Fallacies

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ARGUMENTUM AD ANTIQUITATEM:

The fallacy of asserting something is good and true because it is old, or because "That's the way it's always been." No one claims slavery is good, but it had existed from the beginning of human history until it was abolished in the last two centuries.

ARGUMENTUM AD NOVITATEM:

The fallacy of asserting something is true or better simply because it is newer. This fallacy is easily demonstrated by a cursory glance at any of the recent Hollywood remakes or reboots of classic films.

ARGUMENTUM AD CRUMENAM:

The fallacy of believing that those with money are more likely to be correct. Secretary of Edumacation Betsy DeVos has billions of dollars and ten yachts but can't tell her ass from a hole in the ground.

BIFURCATION:

Also referred to as the black or white fallacy. This occurs when a situation is presented with only two alternatives. In the case of a claim that "either everything matters or nothing matters" it might be true that only some things that we do actually matter and some other things do not matter.

PLURIUM INTERROGATIONUM:

Or, the Loaded Question Gambit. The most famous example is "Have you stopped beating your wife?" In the case of ex nihilo creation, the questioner attempts to force agreement that in the absence of a creator the universe must have been preceded by nothing.

NON SEQUITUR:

The fallacy of drawing a conclusion from premises which are not logically connected to it. The laws of logic are constructed from the axiom of non-contradiction, which is self-asserting (the negation would need to invoke the same axiom) and does not require a mind.

RED HERRING:

The fallacy of introducing irrelevant material to divert attention from the central discussion. For example a claim is made that without a supreme being there can be no basis for ethics. This is a rejection of anthropological models of morality without even showing the work.

REIFICATION: Also known as hypostatization. This fallacy occurs when an abstract concept is treated as concrete. A popular example is the claim that an objective morality exists. Certainly the Bible, which contradicts itself at nearly every turn, is a poor example of this.

ARGUMENTUM AD BACULUM:

Or, the appeal to force. Might makes right. Example: "There is ample proof that the gospel is true. All those who choose to reject the gospel will burn for all eternity in hell."

ARGUMENTUM AD HOMINEM:

This fallacy in logic occurs when the truth of a position is seen as dependent on the goodness of the person taking the position. For example, "Atheism is an evil philosophy because historically it was practiced by communist mass-murderers."

ARGUMENTUM AD IGNORANTIUM:

This fallacy occurs when something is assumed to be true simply because it hasn't been proven false. If atheists point out that no evidence of God has been presented, believers could very well just say, "Have you tried looking on Proxima Centauri b?"

ARGUMENTUM AD NUMERAM:

The fallacy of asserting that the more people who believe a proposition, the more likely that proposition is true. For example: "Millions of people know the Bible is true. Are you trying to say they are all mistaken fools?"

ARGUMENTUM AD VERECUNDIAM:

Or the Appeal to Authority, this fallacy relies on invoking household names to win support for an assertion. For example: "Albert Einstein was a genius, and not only did he believe in God, but he refused to believe God plays dice with the universe."

IGNORATIO ELENCHI:

Or, the fallacy of Irrelevant Conclusion, occurs when it is claimed that an argument supports a particular conclusion when in fact it does not. The classic example is citing assorted historical Judeo-Christian benefits to society as proof the Bible is true.

EQUIVOCATION:

This fallacy occurs when different meanings for a single word is used in an argument. For example, a law of nature (a regularity of succession) is equated to a law of God (a divine precept). Christians no longer observe Saturday as a day of rest per the law of God.

CONVERTING A CONDITIONAL:

A fallacy that makes the premise the same as the conclusion. A classic example: "Homosexuals must not be granted a clearance because they could be subject to blackmail threatening to reveal their homosexuality, resulting in the loss of their clearance."

POST HOC ERGO PROPTER HOC:

Also known as the fallacy of Non Causa Pro Causa, consists of the mis-identification of the cause of an event. For example: "I had a headache, so I took an aspirin and prayed to God, and God cured me of my headache!"

PRINCIPIO PRINCIPII:

Also known as Begging the Question. This fallacy assumes the conclusion as one of the premises of the argument. It commonly occurs when believers state that "Creation implies a Creator." First demonstrate that reality is a creation and not itself eternal.

SLIPPERY SLOPE ARGUMENT:

This is the claim that should one relatively harmless event occur, there will follow a chain of more harmful events. For example: "If we legalize marijuana, then we will have to legalize crack and heroin and soon our whole nation will be full of addicts."

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