TL;DR: Logic Bitch
As per the request of another user, here is a list of the most common informal logical fallacies. There are a lot and you would be surprised to see how often these happen in day to day life. We like to think of ourselves as rational beings, and to some extent we are, but for the most part we really are not. Thankfully though, men much wiser and smarter than any of us here have realized this throughout the history of civilization and dedicated parts of their lives to bringing this knowledge to light in pursuit of truth. Everybody, that includes men AND women should both understand these fallacies and how to recognize them. The media, politicians, lawyers and other people in positions of power usually have a good sufficient enough understanding of these fallacies to the point that they are able to exploit the fact that the general population don't know them and that most of us are too lazy and stupid to educate ourselves in our free time as well as break free from groupthink. There are two types of fallacies, formal and informal, but unless you are using logic and writing down premises and conclusions there isn't as much a need for you to understand those as there is to understand the informal ones. Still, I highly suggest understanding formal fallacies as well mainly because formal fallacies are found by examining the structure of the argument. Informal fallacies are found by examining the content of the argument. With that being said, buckle up because this is a long post. Here is a list of informal fallacies.
P.S. I can understand if this post is removed as it is justifiable that it is off topic but it's about time I offered something of value back to this community for helping me along in my journey through life. Depending on how this post goes I would be more than happy to write a part two.
Fallacies of Relevance
Fallacies of relevance share the common characteristic that the arguments in which they occur have premises that are logically irrelevant to the conclusion. Yet the premises may appear to be psychologically relevant, so the conclusion may seem to follow from the premises even though it doesn't logically.
Appeal to Force (Argumentum ad Baculum)
This fallacy occurs whenever an arguer presents a conclusion to another person and tells that person either implicitly or explicitly that some harm will come to him or her if he or she does not accept the conclusion. This fallacy always involves a threat of some sort whether it be physical or psychological. Obviously, the threat is irrelevant to the subject matter of the conclusion, so any argument based on such a procedure is fallacious. Children like to use these the most but adults use them as well
Child to playmate: Sesame Street is the best show in TV; and if you don't believe it, I'm going to call my big brother over here and he is going to beat you up.
Lobbyist to Senator: Senator Casey, of course you support our bill to reduce inheritance taxes. After all, you wouldn't want the press to find out about all the contributions you receive from the Ku Klux Klan.
Next we have,
Appeal to Pity ( Argumentum ad Misericordiam)
This fallacy occurs when the arguer attempts to support a conclusion by merely evoking pity from the reader or listener. The pity may be directed toward the arguer or toward some third party
Taxpayer to judge: Your Honor, I admit that I declared thirteen children as dependents on my tax return, even though I have only two. But if you find me guilty of tax evasion, my reputation will be ruined. I'll probably lose my job, my poor wife will not be able to have the operation that she desperately needs, and my kids will starve. Surely I am not guilty.
The conclusion "surely I am not guilty" is obviously not logically relevant to the arguer's set of pathetic circumstances, although it is psychologically relevant.
Appeal to the People (Direct Approach) (Argumentum ad Populum)
This one is extremely common and very hard to avoid committing it ourselves. As social animals it's in our nature to look to our community for how to act, I understand that but just because everybody else is doing it does not mean it is logically correct. Nearly everyone wants to be loved, esteemed, admired, valued, recognized, and accepted by others. This fallacy uses these desires to get the listener to accept a conclusion. This fallacy involves a both a direct and indirect approach.
The direct approach occurs when an arguer, addressing a large group of people, excites the emotions and enthusiasm of the crowd to win acceptance for his or her conclusion. Sound familiar? The objective is to arouse a kind of mob mentality. This is most commonly used in politics and Hitler was an absolute master at this. Most politicians and speech writers replicate it today to some success. Flags and music add to the overall effect. Because the individuals in the audience want to share in the camaraderie, the euphoria, and the excitement, they find themselves accepting a variety of conclusions with increasing passion and excitement
Also known as fear mongering, appealing to negative emotions can also inspire a mob mentality. This is also a direct approach and occurs when an arguer trumps up a fear of something in the mind of the crowd and then uses that fear as a premise for some conclusion. Now, some fear is fully supported by solid evidence, such as the fear of getting mugged in a dark alley when several muggings have occurred there recently. In the appeal to fear fallacy, the fear is not supported by any solid evidence, and it usually rests on nothing more than irrational suspicion created by repeating a message or rumor over and over again. Think Alex Jones.
Practically any social or political change is ground for appeals to fear. When Darwin's theory of evolution began to be taught in schools, William Jennings Bryan argued that it would increase the number of wars, undermine morality, convert love into hate, and destroy civilization. (I think the rejection of TRP on a wide scale is partly due to this fallacy but that's just my own theory.)
Now, in the indirect approach of appeal to people, the arguer aims his or her appeal not at the crowd as a whole but at one or more individuals separately, focusing on some aspect of those individuals' relationship to the crowd. The indirect approach includes such specific forms as the bandwagon argument, the appeal to vanity, the appeal to snobbery, and the appeal to tradition.
This fallacy has this general structure and is fairly simple. Most of you will recognize this immediately. "Everybody believes such-and-such so you should believe it as well"
Everyone nowadays is on a low-carb diet. Therefore, you should go on a low-carb diet, too.
Practically everybody believes in life after death. Therefore, you should believe in life after death, too.
The idea behind this is that if you want to fit in and not stick out then you should go on the low-carb diet or believe in life after death. But of course the mere fact that a large group of people happen to be doing something or believe in something is not, by itself, a logical reason why you ought to do it as well.
This fallacy often involves linking the love, admiration, or approval of the crowd with some famous figure who is loved, admired, or approved of. This version of the fallacy is often used by advertisers, parents, and people in general. ( Basically all the bitches fall for this shit.)
Of course you want to look as fresh and beautiful as Kylie Jenner. That means you will want to use and buy whatever the fuck Kylie is using.
Michaell B. Jordan wears an Omega watch. Thus, if you want to be like him, you will buy and wear an Omega watch, too.
Advertisers have caught on to the fact that people have caught onto their tactics so instead of saying it directly they will just put whoever is famous at the time in their adverts.
The idea behind this fallacy is that if you succeed in becoming like Kylie or Michael then you will win the love and approval of the crowd. Why do you think women fall for this one? Because they get off to attention, love, and admiration from the crowd. They want their "friends" to envy them and know that they are higher than them in whatever hierarchy they are competing in.
In this fallacy the crowd that the arguer is appealing to is a smaller group that is supposed to be superior in some way-more wealthy, more powerful, more culturally refined, more intelligent, and so on. As the argument goes, if the listener wants to be part of this group, then her or she will do a certain thing, think a certain way, or buy a certain product. Again, Advertisers use this A LOT. I notice a lot of car commercials use this one.
The Lexus 400 series is not for everyone. Only those with considerable means and accomplishments will acquire one. To show the world that you are among the select few, you will want to purchase and drive one of these distinguished cars.
Pay attention to the next commercials you see. None of this is ever said really but it is heavily implied. Even if a group of snobs think or feel something, this is not a logical reason for why you should act in conformity.
This fallacy occurs when the arguer cites the fact that something has become a tradition as grounds for some conclusion. ( i.e that's the way we've always done it). The claim that something is tradition is basically synonymous with the claim that a lot of people have done it that way for a long time.
Traditionally, professional sporting events have been preceded by the national anthem. Therefore, professional sporting events should continue to be preceded by the national anthem.
Serving turkey on Thanksgiving Day is a long-standing tradition. Therefore, we should serve turkey next Thanksgiving Day
The mere fact that something has been done a certain way for a long time does not by itself justify its being repeated in the future. Yet, there are some appeals to tradition that have conclusions that are true for other reasons, and this may trick the reader or listener into thinking that the argument is a good one.
Traditionally, guests have worn elegant clothing to Mrs. Channing's annual cocktail party. Therefore, it would not be a good idea for you to go naked to her party this year.
This argument is just as fallacious as the previous two. The conclusion is clearly true, but the reason as to why it is true is not because of any tradition but because the purpose of a cocktail party is to foster a feeling on conviviality among the guests. One of the guests showing up naked would threaten to destroy this purpose to the detriment of the host and all the other guests. This applies to all other forms of the Appeal To the People as well. If such arguments have true conclusions, they are true for reasons other than the fact that the crowd believes or feels something. Both the direct and indirect Appeal to the People fallacy have the same basic structure.
You want to be accepted /included in the group/loved/esteemed.......Therefore, you should accept X,Y,Z as true.
Argument Against the Person
Ill be using the latin term for this fallacy (Argumentum ad Hominem) when referring to it just because it's easier to write and my hands are getting tired.
This fallacy always involves two people. Without two people this fallacy cannot occur. This fallacy occurs when on person advances a certain argument , and then the other then responds by directing his or her attention not to the first persons' argument but to the the first person himself. This fallacy occurs in the forms, the ad hominem abusive, the ad hominem circumstantial, and the the tu quoque.
In this fallacy the second person responds to the first person's argument by verbally abusing the first person
Television entertainer Bill Maher argues that religion is just a lot of foolish nonsense. But Maher is an arrogant, shameless, self-righteous pig. Obviously his arguments are not worth listening to.
The author of this argument ignores the substance of Maher's agument and instead attacks Maher himself. However, because Maher's personal attributes are irrelevant to whether the premises of his religion argument support the argument, attacking him is fallacious.
Not all cases of Ad Hominem Abusive are this blunt , but they are equally fallacious
Dr. Phil argues that mutual self-esteem is essential to a good marriage. But, Dr. Phil is not terribly well educated, and he never attended an Ivy League college. Thus, his arguments are worthless.
A very common form of Ad Hominem Abusive occurs when the responding arguer's retort is to suggest that the opposing arguer consider going somewhere else-such as out of the country, switching to a different religion or political party, or doing something ridiculous.
Billionaire investor Warren Buffet argues that wealthy people should be required to pay more taxes. I would remind Mr. Buffet that he is free to send a check to the Department of the Treasury any time he likes.
The aim of this particular form of Ad Hominem Abusive is to show that Mr. Buffet is insincere in his argument. This is a fallacious argument because instead of replying to Mr. Buffet's argument, the secdond arguer directs his attention to Mr. Buffet himself.
This fallacy begins the same way as the Ad Hominem Abusive, but instead of heaping verbal abuse on their opponent, the respondent attempts to discredit the opponent's argument by alluding to certain circumstances that affect the opponent. By doing so the respondent hopes to show that the opponent is predisposed to argue the way he or she does and should therefore not be taken seriously.
The Dalai Lama argues that China has no business in Tibet and that the West should do something about it. But the Dalai Lama just wants the Chinese to leave so he can return as leader. Naturally he argues this way. Therefore, we should reject his arguments
The author of this argument ignores the substance of the Dalai Lama's argument and attempts to discredit it by calling attention to certain circumstances that affect the Dalai Lama-namely, that he wants to return to Tibet as its leader. But the fact that the Dalai Lama happens to be affected by these circumstances is irrelevant to whether his premises support a conclusion. The Ad Hominem Circumstantial is easy to recognize because it always takes this form. " Of course Mr. X argues this way; just look at the circumstances that affect him."
Again this fallacy begins the same way as the other two varieties of the Ad Hominem argument, except that the second arguer tries to make the first appear to be hypocritical or arguing in bad faith. The second arguer usually accomplishes this by citing features in the life or behavior of the first arguer that conflicts with the latter's conclusion. The fallacy often takes the form " How dare you argue that I should stop doing X; why, you do (or have done) X yourself.
Kim Kardashain argues that women should not have children out of wedlock. But who is she to talk? She gave birth to her daughter North without being married. Clearly Kardashian's argument is not worth listening to.
Again, the fact that Kim Kardashian gave birth to a daughter out of wedlock is irrelevant to whether her premises support her conclusion. Thus, the argument is fallacious.
The accident fallacy is committed when a general rule is applied to a specific case it was not intended to cover. Typically, the general rule is cited (either directly or implicitly) in the premises and then wrongly applied to the specific case mentioned in the conclusion.
Freedom of speech is a constitutionally guaranteed right, Therefore, John Q. Radical should not be arrested for his speech that incited a riot last week
( If anybody is aware of free speech laws and what it covers this should be very easy to understand where this is fallacious)
Zoe promised to meet Ethan for coffee, but while she was walking to the local Starbucks, a pedestrian collapsed on the sidewalk right in front of her and she stopped to administer CPR. Since people are obligated to keep their promises it was wrong for Zoe to miss her appointment with Ethan
In the first example, the general rule is that freedom of speech is normally guaranteed, and the specific case is the speech made by John Q. Radical. Because the speech incited a riot, the rule does not apply. In the second example, the general rule is that people are obligated to keep their promises, and the specific case is the promise that Zoe made to Ethan. The rule does not apply because saving a human life is more important than keeping a coffee appointment.
Straw Man Fallacy
This fallacy is committed when an arguer distorts an opponent's argument for the purpose of more easily attacking it, demolishes the distorted argument, and then concludes that the opponent's real argument has been demolished. By so doing, the arguer is said to have set up a straw man and knocked it down, only to conclude that the ream "man" (opposing argument) has been knocked down as well.
Mr. Goldberg has argued against prayer in the public schools. Obviously Mr. Goldberg advocates atheism. But atheism is what they used to have in Russia. Atheism leads to the suppression of all religions and the replacement of God by an omnipotent state. Is that what we want for this country? I hardly think s. Clearly Mr. Goldberg's argument is nonsense.
In the argument, Mr. Goldberg who is the first arguer, had presented an argument against prayer in the public schools. The second arguer then attacks Goldberg's argument by equating it with an argument for atheism. He then attacks atheism and concludes that Goldberg's argument is nonsense. Since Goldberg's argument had nothing to do with atheism, the second argument commits the straw man fallacy.
As this example illustrates, the kind of distortion the second arguer resorts to is often an attempt to exaggerate the first person's argument or make it look more extreme than it really is.
The garment workers have signed a petition arguing for better ventilation on the work premises. Unfortunately, air-conditioning is expensive. Air ducts would have to be run throughout the factory, and a massive heat exchange unit installed on the roof. Also, the cost of operating such a system during the summer would be astronomical. In view of these considerations the petition must be rejected.
The student status committee has presented us with an argument favoring alcohol privileges on campus. What do the students want? Is it their intention to stay boozed up from the day they enter as freshman until the day they graduate? Do they expect us to open a bar for them? Or maybe a chain of bars all over campus? Such a proposal is ridiculous!
In the first argument, the petition is merely for better ventilation in the factory--maybe a fan in the window during summer. The arguer exaggerates this request to mean an elaborate air-conditioning system installed throughout the building. He then points out that this is too expensive and concludes by rejecting the petition. A similar strategy is used in the second argument. The arguer distorts the request for alcohol privileges to mean a chain of bars all over campus. Such an idea is so patently outlandish that no further argument is necessary.
Missing the Point Fallacy ( Ignoratio Elenchi)
All fallacies we have discussed thus far have been instances of cases where the premises of an argument are irrelevant to the conclusion. Ignoratio Elenchi illustrates a special from of irrelevance. This fallacy occurs when the premises of an argument support on particular conclusion, but then a different conclusion, often vaguely related to the correct conclusion, is drawn. Whenever one suspects that such a fallacy is being committed, he or she should be able to identify the correct conclusion, the conclusion that the premises logically imply. This conclusion must be significantly different from the conclusion that is actually drawn.
Crimes of theft and robbery have been increasing at an alarming rate lately. The conclusion is obvious: We must reinstate the death penalty immediately
Abuse of the welfare system is rampant nowadays. Our only alternative is to abolish the system altogether.
At least two correct conclusions are implied by the premise of the first argument: either " We should provide increased police attention in vulnerable neighborhoods" or "We should initiate programs to eliminate the causes of the crimes." Reinstating the death penalty is not a logical conclusion at all. Among other things, theft and robbery are not capital crimes. In the second argument the premises logically suggest some systematic effort to eliminate the cheaters rather than eliminating the system altogether.
Ignoratio Elenchi means "ignorance of the proof". The arguer is ignorant of the logical implications of his or her own premises and, as a result, draws a conclusion that misses the point entirely. The fallacy has a distinct structure all its own, but in some ways it serves as a catchall for arguments that are not clear instances of on or more of the other fallacies. An argument should not be identified as a case of missing the point, however, if one of the other fallacies fits.
So there you have it. Informal fallacies of relevance. Hopefully this helps some people with their though processes. Also, if you're like me and you like to be an asshole while seeing people rage deep down inside when you catch them on their bullshit, you'll enjoy learning these and applying them in arguments. Most people do not know these or have the slightest hint as to what they. However, when you meet somebody that is aware of all of these and you two proceed to have an argument or maybe just a discussion, in my experience I have found that the discussion is usually very productive and insightful. In all seriousness however, knowing these fallacies can better help you navigate through the shit-storm of MSM, politicians, crazy women and other things that may cause you confusion. These are time proven concepts that work and hopefully you will learn them and apply them where you see them.