What are 9 logical discussion mistakes
If one wants to participate successfully in a discussion, it is necessary to recognize when the arguments of the opponents are not arguments but logical errors. You can find the most varied forms of arguments in any discussion on the net. I am introducing a few mistakes so that they can be recognized.
The basic type is called Non-sequitur (Does not follow). This is actually only intended to show that the conclusion does not follow from the premise.
"It's raining, so today is Monday"
All of the following examples are of course “non-sequitur” arguments, but it is the special characteristics that interest us.
The attack against the interlocutor.
"You are an atheist, therefore your statements about God are irrelevant"
Gladly also used in discussions about vaccinations and similar topics. “The pharmaceutical industry makes money, so it's bad. And everyone who works for them too. ”This variant is that "Bad Pharma" argument.
A well-known variant is the Reductio ad Hitlerum also known as Godwin’s Law. This means trying to discredit the opponent by portraying him as a Nazi.
"Atheism is evil, after all, Hitler was also an atheist"
Cardboard comrade (cardboard kite slayer)
First an assertion is made to the opponent and this is then destroyed.
“The theory of evolution tries to explain how life arose out of nothing. But that doesn't work. ”Of course, the theory of evolution is not concerned with the origin but with the development of life. Therefore the basic statement is wrong.
Argumentum ad verecundiam (argument of authority)
A supposed authority figure is quoted, thereby strengthening one's own statement.
“Quantum physics is wrong. After all, Einstein was also against quantum physics. "
People who are well-known but not particularly qualified are also particularly popular, e.g. a US moderator who believes there is a connection between vaccinations and autism in children.
It is dangerous to even attempt to use this procedure by arguing that Prof. XY published in Nature that Z applies. The argument shouldn't be Prof. XY, but the facts from the article.
Argumentum ad antiquitatem (historical argument)
We have always done that.
“Traditional Chinese Medicine is more than a thousand years old. So it has to work. "
Post-hoc ergo propter hoc (afterwards, so therefore)
The chronological sequence suggests that there is also a causal connection. For example in the stork-child problem.
“The number of storks is increasing in Brandenburg, and at the same time there are more children there. So the stork brings the children. "
Another example comes from the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. There it is a central dogma that the decrease in the number of pirates is the cause of global warming. After all, the number of pirates has been decreasing since the 17th century and at the same time it is getting warmer. So there is a connection.
This indicates a problem in distinguishing between causality and temporal correlation. There are 4 possible solutions.
1) From A follows B.
2) From B follows A.
3) A and B follow from an unknown C.
4) A and B are not related. It was just a coincidence.
Only 1), 2) and 3) offer causality.
Argumentum ad ignorantiam (ignorance argument)
The assumption that something is right because the opposite has not been proven.
"There are extraterrestrials because no one has yet proven their non-existence."
There is a variant Ignorance argument
"We don't know what the Loch Ness photo shows, so it has to be the monster."
This argument is very common in UFO discussions.
Argumentum ad numerum (majority argument)
The conviction that something is right just because many believe it.
Loosely based on Dieter Hildebrandt: "Eat more shit, millions of flies can't be wrong."
“Homeopathy works, after all, more and more people are using it. Including doctors. "
Argumentum ad misericordiam (pity argument)
Known from the Zensursula debate on Internet blocking of documented child abuse.
“Internet blocks are used to protect children from abuse. You have to support that. "
It is an attempt to replace arguments with emotions.
This blog post was inspired by (romanmd.wordpress.com.)
Steven Novella - How To Argue
Logical Fallacies and the Art of Debate
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