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Logical Fallacy

One thing to keep in mind, is that even if someone is using a fallacy, it does not necessarily mean that their argument is not true. It merely means that they are attempting to argue for it improperly.

These are the examples that apply to this Wiki, with the original list written by Endless Mike:


1. Ad Hominem

This means "argument against the man, not the point". It is when you rebut an opponent's argument by insulting them instead of their argument.

NOTE: There is a difference between an ad hominem and a plain insult. Saying "Your arguments are wrong because you're stupid" is an ad hominem, but simply saying "You're stupid" is not a fallacy.


2. Straw Man

This is when one person corrupts an opponent's argument into something different, a "straw man" that they set up just to knock it down.

Example:

Person A: Luffy is so fast due to Gear 2, he would easily blitz Naruto.

Person B: Luffy isn't light speed! You're wrong.

Person A never said Luffy was light speed, person B is making that up to make Person A's argument look bad.

NOTE: This is a very simple example, usually straw men are much harder to spot than this.


3. Burden of proof fallacy

This is when someone attempts to make someone else prove a claim when the burden of proof is really on them to prove it. The burden of proof is always on the positive claim, and the person who makes the claim.

Example:

"Goku is faster than light speed because you can't prove he's not!"

In this case, the person in the example makes a claim (Goku is FTL), and without providing evidence for it himself, he asks his opponent to prove him wrong. In reality, the person who made that claim would be the one required to prove it.


4. Appeal to motive

This is when someone attempts to rebut an argument by speculating on what ulterior motives the person making the argument might have, instead of addressing the argument itself.

Example: "You only think Superman could beat Goku because you hate DBZ!"

In this case, the person is not actually debating the point (Superman vs. Goku) and is only attempting to invalidate his opponent's argument based on a possible motive.


5. Appeal to popularity

This is when someone claims that if more people think one thing than another thing, then the one supported by the majority is correct.

Example: "The poll in this thread has more votes for character A than character B, so character A wins".

The person in this example is ignoring any actual evidence and facts and just basing his reasoning on what the majority of people said.


6. Circular reasoning

This is when someone's conclusion is buried in their premise. Example: "Luffy is faster than Gai because One Piece characters are faster than Naruto characters".

The premise here (One Piece characters are faster than Naruto characters) is simply stated as if you should be expected to just accept it, and the conclusion is only true if the premise is true.


7. Non-Sequitur

This is when someone's conclusion is not implied at all by the premise.

Example: "Goku leaves afterimages, therefore Goku is faster than light".

The person in this example starts with a true premise (Goku leaves afterimages), but then jumps to a conclusion which is in no way implied by that premise (Goku is FTL).


8. Red Herring

This is when someone attempts to rebut an argument by bringing up a completely unrelated point, a "Red herring", to lure his opponent away from the real point of the argument.

Example: "Even though Ichigo deflected over a million of Byakuya's Senbonzakura petals using his Bankai speed, he still couldn't really beat Byakuya."

This argument's claim (Ichigo didn't really defeat Byakuya, it was more like a tie) is true, but that is irrelevant to the point of the opponent's argument (to show Ichigo's speed). Therefore it's not a real refutation of the argument.


9. Association fallacy

This is when someone claims that since A has certain qualities, and B is in some way associated with A, then B has those qualities as well, without actual proof of this.

Example: "Many Naruto ninjas use genjutsu. Therefore Gai knows genjutsu as well."

While this could be possible, there is no confirmation, and merely because other ninjas know it doesn't mean he does.


10. Argument from ignorance

This is when someone states that since there is insufficient evidence of something, it cannot possibly be true.

Example: "I've never heard of an anime with stronger characters than DBZ, so therefore DBZ characters must be the strongest in all of anime."

The person in this example states that since they do not know of something personally, it cannot exist.

NOTE: This fallacy is often invoked improperly, because there's a big difference between stating "There is no evidence of A, so A cannot possibly be true" (which would be a fallacy) and "There is no evidence of A, so we cannot assume A to be true" (which is correct logic).


11. Argument from incredulity

This is similar to the argument from ignorance, except it is based on the fact that the person in question cannot personally believe something.

Example: "DBZ characters are so powerful, I find it hard to believe that there are characters stronger than them."

The person in this example asserts that since he personally does not believe something, then it cannot be true.


12. Argument from belief

This is when someone states that they personally believe something to be true, without providing any actual evidence.

Example: "It's my opinion that Naruto characters are faster than light, so they are."

The person in this example states that because he believes something, it should be assumed to be true, without any actual evidence.


13. Appeal to emotion.

This type of argument takes many forms, but the general idea is that it works on a person's feelings to try to make them see one choice as preferable over another.

Example: "You're a very smart person, surely you can see that I'm right about this?"

This is an appeal to flattery, the person complements his opponent in order to get him to concede.

Another example: "Naruto ninjas can obviously dodge bullets, what kind of fantasy shounen characters would they be if they couldn't?"

This is an appeal to wishful thinking. The person says a claim must be true because it's what he wants to be true.

There are more forms of this argument, but that's all I'll cover for now.


14. Appeal to tradition.

This is when someone claims that an argument must be true because it's the way things have always been done previously, or the thing that people always believed before.

Example: "There can't be a Naruto character that can beat Luffy, because it's always been known that Naruto characters are no match for him."

The person in this example doesn't actually try debating the Naruto character vs. Luffy, he just says that Luffy wins because he's always won previously against Naruto characters.

15. Equivocation

This is when someone uses two different meanings of a word to imply something that isn't necessarily true.

Example: "In Bleach, Arrancars use the 'Sonido' speed technique. 'Sonido' means sound in Spanish, therefore Arrancars move at the speed of sound."

This argument assumes that the word sound in this context means the same as the speed of sound, when that is not necessarily true.


16. No Limits Fallacy (NLF)

This is when someone states that because something has not demonstrated any limits (or only certain limits) then it has none (or only the ones demonstrated).

Example: "Itachi said that no one without a Mangekyou Sharingan can defeat him. Therefore he can beat all of DC, Marvel, DBZ, and Tenchi Muyo."

The person in this argument holds Itachi's statement to be absolute truth, ignoring the possibility that Itachi has no knowledge of certain enemies, or never expected to encounter them. The same can be said of Kishimoto: He never intended for his characters to be pitted in battle against characters from other works of fiction, so therefore statements like this do not hold true to other works of fiction necessarily. Furthermore, there is the possibility that in - universe, Itachi was lying, bluffing, misinformed, or deluded.

17. Undistributed middle

This is a fallacy where someone makes an argument of the following form: "All contents of set A are also contents of set B. X is in set B. Therefore X is in set A." The opposite would be true, though.

Example: "All omnipotent beings are gods. Enel from One Piece is a god. Therefore, Enel is omnipotent."

This argument ignores the critical factor of whether all gods are omnipotent.


18. The Fallacy Fallacy

This is when people assume that because their opponent has committed a logical fallacy, their argument must therefore be wrong.

Example:

Person 1: Barry Allen is faster than Sonic the Hedgehog because you're stupid.

Person 2: That's Ad Hominem, therefore Barry Allen is not faster than Sonic.


19. Argument from anecdotal evidence

This is when someone tells a story of something that happened to them or another person, and it cannot be confirmed, but they expect it to prove something.

Example: "I once watched a nature show where a lion killed a pack of hyenas, therefore a lion could beat a pack of hyenas in a fight".

This argument simply recounts a story that may or may not be true, and the person in question expects it to count as evidence of their point of view. Even if the story was true, it does not necessarily mean that that is the way it will always happen, it could have been a statistical anomaly. In addition, there may have been other factors in play that the person neglected to mention (for example, the Hyenas may have been sick or injured before the fight started).


20. Proof by example

This type of fallacy involves someone citing one example of something as proof of a general rule.

Example: "Superman was tagged by Solomon Grundy, who is slow, therefore Superman can be tagged by anyone as fast or faster than Grundy."

The person ignores the fact that this could have been a statistical anomaly, and that it doesn't necessarily hold true all the time.

Another example: "Deidara defeated the Sanbi Bijuu, therefore he will always win a fight against a Bijuu, even the full nine - tails Kyuubi."


21. Affirming the consequence

This fallacy takes the form of presenting a conclusion that would logically follow from a premise, and then asserting that since the conclusion is true, the premise must be true also.

Example: "If One Piece characters could move faster than sound, then it would be difficult for people to see them move. Since fast One Piece characters seem to disappear, then they move faster than sound."

This argument ignores the possibility that characters could be difficult to track even if they moved below sound speed.

22. Denying the antecedent

The opposite of the previous fallacy, this is when someone presents a conclusion that logically follows from a premise, and then asserts that since the premise is false, the conclusion must also be false.

Example: "If Luffy could beat Aokiji, that would mean he is strong. He couldn't beat Aokiji, therefore he's not strong".

This argument ignores the fact that while Luffy is strong, Aokiji is simply stronger. Also, Luffy's powers have no effective counter to those of Aokiji.

Another, more common way this could be phrased is:

"Are you kidding? Luffy's not strong, he couldn't even beat Aokiji."


23. Biased sample

This is when a statistical survey only takes into consideration a sample of people or entities that are biased towards the conclusion. This only applies to matters of opinion and subjectivity, because even if the sample wasn't biased, this would not be an effective argument for an objective claim due to the appeal to popularity fallacy.

Example: "Everyone on that forum says that the PS3 is way better than the Wii."

What the person in the example is neglecting to mention is that the forum he's referring to is a Sony - centric forum populated mainly by Sony fans.


24. Half - truth

This is when someone presents a piece of evidence, but only presents some of it, ignoring critical factors that would cast the evidence in a whole different light, and would not necessarily support the person's conclusion.

Example: "Galactus was beaten by Thor, therefore he can be easily beaten by anyone around or above Thor's level".

What the person in this example fails to mention is that Galactus was starving and severely weakened in this instance, and also that Thor was drawing extra power from Odin to attack him.


25. Hasty generalization

This is an argument where someone takes an insufficient amount of evidence and attempts to form a conclusion from it, while ignoring or not being aware of contradictory evidence.

Example: "Flash has been tagged by people without super - speed in the past. Therefore, anyone, even if they don't have super speed, can tag him."

This person ignores all the times people both with and without super speed were unable to tag the Flash, or were defeated by him.


26. Misleading vividness

This argument is similar to proof by example, but instead of simply citing an example, it describes the example in vivid detail, which makes people more likely to pay attention to it and think it is significant.

Example: "Flash isn't fast! He was tagged by Grodd, who grabbed his leg from behind, pulled him away, and bit into his leg!"

All of those details weren't necessary, and they don't do anything to logically advance the argument, but they do play on people's emotions to make them think this is a more significant occurrence.


27. Package deal

This is when someone claims that since A is true, and A is usually (but not necessarily) associated with B, then B is also true.

Example: "Samurai Deeper Kyo characters can move faster than light. That means they can also travel through time."

This argument assumes that since FTL speed and time travel are often interrelated, then they must be in this case, even if there is no evidence of this.


28. False dichotomy

This is when someone claims that there are only a certain amount of options, and if all but one are false, then the other must be true. This ignores the possibility of other options.

Example: "Lightning travels at relativistic speed. If lightning is heading towards you, either you can't move that fast and you'll be hit, or you can move that fast and you can block or dodge it. Nami blocked Enel's lightning in the Skypeia arc, so therefore Nami can move at relativistic speed."

The person in this example ignores the possibility that Nami could have seen Enel powering up his attack before he actually fired it and set up her defense in advance.


29. Correlation implies causation

This type of argument claims that since A is associated with B, then A causes B.

Example: "Afterimages, blurry images, and speed lines usually are used in manga and comics to denote speed. Therefore, anything drawn with afterimages and blurry effects must be moving very fast."

This argument ignores the possibility that the said effects were added for some other reason, or that they are simply there to exaggerate the object's movement rather than to imply vast supernatural speed.


30. Post hoc ergo prompter hoc

Usually abbreviated to just "post hoc", this fallacy happens when someone assumes that since two events occur in sequence, the first one must be the cause of the second one.

Example: "Luffy wore an afro when he fought Foxy. Luffy beat Foxy. Therefore, the afro gave him the power to win."

This argument ignores any other possible explanations for Luffy's victory, such as the fact that Luffy was simply stronger and tougher.


31. Poisoning the well

This is similar to ad hominem, except it is directed against other observers instead of your opponent. You say that there is something objectionable about a person, therefore people shouldn't listen to their arguments.

Example: "Person A is known for being a biased One Piece fanboy, therefore you shouldn't listen to him when he says Luffy can beat Ichigo."

Whether or not this accusation is true, it has no merit on the actual arguments being presented.


32. Fallacy of accident.

This is when someone uses a general rule to justify something when that thing is in fact an exception.

Example: "In a fight, the faster character usually wins. Goku can move faster than the Flash by using Instant Transmission, therefore he will win."

This ignores the fact that instant transmission is a special case: While it does allow the user to arrive at a destination faster than the Flash would in a race (if both of them started at the same time), it ignores the fact that IT is teleportation, not true speed, requires locking onto a ki signature, needs time for thought to activate it, and cannot change destination or react to attacks in between the origin and destination point.


33. Reverse fallacy of accident.

This is similar to the previous fallacy, except it works in reverse - a person attempts to use an exception to overturn a rule.

Example: "Logia characters in One Piece can't be harmed by physical attacks. Therefore all One Piece characters are immune to physical attacks."

This ignores that not every One Piece character reacts to physical attacks in the same was as a logia.


34. Ad hominem tu quoque

This is a variation of the ad hominem fallacy where a person dismisses his opponent's argument by claiming that his opponent engages in the same type of practice.

Example:

Person A: "It was never stated that Buu's power level was 5 billion, that's a lie."

Person B: "Well you lied when you said that Post - Crisis Superman moved the earth by himself!"

Even if person B is right and person A did lie about that, that doesn't mean that person's B's lie about Buu's power level should just be accepted. Two wrongs don't make a right, after all.


35. Loaded question

This is when someone asks a question that presupposes a conclusion, so no matter what yes or no answer the person gives, it will fit the agenda of his opponent.

Example: "Are you still making that retarded claim?"

If the person answers yes, they will admit that they are making a retarded claim, if they answer no, they will admit that the claim they made was retarded. Of course the fallacy is that the person asking the question hasn't demonstrated what is wrong with the claim.


36. Fallacy of composition

This is when someone states that if a certain condition is true for A, then it must also be true for any larger set that A is a part of.

Example: "Luffy can beat any given Naruto character. Therefore he can beat all Naruto characters at once."


37. Fallacy of division.

This is the opposite of the previous fallacy, when someone asserts that since a system has a certain property, then all components of that system must also have this property.

Example: "The OPverse is stronger than the Narutoverse. Therefore any One Piece character can defeat the entire Narutoverse."

This argument ignores that the ability to defeat the Narutoverse comes from the combined powers of all the OP characters, not one property that they all share.


38. Argumentum ad verbosium

This is when someone makes a claim and writes a long, often repetitive essay in order to prove it, when they really do not have very strong evidence whatsoever and are just trying to make their opponent accept their claim by barraging him with long, drawn - out writing.

Example: "Naruto can beat Luffy, because Naruto has the Kyuubi, and the Kyuubi is really powerful, and you know, Luffy really isn't that strong, I mean he can stretch and stuff, but he'll die if he gets thrown in the water, and lots of Naruto characters can use water techniques, (which are known as suitons, which is Japanese for "water release"), and they also have Katons (Japanese for "fire release"), and Dotons (Japanese for "Earth release") and even Mokutons (Japanese for "wood release"), although the latter cannot be created by most ninjas, only ones with a Kekkai Genkai (That's Japanese for "Bloodline limit") can use them, by combining their elemental affinities, and Naruto beats Luffy... etc."

You can see the person is trying to just exhaust his opponent with tons of words and unnecessary verbosity instead of arguing the actual points.


39. Figure of speech.

This is when a person confuses a saying which is not meant to be literal, with a literal meaning.

Example: "Mr. Popo said Goku could move faster than lightning. That means he could move at relativistic speed."

The person in this example is ignoring the fact that "lightning speed" or "faster than lightning" are very common figures of speech that rarely ever denote actual speed of that level.


40. Argumentum ad nauseum, or argument from repetition.

This is when someone keeps making a claim over and over again, but either does not provide actual evidence, or provides evidence which is later debunked, but keeps making the claim. Eventually (or so he hopes), his opponent will get tired of arguing and he can declare victory.

Example:

Person A: "Goku has VAST senses! He would easily sense the Flash and beat him. Goku's senses are BEYOND those of the Flash."

Person B. "That is too vague, Goku has trouble sensing someone with normal human ki, even if we assume the Flash has ki (which is not necessarily true), then since he uses the Speedforce for his powers and not ki, his ki would not be any greater than that of a normal human. Goku cannot sense beings too far away in space if he does not recognize their ki, and even if he does he still cannot sense them if they are too far away (he had to get King Kai's help to locate the new planet Namek, even though he knew what a Namekian ki signature felt like). Furthermore, he often loses track of his opponents when they move around him, and these opponents usually have ki's as large or larger than his. There's no way he'd sense the Flash, who only has normal human - equivalent ki, and is moving way faster than any DBZ character, and even if he did, he wouldn't be able to react in time to stop him."

Person A: "You're chatting garbage! Goku has VAST senses! He can sense people light - years and dimensions away! He can easily sense the slow - ass Flash right in front of him!"

Person B: "I already explained this to you, he has trouble sensing people even with strong, familiar ki's if they are too far away, and the dimension thing isn't really quantifiable, especially considering it was harder for him to sense the Nameks in his own dimension than it was to sense King Kai in the afterlife. Furthermore, he loses track of his enemies when they are moving fast around him, and they have very large ki's. He would never sense someone moving at FTL speed with only average human ki."

Person A: "Stop chatting crap! Goku can sense anything anywhere. The Flash is alive, he has spirit! Goku has VAST senses, he would easily sense the Flash and beat him."

Person B: "You know what? I give up. I've already explained this to you a million times but you're just not listening."

Person A: "Ha! Concession accepted! I win!"

Here person B has refuted all of person A's arguments, but person A ignores the refutations and evidence and simply keeps stating his arguments over and over again.


41. Golden Mean fallacy

This kind of argument supposes that when there are two opposing viewpoints, the truth must lie somewhere in - between, ignoring the possibility that one of the viewpoints is simply wrong.

Example: "Some people think that Galactus can beat Itachi, and some people think that Itachi can beat Galactus. Therefore, it's most likely that Itachi and Galactus are about even in strength."

This ignores the empirical evidence that the person who claimed Itachi can stand a chance against Galactus is simply wrong.


42. Style over substance fallacy

This fallacy occurs when someone prefers one entity over another due to the way it is presented, as opposed to any actual facts.

Example: "In DBZ, all the battles have flashy afterimages, speed lines, blurs, and other effects. This obviously means that they're faster than the Silver Surfer, who rarely ever leaves afterimages or has any of those effects in his comic."

This argument simply takes the way the material is presented as objective evidence, even though there are no true facts attached to it and it just a matter of drawing style.


43. False analogy

This is when someone attempts to use an analogy to prove a point, but the conditions of the analogy differ from the original scenario enough to render the point from the analogy invalid.

Example: "A fight between KN4 Naruto and Hollow Ichigo would be a lot like a fight between a bear and a fly - one big, hulking monster against a small, fast, maneuverable enemy. A fly obviously can't hurt a bear, and eventually the bear would swat it out of the sky. So Naruto beats Ichigo".

The person in this example is ignoring the comparative power difference between a fly and a bear and Naruto and Ichigo. A bear has much more power than a fly, whereas Hollow Ichigo, though he is smaller, faster, and more maneuverable, has much greater attack power and durability relative to KN4 Naruto than a fly compared to a bear.

44. False premise

This is an argument that uses a faulty premise to draw a conclusion. The conclusion logically follows from the premise, but since the premise is false, the conclusion can be in error.

Example: "If rocks fly upwards and craters are formed spontaneously around something, it must be increasing the power of its own gravitational field. DBZ characters do this when they power up, therefore they must be creating massive gravity wells."

The premise in this case (Rocks flying upwards and craters spontaneously forming means the object at the center is increasing its own gravity) is false, since not only could there be many other explanations for these effects, but if the gravity of the characters was increasing, it would pull rocks toward them, not lift them up towards the sky, and if the gravity was really strong enough to counter the earth's own gravity by lifting the rocks, it would tear the earth apart.


45. Genetic fallacy.

This is when someone evaluates the merit of an argument based on its origin, or where it comes from, instead of the actual logic and evidence it contains. In this way, it is similar to an ad hominem fallacy.

Example: "You copy - and - pasted that info from another website, instead of writing it yourself. I'm not going to respond to an argument if you don't even do the work of making it yourself."

The person in this example dismisses his opponent's argument based on the fact that his opponent did not write it personally, ignoring any evidence or points it may contain that would be valid.


46. Incomplete comparison

This is when someone makes a claim that is too vague to be proven or disproven.

Example: "Dark Schneider is really powerful."

Powerful compared to what? Something powerful compared to an ant is hardly in the same league as something powerful compared to an exploding star. This example is merely a vague statement that carries no real meaning without a point of reference.


47. Inconsistent comparison

This is when someone compares something to multiple other things, but picks and chooses which things to compare it to so it seems superior to all of them, when it really is just slightly better than the ones with the lowest values in that field.

Example: "Goku will easily beat American comic characters! He's faster than Hercules, stronger than Spider-man, smarter than the Rhino, and a better tactician than Thor!"

What the person in this example neglects to mention is that Hercules is not really very fast, Spider-man, though much stronger than a normal human, is far from the top tier of physical strength for Marvel and DC, Rhino is a complete idiot, and Thor is usually not a very good tactician. So what they're really saying is simply that Goku is not slower, weaker, dumber, and a worse tactician than every American comic book character.


48. Invalid proof

This occurs when someone uses calculations to attempt to prove something, but there is an error in their math.

Example: "This bomb is said to have a yield over a billion times that of the nuke that was dropped on Hiroshima. The Hiroshima nuke was around 15 kilotons, so this bomb would have a yield of 15 petatons!"

The error in math here is that he skipped a prefix. It would really only be 15 teratons.


49. Affirming a disjunct.

This fallacy consists of a situation when there are two possibilities, and if one is known to be true, claiming that the other one is false, when in fact they both could be true.

Example: "The Flash is fast, but he either has fast travelling speed, or fast combat speed. We've seen him travel long distances in a short time, so he has fast travelling speed. That means he can't have fast combat speed."

Obviously the person in this example is ignoring the possibility that the Flash has both fast travelling and combat speed.


50. Existential fallacy

This is when someone makes a syllogistic argument that relies on the existence of a set that is not known to exist.

Example: "In One Piece, the Cipher Pol units grow progressively stronger as their numbers increase. CP10 is a higher numbered Cipher Pol unit than CP9. Therefore, the members of CP10 must be even stronger than the members of CP9!"

The fallacy here is that, as far as we know, there is no CP10.


51. Fallacy of exclusive premises.

This occurs when someone makes an argument with two negative premises.

Example: "No Bleach characters are faster than light. Some Bleach characters cannot perform a speedblitz. Therefore, some characters that are faster than light cannot perform a speedblitz."

Notes

More complex descriptions of various logical fallacies

Start a Discussion Discussions about Fallacy

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