Tradecraft, Pt 2: Gamblers, Scotsmen, and Other Logical Fallacies

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Tradecraftnoun ˈtrād-ˌkraft – skill acquired through experience in a trade; often used to discuss skill in espionage.

One long standing hope since the Rabbit Room’s inception was that this online community would become a place where we look over one another’s shoulders at what we’re reading, thinking about, listening to, and learning. In an effort to focus in on learning how to grow in art, life, and faith, I present this new Rabbit Room series: Tradecraft. These posts will look behind the curtain into the mechanics of how things work in the world of thinking, composing, engaging, and creating. I hope the content of this series will reach well beyond the arts themselves and into every facet of life.

Today’s tradecraft deals with critical thinking—specifically, reasoning and logical fallacies, helpfully and humorously presented by the folks at yourlogicalfallacyis.com. I found them through one of my favorite websites in the world—twentytwowords.com—which linked to a much more interesting high res PDF of the image and content I’ve included below.

Logical Fallacies Picture

 

The poster says a logical fallacy is:

“a flaw in reasoning. Strong arguments are void of logical fallacies, whilst arguments that are weak tend to use logical fallacies to appear stronger than they are. They’re like tricks or illusions of thought, and they’re often very sneakily used by politicians, the media, and others to fool people. Don’t be fooled! This poster has been designed to help you identify and call out dodgy logic wherever it may raise its ugly, incoherent head.”

If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably find yourself guilty of more than a few of these. Here they are—24 logical fallacies.

 

1. Strawman

Misrepresenting someone’s argument to make it easier to attack.

By exaggerating, misrepresenting, or just completely fabricating someone’s argument, it’s much easier to present your own position as being reasonable, but this kind of dishonesty serves to undermine rational debate.

After Will said that we should put more money into health and education, Warren responded by saying that he was surprised that Will hates our country so much that he wants to leave it defenseless by cutting military spending.

 

2. Slippery Slope

Asserting that if we allow A to happen, then Z will consequently happen too, therefore A should not happen.

The problem with this reasoning is that it avoids engaging with the issue at hand, and instead shifts attention to baseless extreme hypotheticals. The merits of the original argument are then tainted by unsubstantiated conjecture.

Colin Closet asserts that if we allow same-sex couples to marry, then the next thing we know we’ll be allowing people to marry their parents, their cars and even monkeys.

 

3. Special Pleading

Moving the goalposts or making up exceptions when a claim is shown to be false.

Humans are funny creatures and have a foolish aversion to being wrong. Rather than appreciate the benefits of being able to change one’s mind through better understanding, many will invent ways to cling to old beliefs.

Edward Johns claimed to be psychic, but when his ‘abilities’ were tested under proper scientific conditions, they magically disappeared. Edward explained this saying that one had to have faith in his abilities for them to work.

 

4. The Gambler’s Fallacy

Believing that ‘runs’ occur to statistically independent phenomena such as roulette wheel spins.

This commonly believed fallacy can be said to have helped create a city in the desert of Nevada USA. Though the overall odds of a ‘big run’ happening may be low, each spin of the wheel is itself entirely independent from the last.

Red had come up six times in a row on the roulette wheel, so Greg knew that it was close to certain that black would be next up. Suffering an economic form of natural selection with this thinking, he soon lost all of his savings.

 

5. Black or White

Where two alternative states are presented as the only possibilities, when in fact more possibilities exist.

Also known as the false dilemma, this insidious tactic has the appearance of forming a logical argument, but under closer scrutiny it becomes evident that there are more possibilities than the either/or choice that is presented.

Whilst rallying support for his plan to fundamentally undermine citizens’ rights, the Supreme Leader told the people they were either on his side, or on the side of the enemy.

 

6. False Cause

Presuming that a real or perceived relationship between things means that one is the cause of the other.

Many people confuse correlation (things happening together or in sequence) for causation (that one thing actually causes the other to happen). Sometimes correlation is coincidental, or it may be attributable to a common cause.

Pointing to a fancy chart, Roger shows how temperatures have been rising over the past few centuries, whilst at the same time the numbers of pirates have been decreasing; thus pirates cool the world and global warming is a hoax.

 

7. Ad Hominem

Attacking your opponent’s character or personal traits in an attempt to undermine their argument.

Ad hominem attacks can take the form of overtly attacking somebody, or casting doubt on their character. The result of an ad hominem attack can be to undermine someone without actually engaging with the substance of their argument.

After Sally presents an eloquent and compelling case for a more equitable taxation system, Sam asks the audience whether we should believe anything from a woman who isn’t married, was once arrested, and smells a bit weird.

 

8. Loaded Question

Asking a question that has an assumption built into it so that it can’t be answered without appearing guilty.

Loaded question fallacies are particularly effective at derailing rational debates because of their inflammatory nature – the recipient of the loaded question is compelled to defend themselves and may appear flustered or on the back foot.

Grace and Helen were both romantically interested in Brad. One day, with Brad sitting within earshot, Grace asked in an inquisitive tone whether Helen was having any problems with a fungal infection.

 

9. Bandwagon

Appealing to popularity or the fact that many people do something as an attempted form of validation.

The flaw in this argument is that the popularity of an idea has absolutely no bearing on its validity. If it did, then the Earth would have made itself flat for most of history to accommodate this popular belief.

Shamus pointed a drunken finger at Sean and asked him to explain how so many people could believe in leprechauns if they’re only a silly old superstition. Sean, however, had had a few too many Guinness himself and fell off his chair.

 

10. Begging the Question

A circular argument in which the conclusion is included in the premise.

This logically incoherent argument often arises in situations where people have an assumption that is very ingrained, and therefore taken in their minds as a given. Circular reasoning is bad mostly because it’s not very good.

The word of Zorbo the Great is flawless and perfect. We know this because it says so in The Great and Infallible Book of Zorbo’s Best and Most Truest Things that are Definitely True and Should Not Ever Be Questioned.

 

11. Appeal to Authority

Saying that because an authority thinks something, it must therefore be true.

It’s important to note that this fallacy should not be used to dismiss the claims of experts, or scientific consensus. Appeals to authority are not valid arguments, but nor is it reasonable to disregard the claims of experts who have a demonstrated depth of knowledge unless one has a similar level of understanding.

Not able to defend his position that evolution ‘isn’t true’ Bob says that he knows a scientist who also questions evolution (and presumably isn’t herself a primate).

 

12. Appeal to Nature

Making the argument that because something is ‘natural’ it is therefore valid, justified, inevitable, good, or ideal.

Many ‘natural’ things are also considered ‘good’, and this can bias our thinking; but naturalness itself doesn’t make something good or bad. For instance murder could be seen as very natural, but that doesn’t mean it’s justifiable.

The medicine man rolled into town on his bandwagon offering various natural remedies, such as very special plain water. He said that it was only natural that people should be wary of ‘artificial’ medicines like antibiotics.

 

13. Composition / Division

Assuming that what’s true about one part of something has to be applied to all, or other, parts of it.

Often when something is true for the part it does also apply to the whole, but because this isn’t always the case it can’t be presumed to be true. We must show evidence for why a consistency will exist.

Daniel was a precocious child and had a liking for logic. He reasoned that atoms are invisible, and that he was made of atoms and therefore invisible too. Unfortunately, despite his thinky skills, he lost the game of hide and go seek.

 

14. Anecdotal

Using personal experience or an isolated example instead of a valid argument, especially to dismiss statistics.

It’s often much easier for people to believe someone’s testimony as opposed to understanding variation across a continuum. Scientific and statistical measures are almost always more accurate than individual perceptions and experiences.

Jason said that that was all cool and everything, but his grandfather smoked, like, 30 cigarettes a day and lived until 97 – so don’t believe everything you read about meta analyses of sound studies showing proven causal relationships.

 

15. Appeal to Emotion

Manipulating an emotional response in place of a valid or compelling argument.

Appeals to emotion include appeals to fear, envy, hatred, pity, guilt, and more. Though a valid, and reasoned, argument may sometimes have an emotional aspect, one must be careful that emotion doesn’t obscure or replace reason.

Luke didn’t want to eat his sheep’s brains with chopped liver and brussels sprouts, but his father told him to think about the poor, starving children in a third world country who weren’t fortunate enough to have any food at all.

 

16. Tu Quoque

Avoiding having to engage with criticism by turning it back on the accuser – answering criticism with criticism.

Literally translating as ‘you too’ this fallacy is commonly employed as an effective red herring because it takes the heat off the accused having to defend themselves and shifts the focus back onto the accuser themselves.

Nicole identified that Hannah had committed a logical fallacy, but instead of addressing the substance of her claim, Hannah accused Nicole of committing a fallacy earlier on in the conversation.

 

17. Burden of Proof

Saying that the burden of proof lies not with the person making the claim, but with someone else to disprove.

The burden of proof lies with someone who is making a claim, and is not upon anyone else to disprove. The inability, or disinclination, to disprove a claim does not make it valid (however we must always go by the best available evidence).

Bertrand declares that a teapot is, at this very moment, in orbit around the Sun between the Earth and Mars, and that because no one can prove him wrong his claim is therefore a valid one.

 

18. No True Scotsman

Making what could be called an appeal to purity as a way to dismiss relevant criticisms or flaws of an argument.

This fallacy is often employed as a measure of last resort when a point has been lost. Seeing that a criticism is valid, yet not wanting to admit it, new criteria are invoked to dissociate oneself or one’s argument.

Angus declares that Scotsmen do not put sugar on their porridge, to which Lachlan points out that he is a Scotsman and puts sugar on his porridge. Furious, like a true Scot, Angus yells that no true Scotsman sugars his porridge.

 

19. The Texas Sharpshooter

Cherry-picking data clusters to suit an argument, or finding a pattern to fit a presumption.

This ‘false cause’ fallacy is coined after a marksman shooting at barns and then painting a bull’s-eye target around the spot where the most bullet holes appear. Clusters naturally appear by chance, and don’t necessarily indicate causation.

The makers of Sugarette Candy Drinks point to research showing that of the five countries where Sugarette drinks sell the most units, three of them are in the top ten healthiest countries on Earth, therefore Sugarette drinks are healthy.

 

20. The Fallacy Fallacy

Presuming a claim to be necessarily wrong because a fallacy has been committed.

It is entirely possibly to make a claim that is false yet argue with logical coherency for that claim, just as is possible to make a claim that is true and justify it with various fallacies and poor arguments.

Recognizing that Amanda had committed a fallacy in arguing that we should eat healthy food because a nutritionist said it was popular, Alyse said we should therefore eat bacon double cheeseburgers every day.

 

21. Personal Credulity

Saying that because one finds something difficult to understand, it’s therefore not true.

Subjects such as biological evolution via the process of natural selection require a good amount of understanding before one is able to properly grasp them; this fallacy is usually used in place of that understanding.

Kirk drew a picture of a fish and a human and with effusive disdain asked Richard if he really thought we were stupid enough to believe that a fish somehow turned into a human through just, like, random things happening over time.

 

22. Ambiguity

Using double meanings or ambiguities of language to mislead or misrepresent the truth.

Politicians are often guilty of using ambiguity to mislead and will later point to how they were technically not outright lying if they come under scrutiny.
It’s a particularly tricky and premeditated fallacy to commit.

When the judge asked the defendant why he hadn’t paid his parking fines, he said that he shouldn’t have to pay them because the sign said ‘Fine for parking here’ and so he naturally presumed that it would be fine to park there.

 

23. Genetic

Judging something good or bad on the basis of where it comes from, or from whom it comes.

To appeal to prejudices surrounding something’s origin is another red herring fallacy. This fallacy has the same function as an ad hominem, but applies instead to perceptions surrounding something’s source or context.

Accused on the 6 o’clock news of corruption and taking bribes, the senator said that we should all be very wary of the things we hear in the media, because we all know how very unreliable the media can be.

 

24. Middle Ground

Saying that a compromise, or middle point, between two extremes must be the truth.

Much of the time the truth does indeed lie between two extreme points, but this can bias our thinking: sometimes a thing is simply untrue and a compromise of it is also untrue. Half way between truth and a lie, is still a lie.

Holly said that vaccinations caused autism in children, but her scientifically well-read friend Caleb said that this claim had been debunked and proven false. Their friend Alice offered a compromise that vaccinations cause some autism.

 

Of course we could go on all day about how other people abuse these (I’m looking at you, Texas Sharpshooter, with your political charts all over Facebook, and you, Bandwagon, when you tell me I don’t care about something if I don’t repost your “Appeal to Emotion” info-graphic) but wouldn’t it be more fun to turn to focus on ourselves?

Which are your favorite, most worn logical fallacies? What draws you to them? Which of these had you never considered before? Why does it matter that we would care about the integrity of an argument? Let’s hear your thoughts?

 

—Tradecraft, Pt. 1

___________________

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Russ Ramsey and his wife and four children make their home in Nashville, Tennessee. He is a pastor at Christ Presbyterian Church and the author of Struck: One Christian's Reflections on Encountering Death (IVP, 2017), Behold the Lamb of God: An Advent Narrative (Rabbit Room Press, 2011) and Behold the King of Glory: A Narrative of the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ (Crossway, 2015). He is a graduate of Taylor University (1991) and Covenant Theological Seminary (MDiv – 2000, ThM – 2003). Follow Russ on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram.


21 Comments

  1. Bethany W.

    This is terrifying. I use (and fall for) several of these. Frequently.

    Things I usually resort to to defend an argument, especially if I don’t really know enough, are false cause and anecdotal, although I probably use appealing to authority as well. The bandwagon is a tough one because I don’t know that I really use it to defend arguments, but it’s usually because I’ve jumped on that I’m having to defend “my” conclusion. I hate being wrong, and so sometimes I’d rather defend what I know is wrong than admit that it’s so. I suppose, though, that if I’m going to truly think critically, I’m going to have to learn to be wrong.

  2. Jonathan Rogers

    A. Tradecraft is a great name for this series.
    B. I like to keep a list of logical fallacies handy when I’m trying to write funny dialogue.
    C. This is the best list of fallacies I’ve ever seen.
    D. This reminds me of a book called “Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar: Learning Philosophy Through Jokes.” I didn’t learn very much philosophy, but the jokes are quite good.
    E. I think the Texas Sharpshooter is my favorite logical fallacy.

  3. Bill

    Knowing these fallacies are good; being able to rightly identify them is even better.

    For example #2, taking an argument to its logical conclusion, or making a case for probable implications is not a slippery slope fallacy. Ideas and actions have consequences beyond the immediate.

    Also, I was once accused of employing #18 simply because I made an appeal to limiting a term to its proper definition. To say that a true vegetarian doesn’t eat meat, is not making a True Scotsman fallacy… it’s simply defining your terms.

  4. Matthew Benefiel

    I’m guilty on many of these. I also follow Global Warming to some degree (as much as my poor brain can) and I see these happen all the time, on both sides. The only one I may question a little is this one:

    “14. Anecdotal
    Using personal experience or an isolated example instead of a valid argument, especially to dismiss statistics.

    It’s often much easier for people to believe someone’s testimony as opposed to understanding variation across a continuum. Scientific and statistical measures are almost always more accurate than individual perceptions and experiences.”

    I think the wording for the last part could be changed a little. It makes it sound as if scientific and statistical measures are better than experiences, but I’ve found a healthy balance of both is best. You can calculate your way to the moon and back but you haven’t done it until you built a ship and experienced it (put it to the test). Too much lately I’ve seen the opposite where so much is put on the analysis that some guy who has vast experience (meaning he knows the subject matter by experience and by analysis) may come along and say…no, uh uh, doesn’t work that way in real life. Life is funny that way, just when you think it works on paper you try it and find you either missed something or misunderstood it, experience teaches you these things.

    I also found it kind of amusing comparing the bandwagon to the summary for Appeal to Authority where is talks about not confusing with scientific consensus. Where as a consensus is helpful, it has proven to be a bandwagon at times (Galileo seems a perfect example, and Einstein). Personally I think the “scientific consensus” on Man-Made Global Warming is a bit like the 6. False Cause (and I’m sure I made about five fallacies in making that statement =).

  5. Nathan Bubna

    A great list. Would love to see a similar list on misuse of statistics.

    I personally find Ambiguity and Genetic fallacies to be tempting for me to employ. A bit of No True Scotsman too. When caught being wrong, i am always tempted to weasel out with semantic trickery.

    I think i see some Ambiguity in their description of Appeal to Authority. After all, the consensus of experts is valid evidence to support a claim but does not put it beyond risk of Bandwagon, as evidence is not the same as proof.

  6. Karen Buck

    This poster has been on our frig for a while now, and some of my children take great delight in pointing out when their mother is using logical fallacies…stupid classical education…. But really, it’s good for us all to realize how we’re being manipulated.

  7. Chris W

    Thank you for posting this! If there was one thing I wish had been required in high school/college education that isn’t currently, it would be a critical thinking class. People use these all the time (including myself, though I try to avoid them), and they work!

    Granted, as american culture tends towards a more post-modernist philosophy, logical arguments in general are losing some of their power. But knowing these still helps to cut through the murk and muck of an impassioned plea to one side or the other of an argument that’s not based in reality.

  8. Chris W.

    One other quick thought. We as a society use the phrase/fallacy “begging the question” consistently incorrectly. The context in which it is typcially used involves a question that due to circumstances is just “begging” to be asked. From a fallacy standpoint, though, its correctly used as a circular argument – e.g. starbucks is the best coffee in the world because their slogan says “best coffee in the world”.

  9. carrie luke

    Ew. I feel so gross right now and am truly humbled by how much I use these “techniques” in my arguments. Thank you Russ for shining a light on this topic. I could not even read them all yet due to my own exposure, but I am printing them out to go over at the dinner table with my family. One- for helping me and my girls spot when we are being manipulated with a fallacy. But, mainly so that we can see how/ when we are tempted to argue in such a manner that does not listen and is way too quick to judge. I would like try and be less judgmental in my confrontations and develop (possess) more of a spirit of discernment.

  10. Eowyn

    I tend to use Appeal to Authority, but it can be useful (while not at all logical) to combat the Genetic fallacy, i.e. yes, I don’t have a degree from Harvard, but A and B do, and they agree with me. Still, it doesn’t prove the point, but it can pave the way to being heard. Sometimes arguments have to use other things than logic to get through to people.

    Also, number 2’s example doesn’t go with the fallacy.

    Fallacy:
    “Asserting that if we allow A to happen, then Z will consequently happen too, therefore A should not happen.”

    This is ambiguous. Take one example of this:

    “If one takes a large dose of cyanide, one will die. One shouldn’t take cyanide.”

    Obviously, this logic is not flawed.

    However, this is:

    “If one plays golf, one could break a window. Thus, golf should not be played.”

    When A occurs, Z is not inevitable. This is bad logic. In the original fallacy, it is not made clear that the variable Z is something that is very unlikely to happen.

    Instead, this fallacy should be written:

    “Asserting that if A occurs, Z – an unlikely, non-inevitable but possible consequence – will also, therefore, A should not occur.”

    So the real problem is magnifying unlikely consequences beyond the benefit of A.

    I bet I committed many fallacies in that argument…and now it occurs to me that maybe that was implied by the fact that A and Z are at opposite ends of the alphabet. Oh well…

  11. yankeegospelgirl

    When my mom expressed intense dislike for the song “Just the Way You Are,” I retorted that Paul Simon liked it. Her response: “Appeal to authority!”

  12. Carl

    Great list.

    10. Begging the question– ugh, this is used often as in, “If the Bible says it, so it is such and such (according to the interpretation of that particular individual).”

    On the other hand, since Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever… there are core truths (Christ being born, living, healing, teaching, dying, rising again, ascending, sending the Holy Spirit, etc.) in our theology. (see what I did there? 🙂

    My second thought about this list is… what is our response to the miraculous if we are screening the world by these logical fallacies (I am particularly referring to 14.Anecdotal)? How do we explain the days of creation when the “statistics” point to something else (don’t ask me my thoughts on radiometric dating)? What to do about healings? And if we are talking about writing fiction, we would be leaving out a good many stories with in-credible elements to them. Any thoughts?

  13. Dan R.

    It occurs to me that the issues some of us are having with these have a lot to do with the scope of these ideas. I don’t believe this poster was made as a guide to overall thinking better, only to reasoning better, and I believe there’s a distinction there. It kind of feels like we’ve come to worldview school and we think we’re reading the organizational mission statement, when we’re really only reading the syllabus for one class: reasoning. I hope this doesn’t sound dismissive (#personalincredulity), but I’m pretty sure we’d all agree (#bandwgon) that as long as you’re a human being, not a vulcan, logic won’t get you all the way. I heard a quote recently attributed to a former Archbishop of Canterbury (#appealtoauthority#anecdotal#appealtoauthoritysquared): “not one of the writers inspired by the Holy Spirit wrote an argument for the existence of God.” I think the issues brought up by this poster are worthwhile, and that shining a light on our flaws, and learning to think better, are very valuable things to do. I just think we need to acknowledge, along with all the really good apologists (#notruescotsman), that even the best reasoning has its limits, and that there has to be some combination with other elements of thought to make up a whole thinker (#middleground).

    All negative responses please proceed through http://www.yourlogicalfallacyis.com/the-fallacy-fallacy and consider yourself schooled. (#tuquoque)

  14. Nathan Bubna

    Carl, the answer is that these fallacies are not concerned with determining the truthfulness of anecdotes (miracles). They are merely saying that anecdotes do not work as proof for general truths. Just because John prayed and Jill was healed doesn’t prove that when Jane prays Julie will be healed.

    Anecdotes can be totally true and correct and still not work as proof of anything. In the case of miracles this is especially true, as they would not be miraculous otherwise, but rather, commonplace.

  15. Allison

    “Logic!” said the professor half to himself, “Why don’t they teach logic at these schools? There are only three possibilities. Either your sister is telling lies, or she is mad, or she is telling the truth.” (from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe).

    I wish they would teach logic! I’ve come to realize I have so many gaps missing in my own education as I seek out ways to educate our kids. So, I’ve been reeducating myself lately and reading up on all the critical thinking training I never received.

    You all might appreciate this short story, “Love is a Fallacy”: http://www1.asknlearn.com/ri_Ilearning/English/631/elang-ilearning/page3a.htm

    Also, this book, I hear, is helpful, though I haven’t yet read it: The Fallacy Detective https://www.triviumpursuit.com/xcart/product.php?productid=16138&cat=249&page=1

  16. yankeegospelgirl

    Carl, funny you should connect begging the question to apologetics, since truthfully both sides of that debate are equally guilty of it. It’s been bread-and-butter fare for atheists going all the way back to Hume (that rapscallion) to say, “Well, miracles just don’t happen. So now that that’s established, let’s all move on with our lives.”

  17. Grammy

    Nice list…a bit liberal leaning in its examples…which, I suppose needs a manipulation category of it’s own.

    I’m sure I’ve used them all, but I have a funny example of #22…ambiguity. One time we were renting a beach villa with a balconey and a printed list of rules came in the packet we got when we checked in. One of the items on the list said “Grilling on balconies”. Great!!! I really wanted to grill on the balconey. It was so much easier than going to the permanently intalled grills stationed in several areas on the villa grounds. Mind you, I’d seen the words “No grilling on balconies” on several other pieces of information related to renting the villa, so I knew perfectly well that the word “NO” had been inadvertantly omitted on the rules list. It also made sense because the building was a wooden tinderbox. And so with full intention to point to the list if I was confronted, I proceeded to grill on the balconey. It didn’t take long for a security guard to knock on the door with my ticket and fine of $150. I presented my case to the head of security the next day and…well…it still cost me $150. Yep, that’s how shallow and manipulative I can be for a little convenience. I clearly need a savior.

  18. Kevin

    Bill,
    I was going to complain about #2 as well. “Slippery slope,” when used properly, is a valid form of reasoning. Too often people identify a slippery slope argument and dismiss it as a fallacy because they’ve seen a piece of misinformation like this and don’t understand why a slippery slope argument is valid or not.

    Greg Koukl at STR.org likes to us the terms “logical slippery slope” and “slippery slope fallacy.” A logical slippery slope uses the opponent’s own argument, showing how it can be applied to support things that have not been proposed and which are self-evidently negative, far more unpopular than the proposition in question, and/or require further justification. The logical slippery slope either requires the opponent to defend the new proposition (and therefore take on the burden of making additional arguments in order to advance the original proposition) or rescind his argument as a favorable means of support for the original proposition.
    A slippery slope fallacy claims that acceptance of an original proposition will lead to another proposition, but falls short of demonstrating how the arguments supporting the first will necessarily lead to the second.
    Here’s another explanation: http://www.csun.edu/~dgw61315/fallacies.html#Slippery%20slope

    Incidentally, I think the example given for #2 engages in both ad hominem and straw man in order to make the logical slippery slope it alludes to (the one against same-sex marriage) seem to be a slippery slope fallacy:
    -Ad Hominem because it names it’s fallacy transgressor “Colin Closet,” intimating that he REALLY opposes same-sex marriage because he’s IN THE CLOSET and postures hostility towards homosexuality to cover his own secret shame (e.g. American Beauty).
    -Straw Man because it throws parents, cars, and monkeys into the argument, when the logical slippery slope argument against same-sex marriage actually points to realistic consequences (again, based on the same argument the same-sex marriage argument is based on) such as polygamy. The example attempts to make arguments against same-sex marriage seem absurd.

    Funny that the spacial proximity of those three on the chart couldn’t help the author think clearly! My opinion and experience is that the reason for this poor thinking is explained by Paul’s teaching in Romans 1 and Ephesians 4:
    “Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!—assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:17-24, ESV)

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