Logical Fallacies

It is important to know what logical fallacies are so that you can detect and combat them. I specifically share this information with parents involved in a battle with CPS because CPS, the attorneys, and all of your opponents rely on logical fallacies to railroad you. It's very helpful when you can identify these fallacies for what they are and call these individuals out for using them. Logical and formal fallacies are errors in reasoning, whether done by mistake or with intent to deceive. Highly manipulative people are notorious for using logical fallacies. However people in general may use some forms of logical fallacies without realizing it. In essence, formal and logical fallacies are forms of invalid argument. 

The following list contains logical and formal fallacies. Educating your self about the various types of logical fallacies can prepare you for conflict.

1. Ad Hominem Fallacy

These are personal attacks that are irrelevant to the matter; a very common logical fallacy used by people that take the focus off of the relevant subject to deflect onto you. Attacking on person’s view based on personal characteristics, background, physical characteristics, beliefs, and other features irrelevant. Known as “mudslinging” in politics.

2. Straw Man

The Straw Man logical fallacy is when one individual makes a claim and the other creates a distorted version of the claim (hence the "straw man") that may only be somewhat similar to the original claim but is a form of "putting words into someone's mouth." The entire argument becomes mischaracterized. 

3. Argumentum Ad Ignorantiam (Appeal to Ignorance)

Appealing to ignorance is a cheap shot. It is a very manipulative and unethical way to exploit an individual's ignorance to a topic.This fallacy occurs when the one using it states a conclusion must be true because there is no evidence against it knowing it is false.

4. False Dilemma/False Dichotomy

This is a "black and white" form of argument. By oversimplifying the options, such as deeming an individual either republic or democrat, the one using such tactics are acting shallow, especially when there are more than the limited options. 

5. Slippery Slope

The slippery slope fallacy works by moving from a seemingly benign starting point and advancing to improbable extremes. This fallacy assumes things are going to happen without any evidence that these things will happen.

6. Circular Argument (petitio principii)

This form of logical fallacy is when the argument is repetitive. The one using this tactic is not arriving at any new conclusion. It consists of restating assumptions, also referred to as Petitio principii, "assuming the initial (thing)." You can detect a circular argument when the conclusion is the same as one of the premises in the argument. 

7. Hasty Generalizations

Hasty generalizations consist of general statements that lack evidence to support them. They are general claims that are hastily made, consist of illicit assumption, stereo typing, overstatement, unwarranted conclusion, and/or exaggeration. 

8. Red Herring (ignoratio elenchi)

A “red herring” is a tactic that uses distraction from the argument and consists of sentiment that's slightly relevant but not on topic. It distracts from the essence of the argument. 

9. Tu Quoque Fallacy (“you too” hypocrisy attack diversion)

The Tu Quoque Fallacy appeals to hyporcrisy and distracts from the argument by shifting blame on the opponent. This is a diversion tactic. It takes any blame off oneself and places it on to the opponent. 

10. Causal Fallacy

The Causal Fallacy is a parent category to several different fallacies consisting of unproven causes. The "false cause" or "non causa pro causa ("not the cause for a cause) any logical breakdown when identifying a cause. You can think of the Causal Fallacy as a parent category for several different fallacies about unproven causes. One causal fallacy is the False Cause or non causa pro causa ("not the-cause for a cause") fallacy and this is when the individual concludes a cause without enough evidence to substantiate it.

 The Post Hoc fallacy is another causal fallacy. Post hoc is short for post hoc ergo propter hoc ("after this, therefore because of this"). This fallacy happens when you mistaken something for the cause just because it came first. The key words here are “Post” and “propter” meaning “after" and "because of." 

Another causal fallacy is the correlational fallacy. This is also known as cum hoc ergo propter hoc (Lat., “with this therefore because of this"). This fallacy happens when you interpret two things found together as being causally related. Two things may correlate without a causal relation, or they may have some third factor causing both of them to occur. Or perhaps both things just, coincidentally, happened together. Correlation doesn’t prove causation.

11. Fallacy of Sunk Costs

The fallacy of sunk costs typically refers to engaging in activities that you don't feel like doing because you've already paid for it but it can also refer to relationships, whether romantic or platonic. The investment of time or money in effect ties the person to doing what they would otherwise not do. 

12. Appeal to Authority (argumentum ad verecundiam)

The misuse of authority is Appeal to Authority. It can consist of citing authorities out of convenience without testing evidence, as if expert opinion is always correct. The use of appealing to authority can also consist of using poor or false authorities, and irrelevant authorities. Child Protective Services and their minions do this a lot.

The argumentum ad verecundiam (“argument from respect”) may be hard to spot because its normally a good responsible move to cite relevant authorities to support your claim. But if all you have are authorities, and everyone just has to “take their word for it” without any other evidence to show that those authorities are correct, then you have a problem. 

13. Equivocation (ambiguity)

Equivocation happens when a word, phrase, or sentence is used with the intent to confuse, deceive, or mislead by sounding like it’s saying one thing but actually saying something else. Equivocation comes from the roots “equal” and “voice” and refers to two-voices; a single word can “say” two different things. Another word for this is ambiguity.

The equivocation fallacy, however, has a tone of deception instead of just a simple misunderstanding. Often this deception shows up in the form of euphemisms, replacing unpleasant words with "nicer" terminology. For example, a euphemism might be replacing "lying" with the phrase "creative license," or replacing my "criminal background" with my "youthful indiscretions," or replacing "fired from my job" with "early retirement."

14. Appeal to Pity (argumentum ad misericordiam)

This logical fallacy is one of relevance. Emotional appeals and personal attacks are not relevant to whether something is true or false. This fallacy is a form of emotional manipulation. Feelings aren’t disciplined truth-detectors. So, as a general rule, emotions are not reliable alone to determine whether something is true or false. This fallacy is also very common in society today. 

15. Bandwagon Fallacy

Another very common fallacy in society is the bandwagon fallacy. It assumes something is true or "good" because other people agree with it. There are a few types of the bandwagon fallacy. The ad populum fallacy (Lat., “to the populous/popularity") is when something is accepted because it is popular opinion. The consensus gentium (Lat., “consensus of the people") is when an idea is accepted because the majority and popular authorities seem to agree on it. And the status appeal fallacy is when something is considered true, because it can improve status and success. This is a form of "selling out."