Fallacy Exercise

Alright readers of the NonSequitur, I have an exercise for you.  John and I have had a few laughs with the following form of joke: employ a fallacy in giving an argument against using that fallacy.  It's funny.  Here are a few examples:

Agree that ad baculum arguments are fallacious or I'll punch you in the face!


If you don't stop using tu quoque arguments, you'd be such a hypocrite!


If we don't stop using slippery slope arguments, we'll become sloppy arguers, and if we become sloppy arguers, we'll become sloppy people.  And if we become sloppy people, flies will land on us.  And if flies land on our sloppy bodies, they'll lay eggs. And then we'll be sloppy slippery slope arguers covered in maggots… that's what we'll be!

See?  Fun!  Give it a shot in the comments.


UPDATE: John reminded me that the NS did the exercise back in 2008.  Check the entries out here.

13 thoughts on “Fallacy Exercise”

  1. You should really avoid appeals to unqualified authority;  Sarah Palin says they're fallacious.
    You shouldn't buy that soda just because everyone else does; after all, cool people don't follow the crowd.


    These are fun. Tell me if I've gotten something wrong.
    You can either take my logic course and stop with those false dilemmas, or you can take somebody else's class and continue to be an ignoramus.
    You shouldn't appeal to pity when you argue because that makes me feel like a failed logic professor.
    You're wrong because you're committing a fallacy fallacy by saying that my claim is wrong simply because I committed a fallacy.
    And one of my favorite fallacies (or least favorite…as it makes me want to punch someone):
    Don't move the goalposts. You're just demanding an unreasonable amount of evidence from me. I've already told you that I know this based on my personal experience. Do you have any evidence to back up your claims? What evidence have you got, a textbook and a logic class? I'm just saying professors aren't perfect either and they might be wrong!

  3. Nice job with the forms, everybody!  But we need to remember the requirement of the exercise: it's got to be a fallacious argument against using a fallacy form.  And so:
    Everybody knows that ad populum arguments are fallacious!  Nobody's arguing like that anymore!

  4. Hmm, my first one was not really an argument but a demonstration of a fallacy. Was the second one better? Or not argumentative enough?

  5. Sean, the first was in the right spirit, as it was a critical and loaded question about loaded questions.  But you're right — not an argument.  That's OK, as the exercise is to exemplify the fallacy form in criticizing it.  Second was right on.  Here's another shot at it:
    Don't make post hoc arguments! Every Greek or Roman who has ever given a post hoc argument is dead!

    Yes, I'm clearly not arguing against using the fallacy. Another (feeble) attempt:
    When I tell you that the rooster wakes the sun up, you can't call it a post hoc ergo propter hoc argument, because it happens every morning!


  7. Oops. How about this?
    Begging the question is fallacious…just look at how fallacious your reasoning is when you beg the question.

  8. You can't shift the burden of proof. After all, you haven't proved that you're allowed to shift it.

  9. Don't use a red herring. Logical fallacies just make you look like a know-it-all.
    You shouldn't attack a straw man. Imagine how you would feel if you were the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz and you were under assault. Devastated, I'm sure!

  10. Cognitive scientists have observed apparently unnatural brain activity in individuals who consistently appeal to nature. Future research hopes to find a greater link between all forms of fallacious reasoning and unnatural brain activity.

  11. I don't know what "ad ignorantiam" is! Therefor, I cannot have made this claim by that argumen

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