstar A cancelled ...
Marco Ocram's user avatar
  • 23.7k
17 votes

Is there a name for the widespread logical fallacy in which you prove your point by 'eliminating' anyone who contradicts you?

Suppression is not an argument at all, so it isn't a fallacious argument. Instead, suppression is an example of one of the reasons why appeals to authority or popularity may generate false conclusions,...
g s's user avatar
  • 6,375
16 votes
Accepted

Is it "unscientific" to be sceptical without offering alternative explanations?

Alice has made some anecdotal observations. Through a process of elimination, she proposes a hypothesis to explain the phenomenon, as well as an experiment to validate (or otherwise) her hypothesis. ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 6,103
14 votes

The implication if we discovered that natural abiogenesis is statistically nearly impossible

[This is a complete rewrite of my answer.] If I understand you're question, you're presuming that we somehow determine that the chance of all the conditions necessary to result in intelligent life is ...
Barmar's user avatar
  • 1,808
14 votes

Is it a "shifting of the burden of proof" if I show evidence in favor of a position, and ask the audience to debate that evidence if they disagree?

The concept of a "burden of proof" is fundamentally misguided, because everyone has a duty to justify their beliefs. Whether you think A, or whether you think not-A, you need a reason! And ...
causative's user avatar
  • 14.6k
13 votes

Rejecting a proposition because there are other similar propositions

I don't think I've ever heard anyone try to argue that as is (at least not seriously*), so that might be a strawman you have there. It's certainly far from the strongest version of the argument. * I ...
NotThatGuy's user avatar
13 votes

Differentiating an argument from authority from expert testimony

"Appeal to authority" (or appeal to expertise) might be one of the most misunderstood and misapplied forms of argument (and that's in terms of both people inappropriately appealing to ...
NotThatGuy's user avatar
13 votes

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

Let me summarize what Meyer said more succinctly: there was nothing material before the Big Bang, therefore nothing material could have caused the universe, therefore it must have been God. In fact it ...
causative's user avatar
  • 14.6k
12 votes
Accepted

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

See genetic fallacy. In brief: This fallacy avoids the argument by shifting focus onto something's or someone's origins. It's similar to an ad hominem fallacy in that it leverages existing negative ...
Futilitarian's user avatar
  • 4,426
12 votes

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

Are we really dealing with an argument if the text is generated using a method that does not involve any kind of reasoning or understanding about the subject? ChatGPT only generates sequences of ...
Jani Miettinen's user avatar
12 votes

Is there a distance so small it can't be further divided?

Is there a distance so small it can’t be further divided? The modern solution to this problem is the use of infinitesimals, as used by Leibniz and Newton in their development of the calculus. ...
Mark Andrews's user avatar
  • 6,422
12 votes

Is there a distance so small it can't be further divided?

The time it takes for the arrow to reach one half of the distance, is one half of the time. So the total length traveled by the arrow is one half the distance, plus one half of one half, plus one half ...
Stef's user avatar
  • 969
12 votes

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

"No True Scotsman" is usually an informal fallacy. An informal fallacy is a mistake in argument when the form of the argument is valid, but there is a problem in content or context, such as: ...
g s's user avatar
  • 6,375
10 votes

Does THIS fallacy have a name?

The common thread is arguing against doing something good, because it will never be perfect... Does this fallacy have an established name? Yes, according to Wikipedia this speciousness is a species ...
J D's user avatar
  • 28.6k
10 votes

Fallacy of the Devil You Know

There is no way a comedian known for playing the piano with his male organ became president of Ukraine without some hidden influence; therefore, the CIA installed him in the presidency. I believe ...
Idiosyncratic Soul's user avatar
10 votes

Is it "unscientific" to be sceptical without offering alternative explanations?

she proposes a hypothesis to explain the phenomenon, as well as an experiment to validate (or otherwise) her hypothesis... Bob still believes that it is reasonable be open-minded, even though he ...
J.G.'s user avatar
  • 734
10 votes

Is it "unscientific" to be sceptical without offering alternative explanations?

Let's suppose the answer to your question was yes, it is unscientific to doubt theories without alternative explanations. Bob would have to say 'No need to perform your experiment, Alice; I can't ...
Marco Ocram's user avatar
  • 23.7k
10 votes

The implication if we discovered that natural abiogenesis is statistically nearly impossible

It's perfect valid to say that something being near-impossible doesn't say much about other possibilities, unless you have some independent insight into how likely those possibilities are. Of course, ...
NotThatGuy's user avatar
8 votes

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

The problem with the philosophical ideal of judging every argument on its merits is that a human lifetime is not long enough to do it, by very many orders of magnitude. Like it or not, you will reject ...
benrg's user avatar
  • 1,241
8 votes

Isn’t every inference a fallacy?

I think you are confusing 'fallacious' with 'invalid'. They are not the same thing. An argument is fallacious if it is defective in some way that conforms to an identifiable pattern. The term is ...
Bumble's user avatar
  • 26.6k
8 votes

Is it "unscientific" to be sceptical without offering alternative explanations?

I would say that Bob is not "flouting" the scientific method, but he's not yet doing very good science. Alice is doing better science than him so far. I would say that Bob pointing out "...
Jagerber48's user avatar
8 votes

Orderings in Philosophy

Well, you raise a good point that I've also thought about. That said, there is a typical argument for why preferences would correspond to maximizing an expected value: the Von Neumann–Morgenstern ...
causative's user avatar
  • 14.6k

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