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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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Hannah Creed

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Hannah Creed


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Tue, Nov 20, 2018 - 11:02 AM

Is this a fallacy? What kind?

My friend doesn’t want to check his test scores because he claims that he is apathetic towards them and that ‘an unaimed arrow never misses”. Isn’t it also true that an unaimed arrow always misses?



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Abdulazeez Alabbasi

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Abdulazeez Alabbasi


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Print Tue, Nov 20, 2018 - 12:10 PM
No fallacy, but it could be the ostrich effect cognitive bias: https://youtu.be/BGbk5099z3o


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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 Tue, Nov 20, 2018 - 11:23 AM
This might be a horrible life philosophy (IMO), I don't think this is fallacious. It is true that if you have no goal, you cannot fail at the goal. I wouldn't say that this also means they always fail, but I would say that they never succeed at the goal.
Bo Bennett, PhD
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Michael Chase Walker
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Michael Chase Walker

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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 Tue, Nov 20, 2018 - 12:47 PM
Let's examine the first claim:

‘an unaimed arrow never misses”. of course, this is more of a riddle than a logical fallacy. It actually sounds more like a zen buddhist flash card akin to
"What is the sound of one hand clapping? It's an appeal to mystery (woo) and not designed to have a logical answer because it is not a logical claim in the first place. Now it could be that the claimant intends it as a criticism like Thomas Gray's Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College, "Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise." In other words, it's easy to imagine you're a success if you never try. Which, indeed, has a certain psychological/moral weight to it.

To aim something requires positioning or directing a discharged projectile to hit a target or travel along a specific path. Therefore the non act of not aiming could be construed as either doing nothing or firing randomly. If you don't aim or fire at a target, it is virtually impossible or, at least high unlikely you will hit any target. Since there is no target to aim at the claim contradicts itself.

Likewise the response "Isn’t it also true that an unaimed arrow always misses?' is actually just as false because it asks, isn't it also true? No, neither claim is true. Also, and arguably, there are instances in physics, such as The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in CERN, where random firings do indeed hit their target.

FYI, Daniel Dennett offers a very funny lecture on similar types of distractions and deceptions of theological "spin doctors". Or you might also remember the character of The Sphinx in Mystery Men with his own pithy pseudo aphorisms:

"He who questions training only trains himself at asking questions."


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