Logical Fallacies

thardey

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I'm looking for the names or references to a couple of logical fallacies that I've run into recently (not on this forum, BTW :) ) Can anyone help me out?


Fallacy #1

"I won't accept this truth because that truth could be abused."

Example: "You can't say that cars can kill people, because people may get the idea to use cars as weapons."

Reply: "Abuse of the truth, does not change the truth."

This is slightly different than the slippery slope argument, but It's often used by the same people. The basic idea is that since the person doesn't like the implications of a certain fact, the fact itself is rejected.


Fallacy #2

"Since x reports this fact, and y reports a contradictory fact, both x and y must be false."

Example: "Time reported that 30 people were killed in the bombing, and Newsweek reported that 33 were killed. That proves you can't believe either one."

Sometimes this is even taken to the extreme that since the two parties can't agree on the details, the original event must not have happened at all!
"I think the whole bombing was a ruse to get us to vote for higher taxes."

Conspiracy theorists seem to like this one.

The key to this one is that both sources must be wrong, there is no option given that one is correct, and the other wrong. Also, the parties are separate, this is different than the argument of self-contradiction.

Any help would be appreciated -- also, if anybody else has any more questions, go ahead and put them here!
 

Cruentus

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I'm looking for the names or references to a couple of logical fallacies that I've run into recently (not on this forum, BTW :) ) Can anyone help me out?


Fallacy #1

"I won't accept this truth because that truth could be abused."

Example: "You can't say that cars can kill people, because people may get the idea to use cars as weapons."

Reply: "Abuse of the truth, does not change the truth."

This is slightly different than the slippery slope argument, but It's often used by the same people. The basic idea is that since the person doesn't like the implications of a certain fact, the fact itself is rejected.


Fallacy #2

"Since x reports this fact, and y reports a contradictory fact, both x and y must be false."

Example: "Time reported that 30 people were killed in the bombing, and Newsweek reported that 33 were killed. That proves you can't believe either one."

Sometimes this is even taken to the extreme that since the two parties can't agree on the details, the original event must not have happened at all!
"I think the whole bombing was a ruse to get us to vote for higher taxes."

Conspiracy theorists seem to like this one.

The key to this one is that both sources must be wrong, there is no option given that one is correct, and the other wrong. Also, the parties are separate, this is different than the argument of self-contradiction.

Any help would be appreciated -- also, if anybody else has any more questions, go ahead and put them here!

Fallacy #1 is an appeal to fear. (Ad Baculum) - Fear that more people will be killed by cars if the statement is true, therefore it must be false.

Fallacy #2 is a few things: Slippery Slope - the assumption that because the news source is not accurate in one instance means that they must not be accurate in every instance. Hasty Generalization - Taking data that may be inaccurate in a very small sample (2 data points) and applying it to a large population (all newsweek and time stories). Contradictary evidence - because two data points contradict each other, then they both must be wrong (or right).
 
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thardey

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Fallacy #1 is an appeal to fear. (Ad Baculum) - Fear that more people will be killed by cars if the statement is true, therefore it must be false.

Fallacy #2 is a few things: Slippery Slope - the assumption that because the news source is not accurate in one instance means that they must not be accurate in every instance. Hasty Generalization - Taking data that may be inaccurate in a very small sample (2 data points) and applying it to a large population (all newsweek and time stories). Contradictary evidence - because two data points contradict each other, then they both must be wrong (or right).

Thank you.
 

Steve

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No, it will only fuel the fire for a new one
In the words of the great Billy Joel, "We didn't start the fire."

The one we see around here all the time is, "A C; therefore B = C" or "Not A; therefore B." The RBSD Salesperson fallacy.

Example 1: You train for competition, and I train for self defense; therefore, I'm better prepared for real world self defense.
Example 2: I don't train for competition; therefore, I'm better prepared for real world self defense.
 

Urban Trekker

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The first one is odd, because they know it's the truth and they've even stated it. That said, I don't think this person is denying that it's the truth. Perhaps they're making the argument that certain things are better left unsaid, or should only be said if the motive for saying it is constructive.
 

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