42 LOGICAL FALLACIES (of the con artist)

by DannyHaszard 22 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • DannyHaszard

    Articulator Manipulator The four most common breakdowns in logical thinking: 1. hasty generalizations 2. illogical predictions 3. argument against the person 4. false cause (I suggest we know just the top 4 for now) Below we have the comprehensive listing of all the many faces of "dubspeak"

    Ad Hominem
    Ad Hominem Tu Quoque Appeal to Authority Appeal to Belief Appeal to Common Practice Appeal to Consequences of a Belief Appeal to Emotion Appeal to Fear Appeal to Flattery Appeal to Novelty Appeal to Pity Appeal to Popularity Appeal to Ridicule Appeal to Spite Appeal to Tradition Bandwagon Begging the Question Biased Sample Burden of Proof Circumstantial Ad Hominem Composition Confusing Cause and Effect Division False Dilemma Gambler's Fallacy Genetic Fallacy Guilt By Association Hasty Generalization Ignoring A Common Cause Middle Ground Misleading Vividness Personal Attack Poisoning the Well Post Hoc Questionable Cause Red Herring Relativist Fallacy Slippery Slope Special Pleading Spotlight Straw Man Two Wrongs Make A Right SELF-TERMINATING CLICHES --all apostates are 'full of hate' and 'hate the truth'.

    LIST OF LOGICAL FALLACIES: ACCENTUS Description: A Fallacy of Ambiguity, where the ambiguity arises from the emphasis (accent) placed on a word or phrase. AFFIRMATION OF THE CONSEQUENT Description: An argument from the truth of a hypothetical statement, and the truth of the consequent to the truth of the antecedent. In the syllogism below, P is the antecedent and Q is the consequent: P implies Q
    Q is true <-- Affirming the consequent
    Therefore: P is true AMBIGUITY Description: An argument in the course of which at least one term is used in different senses. Also known as equivocation. There are several types of "fallacies of ambiguity," including REIFICATION, EQUIVOCATION, AMPHIBOLY, COMPOSITION, DIVISION, and ACCENTUS. AMPHIBOLY Description: A type of Fallacy of Ambiguity where the ambiguity involved is of an "amphibolous" (equivocal, uncertain) nature. Amphiboly is a syntactic error. The fallacy is caused by faulty sentence structure, and can result in a meaning not intended by the author. "The department store now has pants for men with 32 waists." (How many waists do you have? I have only one!) ARGUMENTUM AD ANTIQUITAM Description: A fallacy of asserting that something is right or good simply because it is old; that is, because "that's the way it's always been." ARGUMENTUM AD BACULUM Description: An argument that resorts to the threat of force to cause the acceptance of the conclusion. Ad baculum arguments also include threats of fear to cause acceptance (e.g., "Do this or you'll go to Hades when you die!" or "Might makes right."). ARGUMENTUM AD CRUMENAM Description: Fallacy of believing that money is a criterion of correctness; that those with more money are more likely to be right. wheels3.jpg ARGUMENTUM AD HOMINEM Description: An argument that attempts to disprove the truth of what is asserted by attacking the speaker rather than the speaker's argument. Another way of putting it: Fallacy where you attack someone's character instead of dealing with salient issues. There are two basic types of ad hominem arguments: (1) abusive, and (2) circumstantial. ARGUMENTUM AD IGNORANTIAM Description: An argument that a proposition is true because it has not been shown to be false, or vice versa. Ad ignorantium arguments are also known as "appeals to ignorance." This fallacy has two forms:
    1. P is true, because it has not been proven false.
    2. P is false, because it has not been proven true.
    ARGUMENTUM AD LAZARUM (grassroot salt of the earth) Description: A fallacy of assuming that because someone is poor he or she is sounder or more virtuous than one who is wealthier. This fallacy is the opposite of the informal fallacy "argumentum ad crumenam." ARGUMENTUM AD MISERICORDIAM Description: An argument that appeals to pity for the sake of getting a conclusion accepted. ARGUMENTUM AD NAUSEUM (broken record) Description: The incorrect belief that an assertion is more likely to be true the more often it is heard. An "argumentum ad nauseum" is one that employs constant repetition in asserting a truth. ARGUMENTUM AD NOVITAM (it's new &novel) Description: A fallacy of asserting that something is more correct simply because it is new or newer than something else. Or that something is better because it is newer. This type of fallacy is the opposite of the "argumentum ad antiquitam" fallacy. ARGUMENTUM AD NUMERAM (Mark Twain sez,"if a million people believe in a stupid thing for a hundred years it's still a stupid thing) Description: A fallacy that asserts that the more people who support or believe a proposition then the more likely that that proposition is correct; it equates mass support with correctness. ARGUMENTUM AD POPULUM (Hitler) Description: An argument that appeals to the beliefs of the multitude (i.e., the "populace"). Another way of putting it: Speaker deals with passions of audience rather than with salient issues. This fallacy is also known as "Appeal to Tradition" Ad populum arguments often occur in (1) propaganda, (2) demagoguery, and (3) advertising ARGUMENTUM AD VERECUNDIAM (delegate to the boss) Description: An argument in which an authority is appealed to on matters outside his/her field of authority. "Ad verecundiam" also refers to a fallacy of simply resorting to appeals to authority. BEGGING THE QUESTION (CIRCULAR REASONING) Description: An argument that assumes as part of its premises the very conclusion that is supposed to be true. Another way of saying this is: Fallacy of assuming at the onset of an argument the very point you are trying to prove. The fallacy is also sometimes referred to as "Circulus in Probando." This Fallacy is also known by the Latin "PETITIO PRINCIPII". BIFURCATION Description: Also referred to as the "black and white" fallacy, bifurcation is the presentation of a situation or condition with only two alternatives, whereas in fact other alternatives exist or can exist. COMPOSITION (half-baked,half-assed) Description: An argument in which one assumes that a whole has a property solely because its various parts have that property. Composition is a type of Fallacy of Ambiguity. CONVERTING A CONDITIONAL (flip-flop) Description: If P then Q, therefore, if Q then P. CUM HOC ERGO PROPTER HOC Description: A fallacy of correlation that links events because they occur simultaneously; one asserts that because two events occur together they are causally related, and leaves no room for other factors that may be the cause(s) of the events. This fallacy is similar to the "post hoc" fallacy. DENIAL OF THE ANTECEDENT Description: An argument in which one infers the falsity of the consequent from the truth of a hypothetical proposition, and the falsity of its antecedent. P implies Q
    Therefore: Not-Q DIVISION Description: An argument in which one assumes that various parts have a property solely because the whole has that same property. Division is a type of Fallacy of Ambiguity. EQUIVOCATION Description: An argument in which an equivocal _expression is used in one sense in one premise and in a different sense in another premise, or in the conclusion. Equivocal means (1) of uncertain significance; not determined, and (2) having different meanings equally possible. Equivocation is a type of Fallacy of Ambiguity. The opposite of equivocation is "unovocation," in which a word always carries the same meaning through a given context. FALLACY OF INTERROGATION (loaded question) Description: The question asked has a presuppostion which the answerer may wish to deny, but which he/she would be accepting if he/she gave anything that would count as an answer. Any answer to the question "Why does such-and-such happen?" presupposes that such-and-such does indeed happen. FALSE ANALOGY (apples & oranges) Description: An analogy is a partial similarity between the like features of two things or events on which a comparison can be made. A false analogy involves comparing two things that are NOT similar. Note that the two things may be similar in superficial ways, but not with respect to what is being argued. HASTY GENERALIZATION (SECUNDUM QUID) Description: An argument in which a proposition is used as a premise without attention given to some obvious condition that would affect the proposition's application. This fallacy is also known as the "hasty generalization." It is a fallacy that takes evidence from several, possibly unrepresentative, cases to a general rule; generalizing from few to many. Note the relation to statistics: Much of statistics concerns whether or not a sample is representative of a larger population. The larger the sample size, the better the representativeness. Note also that the opposite of a hasty generalization is a sweeping generalization. IGNORATIO ELENCHI (irrevelant) Description: An argument that is supposed to prove one proposition but succeeds only in proving a different one. Ignoratio elenchi stands for "pure and simple irrelevance." ILLICIT PROCESS Description: A syllogistic argument in which a term is distributed in the conclusion, but not in the premises. One of the rules for a valid categorical syllogism is that if either term is distributed in the conclusion, then it must be distributed in the premises. There are two types of Illicit Process: Illicit Process of the Major Term and Illicit Process of the Minor Term. PLURIUM INTERROGATIONUM-MANY QUESTIONS (how high is up?) Description: A demand for a simple answer to a complex question. NON CAUSA PRO CAUSA Description: An argument to reject a proposition because of the falsity of some other proposition that seems to be a consequence of the first, but really is not. NON-SEQUITUR (biggie used a lot) Description: An argument in which the conclusion is not a necessary consequence of the premises. Another way of putting this is: A conclusion drawn from premises that provide no logical connection to it. PETITIO PRINCIPII (the "JEOPARDY GAME") Description: Same as "Begging the Question" The argument assumes its conclusion is true but DOES NOT SHOW it to be true. Petitio principii has two forms:
    1. P is true, because P is true.
    2. P is true, because A is true. And A is true because B is true. And B is true because P is true.
    POST HOC, ERGO PROPTER HOC (irrevelant cause and effect) Description: An argument from a premise of the form "A preceded B" to a conclusion of the form "A caused B." Simply because one event precedes another event in time does not mean that the first event is the cause of the second event. This argument resembles a fallacy known as a Hasty Generalization. QUATERNIO TERMINORUM Description: An argument of the syllogistic form in which there occur four or more terms. In a standard categorical syllogism there are only three terms: a subject, a predicate, and a middle term. RED HERRING (biggie) Description: A fallacy when irrelevant material is introduced to the issue being discussed, such that everyone's attention is diverted away from the points being made, and toward a different conclusion. It is not logically valid to divert a chain of reasoning with extraneous points. REIFICATION Description: To reify something is to convert an abstract concept into a concrete thing. Reification is a Fallacy of Ambiguity. Reification is also sometimes known as a fallacy of "hypostatization". SHIFTING THE BURDEN OF PROOF (guilty until proven innocent) Description: The burden of proof is always on the person making the assertion or proposition. Shifting the burden of proof, a special case of "argumentum ad ignorantium," is a fallacy of putting the burden of proof on the person who denies or questions the assertion being made. The source of the fallacy is the assumption that something is true unless proven otherwise. SPECIAL PLEADING ( we are the 'truth' we are the one true religion so there) Description: Special pleading is a logical fallacy wherein a double standard is employed by the person making the assertion. Special pleading typically happens when one insists upon less strict treatment for the argument he/she is making than he or she would make when evaluating someone else's arguments. STRAW MAN to create a bogeyman (diversion like a red herring) (your an "apostate" so what you say is a lie similiar to ad hominem) Description: It is a fallacy to misrepresent someone else's position for the purposes of more easily attacking it, then to knock down that misrepresented position, and then to conclude that the original position has been demolished. It is a fallacy because it fails to deal with the actual arguments that one has made. SWEEPING GENERALIZATION Description: Also known by the Latin term "DICTO SIMPLICITER", a Sweeping Generalization occurs when a general rule is applied to a particular situation in which the features of that particular situation render the rule inapplicable. A sweeping generalization is the opposite of a hasty generalization. TWO WRONGS MAKE A RIGHT (TU QUOQUE) (the catholics and the mormons are false religion so JW's must be the truth) Description: Two wrongs never add up to a right; you cannot right a wrong by applying yet another wrong. Such a fallacy is a misplaced appeal to consistency. It is a fallacy because it makes no attempt to deal with the subject under discussion. UNDISTRIBUTED MIDDLE Description: A syllogistic argument in which the middle term of a categorical syllogism is not distributed in at least one of the premises. the JW as the articulated manipulator more Jehovah's Witnesses are the 'perfect storm' of deception-in a word they are the cult of Innuendo -Danny Haszard Bangor Maine
  • stillajwexelder

    ARGUMENTUM AD NUMERAM (Mark Twain sez,"if a million people believe in a stupid thing for a hundred years it's still a stupid thing)
    Description: A fallacy that asserts that the more people who support or believe a proposition then the more likely that that proposition is correct; it
    equates mass support with correctness. I think Churchill would have something to say about this 10. BE PREPARED TO STAND ALONE "Solitary trees," this great man would say of his early lonely youth, "if they grow at all, grow strong."

    "Of course," Churchill said matter-of-factly to the British cabinet on May 28, 1940, that day when all seemed lost and Hitler had all the marbles, "whatever happens in Dunkirk, we shall fight on." He said that when some respectable people in Britain would have cut a deal and let Hitler rule much of Europe." What gave Churchill the stuff for that?

    … He is something of a sportsman; who prides himself on being practical rather than a dandy; he is ambitious; he means to get on, and he loves his country. But he can hardly be the slave of any party.’

    Got that right! When the Conservatives turned sharply protectionist, Churchill didn’t hesitate to quit the party and join the free-trader Liberals. 20 years later, with Socialism on the rise, he switched back. Anyone can "rat" he said, it takes someone special to "re-rat." This independent streak showed itself earlier, way back when he was at Harrow.

  • EAGLE-1

    Danny you are my hero.I never thought I would come across you anywhere but thanks for helping me laugh about the JW crap I went through and helping me organize my thoughts.You are my armour and my sword now.

  • Apostate Kate
    Apostate Kate

    I love you Danny!!!

    (I did not understand everything but will study some more)

    When I talk to active JWs it is very obvious that they have been mentally manipulated. I honestly am very polite, caring and respectful and yet I get accused of "hating".

    SELF-TERMINATING CLICHES --all apostates are 'full of hate' and 'hate the truth'.

    This one I am talking to, I asked her to please show me the words I have used that convey hate. She could not and praise God she is softening up and some real communication is starting.

    It has been some time since I was like that, but I was. 14 years since my last meeting and a lot has changed. It feels like it was another lifetime.


  • LDH


    This is your best post ever.


  • jwfacts

    Hey Danny that is a great list, I have not found such a comprehensive one on rhetotical fallacies. Is there a book or site that you can refer me to with them as I would to quote them in a book.

    Thanks Paul

  • DannyHaszard

    Boloney Detection Kit (aka-don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining) One opened, more to go...Operation Clambake presents: Carl Sagan's Baloney Detection Kit

    Based on the book "The Demon Haunted World: Science as a candle in the dark" published by Headline 1996. The following are suggested as tools for testing arguments and detecting fallacious or fraudulent arguments:
    • Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the facts
    • Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view.
    • Arguments from authority carry little weight (in science there are no "authorities").
    • Spin more than one hypothesis - don't simply run with the first idea that caught your fancy.
    • Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it's yours.
    • Quantify, wherever possible.
    • If there is a chain of argument every link in the chain must work.
    • "Occam's razor" - if there are two hypothesis that explain the data equally well choose the simpler.
    • Ask whether the hypothesis can, at least in principle, be falsified (shown to be false by some unambiguous test). In other words, it is testable? Can others duplicate the experiment and get the same result?

    Additional issues are
    • Conduct control experiments - especially "double blind" experiments where the person taking measurements is not aware of the test and control subjects.
    • Check for confounding factors - separate the variables.

    Common fallacies of logic and rhetoric
    • Ad hominem - attacking the arguer and not the argument.
    • Argument from "authority".
    • Argument from adverse consequences (putting pressure on the decision maker by pointing out dire consequences of an "unfavourable" decision).
    • Appeal to ignorance (absence of evidence is not evidence of absence).
    • Special pleading (typically referring to god's will).
    • Begging the question (assuming an answer in the way the question is phrased).
    • Observational selection (counting the hits and forgetting the misses).
    • Statistics of small numbers (such as drawing conclusions from inadequate sample sizes).
    • Misunderstanding the nature of statistics (President Eisenhower expressing astonishment and alarm on discovering that fully half of all Americans have below average intelligence!)
    • Inconsistency (e.g. military expenditures based on worst case scenarios but scientific projections on environmental dangers thriftily ignored because they are not "proved").
    • Non sequitur - "it does not follow" - the logic falls down.
    • Post hoc, ergo propter hoc - "it happened after so it was caused by" - confusion of cause and effect.
    • Meaningless question ("what happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object?).
    • Excluded middle - considering only the two extremes in a range of possibilities (making the "other side" look worse than it really is).
    • Short-term v. long-term - a subset of excluded middle ("why pursue fundamental science when we have so huge a budget deficit?").
    • Slippery slope - a subset of excluded middle - unwarranted extrapolation of the effects (give an inch and they will take a mile).
    • Confusion of correlation and causation.
    • Straw man - caricaturing (or stereotyping) a position to make it easier to attack..
    • Suppressed evidence or half-truths.
    • Weasel words - for example, use of euphemisms for war such as "police action" to get around limitations on Presidential powers. "An important art of politicians is to find new names for institutions which under old names have become odious to the public"
  • DannyHaszard

    Eight Marks of a deadly Mind Control Cult applied to Jehovah's Witnesses reprinted from the Mar/Apr 1990 Bethel Ministries Newsletter

    Eight Marks of a Mind-Control Cult

    by Randall Watters Brainwashing has become almost a household word in the last two decades or so. In 1961, Robert J. Lifton wrote the definitive book on the subject, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism, after studying the effects of mind control on American prisoners of war under the Communist Chinese. Lifton outlines eight major factors that can be used to identify whether a group is a destructive cult or not. Any authoritarian religion should be held up to the light in order to determine just how destructive their influence is on their members. Judge for yourselves.

    Milieu Control

    "Milieu" is a French word meaning "surroundings; environment." Cults are able to control the environment around their recruits in a number of ways, but almost always using a form of isolation. Recruits can be physically separated from society, or they can be warned under threat of punishment to stay away from the world's educational media, especially when it might provoke critical thinking. Any books, movies or testimonies of ex-members of the group, or even anyone critical of the group in any way are to be avoided. Information is carefully kept on each recruit by the mother organization. All are watched, lest they fall behind or get too far ahead of the thinking of the organization. Because it appears that the organization knows so much about everything and everyone, they appear omniscient in the eyes of the recruits.

    Mystical Manipulation

    In religious cults, God is ever-present in the workings of the organization. If a person leaves for any reason, accidents or ill-will that may befall them are always attributed to God's punishment on them. For the faithful, the angels are always said to be working, and stories circulate about how God is truly doing marvelous things among them, because they are "the truth." The organization is therefore given a certain "mystique" that is quite alluring to the new recruit.

    Demand for Purity (no tobacco)

    The world is depicted as black and white, with little room for making personal decisions based on a trained conscience. One's conduct is modeled after the ideology of the group, as taught in its literature. People and organizations are pictured as either good or evil, depending on their relationship to the cult. Universal tendencies of guilt and shame are used to control individuals, even after they leave. There is great difficulty in understanding the complexities of human morality, since everything is polarized and oversimplified. All things classified as evil are to be avoided, and purity is attainable through immersion into the cult's ideology.

    The Cult of Confession (aka 'spilling your guts')

    Serious sins (as defined by the organization) are to be confessed immediately. The members are to be reported if found walking contrary to the rules. There is often a tendency to derive pleasure from self-degradation through confession. This occurs when all must confess their sins before each other regularly, creating an intense kind of "oneness" within the group. It also allows leaders from within to exercise authority over the weaker ones, using their "sins" as a whip to lead them on.

    The "Sacred Science"

    The cult's ideology becomes the ultimate moral vision for the ordering of human existence. The ideology is too "sacred" to call into question, and a reverence is demanded for the leadership. The cult's ideology makes an exaggerated claim for possessing airtight logic, making it appear as absolute truth with no contradictions. Such an attractive system offers security.

    Loading the Language

    Lifton explains the prolific use of "thought-terminating cliches," expressions or words that are designed to end the conversation or controversy. We are all familiar with the use of the cliches "capitalist" and "imperialist," as used by antiwar demonstrators in the 60's. Such cliches are easily memorized and readily expressed. They are called the "language of non-thought," since the discussion is terminated, not allowing further consideration. In the Watchtower, for instance, expressions such as "the truth", the "mother organization", the "new system", "apostates" and "worldly" carry with them a judgment on outsiders, leaving them unworthy of further consideration.

    Doctrine Over Person

    Human experience is subordinated to doctrine, no matter how profound or contradictory such experiences seem. The history of the cult is altered to fit their doctrinal logic. The person is only valuable insomuch as they conform to the role models of the cult. Commonsense perceptions are disregarded if they are hostile to the cult's ideology.

    Dispensing of Existence

    The cult decides who has the "right" to exist and who does not. They decide who will perish in the final battle of good over evil. The leaders decide which history books are accurate and which are biased. Families can be cut off and outsiders can be deceived, for they are not fit to exist!

    Watchtower Jehovah's Witness Whistleblower Remember-You just can't fool all the people all the time,you can only fool all of the people some of the time,or some of the people all of the time.

  • greendawn

    There are a lot of ppl out there in society with twisted minds and reasonings and I came across some quite a few times. It's useful to be armed with the info presented above when dealing with them. I must have experienced in real life all the logical fallacies that are mentioned.

  • ballistic

    This is very usefull. The "house of cards" that is jehovahs witness' beliefs is mostly held up by these flimsy logical fallacies. I'm sure we all remember those false analogies, that seemed to make so much sense at the time.

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