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My favorite logical fallacy:

by Petruchio (Vicar)
on Apr 01, 2003 at 19:15 UTC ( [id://247317] : poll . print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Vote on this poll

Appeal to Authority (argumentum ad verecundiam)
[bar] 34/4%
Appeal to Consequences (argumentum ad consequentiam)
[bar] 25/3%
Appeal to Force (argumentum ad baculum)
[bar] 23/3%
Appeal to Pity (argumentum ad misercordiam)
[bar] 17/2%
Appeal to Popularity (argumentum ad populum)
[bar] 37/4%
Argument from Ignorance (argumentum ad ignorantiam)
[bar] 49/6%
Attacking the Person (argumentum ad hominem)
[bar] 55/7%
Begging the Question (petitio principii)
[bar] 38/5%
Coincidental Correlation (post hoc ergo propter hoc)
[bar] 88/11%
Existential Fallacy
[bar] 30/4%
Irrelevant Conclusion (ignoratio elenchi)
[bar] 45/5%
False Analogy
[bar] 84/10%
False Dilemma
[bar] 26/3%
Slippery Slope
[bar] 46/6%
Straw Man
[bar] 53/6%
Undistributed Middle
[bar] 12/1%
Contradicting Vroom (ave, imperator, morituri te salutant)
[bar] 43/5%
Other (The options above present a false dilemma)
[bar] 127/15%
832 total votes
Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: My favorite logical fallacy:
by LAI (Hermit) on Apr 01, 2003 at 20:31 UTC

    Appeal to Popularity

    What's the project?
    It's something completely revolutionary.
    Um... yeah. So what is it?
    We're going to maintain a database of all our products and let our customers see it online!
    (PHB pauses for applause)
    Wow. That's a revolutionary idea. So I'll put together a LAMP server and we'll be live in $arbitrary_timeframe
    Lamp? What's that?
    It just means that the site will be run on Linux, Apache, MySQL and Perl.
    No, it has to be done in ASP.
    What? Why?
    Because ASP is better; it's what everyone uses.
    (insert sounds of one of my eyes being popped out of its socket by the pressure in my head, followed by the sound of the PHB being thrown through a window)


      Cool! I'm a LAMP developer! :-)

      (I didn't know there was a term for it...)

      We are the carpenters and bricklayers of the Information Age.

      Don't go borrowing trouble. For programmers, this means Worry only about what you need to implement.

      Please remember that I'm crufty and crochety. All opinions are purely mine and all code is untested, unless otherwise specified.

Re: My favorite logical fallacy:
by logan (Curate) on Apr 01, 2003 at 20:11 UTC
    For those of us who are trying to remember the technical definitions of each of these arguments, here's a handy web page.

    "What do I want? I'm an American. I want more."

      ...thanks for that reference. I realized in thinking about this over the past couple of days that one of the truly valuable things that I believe comes from higher education is a grounding in these principles.

      When we are aware of the classic fallicies, we have no excuse for being misled by the common easy tactics employed by populist leaders. We may still do it, but we've been given a chance to know better.

      ...All the world looks like -well- all the world, when your hammer is Perl.

Re: "FREE MONEY" (My favorite logical fallacy:)
by Enlil (Parson) on Apr 02, 2003 at 00:40 UTC
    Logan already posted one, but here is another Guide to Logical Fallacies.

    My favorite is probably accent. Reminds me of those silly signs I used to see around campus with the


    Now that I have your attention need someone to split costs of whatever, or buy this or that.. blah blah blah ...

    I do like the second example in the aforementioned accent link. On second thought I really began to get sick of those signs, so my favorite used to be accent, now a days it is probably slippery slope

    -enlil was sober today

      Oh, I thought "appeal to accent" was the tendency of some single males from certain European countries to thicken their accents when there are women around.

      "What do I want? I'm an American. I want more."

Re: My favorite logical fallacy:
by benn (Vicar) on Apr 02, 2003 at 11:39 UTC
    I'd tell you my favourite logical fallacy, but then I always lie, so it'd be no good to you...
      And that young man was William Jefferson Clinton.
      And now you know ... the rest of the story.

      Ain't enough 'O's in 'stoopid' to describe that guy.
      - Dave "the King" Wilson

Re: My favorite logical fallacy:
by Phaysis (Pilgrim) on Apr 03, 2003 at 02:18 UTC
    "Other" -- phew, that's a lot of options. Could I be suffering options-paralysis? Hmm.

    Fair warning: potentially off-topic post/rant follows.

    I listen to the radio at work, and during the afternoon drive-time there are scads of commercials, most of them are read live by the D.J.'s. Those are fine in that, sure, they contribute to the "solid hour of commercial-free rock", even though the readings, in their conversational tones, actually are commercials (a fallacy in and of itself), but they're typically better than the real commercials which are eventually aired.

    Here's an example of one of the pre-recorded commercials that raises the ire in me:

    WOMAN: "I have a busy schedule."
    ANNOUNCER: "Charlotte has a busy schedule."
    WOMAN: "Between hunting for parking, dealing with traffic, picking up the kids, dropping off the dry cleaning, buying groceries and paying the bills, I just don't have time to balance my checkbook. That's when I discovered Worry-Free Checking (tm) from XYZ Bank."
    ANNOUNCER: "New Worry-Free Checking (tm) from XYZ Bank is perfect for anyone on the go. You can check your account online, transfer funds, pay bills online, all at a time when it's convenient for you."
    WOMAN: "Thanks, XYZ Bank. With Worry-Free Checking (tm) I have more time to devote to the important things."

    Now, the questions I have to ask begin with this: who in the world has absolutely no time in their "busy" day to do some menial task? Who out there absolutely must balance their checkbook while they're picking up the kids? Are we led to believe that time is of the essence, even on the most unimportant things? Who has that level of stress and burden in their life? Will an extra product or service make it that much better? Feh. I most certainly would not want to be married to this woman. I'm probably not thinking straight here, but advertisements like this irk me. I'm really not sure which fallacy this would fall under, possibly Straw Man, but may I suggest a new fallacy?

    How about "Appeal to Beleaguerment"?

    -Shawn / (Ph) Phaysis
    If idle hands are the tools of the devil, are idol tools the hands of god?

      ad hominem all the way

      it is the only true way to argue.


      t r e t i n

        Of course we all know you're a stupid moron.

        Makeshifts last the longest.

Re: My favorite logical fallacy:
by Anonymous Monk on Apr 02, 2003 at 00:08 UTC

    I fell asleep partially through that poll and forgot most of the options, so I voted for "other." 8^)

Re: My favorite logical fallacy:
by fedge (Initiate) on Apr 02, 2003 at 03:03 UTC

    (because this is the best site for the best language...QED)

Re: My favorite logical fallacy:
by dakkar (Hermit) on Apr 02, 2003 at 08:33 UTC

    ante hoc, ergo propter hoc

    Foucault's pendulum, anyone?

            dakkar - Mobilis in mobile
      Yeah! I was looking for someone who'd ever heard about it! It seems to be the religious folk's favorite one, too. Oops, I was about to forget those 'conspiracy theory' freaks. They also love this kind of twisted reasoning. SLL - Brazil
Re: My favorite logical fallacy:
by BrowserUk (Patriarch) on Apr 03, 2003 at 21:41 UTC

    Other(s). Amongst them

    It has a fancy latin pseudonym/name/description, therefore it must be true, profound, important,...

    I can quote the fancy latin pseudonym, therefore I must be an expert.

    Adsum e contrario e vox populi, advocatus diaboli.

    Haud ignota loquor, exceptis excipiendis, ex hypothesi docendo discimus audaces fortuna iuvat; carpe deim!

    Absit invidia. :)

    Examine what is said, not who speaks.
    1) When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
    2) The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible
    3) Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    Arthur C. Clarke.
Re: My favorite logical fallacy:
by false (Novice) on Apr 01, 2003 at 19:49 UTC
    (X) Other -- I have false dilemmas. :-)
      hehe... don't we all?? ;)
Re: My favorite logical fallacy:
by Rudif (Hermit) on Apr 01, 2003 at 21:59 UTC
    Other. I have no such fallacies.
Re: My favorite logical fallacy:
by cecil36 (Pilgrim) on Apr 01, 2003 at 19:17 UTC
    Probably the best logical fallacy out there is contradicting Cowboy Neal on poll options.
Re: My favorite logical fallacy: (pursuit of happiness)
by Aristotle (Chancellor) on Apr 02, 2003 at 13:38 UTC

    "The pursuit of happiness."

    Which category is that in? I'm not sure..

    Makeshifts last the longest.

      The "pursuit of happiness" is an early example of postmodernism (a.k.a., newspeak[1], or Humpty Dumpty[2] syndrome). The original wording was "pursuit of property", but that wording would have lead to an unfortunate lack of support from certain circles (i.e. the poor majority), so it was reworded to sound more innocuous. This is bog-standard postmodernist behavior: misuse and/or redefine extant terminology not by accident but deliberately, in order to mislead and confuse people into agreeing with you who otherwise don't. Reinhold Neibuhr mastered the technique so well that to this day a lot of folks think he was a Christian theologian, whereas he was in fact a secular philosopher with some really... unusual ideas, ideas that are highly inconsistent with Christianity. A lot of education textbooks make heavy use of this technique also; it's pretty scary if you examine it too closely.

      Incidentally, it is generally held to be Ben Franklin who came up with the wording that was ultimately used ("pursuit of happiness"). I'm not sure how we know that, though.

      Ώ] From George Orwell.

      ΐ] From Lewis Carol.

        Err, forgot to log in, but for the record that was me.

        Now that is interesting. Happen to have sources to name? However, though your points that fit the topic more closely, what I actually meant was something different.

        Happiness is not something you have, but something you are, a state to achieve. You cannot "pursue" it. No external influence can bring you happiness if you are not happy, nor can take it if you are happy, even though external forces may bring excitement or grief.

        Of course, assuming it was a rewording, it would be doubly ironic that this fallacy has been the ideal for many generations to follow..

        Makeshifts last the longest.

My favorite logical fallacy: Appeal to Pain (argumentum ad myboomstick)
by Rex(Wrecks) (Curate) on Apr 02, 2003 at 22:04 UTC
    Code softly, carry big boom-stick under desk!

    "Shop Smart!! Shop S-Mart!
      nice!! Sig

      elen síla lúmenn'omentielvo
      OT to be sure, but...

      Bruce Campbell has a book out: "If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of A B Movie Actor".

      You'll find it here.

      My review? Groovy.

      "What do I want? I'm an American. I want more."

        Sounds like the current pResident's argument in Mesopotamia ...

        We are the carpenters and bricklayers of the Information Age.

        Don't go borrowing trouble. For programmers, this means Worry only about what you need to implement.

        Please remember that I'm crufty and crochety. All opinions are purely mine and all code is untested, unless otherwise specified.

Re: My favorite logical fallacy:
by rir (Vicar) on Apr 02, 2003 at 18:48 UTC
    These all make bribery look good!

    I'll A if you'll B.

      If I'll B what? I'm having a hard enough time B-ing a programmer as it is!

      Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

      -Howard Aiken
Re: My favorite logical fallacy:
by zakzebrowski (Curate) on Apr 03, 2003 at 01:08 UTC
    cough, alcohol, cough... :)
argumentum ad verecundiam
by Adam (Vicar) on Apr 25, 2003 at 17:32 UTC
    When I was in school we called this, "Proof by PhD."
    aka, "Its true because the professor said so."
Re: My favorite logical fallacy:
by Anonymous Monk on Apr 09, 2003 at 03:00 UTC
    Rem tene, verba sequentur, Bhurma Shave.
      "Two Bits"
Re: My favorite logical fallacy:
by Tux (Canon) on Apr 16, 2003 at 06:47 UTC
    ut desint vires, tamen est laudanda voluntas is my all-time favourite. It *allways* applies. Enjoy, have FUN! H.Merijn
Re: My favorite logical fallacy:
by jaldhar (Vicar) on Jan 15, 2011 at 22:56 UTC

    Argumentio ad fiasco: The fallacy of trying to employ logic against a government bureaucrat, toddler, or cat.


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