Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Common Fallacies In Arguments

In my short time I have had so far, I've had a number of debates and arguments in which I've noticed long pattern of logical fallacies that have been used by my both my peers, and myself. I'll discuss some common fallacies I've noticed the most in many arguments.

Hold on, what exactly is a fallacy you may ask? A Fallacy is usually a error in reasoning. So if you really think that yellow bus is a orange kangaroo, you are facing a fallacy.

Argument against the person. The idea of this fallacy, is that instead of concentrating on the topic of discussion, you attack (with words not fists, but of course you knew that.) the person advocating the pro or con of the topic, therefore making you correct. Here's an example:
Person 1: Moving American jobs overshores is wrong!
Person 2: What?! Yesterday I saw you buying shares in the very company that puts American jobs overshore!

Misrepresentations of opponents arguments. The idea of this fallacy, is to take your opponents argument and exaggerate the heck out of it in order to make it very easy to take down. Here's an example:
Person 1: Smoking Regulations are too strict!
Person 2: Oh?! You want everyone smoking don't you? Let's get six year old Nancy smoking before she runs out of pocket money right?

A argument is right if it's hasn't been dis-proven. The idea of this fallacy, is to try to provethat your argument correct because they can't prove it's not true. Here's an example:
Person 1: George Washington has never died, because nobody has ever dug up his grave to see if his body is still there!

Accusing the other person of the same charge. The idea of this fallacy, is to accuse the opponent of the same thing he is accusing you, though at the end, you're still at fault. For example:
Person 1: You just cheated! That's messed up.
Person 2: Dude, I saw you cheat last week, so shut up.

Using parts of a whole. The idea of this fallacy, is to take a whole statement that may be true, and taking parts out of it, and continuing to assume that part is true. For example:
Person 1: John's a good moral guy.
Person 2: Nah, we all know the people steal mail at the post office, and John work's at a post office, therefore he's a theft.

These were only a few of the common fallacies I've seen, and most likely, you've seen in some heated arguments. Maybe you can point out some the next time you find yourself in a debate.

Me, wrong? Wha-wha-what?! Impossible!