Fallacious reasoning

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I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.


Anne Frank, July 15, 1944

Fallacious reasoning (or spurious correlation if you're a sociology faggot) is present in almost all IRC 'debates'.

Typical logical fallacy

It is also widely used by Christians, Furries, Liberals, Minorities, White People and everyone else. It comes from Greek: reasoning = logos, fallacious = of or relating to phallus. Here are a few timeless examples to get you started:

  • Trees move when the wind blows, therefore trees must cause the wind.
  • People will get mad at one another and be stupid with or without their firearms, so removing their firearms will make no difference whatsoever to the rate at which people kill each other.
  • Many heroin users started with marijuana. If we get rid of marijuana, people will stop using heroin.
  • Joan Collins is famous, she's fucked a lot of people, she must be attractive/good in bed
  • McDonald's is everywhere, a lot of people eat there, it must be a good place to eat.

Commonly used fallacies

File:Obama cool story.jpg
A typical Nobel-shortlisted combo of appeal to emotion and appeal to authority, yesterday

Because the average internet-goer isn't a scholar in LOGIC AND REASON, logical fallacy is an every-day practice of most message boards and comments sections. Because of ho creatively stupid the human race is, not all logical fallacies that occur are listed here. Several common ones, however include:

  • Appeal to Authority - The source is a person of power, therefore the argument is right. Commonly used on the interwebs whenever a mod in any forum posts and attracts dozens of sheep to give him the yes-man treatment. The mod may, in the case of challenge, threaten the opposition with the banhammer ("I have power, you do not. What you say is irrelevant"). However, because mods are fags, we know that this technique is full of shit.
  • Appeal to Emotion - This fallacy attempts to use emotions rather than LOGIC AND REASON to persuade an argument. This is commonly used by liberals who whine about abortion and not letting a woman choose, being similar to "TEH TYRANCY OPRESSION" and feminists to post bullshit almost raped stories to try to mask the fact that they are batshit insane sexually frustrated psychopaths.
  • Ad hominem - The presenter of this fallacy attempts to distract from the actual point of the fallacy by attacking the speaker. A very common example of this occurs in deviantart where in response to being told that her art is as skillfully-made as an average middle-school male's fellatio, a lolcow responds "STFU TROLL!!1! >:(", disregarding the fact that her fingers in her artwork resemble tootsie rolls. Used either to dismiss the author's authority and turn cool story bro into a valid rebuttal or to distract from the fact that presenter is getting pwned by whatever humiliating group he is arguing against.
  • Red Herring - Occurs whenever a distraction is focused instead of the argument ("How can you say that furries are bad whenever people rape children in Africa?").
  • Special Pleading - This fallacy is different because... well, it just is. Used by Mary Sues on roleplay forums to justify why they deserve the power of whatever the local "hand of God" power is more than every other identical Sonic recolor.
  • Tu Quoque - NO U in argument form.
  • Argument from ignorance - Used by religionfags to justify why people aren't allowed to dismiss throwing money at alien demons or conformity in fear of an all-powerful zombie/ghost as a load of shit. The argument uses "we don't know" as a basis for "it could be this crazy pipe dream, and since you don't know it isn't, it could be". Pawned by pics or it didn't happen and [citation needed].
    • Ironically, some argue that this only applies to positive-grammar claims ("I lift 250 pounds faggot") and not negative claims ("Porn doesn't exist"). This is a load of shit as anyone with two brain cells and the ability to read this article can judge that anyone saying "porn doesn't exist" is full of cow cum since our strawman can't prove his bullshit in the face of contradiction. As well, it is possible to prove a negative claim, such as "Stalin did not kidnap and molest on my little sister". Stalin's dead (rest in peace); he can't ejaculate. It was Brian Peppers. Therefore, "you can't prove a negative" is a load of shit as a cop-out, and thus not even atheists are free from the terror of pics or it didn't happen.
  • Argument from common sense - Used by pseudo-intellectuals to justify their autistic rants as common sense, when in reality the only people that agree with them are part of their cirlejerk. Retards often use it to assume that society consists of like-minded sheep with an equal amount of ignorance. Commonly seen regarding any issue that can be opinionated by morons without any real knowledge ("If somebody loves somebody, then let them get married! It's not that complicated." "Everyone knows that fish don't have babies that walk into our schools and shove evil-lution down the throats of our children.") Almost the polar opposite of elitism, and just as gay.
  • Chronological snobbery - Most often used OL by atheists to dismiss the Bible on some claim such as "The Bible was written in the Stone Age." (The claim used is incorrect, but anyone seriously stupid enough to use this fallacy isn't well researched enough to know any better).

This doesn't mean that the Bible isn't a piece of horseshit written by the followers of an asshole troll in the Bronze Age 5000~ years ago.

  • Appeal to tradition - This holds that because something was, it should be. Used by Christfags to justify living their lives according to how people thousands of years ago did so, and by Nintentards to whine about why Mario is still relevant shit.
  • Judgmental language / Poisoning the well. - Often combined with name calling in order to do nothing but unintentionally make the poster look like a crybaby. Commonly used by NORP populations regarding sensitive and opinion-fueled issues, with phrases such as "racist bigot", "baby murderer", and, but not limited to "sexually oppressive conformist". It's basically when an opponent uses an ad hominem preemptively to taint the perception of onlooking normalfags.
  • Gambler's Fallacy - "The odds are not 100% against me, therefore I'm bound to encounter scenario X eventually." To many gullible morons, this fallacy is often used to set unrealistic expectations. Often used by:
    • Magic players spending hundreds of dollars to buy cardboard, hoping to pull from a booster pack that one rare and fleeting $35 piece of cardboard
    • Fat lonely men to justify their hopes in getting laid ("Some chicks in the world exist that like to bone fat men. I'm bound to find one eventually!")
    • Gamblers
  • Strawman - An argument is based off of a projection of the opponent, rather than what the opponent has actually revealed about his or her case. An example of this is "you're an atheist. how can I take anything you say seriously when you have no morals? how can you say you don't believe in god and yet you believe that fish turned into monkeys, then us?" No understanding of the opponent's argument often leads to a hefty amount of fail on the attack of the user.
  • Loaded question - This is commonly used by people who engage in flame wars not to actually learn and understand the opponents' sides and make the world a better place, but to stroke their own deluded ego in an attempt to feel superior by belittling their opponent's point through the use of direct manipulation of said point. Typically used in the abortion debate on both sides:
    • Why do you think it should be legal to kill babies?
    • Why do you believe that women shouldn't be allowed to make their own decisions?

As you can see, because neither side wants to do anything but simply wave their e-peens around in a desperate attempt to say "I'm right", nothing of value gets added to the discussion. Because fallacious reasoning is common, this is often the norm for internet discussions.

  • Hasty generalization - This results from a tldr understanding of source material being the basis of an argument. Anyone who has encountered anyone online is bound to run into this fallacy at some point, with such gems as "the bible features 8 lines about people being oppressed. Therefore, all christfags are racist!" and "this Call of Duty match has no screaming little kids. Multiplayer must be good!". Often related to the below fallacy.
  • Fallacy of composition - Part of the group is all of the group. This fallacy is common in execution, but not in recognition. Examples include "Some Christfags give to charity. Therefore Christfags are generous!" "Some furries don't yiff, therefore we're not sick animal fuckers!" "I know a few stoners who are cool. Stoners are cool." "I see one thread of win. /b/ is good!"
  • Association Fallacy - Similar to the above, this fallacy involves taking a trait or quality possessed by one group and assigning it to another group erroneously because of another trait or quality both groups do possess, as if one automatically implies the other. For example: "I have a cat. It has four legs and a tail. I go to the zoo and I see a hippopotamus. It also has four legs and a tail. Therefore, my cat is a hippopotamus." "My neighbor is a thieving asshole. He is also Jewish. Ergo, all Jews are thieving assholes." This is an incredibly popular fallacy, despite the fact that when examined in the cold light of day it does not stand up at all. Indeed, this fallacy is so popular, that it has spawned entire movements based around it. 'Nerds on television are depicted as friendless, awkward losers who nobody wants to be around. They are also highly intelligent. I am a friendless, awkward loser who nobody wants to be around, so I must be...' See where I'm going with this?
  • Slippery Slope - If I explain this fallacy, then my edits will be noticed. The edit will be so fucking funny that I'll be promoted to co-owner. Once that happens, I'll have access to all of the deleted content on here. Next thing you know, every picture on this site will be replaced with le lenny or some other reddit bullshit just to piss off the defensive "oldfags."

...That's how the Slippery Slope works. Am I co-owner of ED yet? No.
The Domino Theory, popularized by JFK stating that if the U.S. allowed even one country to become communist unapposed then in a few years the whole world will be communist and capitalism will be dead is the most well known slippery slope argument.

  • No true Scotsman - Whenever an entire group is spoken for as having some type of non-doctrine personal standard, this fallacy occurs when exclusion is imposed. This is largely used by furries to dismiss sections of their own community ("We're in it for the art, nothing more. Yiffers count as their own seperate group because normal furries don't yiff").
  • Circular logic - The premise leads to the conclusion, which leads to the premise. Plenty of examples on the main article for the fallacy.
  • Fallacy fallacy - This fallacy is often used by people who think that knowing Latin phrases copy/pasted from Wikipedo substitutes for intelligence. This fallacy reads that because a fallacy is involved, an argument is invalid. While formal fallacies can indeed undermine an argument, more information may be needed to be held against the argument in order to render it invalid. An example of this is found that because this article uses numerous instances of strawman, this article is wrong. However, because the strawman arguments here are used for demonstration and not for the central content of the fallacy list section, we can clearly see why this fallacy can fail hard, and why people who rely on it and expect to win flame wars are ironic morons (as well as hypocrites for using fallacy).

Sadly though, these fallacies are often relied upon by the population because people are who don't listen to reason. This is part of the reason why organized religion is popular, why organized atheism is starting to become popular, why fat pride exists, why furries are not outcasts of society and why the ACLU defends NAMBLA.

By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise.


The master himself

Take heed reader, for everyone is a dumbass, including you.

Common reactions to fallacious reasoning

See Also

Fallacious reasoning is part of a series on Language & Communication
Languages and DialectsGrammar, Punctuation, Spelling, Style, and UsageRhetorical StrategiesPoetryThe Politics of Language and CommunicationMediaVisual Rhetoric
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Fallacious reasoning is part of a series on Psychology
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AcrotomophiliaAddictionAgoraphobiaAlcoholismAlexis Pilkington SyndromeAlzheimer'sAnorexiaAntisocial personality disorderAnthropophobiaAnxietyADDADHDAsperger's SyndromeAutismBimboficationBipolarBorderline personality disorderBug ChasingBulimiaCognitive dissonanceDeep thinkerDepressionDick ImpalementDown's SyndromeDyslexiaEating disorderFactitious disorderFake SchizophreniaFauxlimiaFeminismGender dysphoriaGirl on the Internet SyndromeHeterophobiaHero ComplexHFAHistrionic Personality DisorderHutchence's SyndromeHyperbolimiaInadequacyInconsistent personality disorderInsanityLiberal Butthurt SyndromeLiberalismLow Self-esteem'Missing White Woman' SyndromeMultiple personality disorderNapoleon ComplexNarcissistic personality disorderNeurotypicalObsessive Compulsive DisorderParanoiaParanoid personality disorderPeter Pan SyndromePost-Traumatic Stress DisorderPsychopathyRetardationSchizophreniaSeasonal Affective DisorderSelf-diagnosisSelf InjurySexsomniaSickfuckerySociopathySocial anxiety disorderSpecial Snowflake SyndromeTrolling Induced Transsexuality SyndromeTulpaUnrealistic expectationsVictim complex


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See also:

American Psychiatric AssociationAngerASMRChild abuseConscienceDreamsDSMElan SchoolEnlightenmentIntelligenceLobotomyMary BellPsychiatristySerial KillersTake the meat bridgeThe Law of ConformityTrigger Warning