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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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Douglas Arndell

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Douglas Arndell


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About Douglas Arndell

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#fallacy
#help me
#whatfallacyisthis
fallacious
what fallacy
Fri, Sep 14, 2018 - 11:59 AM

Concept fallacy?

I encountered this argument about democracy and political correctness, and it went something like this:

P1: Democracy is based entirely on freedom of speech.
P2: Political Correctness suppresses freedom of speech.
C1: Therefore, Political Correctness has destroyed and replaced democracy!

I feel there is a logical fallacy in this argument, but I dunno which one.

An additional one I found is also this one, about the controversial Serena comic:

P1: Political comics on newspapers often exaggerate features, and it happens often.
P2: This comic that features racially charged characteristics on Serena is also exaggerated.
C1: Therefore, this racially charged comic is not racist, because it happens to everyone.



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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, Sep 14, 2018 - 05:00 PM
Generally speaking, you are dealing with non-sequiturs. Let's look at a VALID (truth of the premises guarantees the truth of the conclusion) version of this argument:

P1: A properly functioning democracy requires unsuppressed on freedom of speech.
P2: Political Correctness suppresses freedom of speech.
C1: Therefore, Political Correctness is a cause of a democracy that is not properly functioning.

Now let's look at this fallacious version:

P1: Democracy is based entirely on freedom of speech.
P2: Political Correctness suppresses freedom of speech.
C1: Therefore, Political Correctness has destroyed and replaced democracy!

The wording makes the conclusion incompatible with the premises, because there there is no connection between "based entirely," "suppresses," and "destroyed and replaced" so the conclusion simply does not follow. What I did in the valid version is massaged the language so not only does the conclusion follow, but the conclusion is guaranteed IF the premises are true. The other argument you posted was similar.
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