Common fallacies

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Common fallacies are arguments that have a logical fallacy inherent in them, yet are still commonly accepted by people who:

  • have difficulties with abstract thinking
  • are young students, or are adults unwilling to reconsider opinions they formed as students
  • exercise their free will to embrace fallacies without concern for whether they are flawed

Examples of common fallacies are:

  • a theory should be accepted until a better alternative is found
  • rates of recession, decay or growth observed today are somehow constant for extrapolation backwards in time
  • higher taxes must produce more revenue for the government
  • fewer guns must reduce the rate of crime
  • choice is somehow meaningful regardless of whether it is informed
  • human thought can answer any question
  • loaded questions: embodies an assumption that, if answered, indicates an implied agreement. (e.g., Have you stopped beating your wife yet?)
  • Appeal to Misleading Authority: When a person believes a claim to be true simply because an "authority" says so, when that "authority" is not actually an authority on the subject at hand. For example if somebody believes a claim about chemistry to be true simply because a psychologist says it is true. What constitutes an authority is debatable.

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