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Logical Fallacies


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argument from ignorance
it hasn't been (or cannot be) proven false, so it must be true
begging the question
the conclusion of your argument is assumed in your premises
special pleading
insistence that a general rule somehow does not apply in your particular case
correlation proves causation
because two things occur together, one must be causing the other
false dilemma
presenting only two alternative options where in fact other options are possible or available
inflation of conflict
expert disagreement on a point suggests that the issue cannot be resolved (and the legitimacy of the whole discipline is in question)
moving the goalposts
an situation where the standards of evidence required for a claim are changed in response to evidence
red herring
an irrelevant, distracting argument
regression fallacy
ascribing cause where the effect is due to natural statistical fluctuation
complex question
one question involves several aspects and cannot be resolved with a simple answer
truth lies in the middle
belief that correct findings must lie somewhere between two extreme positions
loaded question
a question worded in such a way as to prejudice and influence the answer
straw man
misrepresenting an opponent's position or argument to make it easier to knock down
appeal to authority
arguing that we should accept something as true simply because a knowledgeable persons says it is
gambler's fallacy
mistaken belief that past probabilities influence future probabilities
ad hominem
dismissing a claim for reasons related to the person making the claim