Refers to the (sometimes unintentional) setting up of a cause-and-effect relationship when none exists. In faulty causality, one event can happen after another without the first necessarily being the direct cause of the second.
Example: Violent crime among adolescents has risen in the past decade, and that is the result of increased sales of violent video games.
As is the case with all examples of faulty causality, there is no proof for the video game argument, and it is possible to think of a dozen other convincing reasons for the rise of violent crime -- a trend that we just made up.
Straw Man Argument
Consists of an oversimplification of an opponent's argument to make easier to attack.
Example: Students who want to eliminate the school uniform are exhibitionists who want to show off bare midriffs.
Commonly used tactic attempts to appeal to the hearts of readers (or, of course, listeners) so that they forget to use their minds.
Example: "The assignment that I gave you last night was much too long, but just think how pleased your parents and I will be when you score a 5 on the AP exam. Think about the pride you'll feel when tears of joy stream down your faces!"
Attempts to shift attention away from an important issue by introducing an issue that has no logical connection to the discussion at hand.
Example: "My opponent talks about the poor quality of military intelligence, but this is a time for decisiveness, not for weakness. We must stick together and present a common front as the other nations look on. If we do not, we could jeopardize our position as a global leader."
Used to frighten readers or listeners into agreeing with the speaker; often, when scare tactics are used, the speaker has no logical argument on which to fall back
Example: "My opponent talks about the need to explore stem cell research, but this would bring about an end to ethical uses of technology, and, before long, scientists will be creating superraces -- the Nazi dream of an Aryan Nation will ensue!"
Encourages the listener to agree with a position because everyone else does
Example: It's time for our county to repeal the ban on strip mining -- every other county in the state has already done so!
Does not allow for discussion because the speaker presumes that his or her beliefs are beyond question; essentially, the "logic" runs thusly: I'm correct because I'm correct.
Example: We are members of the Wombat Party and, as such, know that we are right when we assert that Wombats are the best
Telling part of the truth, while deliberately hiding the entire truth; typically, this is similar to lying by omission.
Example: There is a Pink Panther movie in which Inspector Clouseau enters a quaint European hotel and, upon spying a cute little dog, asks the owner, "Does your dog bite?" The manager responds, "No," and Clouseau attempts to the dog, which growls and bites him. "You told me that your dog does not bite!" exclaims Clouseau. "That's not my dog," responds the owner.
An illogical, misleading comparison between two things.
Example: Why should we invade that country? Let me explain it to you like this. What if you looked out the window and saw a 20-dollar bill in the street? Wouldn't you go outside and take it?