Fallacies of Relevance
A statement is RELEVANT to another statement if it provides at least some reason for thinking that the second statement is true or false.
Irrelevant reason (premises no relationship to the conclusion)
"I hear the rain falling outside my window; therefore, the sun is not shining." (The conclusion is a non-sequitur because the sun can shine while it is raining.)
When an arguer rejects a person’s argument or claim by attacking the person’s character rather than examining the worth of the argument or claim itself.
Professor Doogie has argued for more emphasis on music in our F2F classes to facilitate creativity. But Doogie is a selfish bigheaded fool. I absolutely refuse to listen to him.
Post hoc ergo propter hoc / coincidental correlation / confusing cause and effect
Generalization of one event which follow was caused by 1st
1. A and B are associated on a regular basis.
2. Therefore A is the cause of B.
Joan is scratched by a cat while visiting her friend. Two days later she comes down with a fever. Joan concludes that the cat's scratch must be the cause of her illness.
Attacking the Motive
When an arguer criticizes a person’s motivation for offering a particular argument or claim , rather than examining the worth of the argument or claim itself.
Donald Trump has argued that we need to build a new campus. But Trump is the owner of Trump’s Construction Company. He’ll make a fortune if his company is picked to build the new campus. Obviously, Trump’s argument is a lot of self-serving nonsense.
Look Who’s Talking (tu quoque)
When an arguer rejects another person’s argument or claim because that person is a hypocrite.
Doctor: You should quite smoking.
Patient: Look who’s talking! I’ll quit when you do, Dr. Smokestack!
Two Wrongs Make a Right
When an arguer attempts to justify a wrongful act by claiming that some other act is just as bad or worse.
- “I don’t feel guilty about cheating on Zaid’s online quiz. Half the class cheats on his quiz.”
- “Why pick on me, officer? Everyone else is using drugs.”
When an arguer threatens harm to a reader or listener and this threat is irrelevant to the truth of the arguer’s conclusion.
Diplomat to diplomat: I’m sure you’ll agree that we are the rightful rulers of the Iraq. It would be regrettable if we had to send armed forces to demonstrate the validity of our claim.
Appeal to Pity.
More to writer emotion .
Student to Lecturer: I know I missed half your classes and failed all my quizzes and assignments. First my cat died. Then my girlfriend told me she has found someone else. With all I went through this semester, I don’t think I really deserve an F. Any chance you might cut me some slack and change my grade to a C or a D?
Bandwagon Argument (Peer Pressure)
When an arguer appeals to a person’s desire to be popular, accepted, or valued, rather than to logically relevant reasons or evidence.
All the really cool students smoke cigarettes. Therefore, you should, too.
When an arguer misrepresents another person’s position to make it easier to attack.
Singh and Karen are arguing about cleaning out their closets:
q Suzie: "We should clean out the closets. They are getting a bit messy.“
q Singh: "Why, we just went through those closets last year. Do we have to clean them out everyday?"
q Suzie: "I never said anything about cleaning them out every day. You just want too keep all your junk forever, which is just ridiculous."
When an arguer tries to sidetrack his audience by raising an irrelevant issue, and then claims that the original issue has been effectively settled by the irrelevant diversion.
1. Topic A is under discussion.
2. Topic B is introduced under the guise of being relevant to topic A (when topic B is actually not relevant to topic A).
3. Topic A is abandoned.
"I think there is great merit in making the requirements stricter for the graduate students. I recommend that you support it, too. After all, we are in a budget crisis and we do not want our salaries affected."
When an arguer uses a key word in an argument in two (or more) different senses.
In the summer of 1940, Londoners were bombed almost very night. To be bombed is to be intoxicated. Therefore, in the summer of 1940, Londoners were intoxicated almost every night.
Begging the Question
When an arguer states or assumes as a premise (reason) the very thing he is seeking to probe as a conclusion.
I am entitled to say whatever I choose because I have a right to say whatever I please.
Fallacies of Insufficient Evidence
Inappropriate Appeal to Authority
Citing a witness or authority that is untrustworthy.
My dentist told me that aliens built the lost city of Atlantis. So, it’s reasonable to believe that aliens did build the lost city of Atlantis.
Appeal to Ignorance
Claiming that something is true because no one has proven it false or vice versa.
Yoda must exist. No one has proved that he doesn’t exist.
Posing a false either/or choice.
The choice in this MPM election is clear: Either we elect Zubaidah as our next president, or we watch our MPM unity slide into anarchy and frustration. Clearly, we don’t want that to happen. Therefore, we should elect Zubaidah as our next president.
Posing a question that contains an unfair or unwarranted presupposition.
Lee: Are you still friends with that loser Richard?
Lee: Well, at least you admit he’s a total loser.
Claiming, without sufficient evidence, that one thing is the cause of something else.
Sarah gets a chain letter that threatens her with dire consequences if she breaks the chain. She laughs at it and throws it in the garbage. On her way to work she slips and breaks his arm. When she gets back from the hospital she sends out 200 copies of the chain letter, hoping to avoid further accidents.
Drawing a general conclusion from a sample that is biased or too small.
Norwegians are lazy. I have two friends who are from there, and both of them never prepare for class, or do their homework.
Claiming, without sufficient evidence, that a seemingly harmless action, if taken, will lead to a disastrous outcome.
“The Malaysian militarily shouldn't get involved in other countries. Once the government sends in a few troops, it will then send in thousands to die."
Comparing things that aren’t really comparable.
Nobody would buy a car without first taking it for a test drive. Why then shouldn’t two mature UNITAR students live together before they decide whether to get married?
Asserting inconsistent / contradictory claims (insert another claims that you thought your claim is a premises)
Note found in a Forest Service Suggestion box: Park visitors need to know how important it is to keep this wilderness area completely pristine and undisturbed. So why not put up a few signs to remind people of this fact?
credit to Zaid Ali Alsagoff (firstname.lastname@example.org ) & http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/
Panjang tak panjang la kan . ok la . smpai cni dlu . As Salam .