Fun with fallacies

This from James W. Benham and Thomas J.Marlowe is hilarious.  Can anyone think of any others?

  • Ad hominem arguments are the tools of scoundrels and blackguards. Therefore, they are invalid.
  • If you had any consideration for my feelings, you wouldn't argue from an appeal to pity.
  • What would your mother say if you argued from an appeal to sentiment?
  • I don't understand how anyone could argue from an appeal to incredulity.
  • If you argue from an appeal to force, I'll have to beat you up.
  • You are far too intelligent to accept an argument based on an appeal to vanity.
  • Everyone knows that an argument from appeal to popular opinion is invalid.
  • Circular reasoning means assuming what you're trying to prove. This form of argument is invalid becuase it's circular.
  • As Aristotle said, arguments from an appeal to authority are invalid.
  • Post hoc ergo propter hoc arguments often precede false conclusions. Hence, this type of argument is invalid.
  • Using the Argumentum ad Consequentiam makes for unpleasant discussions. Hence, it must be a logical fallacy.
  • The argumentum ad nauseam is invalid. The argumentum ad nauseam is invalid. The argumentum ad nauseam is invalid. If three repetitions of this principle haven't convinced you, I'll just have to say it again: the argumentun ad nauseam is invalid.
  • Ancient wisdom teaches that the argumentum ad antiquitatem is invalid.
  • An argument is emotional and no substitute for reasoned discussion. But proof by equivocation is a kind of argument. Thus, a proof by equivocation is no substitute for a valid proof.
  • If we accept slippery slope arguments, we may have to accept other forms of weak arguments. Eventually, we won't be able to reason at all. Hence, we must reject slippery slope arguments as invalid.
  • A real logician would never make an argument based on the "No true Scotsman" fallacy. If anyone who claims to be logical and makes arguments based on this fallacy, you may rest assured that s/he is not a real logician.
  • An argument based on a logical fallacy often leads to a false conclusion. Affirming the consequent often leads to a false conclusion. Therefore, affirming the consequent is a fallacy.
  • The fallacy of the undistributed middle is often used by politicians, and they often try to mislead people, so undistributed middles are obviously misleading.
  • Reasoning by analogy is like giving a starving man a cookbook.
  • Non sequitur is a Latin term, so that's a fallacy too.
  • And I bet the gambler's fallacy is also invalid – I seem to be on a roll!

If so, post them in comments and I'll send them to the author.

By way of update, I'm not happy with the use of "valid" here nor would I consider all of these to be fallacious.  But you get the idea.

14 thoughts on “Fun with fallacies”

  1. A red herring is particular type of fallacy, but I don’t really like fish, and I especially don’t care for herring. Therefore all red herring arguments are invalid.

  2. You’re just saying that the ad hominem circumstantial fallacy is wrong because you’re a logic professor.

  3. I don’t know Phil. I’m skeptical. The key thing about the red herring is that it doesn’t circle back to the conclusion.

  4. redux:

    A red herring is particular type of fallacy. I have a friend have friend who eats herring, yet claims to be a vegetarian. No one who eats fish can be a vegetarian, because you’re still consuming the flesh of an animal.

  5. Either I commit the false dichotomy fallacy or I don’t write this paper. The choice is yours.

    If I wear my lucky necktie while I write, I won’t commit the fallacy of false cause.

  6. Wikipedia says that the the argumentum ad verecundiam is a fallacy.

    I’ve never heard anyone deny that the argument from silence is a kind of fallacious argument.

    No one can be certain that the argumentum ad ignorantiam produces a false conclusion, so it probably doesn’t.

  7. Cheating is wrong, therefore committing the _petitio principii_ fallacy is wrong.

    My history professor regularly uses hasty generalizations. Probably all history professors use hasty generalizations.

    How can you say that the _tu quo que_ fallacy is wrong because it’s cheating, when you cheat on your taxes?

  8. Guilt by association is the rhetorical move that Hitler made, too…while eating organic food…

  9. The word ‘fallacy’ is derived from the Latin word for ‘deceive’, and I have no deceptive intentions; therefore, I have not committed the genetic fallacy.

  10. Look here: You can either use a false dichotomy or you can argue correctly.  The choice is yours.

    Some of the bloggers’ submissions are new to me.  If you have submitted a comment here, could you please send me permission to add it to Thomas Marlowe’s and my “Fallacies” page?


    Jim Benham

  11. due to my undersanding of  non causa pro causa, I decided to send this little note.

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