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An argument is a conversation with a purpose :) I see a lot of people throwing our certain logical fallacies, which stalls the argument, and ultimately leads to going around in circles. Hopefully this post will help make some people more aware, remove certain absurdities from our arguments, so that topics can advance forward.
Causes of Illogic:
One frequent case for illogical debate is a lack of knowledge on the subject. If you want to debate a complex or technical issue, then you cannot use ignorance as an excuse. Instead, read as much as you can, listen carefully, ask questions, and select topics about which you have knowledge or will research before writing.
Now I see this a lot- someone will state an opinion (For example, only meat has protein) without any actual scientific basis- which wastes time since you are now arguing with someone who has to educate you about the facts of your own argument. Do research.
Ego problems are another cause of weak arguments. Those with low self-esteem often have difficulty in debates because they attach themselves to their ideas and then feel personally attacked when someone disagrees with them. Remember: self-esteem is enhanced when people applaud our knowledge and thoughtfulness, not our irrationality.
The Ego is what causes a lot of people to get overly defensive, and again stalls the argument. When someone proves you wrong with fact, a wounded ego will often sprint to logical fallacies in order to protect itself. Have more respect for yourself than that.
The prejudices and biases that we carry around, having absorbed them "ages ago" from family and community, are also sources of irrationality. Prejudices range from the worst ethnic, religious, or sexist stereotypes to political views we have adopted uncritically (Democrats are bleeding hearts; Republicans are all rich snobs) to perhaps less serious but equally insupportable notions (if it's in print, it must be right). People who see the world through distorted lenses cannot possibly assess facts intelligently and reason logically from them.
Now this is VERY dominant. "REAL men eat meat" "Veg*ns are weak" "Veg*ns are hispters" "Veg*ns care more about animals than humans" blah blah blah blah BLAH. These people are closed minded, and a waste of your intellectual effort. I see a lot of generalizing, and lately a lot of generalizations on this board, about one group or the other. Don't fall into that trap ;)
A Need for Answers
Fallacies That Result From Oversimplifying
Errors in Generalizing
Errors in generalizing include overstatement and hasty or faulty generalization. The inference drawn from the evidence is unwarranted, either because too broad a generalization is made or because the generalization is drawn from incomplete or incorrect evidence.
*Yup see this one a LOT too*
The forced hypothesis is also an error in inductive reasoning. The explanation offered is "forced" or illogical, because either (1) sufficient evidence does not exist to draw any conclusion or (2) the evidence can be explained more simply or more sensibly by a different hypothesis. This fallacy often results from not considering other possible explanations.
Consider this example: Professor Redding's students received either A's or B's last semester. He must be an excellent teacher.
The grades alone cannot support this conclusion. Professor Redding could be an excellent teacher; he could have started with excellent students; he could be an easy grader.
This term literally means "It does not follow." It could apply to all illogical arguments, but it used specifically for conclusions not logically connected to the reasons. In a hasty generalization for example, there is a connection between support (five politicians in the news) and conclusion (many politicians with drinking problems), just not a convincing connection. With a non sequitur there is no recognizable connection, either because (1) whatever connection the arguer sees is not made clear to others or because (2) the evidence or reasons offered are irrelevant to the conclusion. For example:
-Donna will surely get a good grade in physics; she earned an A in her biology class.
Doing well in one course, even one science course, does not support the conclusion that the student will get a good grade in another course.
The slippery slope argument asserts that we should not proceed with or permit A because, if we do, the terrible consequences X, Y, and Z will occur. This type of an argument oversimplifies by assuming, without evidence and usually by ignoring historic examples, existing laws, or any reasonableness in people that X, Y, and Z will follow inevitably from A.
A GREAT example of this could be, "IF we don't eat cows, they will take over the world." Or, "If we all were to go vegan, society would go to the dark ages and we'd all live in caves."
The false dilemma oversimplifies by asserting only two alternatives when there are more than two. The either-or thinking of this kind of argument can be an effective tactic if undetected. If the arguer gives us only two choices and one of those is clearly unacceptable, then the arguer can push us toward the preferred choice.
For example: The Federal Reserve System must lower interest rates, or we will never pull out of the recession.
Clearly, staying in a recession is not much of a choice, but the alternative may not be the only or best course of action.
You can challenge a false analogy by noting many differences in the two items being compared or by noting a significant difference that has been ignored.
Now this is one of my favorite ones: "Cheetahs eat meat. What about them?" The lifestyle and diet of a cheetah, a carnivore, is not comparable to the lifestyle and diet or demands of a human being.
Post Hoc Fallacy
The term post hoc, from the Latin post hoc, ergo propter hoc (literally, "after this, therefore because of it") refers to a common error in arguments about cause.
So, "I knew a vegan in high school who fainted," or, "This vegan got sick, it must have been their diet." Vegans are human beings. If we get sick, it is a Post Hoc Fallacy to claim it must have been our diet.