The List of Logical Fallacies
Logical Fallacies and their examples for political conversations.
1 – Ad Hominem: Insults used as if it were an argument or evidence in support of a conclusion. “You’re just a radical left-socialist-NeverTrump-liberal” (therefore all of your opinions must be worthless so I won’t even hear them.)
2 – Straw Man: In the straw man fallacy, someone attacks a position the opponent doesn’t really hold by presenting a rational argument as an extreme. “Democrats just want open borders, free flowing drugs from Mexico, and welfare handouts.”
3 – Appeal to Ignorance Attack: Ignorance isn’t proof of anything except that one doesn’t know something. “I personally have never been to space to see the earth is round so the earth is flat.”
4 – False Dilemma: Presenting the argument as only two options where other options exist. “If you’re not a conservative, then you hate America.”
5 – Slippery Slope: unlikely or ridiculous outcomes are likely when there’s just not enough evidence to think so. “By passing a nationwide background check on guns, you are willfully inviting totalitarianism to our government.”
6 – Circular Argument: When a person’s argument is just repeating what they already assumed beforehand, it’s not arriving at any new conclusion. “Despite literally no evidence that vaccines cause autism, I know someone who got a vaccine shot and and is also autistic. Therefore vaccines definitely cause autism.”
7 – Hasty Generalization: (most common logical fallacy) No agreed on measure of consistency or truth, only bias. “Liberalism is a disease” “All Republicans are pro-Trump” “Millennials are lazy.”
8 – Red Herring: (easiest to misuse) Are difficult to identify because it’s not always clear how different topics relate.
“But her emails” “Both sides are terrible” – (when talking about the actions of one side).
9 – Tu Quoque (You too) Fallacy: Distracts from the argument by pointing out hypocrisy in the opponent. “If Killary got away with her emails, then Trump shouldn’t be held accountable for adultery, admitting sexual assault, lying about a national emergency, or anything else he does.”
10 – Causal Fallacy (A parent fallacy for other fallacies) Incorrect conclusions from a presumption or speculation of prior events. “Last week there was a bill to limit access to military weapons and then yesterday there was a mass shooting at a school, therefore the shooting is a false-flag by crisis actors.
11 – Fallacy of Sunk Costs: We are susceptible to this errant behavior when we crave that sense of completion or a sense of accomplishment. “Maybe if we vote to abolish ACA for the forty second time, something will change?” “I know Trump is incredibly embarrassing and ignorant to any actual policy in governing, but I don’t think after 2 years, we’ve given him a chance.”
12 – Appeal to Authority: When we misuse an authority, steering conveniently away from other testable and concrete evidence as if expert opinion is always correct. “I will have the best people in my cabinet.” “Low IQ (enter name here)” “Worst attack on the president” “I know more than the generals” (Literally hugging a flag)
13 – Equivocation (ambiguity): When a word, phrase, or sentence is used deliberately to confuse, deceive, or mislead by sounding like it’s saying one thing but actually saying something else. “Alternative Facts” “I didn’t lie about not paying off Stormy Daniels because I wasn’t under oath.”
14 – Appeal to Pity: Truth and falsity aren’t emotional categories, they are factual categories. “The Patriot Act sounds like it’s pro-patriotism, but in fact since 2001 is still being used as a measure of open-ended war anywhere in the world without the consent of Congress.”
15 – Bandwagon Fallacy: The bandwagon fallacy assumes something is true (or right, or good) because other people agree with it. A couple different fallacies can be included under this label, since they are often indistinguishable in practice. “Liberalism is a disease” “To be a Republican, you have to agree on everything the conservative party says is right or wrong.” “Liberals want to tax everyone into the ground.”