Fallacies of Relevance
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Fallacies of Relevance
Appeal to Ignorance
This says that a claim must be true because noone has proven that it is not true or that a claimmust be false because no one has proven it false.
Example: Aliens must exist because no one hasbeen able to come up with evidence to thecontrary.
Appeal to the Mob
Also known as Bandwagon Fallacy. If everyone is doing something,that is a good enough reason. It is a fallacy to think that becausea large group believes or does something, it is correct orappropriate. This fallacy appeals to the need to be liked andaccepted.
Example: All the other kids in schoolare getting tattoos. It's time I gotone.
Appeal to Emotion
It is false to think that we should baseour response on an emotional reaction.
Example: Penny is a below average worker,but she should get the promotion because shelost her pet cat in an earthquake last week.
This occurs when an arguer attempts todistract an audience by raising an irrelevantissue.
Example: Many people criticize the U.S.government for imprisoning Japanese Americansduring World War II; however, they don't takeinto account that this country has some of themost majestic landscapes in the world.
Misuse of Authority
This assumes that if someone popular or powerfulsays something, it must be true. It doesn’tmatter if this popular or powerful person has noexpertise in the subject area.
Example: In the NCAA March Madness office pool,the boss picked North Carolina State to win it all. I’m going to pick the same team she picked. After all, she’s the boss.
Playing with Words
This includes slanted language, ambiguity,stereotypes in the writing that are designed tomislead or throw us off the track.
Example: The Democrats are keeping the otherparties in the dark. How are they supposed tosee to get any work done?
This is a misrepresentation ofsomeone’s view.
Example: Senator Smith is obviously opposed toprotecting the environment. He voted in favor ofincreased gun control, and everyone knows huntersare environmentalists.
Ad Hominem Attacks
Also known as Personal Attacks. Instead ofaddressing the claim, the reasons attack thecharacter of another.
Example: John the plumber shouldn't betrusted to repair your busted pipes. He is aliar, a thief, and generally bad person.