5 Logical Fallacies

5 Logical Fallacies:

Arguments are woven around logic and any conclusions so arrived, has to be based on logical derivation. However as you watch TV debates, the speakers tend to spin the argument wheel 360 degrees. So as a key to detecting when they are using wrong argumentative logic to persuade you, here are the 5 top logical fallacies that are routinely employed by all speakers. In the next discourse, see if you can spot them being used as a manipulation device:

1) Ad Hominem( to the person) : A common trick or fallacy, where the arguer is attacked instead of his position.

Person 1: I believe that a person who is communal cannot be a nationalist.
Person 2: You would say this because you are a pseudo –secular.
Person 1: How does that follow. People who are communal harm the unity of nation
Person 2: Yes and pseudo –seculars like you who support Pakistan should go there.

2) Argumentum ad lapidem (Argument to stone): Dismissing a claim as absurd without giving proof of its invalidity. It derives its name from the dismissal, Dr Samuel Johnson gave to Bishop Berkley’s immaterialist philosophy that all things are ideas in mind by striking a large stone and saying “I refute it thus”.

Person 1: I believe that a person who is communal cannot be a nationalist.
Person 2: Nonsense. Loyalty is in blood.
Person 1: What do you mean?
Person 2: That your ideas are ridiculous.

3) Argumentum ad passions( Appeal To Emotion ): Appealing to emotional response of a person rather than a rational response. This is mainly to incite feelings of fear, pity, envy, hatred or anger.

Person 1: I believe that a person who is communal cannot be a nationalist.
Person 2: It is this kind of a mindset which made our country a slave to foreigners.
Person 1: So you mean a communal makes a nationalist.
Person 2: No I mean, you can sit around here while our jawans sacrifice their life for their motherland. You can keep arguing but I am proud our culture and nation and will do anything to defend its honor.

4) Red Herring : At attempt to distract the audience by talking on a subject which is easier to speak upon than on the subject at hand. This is a vaunted diversionary tactic.

Person 1: I believe that a person who is communal cannot be a nationalist.
Person 2: We respect our nationalist icons like Bhagat Singh and Azad. True patriots are our armed forces who battle hostile conditions to keep seculars like you safe.
Person 1: People who believe their religion is superior do great disservice to the nation.
Person 2: So you think people who rant against the nation and raise anti nation slogans do it a great service.

5) False Dilemma or False dichotomy: When a black or white position is created and only two disparate choices are presented which might not be the only positions possible. There could be many other choices possible in between.

Person 1: I believe that a person who is communal cannot be a nationalist.
Person 2: You are either with the armed forces who defend our borders or be with the terrorists, That’s the real choice you must make now.
Person 1: Are people who do not subscribe to your brand of nationalism, traitors.
Person 2: No in name of freedom of speech you cannot malign the country. If you truly think you are an Indian, say Bharat Mata ki Jai with me.

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