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I'm looking for the trope that applies to a particular logical fallacy. The fallacy of stereotyping or "tarring everyone with the same brush". What is that logical fallacy called and what is the trope page for it?
Why is "Correlation Implies Causation" (redlinked) on the list?
Surely this is the post hoc fallacy, which is already covered by False Cause.
Which logical fallacy is committed when one presupposes something (not explicitly saying it) and uses it to build his argument?
We need to build nuclear missiles to protect West from a soviet attack
You can counter-argue by saying that "missiles are not efficient against soviet attack" or " the war will destroy the whole world" or still that "diplomacy is the best solution", but you are still assuming that soviets wants to attack the West. None of the sentences above will make sense if one is aware that soviets has no intention in attacking West.
you may still say that "the radical parties wants to destroy the country's democracy" (something often repeated around here). But you're assuming that there are radical parties in the country. If this is false, the above sentence makes no sense
Journalists (at least where I live), explores this with fallacious intentions
Ps.: Sorry bad english, examples or wording
It's not a fallacy, per se - there is no faulty logic involved.
even if this is used to subtly avoid discussion about a arguable premisse?
Nah, because that would be just deflecting from the topic, not a logical fallacy.
Although not a fallacy, the above is a dishonest arguing trick — Robert H. Thouless called it "irrelevant diversion".
Should there be one called Artistic License – Logic?
What logical fallacy is it if you, for instance, claim that a business practice is good or bad and that no one has the right to try and do anything about that practice one way or the other simply because it is the standard of the day, rather than saying that because it actually is good or bad? Even if that practice is fairly recent, so not quite appeal to tradition.
Edit: Another one. In the example above, let's say I'm a customer that has to live under the above business practices, and I want them changed because, for instance, they're selling me a product but doing so in such a way that is inconvenient, unethical, unreasonable, etc. However, someone tell me that I have no right to complain and try to change the practices because the business has the right to sell their product as they wish to. What is this fallacy called? Appeal to control maybe?
That isn't necessarily a fallacy. It's more of a conflict in the moral philosophies of the two parties. The customer believes that when something unethical is being done, he or she has a moral perogative to stop it, whereas the other party in the example believes that it is unethical to force one's ethics onto another.
How is it that the Index bar for this page is showing up twice at the bottom of all listed pages?
Hey, I'm going to throw in a question here just because asking at the other wiki is a bit more scary.
Which logical fallacy does this pattern fall under?
X was true.
Therefore, X is true.
That's rather blatantlyy Begging the Question.
Okay, I'm finding it rather weird that we have red links here, given all the entries in this page are supposed to be from "You Fail Logic Forever", so let's try to clear up these.
- "Moralistic Fallacy" is rather badly worded. I'm understanding this is a fallacy that starts by assuming status quo is "morally right" and then deriving circular reasoning from that(i.e, it's right because it's always been like this, it's always been like this because it's right). I don't really see why this should be "Morallistic", or why this should be its own entry.
- "Nirvana Fallacy" seems to be about holding the bar impossibly high. It looks a lot like Perfect Solution Fallacy to me.
Moralistic Fallacy is the reversal of the Natural Fallacy, and it deserves its own page as its a common error of logic people make. It has nothing to do with status quo, is assumes something they believe is good is natural (Ought-Is) where as the Natural Law Fallacy assumes something that's natural is good (Is-Ought). Examples of the Moralistic Fallacy include:
1. Warfare is destructive and tragic, and so it is not of human nature.
2. Eating meat harms animals and the environment, and so no one has physiological use for it.
3. Men and women ought to be given equal opportunities, and so women and men can do everything equally well.
4. Unfaithfulness is immoral, and so it is unnatural to feel desire for others when in a monogamous relationship.
The key issue with this line of reasoning is that it is pure wishful thinking.
So, wait. It's "Artistic License" to be an idiot nowadays?
Just read it sarcastically. " Oh look, he has an artistic lisence in logic."
The discussion to change the You Fail Whatever tropes took months. Ask around on the forums if your curious why.
I noticed Ludicrous Precision got deleted, because it "isn't a real logical fallacy". Not wanting to start an edit war, I think we should discuss it here.
Technically, it's true that Fake Precision isn't a true logical fallacy (i.e. it doesn't deal with formal logic), but the sdame can be said of many other examples listed here, e.g. Chewbacca Defense, Ad Hominem or "Appeal to X"). Nevertheless, they are all still usually listed among other fallacies, and Ludicrous Precision, while not constituting an argument, still presents a logical Boobytrap. A proper argument basing a premise on Ludicrous Precision will have a questionable premise and can therefore be classified as (informally) fallacious.
In conclusion, I think Ludicrous Precision (in its real-life applications at least) deserves to be listed on this page. If it is not, then we should delete many other examples on here as well.
Yeah, but the article isn't about False Precision per se, it's about impossible precision as a narrative tool, usually to show a character is intelligent. You'll notice the other subpages are (save a handful) specifically about the fallacy in question. You'd have to write a seperate sub-page to add False Precision to the page, not just link the trope most like it.
Also, the tropes you listed DO deal with logic (aside from maybe Chewbacca Defense).
I corrected the false characterization of relativity in the "Appeal to Ridicule" section, but Evilest_Tim insists on adding the incorrect statements back in. I then changed the example to something else to avoid the controversy entirely, but Evilest_Tim simply changed it back, with the false statements once again included. I don't see why Evilest_Tim insists on having TV Tropes being a platform for advertising his failure to understand the Theory of Relativity.
Um, you're the one who's wrong on that one. The body of a car that is travelling quickly does, according to Einsteinian physics, become heavier (more massive, to be utterly correct) and (apparently) shorter. The fuel is irrelevant as it is not part of the body of the car; your error here is modelling the car as a particle that either gains or loses weight rather than recognising that the contents of the fuel tank decrease but the chassis mass increases due to the increase in speed; it makes little difference to the example that there's an overall decrease, the increase is the "crazy" part. You're being needlessly specific by splitting hairs over the weight of the body versus weight of body + fuel, and the same over what "gets shorter" means, seemingly just because you want to prove you're smarter than me. The result doesn't help the page, it harms the usefulness of the example. The entire point of the Appeal to Ridicule is that the true statement is made in a way that makes it appear absurd and / or impossible. The exact example is used on Wikipedia's page for the fallacy in question.
Your example isn't an appeal to ridicule, because it contains no actual appeal. Much like that "not an example" you added to Style Over Substance is an example of an ad hominem. Put bluntly, you don't understand logic and you're throwing an infantile shit-fit and calling me names over a minor issue of wording.
You claim that I am wrong, but you present no example of me being wrong. You cannot dispute that the car as a whole decreases in mass, so you now have added the qualification of "body" of the car, conveniently excluding the fuel. What else are you going to exclude? Radiator fluid? Oil? Tires? All of them experience a decrease in mass that massively outweighs the relativistic effects. I am not modeling the car as a particle; I am modeling it as an object considered as a whole, rather one divided into arbitrary divisions such as "fuel" and "chassis". You are splitting hairs as to what is "car" and what is "stuff that that just happens to be in the car, but isn't really part of the car", and then hypocritically accusing me of splitting hairs. The entire point of the Appeal to Ridicule is to make the claim as absurd as possible, and the whole point of the explanation of how it is an example of the Appeal to Ridicule is to make it as clear as possible that it is not absurd. Obscuring the fact that mass-energy is transferred from the fuel to the rest of the car, and simply saying that the car "gains mass" without any discussion of where that energy comes from, and simply declaring that relativity says that the car gains mass, so let's leave it at that, does little to dispel any unease that a reader might have that this actually is true. Your example consists of "Here's an example of someone saying that something is absurd, but I'm not going to explain how it is less absurd than it is made out to be, other than saying that the effects are really small". 'That doesn't help the page. And even if it did, presenting correct physics takes precedence over "helping the page".
I am absolutely not splitting hairs about what "gets shorter" means. The fact that there is no objective sense in which it "gets shorter" is central to relativity, and you are simply exhibiting your ignorance of To R by not only denying that, but ascribing nefarious motives to me for pointing it out. You are clearly still stuck in a pre-relativity mindset of a privileged reference frame. It is a sign of narcissism that not only do you refuse to accept it when someone corrects you, you label it "hair splitting" and claim that my motives are not in presenting correct physics, but instead I am doing this for the sole purpose of annoying you. As for citing Wikipedia, there are probably half a dozen of these fallacies that I could describe that as falling under.
I don't understand your claim that my example has no "appeal". And my "not an example" is not an example of ad hominem. You need to take a look at the "Ad Hominem" page. You have presented no example of me failing to understand logic or of me calling you names. The closest I came was commenting on the fact that you have both a very shallow understanding of relativity, and a lack of understanding of how shallow it is. While you may have found that insulting, it is an objective fact. Pointing out that you are committing a fallacy is not "calling you names". That my good faith edits constitute "an infantile shit-fit", on the other hand, is not a comment on objective facts, but simply you expressing anger that anyone would dare disagree with you.
Let's review: this all started when I edited an entry to be more scientifically accurate. You reverted me, saying that actually explaining the science made the page "too complicated". I offered an alternative solution of giving another example. You rejected that out of hand, accepting neither my alternative example nor presenting any other example of your own, instead returning to the example that you insist that we simplify to the point of inaccuracy to avoid making the page "too complicated", and then proceeded to declare this was all simply me wanting to prove that I am smarter than you, and that I am throwing an "infantile shit-fit".
You guys can take this to Appeal to Ridicule, since that's where the text is now. Actually, I'd prefer you didn't, since this sounds like a stupid argument. Example changed.
This is true, but it ignores there are relativistic effects that are making the car heavier than it would otherwise be, which is the point of the example. The car gets heavier; it also gets lighter due to other factors, but if you instantaneously stopped the vehicle it would be slightly lighter at any given instant than if it was moving. That's the point.
The example is supposed to be someone over-simplifying relativity in a way that, while technically accurate, is absurd. Imagine it as a big hairy guy who's just had relativistic change in mass and Lorentz contraction explained to him boiling it down to "so if I'm going fast, my car gets shorter and heavier? That's weird, you're making that up!" and it makes sense.
The reason I removed your initial point about the car actually getting lighter:
is it makes it look like the example is saying relativistic change in mass is wrong and the vehicle will not gain mass as a result of increased speed; it will, despite that the mass will be decreasing at a much more significant rate. The addition appeared to claim that relativistic change in mass is incorrect, which isn't something we ought to be doing.
And I notice you removed a section from ad hominem regarding dismissing an encyclopedia on the basis of errors. That's a perfectly good example; the fact that a publication might be unreliable is not proof that a given piece of information from that publication cannot be correct.
I wasn't trying to say that it was correct because Wikipedia said so, though, merely to point out (a) it's regarded as a good enough example there (check the talk page) and (b) that calling me ignorant is hardly valid when it isn't my example in the first place. At worst, I'd be being lazy by using an example I haven't checked properly.
It's just a simple way to say "experiences Lorentz contraction to an observer outside the vehicle" that makes the Theory of Relativity look absurd. It's technically a correct way to describe what is happening; again, that's the point, to make Relativity look as bizarre as possible.
You're repeatedly called me ignorant on the basis of an example which is supposed to be making physics look stupid. Didn't you think to stop and consider that I might fully understand relativity, but that the purpose of the example is to describe it in such a way as to make it seem bizarre and illogical?
The actual issue here is I'm willing to make the assumptions required to make it a valid example without needing them spelled out, while you'd prefer the page to present them in detail. That's just an issue of presentation, and has nothing to do with ignorance. You've been extremely aggressive over this whole thing, which could easily have been solved with a more civil discussion.
Your example is simply a statement; no conclusion was made that anything was incorrect in it. It certainly describes cosmology in a way that seems strange, but never actually declares it must be wrong because it is strange.
It is. Saying your opponent is too stupid to understand a rebuttal as a reason for not giving one is a classic ad hominem fallacy, as it dismisses the opponent's arguments on the basis of their supposed lack of intelligence rather than anything the arguments might actually contain. Pointing out an opponent is making errors is not reason to refuse to address their arguments; at least, not a logical reason to do so.
I think we've finally got it to a point we've agreed on the example, so we're ok with the currently-up wording.
...Yeah...now that you brought up I like the example I came up with better. You can get the relativity example from google, but Queen Alice torturing people with the "I love you" song? Definitely something you'd get from TV Tropes, and it doesn't require a technical explanation of the Theory of Relativity.
You can change it back if you really think it's better. But whatever you do, stop discussing it here, since this is an index now.
I think the trouble with yours is like the previous one, it isn't really an example of the fallacy; it doesn't actually claim the idea is wrong at all, let alone wrong because it appears stupid. But I'll take it over there if you want to discuss it further.
This troper has a bone to pick with the first example for "No True Scotsman".
"This is a common reaction to a mention of any unjust event involving or perpetrated by Christians in a discussion of the value of Christian morality (though this tactic itself is an association fallacy). Recently, it has also been used to argue that loudly self-proclaimed Muslim terrorists are not "true" Muslims."
The problem with this is that this logical fallacy is actually true, according to the tenants of the religion, a Christian is not supposed to do these things, including hating others, hurting others, or oppressing others, which Christianity has indeed been used in the name of. It's not really a stretch to say that someone who uses Christianity as an excuse for their own designs instead of following the beliefs of the religion is not a true Christian.
I'm not claiming this isn't a logical fallacy in place here because it obviously still is. But it's a bad example because whether or not it's a fallacy, it's still true.
I have no real objection to removing almost all of the religion-based examples, since many of them involve some degree of either deliberate strawmanning, false attribution of a fringe or disputed belief to the religion as a whole, or ignorance of the actual beliefs and/or practices.
The "no true Scotsman" example is simply the worst of the bunch, since it's using four terms to set up the no true Scotsman by ignoring that most religions (not just Christianity) require that a "true" follower adhere to a code of behavior, not merely undergo a ceremony and that's all.
Trouble is, religion is a matter of how you interpret the scriptures and laws. To some, a true follower is one who does not kill, to others, one who makes unending war against the unfaithful. So it is the No True Scotsman Fallacy to declare that no true follower of a given religion would ever do X, since you are imposing a definition of "true follower" on the argument that excludes all people you don't want to be part of that group. The people you're excluding could equally argue that no true follower would not do the things they do, and have an equally valid point.
By that extensive a definition, every philosophy, political movement and ideological label in the world is commiting a No True Scotsman fallacy if there's any sort of internal dissent on its meaning. But Madrugada's right, it's hard to argue that "a mass murderer isn't truly a believer in a religion that specifically forbids murder" isn't on a whole different level than "no true Braves fan would dye his hair blue". This is why I don't really like Aristotlean logic: people tend just shout them out like Pokemon names in battle while ignoring the underlying emotions on both sides that are really driving the whole thing. Hence, we get these shrill, subtext-ridden edit wars over religion where the religious people are shouting that atheists are strawmanning and the atheists are shouting that religious people fail logic forever and everyone's talking past each other. And, in the name of avoiding that whole mess, I agree with leaving religion out of it.
No True Scotsman is a variant of Moving The Goalposts where a "true" something is defined in a way that presupposes the conclusion: for example, if I say I know a Catholic who accepts the ordanation of women, the opponent points out that no true Catholic would do so. It's a fallacy because the "true Catholic" specifically means "one who does not agree with any conclusion but my own;" in essence, it's just a statement that "I am right in the specific cases where I am right."
This could also be used for "no true Christian believes in the transformation of the sacrament" (excluding all Catholics from the definition of "true" Christian in the process) or, as here, no "true" Christian would ever interpret the Bible in a way that stated making war on unbelievers is justified (ruling out two thousand years of history in which people did so repeatedly).
This differs from internal dissent; provided that the subgroup in question doesn't declare all dissenters are not adherents at all and don't count as part of the larger group, it's not this fallacy. Thus, you can say someone isn't a mainstream Christian if they don't share the beliefs of the larger part of the group, but that doesn't mean they are not a Christian at all; defining "mainstream" as "true" as here is the fallacy.
It also specifically encourages killing the unfaithful in other places, which is why it's a fallacy; the "true" Christian, rather than being "one who accepts the divinity of Jesus Christ" (which is the only sensible overall description of such a diverse religion) becomes "one who accepts the divinity of Jesus Christ and accepts a specific interpretation and selection of scripture which forbids holy war."
I'm not seeing these edit wars you're claiming the examples cause, and I'm not seeing them because they aren't there. Censoring the article over hypothetical ability to cause offense would require us to remove more or less all the examples on one basis or another, and is absolutely the wrong thing to do.
Also, good job assuming anyone who disagrees with you is an atheist. I'm a Christian, thanks. But I guess I'm not a true one. :P
You might want to be careful about presupposing other people's intentions. I'M an atheist, and I wasn't talking about you with that comment (in fact, I was thinking about some recent God Is Evil ranting on the religion/Complete Monster page that led to Fast Eddie cutting it entirely). But I recognize that there are plenty of atheist tropers who get their emotions involved and wind up just as blindly confrontational as any fundementalist, and that the natter tends to come more from that side of the peanut gallery than the other.
As for whether it happens... again, Monster/Religion. The page died just a few days ago because some people would not let go of the desire to post "lolGod" even after being repeatedly warned that that's not what the page is about and insisting on it could get it cutlisted. And that's just the most recent example.
Anyway, you just said it yourself: No True Scotsman is about moving the goalposts and arbitrarily changing the definition yourself, in mid-argument. It's "no A would do B" switching to "no TRUE A would do B" when faced with competing evidence. Religious examples don't work because the rules aren't changing. The rules were already there. If one Christian says "thou shalt not kill" and the other says "oh yeah, well thou shalt not suffer a witch to live", that's not No True Scotsman, that's disagreeing on the core tenets. As long as the rules are actually encoded somewhere, it's not No True Scotsman: NTS is about arbitrarily changing your own definition to fit your agenda in ways that religion's Appeal to Authority makes difficult on an organizational level.
The closest it can come is with people saying, informally, "well no real Christian would act like that" about something that's not covered by religious edict at all (like "no real Christian would vote Democrat"). Even in those cases, there's still the authority of the Bible, the Quran, the Torah and so on: if someone plays the No True Scotsman fallacy too blatantly with religion about something that no rule actually covers, it's easy enough to dispel since the statement doesn't match the religious teaching. People can play No True Scotsman about religion (as they can about anything), but saying religion itself plays it is another matter.
To take the example you gave, saying "no true Catholic accepts the ordanation of women" ...so long as the definition of a Catholic is someone who accepts the Vatican's authority, and the Pope himself has said that women cannot be ordained, that IS a logical, self-consistent statement (though it relies on a very binary, all or nothing defintion of "Catholic"). To the extent that someone breaks with church doctrine, they can at least be argued to not be a "true" member (hence the million and one Protestant denominations that each formed from disagreement with this or that doctrine). Ironically, it's the Appeal to Authority fallacy that keeps it from being a No True Scotsman fallacy: if the Vatican turns around tomorrow and says the exact opposite, then it'd suddenly be the people who don't accept female ordination on the "not a true Catholic" side of the fence.
Yes, the example there is disagreeing. If the first Christian declared that "no Christian would kill" and the second said "I do not believe a Christian should suffer a witch to live," the first Christian saying the second was not a true Christian would be an example. If a Christian says right away that the second is not a true Christian because he believes in killing, it's virtually the same argument; it's actually Begging the Question rather than No True Scotsman, come to think of it, but it's still fallacious since it assumes a definition of "Christian" that is just as debatable as any conclusion that might be made.
Question here- do we have any support for splitting this page into an index? If this was a Useful Notes page we'd probably be all right, but when we're dealing with issues like examples these are things that could be dealt with much easier if we had individual pages instead of am omnibus.
...Since nobody objected to my proposal of splitting the page, I interpreted that to mean everyone thinks it's a good idea and I did it. I feel reasonably confident I did not invoke a logical fallacy there, since I read the whole thing several times in the process of moving.
While I agree with all of the anti-religious examples of fallicies, perhaps we could replace them with more neutral examples. As it stands, alot of the sections include anti-religious examples and this could cause a kerfuffle, whilst plenty of other examples would get the point across just as well.
Religion isn't logical, though, so it makes for perfect examples. One of the major reasons William of Ockham put forward Occam's Razor was to demonstrate that religious belief is always due to faith rather than logic, as an appeal to the divine never adds to the predictive power of a theory. This isn't the same thing as saying it's actually wrong (see Appeal to Logic).
But Tim, the fact that religious examples are easy doesn't override the Rule Of Cautious Editing Judgement. They are natter bait at best, and flame bait at worst. We don't need religious examples.
Oh shush, sanitising the entire page just in case it theoretically offends someone in the future is insane. Anyone who is offended by their religion not being logical hasn't really got the idea of religion.
Anti-religious examples? None of the examples argue against religion in general or even against a specific religion, just against arguments for religion. Calling religions themselves fallacious is huge Flame Bait, but what's wrong with countering arguments given for religion?
First of all, the claim that Religion/faith is inherently illogical is itself pure BS and there is no single aim or "idea of religion". If God exist and created the mind, then the nature of God could be understood logically (though not completely, for that would assume humans are omniscient). This is basic theology 101. Also the claim that faith is illogical is nowhere in William of Ockham's writing (how claimed that it IS rational to invoke God since he is, theologically speaking, the "Necessary Being" and you seem to have missed the purpose of Occam's Ravor. And one more thing, the False Dichotomy between faith and reason is itself a modern myth created by 18th-19th century Secularist along with the "flat earth" and the "Dark Ages".
"The dot-com bubble was caused by many investors believing this fallacy. People invested in companies that made popular websites, but that does not mean that those sites are profitable and would be able to provide a positive return"
This is not an Appeal to Popularity. Websites with a lot of traffic are legitimately more valuable that those without. The idea was to make the money back through ad revenue, so buying into sites with lots of users was analogous to buying a billboard over a heavily-trafficked road. The mistake was in overestimating the amount companies would be willing to pay for that revenue and assuming all sites would become popular. Those are mistakes in facts, not in logic.
Not necessarily; the big, bad idea of the dotcom bubble was that a company didn't have to have a sane business plan (or even ever actually made any money whatsoever) as long as it was trying to get pageviews. Though really, it's a bad example because the primary feature of the dotcom bubble was appeal to novelty, so moved.
"People who oppose condom distribution with the argument that since condoms don't prevent pregnancy and ST Ds 100% of the time, we shouldn't make a solution available that "only" works over 98% of the time."
This is not the whole of their argument. Their claims are that distributing condoms encourages sexual activity amongst children. Their proposed solution is abstinence, which works 100% of the time. In that case, the 98% success rate is indeed the worse option, and precludes the better one. You can argue the premises are false (and I'd agree), but the reasoning is valid.
It's part of their argument, though; there's no reason why abstinence means condoms should not be distributed just in case, so instead they attack the effectiveness of condoms as a reason to have either 100% or 0% with no options in between. This is not valid reasoning; the fact that there's a problem with STD rates in the first place is a good marker of the effectiveness of teaching abstinence as the only method of preventing them.
"there's no reason why abstinence means condoms should not be distributed just in case, so instead they attack the effectiveness of condoms as a reason to have either 100% or 0% with no options in between."
Again, the reason is that they think giving kids condoms encourages sexual activity, which by definition precludes abstinence. If you accept (as they do) the flawed premise "giving kids condoms encourages sex" as true, the conclusion that condoms are the less desirable option does indeed follow. The flaw in their reasoning is the argument that leads to that premise, not the one they built on it.
"the fact that there's a problem with STD rates in the first place is a good marker of the effectiveness of teaching abstinence as the only method of preventing them."
They would tell you that you're reversing the cause and effect here. Their claim is that STD rates are bad because the society that supports sexual exploration (by giving kids condoms) which is causing the STD crisis. Abstinence-only education is their proposed cure.
Which is still not the issue; they do attack issuing of condoms on the basis that they are not 100% reliable, and are therefore worthless as a solution. This is like saying that cars should not have seatbelts since they are not 100% effective and if people want to be safe they shouldn't drive. The fallacy is still a key component of the argument.
Again, you are misconstruing their argument and attacking only half of it. They are saying that the 98% success rate is bad because it precludes the application of a solution with a 100% success rate. To extend it into your car analogy: Not driving is a 100% successful way of avoiding a car accident. Putting seatbelts into cars encourages people to drive by giving them a false sense of security. Therefore we shouldn't put seatbelts into cars because then people won't be tempted to drive.
If your proposed solution is Just Say No, then alternates along the lines of But If You Say Yes, Here's How To Do It Better undermine your goal.
But in both cases, the first assumption isn't true (not driving a car doesn't mean you can't be hit by one, abstinence education does nothing to prevent STD transmission at all if you actually have sex; in both cases, evidence strongly suggests that people will do the thing you don't want them to do anyway and all you're doing is making it less safe) and so you're into another fallacy, Begging The Question, since your premise is at least as questionable as your conclusion. Africa has stratospheric STD rates and no condom use, which strongly suggests abstinence education is not an effective method of combating STDs.
It should also be pointed out that most people suggest "abstinence education" of a sort be part of fighting STDs; casual sex with strangers is generally discouraged by awareness campaigns, it's only the Christian Fundamentalists who want it as the only option, so the idea that condom use precludes teaching people to keep it in their pants if they don't know where they're putting it is invalid.
Regardless, to shore up this conclusion anti-condom advocates do indeed use claims that 98% performance for a barrier method is inadequate and so it shouldn't be used because it is not perfect, and thus use this fallacy. The fact that there's a "second half" to their argument (assuming abstinence education is 100% effective and precludes any other methods of preventing STDs, which are the premises of the argument against the 98% effective method) doesn't mean the first "half" doesn't exist.
But in both cases, the first assumption isn't true (not driving a car doesn't mean you can't be hit by one, abstinence education does nothing to prevent STD transmission at all if you actually have sex; in both cases, evidence strongly suggests that people will do the thing you don't want them to do anyway and all you're doing is making it less safe) and so you're into another fallacy, Begging The Question, since your premise is at least as questionable as your conclusion. Africa has stratospheric STD rates and no condom use, which strongly suggests abstinence education is not an effective method of combating ST Ds.
Exactly! That's what Ive been saying all along! Their premise is faulty, but the logic upon which is is based works if you assume (as they do) that it is true.
Regardless, to shore up this conclusion anti-condom advocates do indeed use claims that 98% performance for a barrier method is inadequate and so it shouldn't be used because it is not perfect, and thus use this fallacy. The fact that there's a "second half" to their argument (assuming abstinence education is 100% effective and precludes any other methods of preventing ST Ds, which are the premises of the argument against the 98% effective method) doesn't mean the first "half" doesn't exist.
The conclusion is "We shouldn't distribute condoms."
Premise: Condoms are 98% effective against ST Ds
Premise: Abstinence is 100% effective against ST Ds
Premise: Distributing condoms encourages sex, thereby undermining Abstinence (The faulty premise)
Sub-conclusion: The 98% solution precludes the 100% solution
Conclusion: Therefore, we shouldn't do it.
Adding the faulty premise completes the argument. Your evidence about Africa attacks one of their premises, not their conclusion. The Perfect Solution fallacy would be to say "We shouldn't distribute condoms because they are only 98% effective." If you ignore half of their argument, of course it is fallacious because it's incomplete. Don't confuse a false premise with a false conclusion.
We're only talking about the half of the argument where they attack the effectiveness of condoms. The rest is totally irrelevant; they commit this fallacy by claiming an imperfect solution is useless; it doesn't matter that they also claim a perfect one exists when it demonstrably does not (abstinence education, which is not the same as actual abstinence and is what they're actually advocating, is actually 40% effective at preventing sex and even less effective at preventing STD transmission, since 60% of people who say they won't have sex before marriage go on to do so anyway and are 30% less likely to use a condom than those who've recieved sex ed).
There is no physical reason that condom availability and teaching abstinence cannot co-exist, so they're forced to claim condoms are useless because they're not perfect. Often they'll go to the point of outright lies by claiming that condoms don't work at all to make their point. What you're doing here is the complex question fallacy, tying multiple unrelated claims into a whole argument and stating that if anything does not describe all of them, it doesn't describe any of the individual claims. Anti-condom advocates make the claim that 98% effective means useless on it's own. Compounding it into a larger argument doesn't stop it being false in itself and an example of the Perfect Solution Fallacy.
We're only talking about the half of the argument where they attack the effectiveness of condoms.
You can't only focus on half an argument and then claim it is fallacious because it's incomplete. That's a Straw Man. You might as well take away two legs of a table and complain that it doesn't stand up.
There is no physical reason that condom availability and teaching abstinence cannot co-exist,
They would say that it's because condom availability undermines abstinence teaching. One precludes the other. The Good Solution precludes the Perfect Solution, so the Good Solution is bad. You are ignoring the link they make between those two statements.
What you're doing here is the complex question fallacy, tying multiple unrelated claims into a whole argument and stating that if anything does not describe all of them, it doesn't describe any of the individual claims.
What you're doing is confusing the premises of their argument with the conclusion. Your entire rebuttal has been undermining the factual truth of their claim that abstinence is 100% effective. Claiming that the Perfect Solution doesn't exist. I'm not even disputing that. But that's not the Perfect Solution Fallacy. You can reach a valid conclusion based on false premises, which is what they've done.
Put it in purely generic terms, here's what they say:
Solution A is 98% effective
Solution B is 100% effective
Implementing solution A makes it impossible to implement solution B.
Therefore, we shouldn't implement solution A, because it is worse than B AND prevents us from implementing B.
Of course, if you ignore half of their argument or dismiss it as "irrelevant," of course its incomplete. These premises lean on each other, that's how logic works.
The problem is you're using a definition of "perfect" specifically tailored to support your argument, and using it incompletely. Most people would not apply a standard of "perfect" to contraception that consists exclusively of minimum chance of infection; that logically also makes suicide a method of contraception and only having sex with animals and the dead a "perfect" solution.
In order to claim the fallacy doesn't apply while claiming a 100% perfect solution, the alleged 100% solution has to be perfect by any definition of perfection, has to be mutually exclusive with the imperfect one without additional qualifiers, and has to actually exist. For most people, an ideal method of contraception would be one that allows a reasonably normal sexual act to take place, has the best possible chance of preventing pregnancy and STDs, and does not significantly harm the pleasure of either partner. This rules out abstinence entirely as a solution, let alone it being a perfect one. Since the perfect solution does not exist at all, claiming that the imperfect one is ruled out by it is nonsensical.
Regardless, the logic that only 0% and 100% exist is used in the argument, and in the "secular" version that you keep ignoring (where they don't mention abstinence at all because they know it's not considered a realistic option and is likely to make people ignore them) they will exclusively attack the effectiveness of condoms, claiming 98% is not sufficient and so nobody should use them.
This particular example has been a bone of contention since it was added. (Take a look at the archived discussion; there's a huge whack of arguing about it there, as well.)
Let's just cut this example, shall we?
I've more clearly defined which version of the argument the fallacy applies to (the variation where scaremongering is used to convince people not to use condoms, without the entire additional argument our IP friend insists must be bolted on to it). I've also corrected the definition to be closer to the Wikipedia article, since it was much too narrow; the perfect solution fallacy is binary thinking, and one version of the fallacy is the simple act of assuming a perfect solution exists.
I'm not saying you should bolt on something unrelated, I'm saying you stripped away the half that explains what they think the perfect solution is. Without that, their attack on condom distribution is without context.
After reading the archived discussion Madrugada mentioned, the suggested compromise seemed to be to move it to "False Dilemma" which I can agree with. I still think the whole argument falls under "Valid Reasoning/False Premise" which is mentioned at the bottom but doesn't get it's own subfolder.
And I'm saying that this is not the same argument, which you are utterly ignoring. When trying to sell the idea to the non-religious, they do not say they want you to abstain, they try to scare people into concluding they should abstain by stating that no method of contraception is perfect, therefore it is too risky to use any of them no matter how good they actually are.
It should also be pointed out that these people are Christians, and Christians believe abstaining is not 100% effective since there is always a risk of pregnancy via divine intervention :P
Whether they're Christians or not has nothing to do with it, Tim. He's right, you've misrepresented the argument so that you can keep it as an example. It's not that important that it be an example; there are plenty of other examples for that fallacy. It's been a constant source of edit warring and it seems that it's more important to you that you get to keep your Take That! than that the examples be good.
You are treading very close to edit-warring territory here, by changing everything back to the way you want it with no regard for the reasons it was changed away in the first place.
No, I have not misrepresented the argument. It is a different argument. He is misrepresenting a flawed argument as being necessarily part of a stronger argument that includes it, when it is not. Also, why on earth are you treating a sentence with a ":P" smiley at the end seriously?
Because someone added it to the main page.
Erm, I think we need to calm down a little here.
I didn't say you added it. Someone named Nova Deez 'did.
Yeah, I'm not entirely sure it belongs there; it's kinda amusing to note, but it's not really anything to do with the fallacy in question.
By the way, you've been doing a bang-up job with this page, even if we do butt heads on some of it.
Question/suggestion: Grouping related fallacies together? Strawman as a major section, with Amphiboly under it, rather than off on its own but saying "a type of strawman"? Like the way The Association fallacies are grouped, but with a clearer line of demarcation between the sub-types?
I'm not sure what the markup would need to be to give us the right indentation, though.
I was thinking of grouping them using folders, myself, since I think that'd work; each one has a short paragraph at the top explaining the group, then the fallacies. I've seen lists that group them by how the fallacy works rather than if it's a subtype (like the sidebar here). They all need taking to Word and assembling into some kind of order first, mind.
Also, looking over the list, Appeal to Obscurity seems to think it's something that it's not. The title is backwards (the "appeal to..." is what you're appealing to, not the opposite of it) and it's basically just a specific case of Appeal To Popularity (someone did not do this, you have never heard of them, therefore you should do this or nobody will hear of you either). Should probably drag the trope itself off to be renamed; an actual appeal to obscurity would be claims like "obscure mysticism is clearly closer to the truth than mainstream religion because so few people dare to accept it."
Unfortunately, that's the only name I've ever heard used for the fallacy "You should do this because someone you never heard of didn't. I think it may fit better a subtype of Appeal to Consequences rather than Popularity, though.
I think that could be filed under Appeal to Fear (of obscurity), having thought about it. The rest is just trying to get the other person to set up an Appeal to Ignorance for you to generalise from (you haven't heard of X, therefore nobody has heard of X, therefore X is bad, hence the Appeal to Popularity part). Still, I think Appeal to Obscurity would be the logic underlying both It's Popular, Now It Sucks! (a rather popular variant being that X was great until it "sold out" to become popular) and claims that because something isn't well known it is either too revolutionary or too challenging for the masses and so must be good / correct.
We've got different definitions of Hypocrite, apparently. I'm using the dictionary definition: "A person who says they believe something, but acts in manner contrary to it." Everything they say they believe may very well be true; they simply don't act on those beliefs.
What definition are you using?
But what you keep putting in is that "Not everything a hypocrite says is true, but that doesn't mean that any particular statement is false." You're equating hypocrite with "falsehood" rather than "disconnect between words and actions."
And their actions aren't part of the logical argument unless explicitly stated to be so.
It is a fact that not everything a hypocrite says or does can be right at the same time; this is often used to write off anything a hypocrite says / does as a falsehood. I'm just trying to get across that despite that not all of their actions / arguments can be correct is not reason in itself to dismiss any specific action / argument. I've tried to clarify it more in the article, but really I was just trying to phrase it without all these damn forward slashes and hope people got what I meant.
The meaning of "hypocrite" is someone who's actions do not reflect their words; therefore, their actions or their words may be correct, but not both.
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How well does it match the trope?