Fallacies are certain beliefs or ideas that may seem true to people, while in reality, they are false because they are based on false or flawed arguments. We all deal with various debates or arguments in our daily life, and most of us tend to fall victim to logical fallacies. Logical fallacies divert us from taking the best possible solution to the given problem. Here in this article, we will learn about the examples of logical fallacies that we may face in our daily life.
Fallacy Examples in Real Life
1. The Straw Man Fallacy
When we hear the word ‘straw-man,’ the image of a person (dummy) built of straws comes to our mind. Of course, as it is built of straws so it won’t be that strong, and one can easily break it. In the same way, the straw man fallacies represent the weak or simplified arguments that distract the person from the original point that he/she was making, i.e., the one who uses the straw man argument diverts the debater’s attention to another irrelevant point instead of answering to the original question. Simply, we can say that a straw man is created in place of the original argument.
Example of the Straw-man Fallacy
Imagine you are in a debate where a person put an argument that the colleges take the advantage of the students and do not provide the students with the relevant knowledge or experience that is required in the real world, and colleges only make money through the high college fees. Now, instead of putting the relevant counterpoints such as examples of the colleges that charge high fees, but also provide high-quality education that benefits the student, you may try to divert the person’s argument by using other arguments such as you say that ‘the person does not support the higher education and he/she believes that colleges should be closed, or the person is anti-national as he/she does not want the development of the country.’ This shows that you are using the straw man fallacy by ignoring the original question by the irrelevant or straw man arguments.
2. The Ad Hominem Fallacy
The term Ad Hominem means, ‘attacking the person or ‘against the person.’ In this fallacy, the person does not directly attack or criticize the views of another person, instead, they attack or criticize the personal characteristics of the other person such as physical appearance, ethnicity, or other traits. These types of attacks are flawed as they do not link to the real argument, and distract other people from the logical argument.
Example of Ad Hominem Fallacy
Ad hominem arguments are generally observed in politics, which are commonly known as ‘mudslinging.’ These arguments make it easier for politicians to manipulate the opinions of the voters regarding the opposition parties. For example, Politician A will say that you should not vote the Politician B because Politician B is not trustworthy as he/she is not fluent in speaking Hindi. Well, if we think logically, there is no relevant link between these two factors, i.e., a person who can speak Hindi fluently does not mean that he/she will be a trustworthy politician. Hence, this is an example of the ad hominem fallacy. People often confuse the ad hominem fallacy with the insult. Remember we can not term anything as an ad hominem fallacy it is not an argument. For example, if we say that ‘all students in section B are liars’ then it is an insult, but if we say a boy name Jay can not become the team leader as he belongs to section B, then it is an example of ad hominem fallacy.
3. The Circular Reasoning Fallacy
If a person uses his/her conclusion to explain his/her argument, and his/her argument to explain his/her conclusion, it refers to the circular reasoning fallacy. It may seem like the person is putting the arguments, but all he/she is doing is, going around in a circle to justify his/her conclusions and arguments. Well, it sounds confusing, let’s understand it with the following examples,
Examples of a Circular Reasoning Fallacy
- A person says that ‘the floor is slippery because it is covered with water.’ This is a fallacious argument it’s pretty much obvious that the floor is wet due to water. The person does not provide any explanation that why the floor is wet. It may be he/she dropped the glass of water on the floor.
- If a person says that his friend is a liar, and he knows this because his friend never says the truth. Here, both the argument, i.e., ‘his friend is a liar and the premise, i.e., ‘he is a liar because he never speaks the truth’ are the same statements, which shows that it is a circular argument.
4. False Dilemma/False Dichotomy Fallacy
This fallacy happens if someone presents you with very limited, generally two options to choose from, while in reality there are more than two possible options available. This means that a person oversimplifies the arguments and only focuses on the two options while logically other possible outcomes also exist. This tactic manipulates and polarizes the people and makes them think that the argument is much more simple than it is in reality.
Example of a False Dichotomy Fallacy
Imagine, one of the candidates at a political debate says that you either support party A or another major opponent, i.e., party B. You may start thinking that you have to choose either one of the given two parties. However, in reality, you don’t have only these two options. There may also be several people, who might be Libertarians. But, this option was not included by the politicians. Hence, while making any choice one should keep in mind that there could also be another option to the given argument than the options provided to you, and one should make their decisions by taking these other options into his/her consideration. Well, one should also keep in mind that not every argument has more than two options, some arguments do have only two options and we can not mark those arguments as a false dichotomy. For example, In a war between two countries, you are either with country A or with Country B, and there is no other option, hence, this example does not represent a false dichotomy.
5. The Sunk Cost Fallacy
Sunk cost is a term used in economics, which means that any past expenses or costs can not be recovered. Have you ever faced a situation where you were forced to finish a task, which you didn’t want to do, but you have to do that now as you have invested a lot of your time and efforts in that task? If yes, you are also one of the victims of the sunk cost fallacy. The sunk cost fallacy diverts the person from making the accurate decision that it’s always better to renounce the task that is not going to help you; instead, it is wasting your time, money, or any other resources.
Examples of Sunk Cost Fallacy
- Let’s suppose that you are in the second year of your graduation, and you realised that you have no interest in the degree that you are pursuing because now you are interested in another field that does not require the degree you are currently pursuing. What would you do? Ideally, if the current degree is not going to serve anything good, then you should stop pursuing it. However, you are more likely to think that you have already spent a lot of time and money on this degree, and you should finish your graduation. If you are aware of this fallacy, you may make a better decision,i.e., you should revoke or stop any project that is not going to serve you in the future rather it is wasting your time and energy. Think for a while that rather than wasting your resources on this random task you can invest that energy (or other resources) in some other task that can benefit you in the long run.
- Suppose that you like to watch a particular web series and you have finished watching three seasons of that series. Now, you realize that you are longer interested in watching this series. Here, the three-season that you have already watched is your sunk cost, and your decision to watch the final seasons of this series just because you invested your time in that series would be the sunk cost fallacy.
- Let us discuss another famous sunk cost fallacy example that happened in the year 1956. The supersonic transport aircraft committees decided to build a supersonic airplane named the Concorde, which is why this example is often termed the Concorde fallacy. The French government and British government was involved in the manufacturing of this supersonic airplane. It was estimated that this project would cost around 100 million dollars. After the initiation of the project, the engineers realized that the project will be going to cost much more than the estimated budget. They already knew that it would be difficult to recover the cost through the financial gains from that supersonic plane, but as a lot of amounts had been already spent on this project, they decided to continue the project instead of stopping it there. This shows that the government and the manufacturers fell prey to the sunk cost fallacy as they had invested a lot of money and time in that project. As expected, the whole project went to loss, and the Concorde barely managed to operate for just 30 years leading to the loss of millions of dollars.
6. The Slippery Slope Fallacy
The slippery slope fallacy happens, when the person assumes that certain small actions could lead to large bad outcomes, although there is no direct relationship between those outcomes and the actions. The slippery slope arguments are extremely dramatic, hypothetical, and unlikely to happen.
Examples of Slippery Slope Fallacy
Your teenage boy wants a bike on his next birthday. If you argue with him that you can not give him a bike as he does not hold a driving license yet, makes sense. But, if you argue that, you can not give him the bike because if he gets the bike, he will do rash driving and can get hurt or may hurt anyone, and he will get into jail, is a slippery slope fallacy. The following statements also represent examples of the slippery slope fallacy,
- If you allow your son to go abroad for higher studies, he will forget you.
- I don’t want to learn car driving, because if I learn, I’ll die in a car accident.
- If you miss tomorrow’s lecture, you will fail the exams, and you will never get successful in your life.
7. The Equivocation Fallacy
The term equivocation means ‘equal voice.’ The equivocation fallacy occurs when a person deliberately uses certain words or sentences than the others to mislead or deceive the other person because when you choose those specific words or sentences they may mean something else than their actual meaning. This means that it may seem that it only means one thing of what you are saying, while in reality, there could be more than one meaning of the sentence that you are saying. In other words, one can interpret more than one meaning of a particular sentence.
Examples of an Equivocation Fallacy
- The main idea of the equivocation fallacy is that it always tends to mislead or deceive the other in some or another way. We call it ‘wordplay’ when we use it comically, but in the case of ethical debates or political speeches, where you are trying to confuse the audience through this wordplay, it is called the equivocation fallacy. For example, if a politician says that, ‘the opposition political party is wasting the money of taxpayers by spending it on the big programs, but our political party will strategically plan to spend the tax on the right programs.’ In this example, the politician said that his/her political party will spend the tax on the right projects, but who knows what these projects would be in the future.
- A person is caught by the police for drunk driving. This person said to the officers that he just had a few beers at the party. Here, the person may be saying the truth that he had a few beers, but this does not include that he may have consumed other types of alcoholic beverages too.
- Equivocation fallacy is often used in marketing, for example, you must have heard of this line in the advertisements, i.e., ‘The product X is recommended by nine out of ten doctors.’ Here, the term ‘recommended’ is misleading, one should think that this product is advised by the doctors to use for a specific purpose or if it only means that one can consider using this product.
8. The Post Hoc Fallacy
Have you ever heard of the Latin phrase ‘post hoc ergo proper hoc?’ Well, this phrase means ‘after this, therefore because of this.’ This may seem confusing, but it simply means that if event Y took place after event X, this means event X causes event Y. In other words, the post hoc fallacy happens when someone assumes that a particular thing happened as a result of that event, just because this thing happened after that event, i.e., the person assumes something as a cause of the other thing only based on the order in which that thing had happened. The person feeling for this fallacy is not considering the other or the real factors that might be the possible causes of something that had happened.
Examples of Post Hoc Fallacy
- Suppose, there was an earthquake in a region and a building fell in that area. The first event, i.e., the earthquake leads to the second event, i.e., the falling of the building. Now suppose, most of the people in that area started moving to other places after some time the earthquake occurred. Now, some people may assume that the people are moving to other places due to the earthquake, while in reality, there might be some other reasons also for their shifting; this may be due to the over-crowding in that area, or an increase in population, or poor infrastructure or water or electricity problem. Hence, if you make the argument that people are shifting because of the earthquake and do not consider the other possible causes, you are making a fallacious argument.
- Imagine you have been searching for a particular job for a long time, but you are not getting that desired job. One day before attending the job interview for your dream job, you decided to visit a holy place. After visiting that place, you went for the job interview and you were successful in getting that job. Now, chances are that you will think that you got the job because you went to that holy place. However, in reality, you got the job because you were a suitable candidate for that position.
- Other common examples of post hoc fallacy are the statements like, ‘I won the lottery because I was wearing my lucky bracelet that day’ or ‘The moment you entered the room, the light went off. You must be bad luck.’
9. Appeal to Authority Fallacy
Suppose you are arguing over a topic, and you try to support or strengthen your argument with the reference of an expert or authority, which may be the expert in any other area or field, but you are using their reference in your current argument, which is entirely different from the area of their expertise. This is known as the appeal to authority fallacy. If you assume something is true and blindly follow any advice just because it is given by the person you admire the most, you might be the victim of the appeal to authority fallacy.
Examples of Appeal to Authority Fallacy
- Suppose your uncle is a lawyer, and if you asked for any advice related to legal matters, he gives you any solution. You can consider his solution or opinion as accurate with confidence as he is a professional lawyer and knows about legal matters. Now suppose your uncle gives you an idea for your science project, and you brag with the other people that this is the best science project idea because your uncle has suggested it as he is a great lawyer, then hold on, it might be the appeal to authority fallacy.
- The appeal to authority fallacy is commonly seen in advertisements. Suppose your favorite actor or actress promotes a particular brand. You tend to think that product they are promoting is of high quality as your favorite actor or actress has suggested it. Here, you are associating that if a person is a good actor he will also suggest a good product, which is a fallacious argument.
10. Appeal to Ignorance Fallacy
This is also known as the ‘argument from ignorance.’ This fallacy occurs when the person believes the given argument is true because it has not been proved false.
This argument can also lead to contradictory conclusions, for example,
- No one has proved that aliens exist, so aliens are not real.
- No one has proved that aliens do not exist, so aliens are real.
Well, both these statements are based on what no one knows, hence one should not make these statements as arguments. It’s a fact that ‘No one knows everything,’ some know less, or some know more, but we all are learning and ignorant about particular things.
Examples of an Appeal to Ignorance Fallacy
- The Appeal to ignorance fallacy is often used by terrorist groups or defense groups of some nations to brainwash the people. In some countries, very young children are recruited into the army of their nations, and they are made to believe that they must serve their nation and that people belonging to other ethnicities or nations are evil. The children grew up in this environment and they believe in false statements because they are ignorant about reality. They think the people of their ethnicities or nation are right and those of the other are wrong only because this is what they have learned since childhood. These arguments represent the appeal to ignorance fallacy as one does not have proper evidence of supporting their argument.
- Suppose an archaeologist is researching a 2000-year-old civilization. He found various artifacts and tools in the excavation that made him draw a rough idea of people’s life at that time. But, he didn’t find any written document or inscription in that area. One can assume that as no one find evidence of written documents or inscriptions, there might not be any written language in that period. But, you can also assume that there could be evidence of written language but no one finds that yet. It can be found if more research and excavation are carried out in that area.
11. The Correlation/Causation Fallacy
The correlation fallacy occurs when people falsely assume event A is the cause of event B, just because the two events are correlated with each other. It may seem similar to the post hoc fallacy, but there is a slight difference; In post hoc fallacy the event that occurred first was referred to as the cause of the second event, but in correlation or causation fallacy the person associates any random event as the cause of the other event, i.e., the person wrongly concludes that a particular cause is related to the particular effect.
Examples of Correlation/Causation Fallacy
Let’s understand this fallacy with the help of a historical example. During the Middle age period, the Europeans used to believe that having lice is good for their health because lice are generally not present in sick people. They used to believe this due to their observation that when the lice left the people they get sick after that. However, the correct reasoning behind this phenomenon is that lice are very sensitive to the temperature of the body. If the body temperature of the person rises by even small degrees (in case of fever) the lice leave that person and start looking for another host. This slight increase in body temperature was rarely noticed by the people, this makes the Europeans at that time believe that lice left the person before he/she got sick.
12. Bandwagon Fallacy
If one assumes something is right or wrong, only because the majority of the people believe the same, it refers to the bandwagon fallacy. The bandwagon fallacy makes you believe that if everyone in your group is thinking in a certain way about any situation, then you should also think in that way because it would be right as the majority believing that. However, this is a fallacious argument as if a claim is accepted or rejected by the majority of the population, it does not justify whether it is factually right or wrong. So, next time when you make your decision based on the number of people who approve or reject that decision, think again.
Examples of Bandwagon Fallacy
- If a student thinks that he/she should choose the medical stream in college because his/her parents are doctors, it is the bandwagon fallacy. Chances are that the student may be good in other fields or areas, or he/she may have zero interest in being a doctor, but just because his/her parents are doctors does not mean that the same will be the better career for that student also.
- You must have seen the craze of imprinting tattoos in many people. Well, the idea behind printing the tattoo is what matters. If you want to imprint a tattoo because you like that particular tattoo a lot, that seems ok, but if you want to imprint a particular tattoo just because some celebrity have had imprinted it, and all of your friends are imprinting that tattoo, then you may need to reconsider your decision of imprinting tattoo. Because, if you are imprinting the tattoo only because the majority of the people are doing so, you are falling prey to the bandwagon fallacy. The chances are you may regret this permanent choice of imprinting tattoo after a few years.
- The common statements like ‘All of my friends are going to the party this Saturday night, so I should also go,’ ‘Most of my friends are opting for the management course, hence I should also choose that,’ and ‘Almost everyone is in favor of that political party, I should also vote for that party,’ represent the bandwagon fallacy.
13. Hasty Generalization Fallacy
If the person claims something based on some random examples without any accurate proof it is known as the hasty generalization fallacy. It is commonly seen that people make generalizations, this is not wrong though as most of the principles or laws are based on the generalization principles in the field of humanity. But, if the generalization is based on the character or behaviors of certain people to the whole people belonging to that region or group, this could be a hasty generalization. These types of generalizations are based on stereotypes mindest or racism. The hasty generation arguments are weak as they may be true in some situations but they do not hold for every situation. While making hasty generalization people tends to show biases towards a certain group of people or individuals. One should always refrain from making a hasty generalizations. This can be avoided by using qualifiers like ‘often,’ ‘sometimes,’ and ‘considered as’ before making any generalized statements. When you add these words before making the statements, it assures the listener that this is what you have generally seen and you are not arguing with them regarding the rightness of that claim.
Examples of Hasty Generalization Fallacy
- Suppose, the three best employees of your company have done the management diploma. You may tend to think that the person that holds the management diploma would become a better employee, and now, you are giving preferences to the candidates with management diplomas in the recruitment process. However, this is a hasty generalization as chances are that those three employees are performing well because of their skillset not just because they hold the management diploma.
- Hasty generalization is often seen in politics. For example, people tend to vote for the candidates, not because of the capabilities of that candidate, but rather because that person belongs to the party, whose leader is very popular in the upper parliament. People tend to associate the popularity of a specific party leader with the politician representing that party in their area. This is a hasty generalization as if the leader of that party is famous, but it does not mean the politician belonging to this party can become a good leader.
- Suppose your uncle eats junk food a lot but he looks healthy. Now, if you make the statement that junk food is healthy to eat as your uncle is healthy because he eats junk food, then think again, you are falling prey to the hasty generalization fallacy.
14. Appeal to Pity Fallacy
The appeal to pity fallacy occurs when someone tries to strengthen his/her arguments by manipulating or distracting the other person by provoking his/her emotions.
Examples of appeal to Pity Fallacy
- Imagine a person is arrested in a certain case. The person as per his crime is supposed to get in jail for a year. When the judge sees that the person is physically disabled and walking with the help of the walker, it may provoke the human emotions of the judges. Although the judge has to abide by all the laws and regulations, he/she is more likely to fall victim to the appeal to pity fallacy.
- Suppose you failed your last exam but you ask your professor to give you another chance. When your professor asked for the reason behind your failure, you said him that your grandmother has passed away suddenly, and you suffered from a major viral infection right after her funeral. The recovery took a whole month and you barely had any time to prepare for your exam, hence you need grace marks in that exam. Well, if this story is true, then chances are that your professor may feel for your situation and he will give you another chance to appear for that exam.
15. Red Herring Fallacy
If a person uses an argument that shifts or distracts the person from an important point of discussion to something false or irrelevant point, it is knowns as the red herring fallacy. You may be wondering why this fallacy is named ‘red herring’. Let’s briefly learn about that first. Red herring is a particular fish species, that is brined for some time and then smoked till it turns red and starts smelling pungent, which is then used to train the animals. This is used as a training aid for dogs due to its strong pungent smell, which leads the dogs in a certain direction in the training. Red herring is a tactic that is used to mislead or distract someone. People use irrelevant facts or ideas that do not concern the original problem in the red herring fallacy, which makes the listener easily get off the main point of concern.
Examples of a Red Herring Fallacy
A company wants to build large hotels and recreational infrastructures in a beautiful area covered with natural beauties, far away from the urban areas. This infrastructure project demands the cutting of a large number of trees. You as an environmental concerns person, ask the company to stop their project and not destroy the natural beauty of that area. You try to explain to them your point that, deforestation can lead to the loss of the natural habitat of many animals and can also lead to climatic change. Now, the project head of that company tells you that if they implement this project it will give employment to a large number of people, and it also leads to the development of that rural area. This project will attract a large number of tourists, which will boost the economy. The project manager here is using the red herring fallacy to distract you from the original problems, i.e., deforestation, and climatic impact.
16. Appeal to Hypocrisy
The appeal to hypocrisy happens when the person uses hypocrisy and tries to divert his/her blame to somebody else by accusing him/her of the same or a similar problem. The appeal to hypocrisy is also known as the ‘tu quoque fallacy,’ which means ‘you, too.’ This means that someone tries to justify his/her bad actions by saying that ‘i did this because you too did it.’ One can easily fall for this fallacy as it tempts the person to lower or neutralize his/her guilty of committing any bad thing or crime by justifying that someone else has also committed the same crime. The person tries to shift his/her blame to others by believing that the other person also committed the same crime so he/she should also be punished. This is not an accurate argument, because one does not become any less guilty just because someone else committed the same crime. Instead of making fallacious arguments one should take responsibility for his/her action and because only you are responsible for your actions and you can not blame others for committing that actions.
Examples of Appeal to Hypocrisy Fallacy
- Let’s suppose you have been caught cheating in the examination hall. The professor got angry and tells you to bring your parents to the office tomorrow. In your support, you start arguing with your professor that another boy named Tom is also cheating, and you are cheating for the first time, while Tom does cheating in all the exams. Here, you are trying to deviate the professor’s focus from yourself to Tom. You are justifying or we can say neutralizing your act of cheating by shifting your blame to the other person. You are justifying yourself that you are not fully responsible for the actions you have committed and another person is responsible for that. In reality, if the person is cheating in the examination hall, it does not justify that you should also cheat.
- Suppose, you find out that your son is addicted to smoking. You went to your son and try to explain to him that he should quit smoking as it is injurious to his health. But, your son starts arguing that all the members of his group smoke, so there is nothing wrong if he is also smoking. This is a fallacious argument because if other people are also smoking it does not mean that smoking does not cause any bad impact on the health of your son.
17. The Loaded Question Fallacy
If the person asks certain questions that intend to strengthen his/her position but sabotage the other’s, it might be a loaded question. The loaded question may be beneficial to you but it could be unfair to the person you are asking it. If you are not asking the question directly but you’re asking it by molding your words for example, ‘Are you still addicted to smoking?’ Here you are not stating that the person is addicted to smoking, instead, you are pointing it to front the others that this person is a smoking addict.
Examples of Loaded Question Fallacy
Suppose one of your colleagues was arrested in the past in the case of a robbery. The manager of your company asks that colleague to file some important documents related to the next project. You jump into the conversation and say out loud to the manager, ‘Are you going to give these confidential documents to the one who was arrested in the past.’ You may feel that you made the manager realize that he/she should not give the important document to that person, but this statement is derogatory, and a loaded question. It would have been better if you had said this statement privately to the manager rather than in front of that person. You fall victim to the loaded question fallacy because you are judging that person based on his past and your statement can hurt his feelings.
18. The Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy
The fallacy is named after an anecdote about the texas sharpshooter (a man), who used to fire his gun at a wall, and then he used to paint around the bullet holes to represent the target, which makes people believe that he is an excellent shooter as all his bullet marks are within the targets. The Texas sharpshooter fallacy occurs when you only consider some specific data or ideas that fit with your claim, and you ignore the rest of the relevant data that contradicts your claim.
Example of Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy
The Texas sharpshooter fallacy is commonly seen in scientific research as many researchers tend to fall victim to this fallacy. The researchers assume the hypothesis before doing any research. After collecting all the necessary data as required in the given research, it is seen that most of the researchers focus on the data that favors their assumed hypotheses and they tend to ignore the other data that might be significant for that research due to the Texas sharpshooter fallacy.
19. The Anecdotal Evidence Fallacy
If the person uses his/her own past experiences as a base of his/her arguments rather than using logical facts and evidence, it is called the anecdotal evidence fallacy. Due to this fallacy, the person tends to ignore the real facts that lead to the particular event because they tend to focus on emotions rather than logic. They fail to recognize that if a particular statement or claim applies to one person or a certain number of people, it does not mean that one can generalize that claim or statement to everyone.
Examples of the Anecdotal Evidence Fallacy
You observed that the growth of your competitor’s website increases after they changed the font color of their web pages to blue color. Now, if you believe that the best way to increase the growth of a website is changing the font color of the web pages to a blue color, then, it’s an anecdotal evidence fallacy. You are giving a generalized statement that if one changes the website’s font color to blue it can lead to the growth of the website only based on your observation of one other website.
20. The Middle Ground Fallacy
The middle ground fallacy happens when the person believes that when there is conflict to choose from the two extreme points, it is always right to make a compromise between them. However, this is a fallacious argument because chances are that either one or both of the extremely conflicting points are right or wrong. Suppose both of the extremely conflicting claims are wrong, then the compromise between these two statements would also be wrong. The people that fell victim to this fallacy, fail to recognize that there might be other best possible solutions to the given problem, apart from choosing the middle ground, i.e, a compromise between the two points.
Examples of the Middle Ground Fallacy
Suppose one of the two best employees of your company thinks that the best way to increase the sales of this product is changing the packaging style of that product, and the other best employee is strictly again changing the packaging style. If you decide to make a compromise between these two opinions, i.e., you have decided not to change the whole packaging style but only make some changes in the packaging, then you are choosing the middle ground fallacy argument. There may be a possible chance that the opinions of both of the employees were wrong, and you might need to improve your sales and marketing staff to boost sales.
21. The Personal Incredulity Fallacy
The personal incredulity fallacy happens, when the person concludes something is false only because he/she fails to understand why that particular thing is right. This is wrong because the personal lack of understanding of certain things does not mean that thing is wrong, it only means that the person needed to grow his/her knowledge regarding that matter. If a person has full knowledge about a particular, and then he/she is stating that the said claim is wrong, it makes sense. People who find it difficult to understand new ideas often fell victim to this fallacy.
Example of Personal Incredulity Fallacy
Suppose, you believe that one should focus on the traditional methods of sales and marketing and not on digital marketing. The real reason behind this could be you are not aware of the benefits of digital marketing and how it works. Hence, your statement represents the personal incredulity fallacy. This fallacy is when one person protects their generalized claim by denying counterexamples. They do this by changing the initial terms of their generalization to invalidate any counterexamples that might exist.
22. The Tu QuoQue Fallacy
The tu quoque fallacy means ‘you also.’ When a person does not have any valid point for the counter-argument, and he/she tries to make the other person’s argument invalid by discrediting them with criticism, it refers to the tu quoque fallacy. Here, you are not using any logical reasoning to argue against your opponent, all you are doing is addressing criticism with criticism.
Examples of Tu QuoQue Fallacy
For example, your colleague asks the management to not add you to the team that will handle the marketing project as you don’t have any prior experience in handling that project. Now, if you say to your colleague that he/she should also not be a member of the new team as he/she also is not much experienced, you are using the tu quoque fallacy argument.
23. The No True Scotsman Fallacy
This fallacy happens when the person tries to strengthen his/her generalized claim by ignoring the counterexamples. They do this by making little amendments to their original claim in such a way that it invalidates the counterexamples.
Example of No True Scotsman Fallacy
If person A says that ‘Every psychologist prefers to use DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder) criteria.’ Person B says ‘Some of the Psychologists also prefer to use ICD (International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems). Now, if person A says that ‘The Psychologists that prefer using ICD must not be good psychologists ‘ then, person A is using the No true Scotsman fallacy to validate his/her original claim.
24. The Slothful Induction Fallacy
The slothful fallacy occurs when people ignore the real proofs or evidence and their statement or claim is based on certain irrelevant or coincidental situations. Even though there exists research or clear evidence that supports a particular claim, the person that falls victim to the slothful induction fallacy fails to recognize or acknowledge that claim. This fallacy is also known as the ‘appeal to coincidence fallacy.’
Examples of the Slothful Induction Fallacy
- Suppose you are the CEO of the company, and you have implemented a new policy in the company that increased the productivity of the employees. You even asked the employees about the new policy and almost all agreed that this policy has increased their work engagement and enhanced their work. However, the founder of the company denies accepting this fact and says that the work engagement of the employees is just a coincidence and not due to the implementation of the new policy. The company’s flounder is using the slothful induction fallacy.
- Suppose a person has had more than ten car accidents in the past six months. One can interpret that, this person is careless and does not know how to drive properly. But, this person is not ready to admit that, rather he is saying that these accidents happened due to the negligence of other people and it is not his fault.
25. The Fallacy Fallacy
One should keep in mind that, even if the argument of the person is based on any fallacy, this does not mean that the argument of that person is completely false. The argument may be weak, but it can still be true. The fallacy-fallacy occurs when the person concludes any argument as false only because he/she assumes that the argument consists of any fallacy. This fallacy is also known by other names such as the bad reasons fallacy, the argument to logic, and fallacist’s fallacy.
Examples of Fallacy-Fallacy
Suppose your project manager has asked your team to solve a certain problem that is affecting the sales of the newly launched product. One of the team members says, that the sales can be boosted by making changes to the website that sells this product. If you disagree with the opinion of your team member because you believe that the team member is giving that opinion only because he/she is using the personal incredulity fallacy, then think again, because chances are that you might be falling prey to the fallacy-fallacy. As the chances are that the opinion given by your team member may work out even if it is based on the personal incredulity fallacy.