The Logical Fallacy

Posted: January 13, 2013 in Uncategorized
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I’ve debated many people and many subjects over the years from theology to politics to cheesecake being a pie. I’ve been hammered and I’ve totally demolished people. I see my improvements as time passes and I want to share a little known secret that would help you not only in debates, but in discussions about ANYTHING. 

The good ol’ LOGICAL FALLACY!!!

Logical fallacies are flaws in logic and reasoning. It’s a trick that the mind plays on itself try to validate or escape what it doesn’t understand. Pay attention to the media and politicians, especially. They use fallacies all the time when answering questions and relaying info to the public. We use these “illusions” on the day to day basis and most of us don’t even know it. So, here’s a few to help you better see through bullshit when it’s in front of you.

Starting with my favorite and easiest one to catch, the AD HOMINEM. The ad hominem fallacy is where someone attacks a person’s character and not the point being made in order to undermine the person’s argument. This one is extremely common and used especially by politicians. How many times have you heard someone make a point, and then someone else saying not to trust them because they are “this or that”? 

Next one to easily spot is the BANDWAGON FALLACY. The bandwagon fallacy is when someone tries to use what the majority does in order to validate their claim. Just because the majority feel one way about something, doesn’t make it right and certainly is no way to rationalize something. 200 years ago, the majority felt that blacks shouldn’t be free men and women and someone of that time would easily argue that that is “just how it goes” and “it’s how we are brought up”, that is no reason for validation.

Next up, the STRAWMAN FALLACY. The strawman fallacy is where someone tries to misrepresent another person’s argument to make it easier for them to attack. I laugh when I see politicians do this one. They oversimplify and skew the opponents argument, but then they present an oversimplified and vague rebuttal….. AND PEOPLE EAT IT UP…. 

PERSONAL INCREDULITY!! This one is very VERY sneaky and often doesn’t present itself straight forward. This fallacy happens when someone finds another person’s argument too complicated or difficult to understand and, because of that, claims that the point is invalid. I see this most often with CREATIONIST… LOL!! Most people never just say that they don’t understand something, and even when you catch it, they still don’t admit it.

A very common fallacy, especially in theological discussion, is the BURDEN OF PROOF. This happens when someone tries to say that the person disproving a claim has to provide proof. WRONG, the person making the claim has to provide proof of the claim. If I say I have tiger in my living room, you can argue and say that I don’t. I would to prove my claim. I CANNOT say that you have to prove that I don’t. That makes no sense, but its often used as a tactic for theistic discussion.

That was a few of my favorites and most common fallacies…. now to briefly go through a few more. 

SPECIAL PLEADING is when exceptions are made when a claim is shown to be invalid. For me, I see this most in theological discussion when I show the inconsistencies in biblical text. Most times, texts are dismissed. 

APPEAL TO EMOTION FALLACY is when someone uses an emotional response in place of a valid point. Watch how many times a politician uses a STORY when answering a question.

ANECDOTAL FALLACY is when someone uses a personal experience or an isolated example to make a point, usually to dismiss or skew statistics. Just because something happened to you or someone you know, doesn’t mean its typical or a valid reason to back a statement. It’s crazy how much this is accepted in law. Anecdotal evidence are claims of truth based off personal experience. As much as something may have been true, its never accepted in science as actual evidence for anything.

SO, now that I’ve given you these great mental tools, apply them as much as you can. You’ll really see how easily people fool each other and themselves.

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