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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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Luca

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Luca


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#fallacy
#help me
#whatfallacyisthis
Sat, Sep 29, 2018 - 08:30 AM

Is "Ever Increasing" the same as "Infinite"?

After reading a certain piece of argumentation online I am currently picking a bone with the concept of infinity.

(Hidden premise)
Ever increasing is the same as infinite.

(Argument in its essence)
Atoms make up the universe.
The universe is expanding constantly.
Therefore the universe is made of infinite atoms (and by extension is infinite).

Wouldn't this call for Zeno's paradoxes, were the hidden premise true?


If the argument instead said "there is no spot in the universe where one more atom can't fit" would the universe be necessarily infinite? (And once again call for Achilles and the Turtle?)



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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 Sat, Sep 29, 2018 - 08:57 AM
This is a classic fallacy of division:

Atoms make up the universe.
The universe is expanding constantly.
Therefore the universe is made of infinite atoms (and by extension is infinite).


A is part of B.
B has property X.
Therefore, A has property X.

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Colin P

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Print Sun, Sep 30, 2018 - 10:44 AM
No, "Ever Increasing" is not the same as "Infinite". Conceptually "Ever Increasing" is a term applied to a series of finite things none of which are infinite (unless one is discussing orders of infinity which is not the case here). Also it appears that the argument is based in part on a misunderstanding of what is meant by a constantly expanding universe; as a counter-example one can imagine a constantly expanding universe containing only two atoms with a constantly increasing distance between them, and at any time neither the number of particles nor the distance between them is infinite.


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Luca
Saturday, September 29, 2018 - 01:32:26 PM
@Bo Bennett, PhD: Thank you very much.

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