Logical fallacies

door Vulpius

A logical fallacy is, roughly speaking, an error of reasoning. When someone adopts a position, or tries to persuade someone else to adopt a position, based on a bad piece of reasoning, they commit a fallacy.

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Appeal To Complexity:
If the arguer doesn’t understand the topic, he concludes that nobody understands it. So, his opinions are as good as anybody’s.

Reductio Ad Absurdum:
Showing that your opponent’s argument leads to some absurd conclusion. This is in general a reasonable and non-fallacious way to argue. If the issues are razor-sharp, it is a good way to completely destroy his argument. However, if the waters are a bit muddy, perhaps you will only succeed in showing that your opponent’s argument does not apply in all cases.

False Compromise:
If one does not understand a debate, it must be “fair” to split the difference, and agree on a compromise between the opinions. Journalists often invoke this fallacy in the name of “balanced” coverage.

Argument From Small Numbers:
“I’ve thrown three sevens in a row. Tonight I can’t lose.”

Confusing Correlation And Causation:
When sales of hot chocolate go up, street crime drops. Does this correlation mean that hot chocolate prevents crime ? No, it means that fewer people are on the streets when the weather is cold.

Argument By Vehemence:
Being loud. Trial lawyers are taught this rule:
If you have the facts, pound on the facts.
If you have the law, pound on the law.
If you don’t have either, pound on the table.