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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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Geoff zinkan

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Geoff zinkan


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About Geoff zinkan

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Thu, Nov 29, 2018 - 11:18 AM

gun control/mass shootings

Is there a fallacy in this. “There were no mass shootings when gun control was next to nonexistent. Now that there is gun control mass shooting happen all the time. Therefore gun control causes mass shootings”



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Abdulazeez Alabbasi

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Abdulazeez Alabbasi


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Print Thu, Nov 29, 2018 - 11:28 AM
There could be a false cause (also known as questionable cause, confusing correlation and causation) fallacy there, since the correlation between gun control and mass shootings is asserted as a causation. If the arguer goes on to logically justify or provide evidence for the causal link between gun control and mass shootings, his argument won't be fallacious anymore.
The Questionable Cause Fallacy: https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/148/Questionable-Cause


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Michael Chase Walker
Screenwriter, producer, mythoclast

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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 Thu, Nov 29, 2018 - 11:57 AM
Good one, Geoff, One of my favorite fallacies:

Post Hoc ergo propter hoc

The Latin phrase “post hoc ergo propter hoc” means, literally, “after this therefore because of this.” The post hoc fallacy is committed when it is assumed that because one thing occurred after another, it must have occurred as a result of it. Mere temporal succession, however, does not entail causal succession.


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Geoff zinkan
Thursday, November 29, 2018 - 12:03:31 PM
@Abdulazeez Alabbasi: his reasoning was that the places that they happened are “gun prohibited” zones. I wouldn’t say that’s a “cause” of mass shootings since causes could be anything ie the shooter hates their life, relationship problems, religion, etc... Not to mention places like schools, churches, concerts, clubs, are traditionally not places where people have ever been armed. So in essence, the argument could go other way by saying lack of gun control has resorted in mass shootings in “gun prohibited” zones.

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Abdulazeez Alabbasi
Thursday, November 29, 2018 - 01:07:04 PM
Your point about churches and schools not ever being places where people are armed may weaken his argument about gun control being causal of mass shootings. However, if he could demonstrate that gun control contributes to/can cause mass shootings and he commits himself to gun control being the one cause, he then may have fallen victim to the causal reductionism fallacy (also known as fallacy of the single cause, causal oversimplification) where one cause is assumed to result in an outcome when actually multiple causes are in play.
https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/64/Causal-Reductionism
See also the oversimplified cause fallacy where a contributing factor is assumed to be the cause:
https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/91/Oversimplified-Cause-Fallacy

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