Political Logical Fallacies We See On This Board

Discussion in 'Politics' started by g5000, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. g5000
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    g5000 Diamond Member

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    I thought it would be helpful if you had a reference to use to identify the morass of logical fallacies plaguing this board.

    Strawman Fallacy: The most common logical fallacy seen on this board. A strawman logical fallacy happens when a trait, characteristic, or belief is falsely attributed to someone without evidence they actually believe what is attributed to them. Very closely associated with Fallacy of the Excluded Middle (see below). This is also the most frequent fallacy one sees on the 24 hour partisan news channels.

    Examples:
    “The other guys want to destroy America.”
    “The other guys will not be happy until we are returned to a feudal state.”



    Fallacy of the Excluded Middle. Also known as a False Dilemma: Probably the second most common fallacy seen on this board. Assumes that if one is not for something, then one must be in favor of a single terrible alternative.

    Examples:
    “If you aren’t for us, you are against us and want to destroy America.”
    “Politician Murphy is opposed to the Help Save Puppies and Children Act. Therefore Murphy hates puppies and children.”
    “If you don’t buy into my crazy idea, you are on the opposite end of the political spectrum as me and you suck!”




    Hasty Generalization: A trait attributed to every member of a particular group, frequently for the purposes of taking something from that group.

    Examples:
    “Poor people want food stamps to buy crack.”
    “Rich people got that way by taking advantage of others.”




    Argument from Ignorance: A very frequent fallacy on this board. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Stating something as fact without supporting evidence, and then demanding someone provide a negative proof of the claim is a logical fallacy.

    Example:
    “Congressman Jingle killed his girlfriend. Unless you show me evidence he didn't, I win.”
    "How is President Mandingo not a socialist?"
    A subset of this fallacy is ipse dixit.





    Argument from Authority: Someone whose knowledge in a specific field is used to give undue weight to any subject on which they speak, even if they speak about something outside their area of expertise.

    Example:
    “Nuclear physicist Jones says the Israelis were behind 9/11.”




    Ad Hominem: Attack the person rather than the argument. Another huge favorite here.

    Example:
    “I am unable to put together a cogent argument for or against a piece of legislation I have never bothered to read since all my valuable time has been taken up creating topics which contain nothing more than links to urban legends, conspiracy theories, and YouTube videos. Therefore, I am just going to call the supporters of the legislation a bunch of socialists/racists/etc.”




    Slippery Slope: If something is done, it will inevitably lead to something really, really destructive. This argument is not always wrong. But unless you can connect every single dot from beginning to end with evidence, then the argument is a fallacy.

    Example:
    “If we pass this bill legalizing Mississippians to drive, then we will have to allow dogs to drive.”





    Single Cause Fallacy: Some great societal problem is the result of someone’s pet peeve.

    Example:
    “One third of all black babies are born to single mothers because of the existence of the Federal Reserve System.”



    Association Fallacy: Guilt by association.

    Example:
    We know all Demopublicans are puppy killers because Demopublican Joe Schmoe was caught throwing puppies into rush hour traffic..




    Argumentum Ad Populum: The truth as determined by popular vote. The more people believe a claim, and the more it is repeated (Argumentum ad Nauseam), the more truthful the claim. The only evidence for the claim is how many people believe it and the frequency with which it has been repeated.

    Example:
    “3 out of 4 people surveyed believe Demopublican John Schnozzle is an Ethiopian. That many people can’t be wrong!”



    Appeal to Fear/Emotion: Taking hostages to get what one wants.

    Examples:
    “If you don’t pass this bill, this cancer lady dies.”
    “Unless we allow the President to go to war without Congressional approval, the terrorists win!”
    “What about in cases of rape or incest?”


    Confirmation Bias: Ignoring the misses, remembering the hits. This is taking all of the fallacies above and constructing a self-contained delusion based on only those news items, emails, and overheard conversations which confirm the construct. All evidence to the contrary is ignored.


    .
     
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    Last edited: Oct 29, 2012
  2. arKangel
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    arKangel Member

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  3. g5000
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    g5000 Diamond Member

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    You're right. It's the easiest and laziest of fallacies, so naturally the most common.

    .
     
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  4. uscitizen
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    uscitizen Senior Member

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    Phalluses are not alowed on this board!
     
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  5. LoneLaugher
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    LoneLaugher Diamond Member

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    You forgot false equivalence.
     
  6. uscitizen
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    uscitizen Senior Member

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    And the Pharisees had Jesus crucified.
     
  7. g5000
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    g5000 Diamond Member

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    Ah! That's a good one. That reminds me of Isaac Asimov's "Relativity of Wrong": "[W]hen people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together."

    .
     
  8. LoneLaugher
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    LoneLaugher Diamond Member

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    Yes. It is a good one. Used often here. You know........"they ALL do it".
     
  9. percysunshine
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    percysunshine Gold Member

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    I read your post and can confirm your bias towards appealing to fear when people vote for the associated single fallacy that has led to the slippery slope of ad hominem attacks by ignorant authorities who make hasty generalizations and exclude the middle strawman from the discourse..


    btw, 'Ad Homin M.' would be a great name for a rap artist....
     
  10. spectrumc01
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    spectrumc01 I give you....the TRUTH

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    great read. You can identify all of them by watching FOX, and MSNBC. Leass than half an hour.
     

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