Logical Fallacies

8/14/2017
In this example, we see Senator Burr of North Carolina using both an appeal to emotion fallacy and arguing from ignorance. He is trying to use waiting lists to scare people in regards to single-payer health care and uses false information to do so. The Canadian doctor provides facts and evidence to dispel his claims.




Social Good Now's excellent video on logical fallacies.  It explains three logical fallacies: strawman, outlier or anecdotal evidence, and an ad hominem attack.  The only thing that I would add is that pointing out that someone is arguing from ignorance is not an ad hominem attack because a lack of knowledge and expertise is relevant. 

Why study logical fallacies?

Stephan Colbert's Slippery Slope example
In the video, Stephen Colbert provides examples of slippery slope arguments from politician Steve King who claims that people will now be able to marry a lawnmower because of the Supreme Court's ruling on same sex marriage.  The argument is absurd because only two consenting adults can get married.  Usually, a slippery slope argument needs a chain of events; however, politicians often turn it into a slippery cliff and don't even bother to provide a chain of events.  

Logical Fallacy Straw Man Argument from Texas Agricultural Commissioner Sid Miller
In the linked article, Texas Agricultural Commissioner Sid Miller says, 'Michelle Obama and liberal do gooder friends don't like this, but they just don't understand. This isn't about French Fries – its about Freedom. I believe we need fewer state and federal mandates and more local control.' 
The strawman fallacy occurs when he says that this isn't about French fries, it's about Freedom.    He takes the debate about nutrition, health, and  obesity,  and turns it into an argument about freedom.

The quote was a direct copy and paste, so the errors are not mine.    

Logical Fallacy Slides


Strawman Fallacy from Thank You For Smoking


Article explains the problem of a false cause fallacy
You Can’t Trust What You Read About Nutrition
We found a link between cabbage and innie bellybuttons, but that doesn’t mean it’s real.

Cherry Picking
Donald Trump may have won more counties, but he didn't win more actual votes.  He lost the popular vote.  Cherry-picking counties is an attempt to misrepresent his electoral college victory has a popular victory when it wasn't.  The image on the right includes the population densities of the counties.  Notice that none of those towers is red.

Learn about Logical Fallacies 

Appeal to Emotion
Claims that terrorist attacks are a problem in America are an appeal to emotion because toddlers killed more Americans in 2015.
http://www.snopes.com/toddlers-killed-americans-terrorists/

How to get people to overcome their bias. 
How do you persuade somebody of the facts? Asking them to be fair, impartial and unbiased is not enough. To explain why, psychologist Tom Stafford analyses a classic scientific study.

Cherry Picking
In this example, 300 "scientists" cherry-picked for their political views on climate change rather than their expertise. 
 Just who are these 300 'scientists' telling Trump to burn the climate?

Special Pleading
Now comes another yet another attack on a time-honored state institution — the Department of Public Instruction. State Rep. Joe Sanfelippo, another of silk-stocking suburban Milwaukee's gifts to the war against all things Wisconsin, thinks that a secretary of education appointed by the governor would be more accountable to the public than a state superintendent of public instruction elected by the people — as has been the case for decades. He had the audacity to say that the state's students should not be "held hostage" for four years based on a "popularity contest." Sorry, Joe, it's not a "popularity contest." It's called "democracy."
http://host.madison.com/ct/news/opinion/column/dave_zweifel/plain-talk-another-priceless-idea-from-wisconsin-republicans/article_497ac519-0b6a-55a3-b1c9-cac5f6b4e05b.html

No True Scottsman

Rupert Murdoch provided an example of a No True Scottsman fallacy when he tweeted that Ben Carson would be a 'real black president'.

Was he saying Obama wasn't really black — or wasn't really president?
washingtonpost.com

Burden of Proof

Witness Says Clash Over Witchcraft Preceded Fatal Beating at Church

By JESSE McKINLEY, BENJAMIN MUELLER and RICK ROJASOCT. 16, 2015

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/17/nyregion/word-of-life-fatal-beating-new-hartford-police-lucas-leonard.html


Cherry Picking

Coursera Cherry Picks data to inflate results. Coursera sent me the following email, which make the following claim:

A first-of-its-kind study published by the Harvard Business Review found that, of Coursera learners pursuing academic or career objectives who completed a course, almost 90% say Coursera helped them succeed. Set your own big goal today, and join a Specialization to get started.

The problem is the phrase, "...who completed a course." The problem is that Coursera's completion rates are under 10%. Coursera cherry picks only those few people who have actually completed a course so it can proclaim the 90% number.

Appeal to Emotion
at 5 minutes and 15 seconds

In this TedX video with Daphne Koller, she uses a sick child instead of facts and evidence to promote MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses).

Strawman Fallacy

Apple CEO and modestly-sized slice of multigrain toast Tim Cook went on 60 Minutes last night. His appearance lacked big, buzzy announcements, but Cook received a strong reaction from Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who claims Apple will soon be a go-to company for child pornographers if it doesn’t change its encryption.

Everybody Calm Down About Breastfeeding
By

The article uses facts and evidence to debunk many of the myths surrounding breastfeeding. 
http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/everybody-calm-down-about-breastfeeding/?ex_cid=538fb


Hasty Generalization





The Fallacy Project


Ad Hominem Fallacy


Logical Fallacy: No True Scottsman


Logical Fallacy: Appeal to Authority


Logical Fallacy: Strawman


Logical Fallacy: Ad hominem attack


Logical Fallacy: False Cause


Logical Fallacy: Burden of Proof


Logical Fallacy: Appeal to Emotion


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