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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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Wade Dessart

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Wade Dessart


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Thu, Sep 27, 2018 - 09:05 PM

Which fallacy is this?

Ina discussion group, someone claimed that the fact that humans have not been to the moon since the last time humans went to the moon was suggestion/proof that it probably had never happened? What fallacy is this? It's not quite false premise or false cause, but...anyway, any ideas?



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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 28, 2018 - 08:00 AM
In terms of "proof" this would simply be a non-sequitur.

In terms of "suggests" or "evidence", the fact that we went once and never been back could be more evidence for the fact that we never went then evidence for the fact that we did go. Basically, this comes down to the evaluation of evidence. I do believe that we have been to the moon and I don't question it to the point where I felt the need to research the topic (basically, I really don't care), but I were to investigate this issue specifically, I would look at humanity's other similar explorations to see if it is common that we go somewhere then never go back rather than stay there and continue to explore. Then, of course, look into the official reason(s) why we never went back (funding, risk, nothing more to learn, etc.) and perhaps interview experts on the issue to see if that makes sense.

Bottom line, to suggest since we never went back to the moon is "proof" or even "probably" means we never went is a non-sequitur. To suggest that this evidence on the side of us not going isn't unreasonable, but I couldn't say it is reasonable either without investigation or more information.
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