Friday, February 8, 2013

Blog Post #4: The Truth Shall Make You Free

Go forth to the internetz and find us a fallacious argument. It could be on a news website, a Facebook conversation, or an e-mail. (Comment sections are usually helpful.) In your post, explain the context, quote the argument, and explain to us what kind of argument it is and why it's fallacious. Extra brownie points if you reply to the fallacious argument in the original forum and tell us what you said. 


  1. This video is delightfully full of falacious arguments. Oh, if you watch it, there's a random movie promotion at the beginning, so start at about the 1 minute mark.

    He makes the argument that people evolved from pokemon.
    The fallacities are:
    appeal to authority (the authority being science)
    argument by dismissal (if you can't see the correlation, you're not scientifically minded, and probably shouldn't enter a science career)

    I thought it was funny. Especially "Some of our researchers believe that Jinx is actually an evolved form of Nicki Minaj" :)

    1. Psy being related to Jiggly Puff would explain a lot . . .

  2. So the fallacy that I chose was a guy interviewing for a job. The employer asked the interviewee what his history of education was. This was his response:
    "See, my mom, she had to work three jobs on account of my dad leaving and refusing to support us, and me with my elephantitis and all, all our money went to the doctor's bills so I never was able to get proper schooling. So really, if you look deep down inside yourself, you will see that I am strong and essentially best fit for this job." This is an example of a Appeal to Emotion. The interviewee is playing into the employer's emotions by describing the hard life that he has had. It is fallacious because it is an excuse for why he never went to school, yet thinks that he is the best person for the position.

  3. So, I found a blog that holds copious amounts of quotes that people have heard wherever they may be. The one that I found that contains a fallacious argument is about a woman that is standing in line at a store where the employees speak spanish, and have thick accents, but are still (according to the author) completely understandable in their english.
    "(I am a customer in line behind one man and one woman. The employees at this shop all have fairly heavy accents, but speak perfectly understandable English. However, they do converse amongst themselves in Spanish.)
    Female Customer: *turns around* “What is the matter with these people? Why the h*** can’t they just speak English the way God intended?”
    (The other customer and I raise our eyebrows at each other.)
    Male Customer: “What makes you think God intended people to speak English?
    Female Customer: “Well, the Bible is in English, duh!”"
    The argument here is that God intends for everything to be in English, which is why the Bible is in English. However, the fallacy here is an appeal to authority. Just because the Bible is written in English, does not mean that it has always been in English. However, it was in Latin for a very long time, but was originally written in three different languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.

  4. One of the biggest sources of fallacy that I know of is the play the Crucible, which depicts the Salem witch trials. I will share only a few of the fallacies that it has, because the entire play is full of them.

    The play starts with several girls who dance around in a forest and do a strange ritual (can't tell you why...). The girls get caught in the process, and, in order to excuse their behavior, say that they were haunted by a spirit. They continue to accuse people in the town of being the spirit that haunted them, and the rest of the town believes them and sentences them to hang, by word of mouth from the girls. Because everyone in the town either believes that the girls are telling the truth or are to afraid to speak up against them, the killing continues on. This is an example of the Bandwagon fallacy. Everyone just went along with it in blind faith and fear.

    In the play, there is a girl that pretends to faint and doesn't move (at least, while anyone is watching her) for several days. When a minister comes to examine her, she wakes up and pretends to have been haunted by servant woman who participated in the earlier ritual. The minister immediately believes the girl and then continuous on to help hunt down the accused spirits. This is an example of Anecdotal fallacy. Once the minister had seen 1 case (though it was a false and unreliable case) he believed that the girls must be telling the truth.

    My last example is of the leaders of the town, including the ministers and judges, who hold that whatever they think is true must be true. If they believe that the girls actually did see spirits, then the girls actually did see spirits. This is an appeal to authority fallacy because those ministers and judges clearly did not know anything about the existence of spirits, and yet the town believed them and allowed them to sentences many innocent people to the grave.

    There is even a court scene near the end of the play, which has too many fallacies to list, but, as a whole, most people who lived during that time and in that town had very flawed thinking. I'm glad that we live in a world where these kind of fallacies don't exist (or at least aren't an immediate danger to our lives).

  5. I didn't really know where to start so I turned to youtube and simply searched for "argument". Sure enough there are many people out there arguing their own opinions and are using fallacious logic quite often. I ended up seeing a video which points out "How to destroy and atheist in an argument" I am still not really sure if the video was meant to be satirical or serious, however either way there were plenty of fallacious statements both in the video and in the comments.
    The video itself says that to win an argument with an atheist you should change the subject to something completely unrelated and thus confuse them and appear intelligent. Basically he argues that by talking about something that has nothing to do with your argument, you win?
    Later in the video he tells us that if all else fails accuse the other person of being arrogant and stupid. If that isn't a poor argument for why the other person is wrong I don't know what is.
    In the comment section we see many people making comments not necessarily about the video but about their own beliefs, and try to back it up with their own "logical" claims. One of my favorites "you're anti-Christ, and thus everything around you is anti-Christ". Basically he says, because you don't believe the same way I do, you are evil and everything that you do is evil, and thus you're wrong. Hardly compelling evidence I would say.

  6. Well, for my fallacy, I found an article titled "If You Support Gay Marriage, You Support Polygamy."
    Just the title is clearly a Slippery Slope logos fallacy. The author is arguing that if gay marriage is legalized then the obvious next step will be that people will want polygamy to be legal as well.
    I think the key to noticing a slippery slope fallacy is when you find yourself quoting Ron Burgundy and saying, "Boy, that escalated quickly."

  7. Okay, so I found this fallacy that is glorifying a writer, not for his writing exactly, but mostly for his hard life. They never mention any awards, really famous works, or any other accomplishments other than having post-traumatic-stress disorder. This is an example of emotional fallacy because they are trying to get the readers to become emotionally not logically involved so as to agree with their point.…

  8. In my attempt to find an argument to discuss, I came across a Monty Python sketch (link at the bottom) called "The Argument Clinic." In the delightful sketch, the main form of logical fallacy referenced is personal incredulity. For example, in the sketch, the man entering the argument clinic pays the man he is arguing with for extra time. The man he paid then proceeds to claim that he didn't get paid, citing no evidence other than, "no you didn't."

    Here is the link, for those of you who would like to watch it:

  9. Here's the quote: "obviously this is correct." In context, it was talking about how Felt Hall Dorm #2 would win a dodgeball tournament. There was a picture of a whiteboard in the lobby of Felt hall that showed who would win the tournament. The fallacious part to this is that it hadn't happened yet. It was an anecdotal fallacy; someone decided that dorm 2 would win and stated that on the white board, took a picture, and posted it on Facebook. It's especially fallacious because dorm 0(zero) won.

  10. So this article isn't all that fallacious, wait, it's FULL of fallacies. Haha this man doesn't much like Republicans and clearly we're all evil.
    "I can't believe that it seemingly could be possible that republicans such as Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan actually downgrade and belittle women who have been raped.Are they saying that rape is okay?Are they going to legalize rape to where it's not a crime?Are they saying women should have no rights? Are they going to take away women's rights to vote.It sure sounds like it to me.I can't believe what this country is coming to.Why not let out all the rapists and child molesters? That'll be good for our nation.Do they not care about crime and violent crime? It seems to me like they actually support it! Do not vote for republicans.They are evil!"
    A slippery slope fallacy if I've ever seen one. Well this will lead to this which will lead to this which will lead to women having no rights. Which naturally will lead to us releasing all rapists from prison. Haha fallacy of fallacies.

  11. I found a video that is hilarious! It is a video on youtube called "Joke of the Day" by Nigahiga. In the video two guys are arguing about whether or not a joke is funny, but neither ones argument makes sense because of the fallacies they say. Some of these include:
    Argument by Poetic Language- if it sounds good, it must be right!
    Argument by Gibberish (Bafflement)- yep, their arguments definitely take some thinking to be able to understand!
    Appeal to force- treats or violence are used


  12. I found a whole bunch of short little examples of fallacies. The topic of such was abortion and used the technique of Ad Hominem as it directly attacked the man.

    An example of one was:

    Bill: "I believe that abortion is morally wrong."
    Dave: "Of course you would say that, you're a priest."
    Bill: "What about the arguments I gave to support my argument?"
    Dave: "Those don't count. Like I said you're a priest, so you have to say that abortion is wrong. Further, you are just a lackey to the Pope, so I can't believe what you say."

    This is a perfect example of how the second person (Dave) made an attack on Bill's statement; trying to prove that he cannot trust what Bill says because of who he is and what he represents.