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"Terrible Twenty" Logical Fallacies

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Terms in this set (20)
Situation reduced to only two potential solutions or conclusions when more alternatives are possible.

Faulty logic: Excludes alternative conclusions

Fallacy example: "Either we must ban people that don't agree with us from having equal rights to marriage laws, or else all moral values in this country will collapse."
Conclusion made with inadequate evidence.

Faulty logic: This faulty inductive reasoning, coming in the form of "A and B are true, so all others must be true," mistakes overlap for inclusion.

Fallacy example: "Ducks and geese migrate south for the winter; therefore, all birds migrate south for the winter."
Faulty claim that a relatively small first event will cause or caused a chain of events that end with some significant effect.

Faulty logic: This faulty inductive reasoning, coming in the form of "A and B will lead to Z," is problematic because the conclusion (Z) does not follow directly from the analyzed elements (A and B).

Fallacy example: "He was in a car accident. You will get in a car accident if you accept a ride home from him."
(A.K.A. "post hoc ergo propter hoc") Analysis of a past situation that mistakes the situation's chronological order of events as cause-and-effect reasons for the situation's outcome.

Faulty logic: Conclusion is not a necessary deduction just because one event happened before another. "A happened and then B happened, so A must have caused B."

Fallacy example: "First, Professor G became my teacher. Then I got better at analyzing logical fallacies. My progress is because of Professor G."
(AKA "appeal to popularity") Conclusion is based on popularity instead of sound logic. This implies the pressure that everyone else believes it or does it, so you should also.

Faulty logic: Just because something is popular doesn't mean it's the best answer.

Fallacy example: "Smoking is a healthy and worthwhile pastime because millions of people do it."
Situation that unreasonably calls special consideration for one side's point-of-view, but not for the other's.

Faulty logic: Evidence judged by different standards; often, one side uses the double standard to deny the validity of inconvenient arguments.

Fallacy example: "The professional athlete should be granted a path to citizenship over a regular person because people want the athlete to be an American."
Argument that's invalid because the conclusion does not come from its premises.

Faulty logic: The conclusion could be either true or false, but the argument is faulty because there is a disconnection between the premises and the conclusion.

Fallacy example: "He lives in a large building, so his apartment must be large as well."