Circular Debate

From Ascension Glossary
(Redirected from Logical Fallacies)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

An argument that goes nowhere. Though a person believes he or she is arguing a point, the argument does not progress because the individual has an fixed and immovable belief that is considered to be a fact and this is the core point of the argument, which in their belief system, is actually not debatable. The Negative Ego tends to exert Mental Rigidity which fixates on polarizing belief systems on right and wrong, black and white, Splitting behaviors that compartmentalize thinking into Circular Reasoning and Linear Thinking.

The following terms describe an assortment of Logical Fallacies that are commonly used as Ego Defense Mechanisms in order to divert attention away from flawed arguments that favor one's desired personal position or supports their beliefs of self-justification during conflicts.

What Is a Logical Fallacy?

Logical fallacies are flawed, deceptive, or false arguments that can be proven wrong with reasoning. There are two main types of fallacies:

  • A formal fallacy is an argument with a premise and conclusion that doesn't hold up to scrutiny.
  • An informal fallacy is an error in the form, content, or context of the argument.[1]

Circular Reasoning

Circular reasoning is when you attempt to make an argument by beginning with an assumption that what you are trying to prove is already true. In your premise, you already accept the truth of the claim you are attempting to make. It sounds complicated, but it is easily understood with some real-world examples.

Circular reasoning may sound convincing, but consider who will most likely be convinced by a circular argument. Those who already accept the argument as true are more likely to be further convinced. This is because they already believe the assumption that is stated.

Examples of Circular Reasoning:

  • The Bible is true, so you should not doubt the Word of God.

This argument rests on your prior acceptance of the Bible as truth. Therefore in the belief system and mind of this person, this is a fact that is not debatable.

Straw Man

A fallacy is an argument or belief based on erroneous reasoning, usually designed to attack or gaslight an opponent. Straw man is one type of logical fallacy. Straw man occurs when someone argues that a person holds a view that is actually not what the other person believes. Instead, it is a distorted version of what the person believes. So, instead of attacking the person's actual statement or belief, it is the distorted version that is attacked, when the targeted person never made the statement to begin with. The basic assumption is that if one small part of an argument can be proved false then, by association, the whole argument is also false. A weak argument is one made of straw that is easily knocked over. Hence the term straw man. [2]

Red Herring

Red herring is a kind of fallacy that is an irrelevant topic introduced in an argument to divert the attention of listeners or readers from the original issue. In literature, this fallacy is often used in detective or suspense novels to mislead readers or characters, or to induce them to make false conclusions.

Manipulators use red herrings to lay a false trail that leads people away from areas that you do not want them to see. To do this, the trail must be of sufficient interest that the other person misses any clues to other areas. Red herrings are particularly useful when the activity is time-bound. Time spent following the red herring is time that can not be spent looking in other areas. Talking about problems that are not really problems has effects beyond distraction. [3]

Fallacy

A fallacy is the use of invalid or otherwise faulty reasoning, or "wrong moves" in the construction of an argument. A fallacious argument may be deceptive by appearing to be better than it really is. Some fallacies are committed intentionally to manipulate or persuade by deception, while others are committed unintentionally due to carelessness or ignorance. The soundness of legal arguments depends on the context in which the arguments are made. [4]

Non Sequitur

A non sequitur (Classical Latin: "it does not follow") is a conversational literary device, often used for comedic purposes or to confuse the audience. It is something said that, because of its apparent lack of meaning relative to what preceded it, seems absurd to the point of being humorous or confusing. [5] See Absurdism.

Confirmation Bias

Confirmation Bias is the strong human tendency to dismiss or distort evidence or facts that are contrary to our acceptable beliefs formed by our Mental Map and readily seek out any kind of evidence that supports our views.[6]

Begging the question

Begging the question is a type of circular reasoning, an argument that requires that the desired conclusion be considered to be true, whether it is true or not. This often occurs in an indirect way such that the fallacy's presence is being hidden, or at least not easily apparent. Begging the question is often used to mean "raising the question" or "suggesting the question". Sometimes it is confused with "dodging the question", which is an evasion technique used in an attempt to avoid answering the question. [7]

Ad Hominem

An ad hominem fallacy uses personal attacks rather than logic. This fallacy occurs when someone rejects or criticizes another point of view based on the personal characteristics, ethnic background, physical appearance, or other non-relevant traits of the person who holds it.

Ad hominem arguments are often used in politics, where they are often called "mudslinging." They are considered unethical because politicians can use them to manipulate voters' opinions against an opponent without addressing core issues.

Bandwagon Fallacy

The Bandwagon Fallacy assumes something is true (or right or good) because others agree with it. In other words, the fallacy argues that if everyone thinks a certain way, then you should, too.

One problem with this kind of reasoning is that the broad acceptance of a claim or action doesn't mean that it's factually justified. People can be mistaken, confused, deceived, or even willfully irrational in their opinions, so using them to make an argument is flawed.[8]

Causal Fallacy

Causal fallacies are informal fallacies that occur when an argument incorrectly concludes that a cause is related to an effect. Think of the causal fallacy as a parent category for other fallacies about unproven causes.

One example is the false cause fallacy, which is when you draw a conclusion about what the cause was without enough evidence to do so. Another is the post hoc fallacy, which is when you mistake something for the cause because it came first — not because it actually caused the effect.

Appeal to Hypocrisy

An appeal to hypocrisy — also known as the tu quoque fallacy — focuses on the hypocrisy of an opponent. The tu quoque fallacy deflects criticism away from oneself by accusing the other person of the same problem or something comparable.

The tu quoque fallacy is an attempt to divert blame. The fallacy usually occurs when the arguer uses apparent hypocrisy to neutralize criticism and distract from the issue.

Sunk Cost

A sunk cost fallacy is when someone continues doing something because of the effort they already put in it, regardless of whether the additional costs outweigh the potential benefits. "Sunk cost" is an economic term for any past expenses that can no longer be recovered.

For example: Imagine that after watching the first six episodes of a TV show, you decide the show isn't for you. Those six episodes are your "sunk cost." A sunk cost fallacy would be deciding to finish watching anyway because you've already invested roughly six hours of your life in it.

Equivocation

Equivocation happens when a word, phrase, or sentence is used deliberately to confuse, deceive, or mislead. In other words, saying one thing but meaning another.

When it's poetic or comical, we call this a "play on words." But when it's done in a political speech, an ethics debate, or an economics report — and it's designed to make the audience think you're saying something you're not — that's when it becomes a fallacy.

False Dilemma/False Dichotomy

A false dilemma or false dichotomy presents limited options — typically by focusing on two extremes — when in fact more possibilities exist. The phrase "America: Love it or leave it" is an example of a false dilemma.

The false dilemma fallacy is a manipulative tool designed to polarize the audience, promoting one side and demonizing another. It's common in political discourse as a way of strong-arming the public into supporting controversial legislation or policies.

Hasty Generalization

A hasty generalization is a claim based on a few examples rather than substantial proof. Arguments based on hasty generalizations often don't hold up due to a lack of supporting evidence: The claim might be true in one case, but that doesn't mean it's always true.

Hasty generalizations are common in arguments because there's a wide range of what's acceptable for "sufficient" evidence. The rules for evidence can change based on the claim you're making and the environment where you are making it — whether it's rooted in philosophy, the sciences, a political debate, or discussing house rules for using the kitchen.

Appeal to Authority

Appeal to authority is the misuse of an authority's opinion to support an argument. While an authority's opinion can represent evidence and data, it becomes a fallacy if their expertise or authority is overstated, illegitimate, or irrelevant to the topic.

For example, citing a foot doctor when trying to prove something related to psychiatry would be an appeal to authority fallacy.

Appeal to Pity

An appeal to pity relies on provoking your emotions to win an argument rather than factual evidence. Appealing to pity attempts to pull on an audience's heartstrings, distract them, and support their point of view.

Someone accused of a crime using a cane or walker to appear more feeble in front of a jury is one example of appeal to pity. The appearance of disability isn't an argument on the merits of the case, but it's intended to sway the jury's opinion anyway.[9]

References

See Also

Doublethink

Doublespeak

Gaslighting

Weaponizing Narratives