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Welcome! This is the place to ask the community of experts and other fallacyophites (I made up that word) if someone has a committed a fallacy or not. This is a great way to settle a dispute! This is also the home of the "Mastering Logical Fallacies" student support.


Dr. Bo's Criteria for Logical Fallacies:

  1. It must be an error in reasoning not a factual error.
  2. It must be commonly applied to an argument either in the form of the argument or in the interpretation of the argument.
  3. It must be deceptive in that it often fools the average adult.

Therefore, we will define a logical fallacy as a concept within argumentation that commonly leads to an error in reasoning due to the deceptive nature of its presentation. Logical fallacies can comprise fallacious arguments that contain one or more non-factual errors in their form or deceptive arguments that often lead to fallacious reasoning in their evaluation.

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Tristan

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Tristan


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Fri, Nov 09, 2018 - 12:39 PM

Is there a name for this error?

Here's the relevant quote:

"It's a common belief amongst "spiritual" people that you see white feathers as a message from angels when somebody dies. I wasn't always a super strong believer in all this, but one of my good friends was shot & killed in the Florida school shooting. That morning, around the same time the shooting happened but before I knew about it, I saw a whole bunch of white feathers right on my driveway lying in blood from probably another bird that was attacked. It was the weirdest thing and so out of place, but I got the strangest feeling that something wasn't right, before I even knew of what white feathers symbolized to some people."



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Michael Chase Walker
Screenwriter, producer, mythoclast

Seasoned Vet

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Michael Chase Walker

Screenwriter, producer, mythoclast

Seasoned Vet

About Michael Chase Walker

Michael Chase Walker is an actor, author, screenwriter, producer, and a former adjunct lecturer for the College of Santa Fe Moving Images Department, and Dreamworks Animation. His first motion picture was the animated classic, The Last Unicorn.
Michael was an in-house television writer for the hit television series: He-Man, She-Ra, Voltron, and V, the Series. In 1985, he was appointed Director of Children's programs for CBS Entertainment where he conceived, shaped and supervised the entire 1985 Saturday Morning line-up: Wildfire, Pee Wee's Playhouse, Galaxy High School, Teen Wolf, and over 10
Print Fri, Nov 09, 2018 - 01:38 PM
This is more of a cognitive bias or example of Hyper Active Agency Detection. As Dr. Daniel Dennett explains: ( As does Matt McCormack, Peter Boghossian, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Richard Carrier, Jordan Peterson, Michael Shermer and many other neuroscientists, evolutionary psychologists, and philosophers -'it is a by-product of more primitive cognitive mechanisms adapted for other purposes."


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Bo Bennett, PhD
Author of Logically Fallacious

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Bo Bennett, PhD

Author of Logically Fallacious

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About Bo Bennett, PhD

Bo's personal motto is "Expose an irrational belief, keep a person rational for a day. Expose irrational thinking, keep a person rational for a lifetime."  Much of his charitable work is in the area of education—not teaching people what to think, but how to think.  His projects include his book, The Concept: A Critical and Honest Look at God and Religion, and Logically Fallacious, the most comprehensive collection of logical fallacies.  Bo's personal blog is called Relationship With Reason, where he writes about several topics related to critical thinking.  His secular (humanistic) philosophy is detailed at PositiveHumanism.com.
Bo is currently the producer and host of The Humanist Hour, the official broadcast of the American Humanist Association, where he can be heard weekly discussing a variety of humanistic issued, mostly related to science, psychology, philosophy, and critical thinking.

Full bio can be found at http://www.bobennett.com
Print Fri, Nov 09, 2018 - 02:38 PM
Lots going on here. Poor statistical thinking (terrible things happen daily in the world, birds die all the time, etc.), confirmation bias (ignored all the time he saw feathers and bad things didn't happen), post-hoc rationalization (connecting the feathers to deal people after the fact), and common superstition, just to name a few.
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