Jump to content
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!) ×
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!)
In the Name of God بسم الله
Sign in to follow this  
Haydar Husayn

Common logical fallacies

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

A few more...

Quote

 Argument to moderation (Latin: argumentum ad temperantiam)—also known as [argument from] middle ground, false compromise, gray fallacy, and the golden mean fallacy—is an informal fallacy which asserts that the truth can be found as a compromise between two opposite positions.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_to_moderation

Often seen with those who are on the verge of becoming Sunnis. Their arguments commonly assume that the truth must be half-way between Shi'ism and Sunnism, or they will assert that the 'objective' view should conform with neither the Shia or Sunni one, without giving any real evidence for why it should be so. In most cases, such people either end up becoming Sunnis or stay mired in a state of confusion.

 

Quote

 A false dilemma (also called false dichotomy, false binary, black-and-white thinking, bifurcation, denying a conjunct, the either–or fallacy, fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses, the fallacy of false choice, the fallacy of the false alternative, or the fallacy of the excluded middle) is a type of informal fallacy that involves a situation in which only limited alternatives are considered, when in fact there is at least one additional option.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma

Quite common, and has many forms. One I have come across a few times is along the lines of someone saying that you either believe that the Ahlulbayt [a] have X, Y, Z powers and attributes, or you believe they are just ordinary scholars.

 

Quote

 Equivocation ("to call by the same name") is an informal logical fallacy. It is the misleading use of a term with more than one meaning or sense (by glossing over which meaning is intended at a particular time). It generally occurs with polysemic words (words with multiple meanings).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equivocation

Happens a lot in debates on 'intercession', where defenders of the practice of calling on the Imams [a], will equivocate between all the various possible meanings of intercession, including intercession on the Day of Judgement, asking Allah by the right of the Ahlulbayt, asking the Imams to pray to ask Allah on our behalf, and directly calling on the Imams. Often the weakest statement is defended (i.e. the permissibility of asking Allah by the right of an Imam, or asking an Imam to ask Allah on our behalf), while hoping to convince people of the stronger statement (calling on the Imams directly).

 

Quote

Appeal to tradition (also known as argumentum ad antiquitatem,[1] appeal to antiquity, or appeal to common practice) is a common fallacy in which a thesis is deemed correct on the basis that it is correlated with some past or present tradition. The appeal takes the form of "this is right because we've always done it this way."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_tradition

Rarely explicitly stated, but underlines a lot of beliefs and arguments (various traditional rituals, duas, etc). However, because most people realise the argument is absurd, they try to find other more convincing means of defence.

 

Quote

 An appeal to probability (or appeal to possibility) is the logical fallacy of taking something for granted because it would probably be the case (or might possibly be the case).[1] Inductive arguments lack deductive validity and must therefore be asserted or denied in the premises.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_probability

I've most often come across this in debates on the 'powers' of the Imams. Usually in the form of someone asking the rhetorical question 'Do you deny that Allah could have given them these powers?' See also  http://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/235030606-words-of-wisdom-from-an-early-christian-scholar/

Edited by Haydar Husayn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't added to this thread in a long time, so here is another common one, that is absolutely rampant among modernists.

Quote

 

Chronological snobbery is an argument that the thinking, art, or science of an earlier time is inherently inferior to that of the present, simply by virtue of its temporal priority. The term was coined by C. S. Lewis and Owen Barfield.

As Barfield explains it, it is the belief that "intellectually, humanity languished for countless generations in the most childish errors on all sorts of crucial subjects, until it was redeemed by some simple scientific dictum of the last century."[1] The subject came up between them when Barfield had converted to Anthroposophy and was seeking to get Lewis (an atheist at the time) to join him. One of Lewis's objections was that religion was simply outdated, and in Surprised by Joy (chapter 13, p. 207–208), he describes how this was fallacious:

“Barfield never made me an Anthroposophist, but his counterattacks destroyed forever two elements in my own thought. In the first place he made short work of what I have called my "chronological snobbery," the uncritical acceptance of the intellectual climate common to our own age and the assumption that whatever has gone out of date is on that account discredited. You must find why it went out of date. Was it ever refuted (and if so by whom, where, and how conclusively) or did it merely die away as fashions do? If the latter, this tells us nothing about its truth or falsehood. From seeing this, one passes to the realization that our own age is also "a period," and certainly has, like all periods, its own characteristic illusions. They are likeliest to lurk in those widespread assumptions which are so ingrained in the age that no one dares to attack or feels it necessary to defend them.    ”
A manifestation of chronological snobbery is the usage in general of the word "medieval" to mean "backwards".

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronological_snobbery

How many times have you heard someone say that such-and-such a thing is unacceptable in the 21st century, or in 2016 (or whatever the year happens to be)? Well, now you know what to call it, and why it is a stupid argument.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chronological snobbery is also likely affected by human psychology.

The near/recent past has a relatively large impact on our view of the world. For example, when oil was US$140 a barrel, most people imagined a world of oil prices that were in that ballpark.

Oil prices around US$40 were unimaginable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Haji 2003 said:

Chronological snobbery is also likely affected by human psychology.

The near/recent past has a relatively large impact on our view of the world. For example, when oil was US$140 a barrel, most people imagined a world of oil prices that were in that ballpark.

Oil prices around US$40 were unimaginable.

I definitely think that people find it incredibly hard to imagine how anyone could think differently to the way they do. Part of the problem is that most people are completely ignorant of the concept of a worldview. They don't know what this is, why everyone has one, and what their own worldview is. Until people start reflecting on that, they will always find it difficult to understand to viewpoints that differ radically from their own. Part of the problem a lot of Muslims have these days is that they are raised in probably the most secular environment that has ever existed, but are trying to follow a religion that presupposes a worldview that is absolutely not secular. As the start of Surah al-Baqarah says:
 

Quote

 

This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah

Who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them,

And who believe in what has been revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what was revealed before you, and of the Hereafter they are certain [in faith].

 

I'm not sure how many can truthfully get past these verses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Haydar Husayn said:

I definitely think that people find it incredibly hard to imagine how anyone could think differently to the way they do.

And as well as that people find it impossible to imagine a world or circumstances that are radically different to the ones that they are living in.

I feel that this inability explains why people have such a one sided view of slavery, it's incomprehensible for them to imagine a world where anyone would choose this as a means of survival. For them everything is a matter of lifestyles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the Logical Fallacies Handlist by Wheeler: https://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/fallacies_list.html

Some of the fallacies were mentioned in this thread already but I think a lot were not - and imo its a great read (its a mandatory reading in a class i teach xD)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, ice unicorn said:

This is the Logical Fallacies Handlist by Wheeler: https://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/fallacies_list.html

Some of the fallacies were mentioned in this thread already but I think a lot were not - and imo its a great read (its a mandatory reading in a class i teach xD)

I really like the link you provided, Ice. It's a big, eye-opening help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Inflation Of Conflict:

Arguing that scholars debate a certain point. Therefore, they must know nothing, and their entire field of knowledge is "in crisis" or does not properly exist at all. 

For example, two historians debated whether Hitler killed five million Jews or six million Jews. A Holocaust denier argued that this disagreement made hisclaim credible, even though his death count is three to ten times smaller than the known minimum.

Similarly, in "The Mythology of Modern Dating Methods" (John Woodmorappe, 1999) we find on page 42 that two scientists "cannot agree" about which one of two geological dates is "real" and which one is "spurious". Woodmorappe fails to mention that the two dates differ by less than one percent.

http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/skeptic/arguments.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Argument From Adverse Consequences (Appeal To Fear, Scare Tactics):

Saying an opponent must be wrong, because if he is right, then bad things would ensue. For example: God must exist, because a godless society would be lawless and dangerous. Or: the defendant in a murder trial must be found guilty, because otherwise husbands will be encouraged to murder their wives.

Wishful thinking is closely related. "My home in Florida is one foot above sea level. Therefore I am certain that global warming will not make the oceans rise by fifteen feet." Of course, wishful thinking can also be about positive consequences, such as winning the lottery, or eliminating poverty and crime.

http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/skeptic/arguments.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excluded Middle (False Dichotomy, Faulty Dilemma, Bifurcation):

Assuming there are only two alternatives when in fact there are more. For example, assuming Atheism is the only alternative to Fundamentalism, or being a traitor is the only alternative to being a loud patriot.

http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/skeptic/arguments.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Short Term Versus Long Term:

This is a particular case of the Excluded Middle. For example, "We must deal with crime on the streets before improving the schools." (But why can't we do some of both ?) Similarly, "We should take the scientific research budget and use it to feed starving children."

http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/skeptic/arguments.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...