Logical Fallacies

luxepoxa's version from 2016-11-15 03:53


Question Answer
My opponent wants to lock up criminals and lunatics—can you really vote for someone who doesn’t blink at depriving people of their liberties?Straw Man.
How much longer are you going to waste your time in school when you might be doing a man's work in the world, and contributing to society? If you had any sense of social responsibility, you would leave immediately.False dilemma.
The army is notoriously inefficient, so we cannot expect Major Smith to do an efficient job.Fallacy of division.
God exists because the Bible tells us so, and we know that what the Bible tells us must be true because it is the revealed word of God.Begging the question.
Congress shouldn't bother to consult the Joint Chiefs of Staff about the military appropriations. As members of the armed forces, they will naturally want as much money for military purposes as they think they can get.Ad hominem.
The students at PCS are smart because they are such nerds.Begging the question.
Narcotics are habit-forming. Therefore if you allow your physician to ease your pain with an opiate, you will become a hopeless drug addict.Slippery slope.
You can't prove that he was to blame for the misfortune, so it must actually have been someone else who was responsible.Appeal to ignorance.
You can't park here. I don't care what the sign says. If you don't drive on, I'll give you a ticket.Appeal to force.
But lest you think, that my piety has here got the better of my philosophy, I shall support my opinion, if it needs my support, by a very great authority. I might cite all the divines almost, from the foundation of Christianity, who have ever treated of this or any other theological subjects: but I shall confine myself, at present, to one equally celebrated for piety and philosophy. It is Father Malebranche...Appeal to authority.
Even if humans are causing some effect on the environment through greenhouse gas emissions, we have no idea what that effect is. There’s no reason to alter our behavior.Appeal to ignorance.
I’d really love to sew your leg back on, Mr. Pennypacker…but I think I’ll need a check first.Appeal to force.
Violent videogames make children who play them violent.Wrong direction and/or complex causation.
On the drive I noticed that a storm was brewing. At home my barometer showed a low pressure when I got home. I never knew storms caused drops in pressure.Wrong direction.
Cooks have been preparing food for generations, so our cook must be a real expert.Fallacy of division.
More young people are attending high schools and colleges than ever before in the history of our nation. But there is more juvenile delinquency than ever before. This makes it clear that to eliminate delinquency among the youth we must abolish the schools.Joint effect.
You say we ought to discuss whether or not to buy a new car now. All right, I agree. Let's discuss the matter. Which should we get, a Ford or a Chevy?False dilemma.
Of course I got in a car wreck, Mom! They shouldn’t make cars go so fast to begin with!Complex causation.
We should reject Mr. Watkins' suggestions for increasing the efficiency of our colleges. As a manufacturer he cannot be expected to realize that our aim is to educate the youth, not to make a profit. His recommendations can have no value for us.Ad hominem.
When I want a good slab of raw pork, I go to Mr. Hog’s meat emporium. I have plenty of raw pork right now, so I don’t need to go to Mr. Hog’s.Denying the antecedent.
If we want to know whether a state is brave we must look at its army, not because the soldiers are the only brave people in the community, but because it is only through their conduct that the courage or cowardice of the community can be manifested.Fallacy of division.
My client is the sole support of his aged parents. If he is sent to prison, it will break their hearts, and they will be left homeless and penniless. You surely cannot find it in your hearts to reach any other verdict than "not guilty."Appeal to pity.
There is no proof that the secretary "leaked" the news to the papers, so she can't have done it.Appeal to ignorance.
Since all men are mortal, the human race must some day come to an end.Fallacy of division.
Was it through stupidity of through deliberate dishonesty that the Administration has hopelessly botched its foreign policy? In either case, unless you are in favor of stupidity or dishonesty, you should vote against the incumbents.False Dilemma
You must have gotten into my apartment while I was gone. I’m experiencing a staggering olfactory funk, and whenever you come over a strange smell permeates my home.Affirming the consequent.
McDonald's has the best food; just look how many customers they've served!Appeal to popularity.
I encourage people to watch tv because I watch it for six hours a day and I get thinner every year.Coincidental correlation.
Of course we have Advisory; every other decent school in the nation has it.Appeal to popularity.
Supporters of immigration want anyone to enter this country on any day for any reason.Straw man.
If there's a pie around, I will eat the entire thing. My stomach is empty, so no one must have baked a pie recently.Modus tollens.
Juniors at PCS are either suave cool kids or huge nerds. They aren't suave cool kids so they are huge nerds.Disjunctive syllogism.
When I go to school, my brain is filled with interesting ideas. My brain is brimming, so I must have gone to school today.Affirming the consequent.
Of course you shouldn't ask Mr. Argyle for essay advice – he's a math teacher.Division.
When the moon is full, werewolves eat all the firstborn children. When that happens, the townspeople are annoyed. The moon is full so the townspeople are annoyed.Hypothetical syllogism.
After the mayor signs the law allowing another homeless shelter in Santa Cruz, soon there will be another and another and soon the entire town will be bums!Slippery slope.
Whenever I eat six Cinnabons I am ecstatic. Today I have already eaten six of them and was jumping for joy.Modus ponens.
I lost all four limbs in Vietnam. I beg you not to go to war in Iraq.Appeal to pity.
I buy new underwear when the elastic wears out on the old ones. All my underwear have good elastic so I'm not going to go underwear shopping.Denying the antecedent.
You might agree with Connie's essay about the structural instability of this street, but did you know that she is an inveterate shoplifter?Ad hominem.
Kids don't work hard at school anymore because of all the video games they play.Complex causation.
Our educational system is pathetic. We need to either increase funding for them or close them all down immediately.False dilemma.
I always dance a lot at concerts and the next day I can't hear. Dancing must be bad for my ears.Joint effect.
I'm Darth Vader. Go buy World of Warcraft.Appeal to authority.
If you have a current password, then you can log on to the network.Modus ponens.
If you do not have a chinchilla, you have not been to the pet store.Modus tollens.
If Johnny is eating sweets every day, he is placing himself at risk for diabetes. Johnny does not eat sweets everyday. Therefore Johnny is not placing himself at risk for diabetes.Hypothetical syllogism.
Either I will choose soup or I will choose salad. I will not choose soup. Therefore, I will choose salad.Disjunctive syllogism.
If I win a million dollars, I will donate it to an orphanage. If my friend wins a million dollars, he will donate it to a wildlife fund. If either of us wins a million dollars, then either an orphanage or a wildlife fund will get a million dollars.Constructive dilemma.
If Bill Gates owns Fort Knox, then he is rich. Bill Gates is rich. Therefore, Bill Gates owns Fort Knox.Affirming the consequent.
If Queen Elizabeth is an American citizen, then she is a human being. Queen Elizabeth is not an American citizen. Therefore, Queen Elizabeth is not a human being.Denying the antecedent.
If you smell that flower, you’ll miss meeting the love of your life. If you miss meeting the love of your life, you’ll never suffer the despair of your love’s demise. So smell that flower, because it saves you much suffering.Hypothetical syllogism.
I've studied so hard every night that I haven't gone to bed before 3AM in the last two months. My acne's been steadily improving and now it's almost gone. I have to tell my friends this miracle cure!Coincidental correlation.
My bank account has more money in it now than it normally does at this point in the month, and I've also lost a lot of weight recently. It's amazing that saving money makes me lose weight.Joint effect.
If my dog wins the dog race, I'll get $100. And if my dog loses the race, at least he can retire and come live with me full time. One of the two has to happen, so I win either way!Constructive dilemma.
Please just study hard for this test! You'll get a good grade, which will show you that you can succeed in school. Then you'll get better grades this year and next, get into a great college, and eventually become a high powered businessman who changes the world!Slippery slope.
"This is [...] the best movie of the decade!" --Ebert on Twilight: Breaking DawnAppeal to authority.
I'm so glad I stole that old man's purse! It's so easy to get all the fliff old men always have their purses, and this time was no exception.Modus ponens.
My opponent hates babies—he as good as said so when he voted for the bill allowing abortion in our great state last year!Straw man.