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August 19, 2011 / itsnobody

Some common logical fallacies used

It’s only usual for atheists to be usually unusually foolish (usually atheistic). So it’s up to Theists to teach atheists about science, logic, and reasoning. After all highly super-religious Theists (who were more religious than all the other scientists that lived during their era) invented classical physics, modern mathematics, the electromagnetic field theory, and the big bang theory.

Atheists and others tend to use laughable weak illogical arguments. I’ll explain slowly how and why they’re illogical with examples to make it easier for atheists to understand.

Here are just three common ones:

  • argumentum ad populumappeal to the population
    For some reason some atheists on YouTube really believe that if a comment receives many thumbs up or thumbs down that some how validates or invalidates the comment. The problem with this is that you cannot determine whether or not a statement is true or false by the number of thumbs up or thumbs down it gets. If someone comments “The Sun revolves around the Earth” and get lots of thumbs up it doesn’t prove that statement true.

    Examples:
    “This comment got lots of thumbs up, votes, etc….so it must be true”
    “No one agrees with you so you must be wrong”
    “Everyone agrees with me so I must be right”
    “Millions of people believe this, so it must be true”
    “He’s the only person in the world who thinks so, so he’s wrong”
    “If this really works, then why isn’t everyone doing it?”

    The reason why an appeal to the population is illogical is because you cannot determine whether or not a statement is true or false by knowing the amount of people who agree or disagree with the statement. Historically the majority has always been wrong.

  • argumentum ad verecundiam – appeal to authority
    This argument is always commonly used by many people. You simply cannot show that a statement is true by showing that authority figure says so. What an authority figure believes is irrelevant and does not prove anything.

    Examples:
    “Einstein believed this or that, so it must be true”
    “Most scientists believe this or that, so it must be true”
    “Only someone with a Ph.D. must be right”
    “This person with the highest IQ believes this, so it must be true”
    “This great physicist or mathematician believed this, so it must be true”

    The reason why an appeal to authority is illogical is because you cannot determine whether or not a statement is true or false by knowing which authority figure believes so. An authority figure saying so isn’t by itself evidence of anything. You can’t show that something is true or false by saying someone says so.

  • argumentum ad hominem – personal attacks
    Probably the most commonly used fallacy. For some reason many people tend to think if someone personally attacks someone that refutes their argument. This occurs when instead of refuting an argument you throw personal attacks. If you throw personal attacks, but refute an argument, then it’s simply name-calling as opposed to an argument ad hominem.

    Examples:
    “He’s a troll, an idiot, a fool, a moron”
    “He hasn’t written any books, so he’s wrong”
    “He doesn’t have any education or authority in this area, so he’s wrong”
    “He’s only X years old, so he must be wrong”

    The reason why ad hominems are illogical is because throwing personal attacks doesn’t refute any statement. I can’t refute Newton’s theorems by saying “Newton was a crackpot” or anything like that.If you refute an argument by throwing what is perceived to be a personal attack, then it’s not actually an ad hominem.  Like for instance if someone claims to have a PhD but research shows that he does not, that is not an ad hominem, because pointing out research showing him not have to a PhD directly refutes his claim of having a PhD.On the other hand if someone proposes a theory or hypothesis and you say “they don’t have a PhD so their theory or hypothesis is wrong” this is an ad hominem because pointing out that they do not have a PhD by itself does nothing to refute their theory or hypothesis.

Some people may say there are exceptions to logical fallacies, but there are not. They are only things mistaken as logical fallacies. There is no such thing as an “exception” to a logical fallacy.

Many things found in logic books are completely wrong and inaccurate, why? Professors aren’t forced to come up with valid reasons to support their assertions.

I hope atheists and others stop using common laughable arguments. It’s just usually unusually annoying (usually).

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10 Comments

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  3. les / Feb 8 2012 5:41 pm

    “Historically the majority has always been wrong.”

    That doesn’t bode well for theists then…

  4. Matt (godless) (@godlessmatt) / Feb 7 2012 5:00 am

    There is something you (and many theists) don’t seem to understand about ad hominem attacks. If a person says, ‘Mr. Smith is an idiot, therefore his rational argument regarding the topic of our discussion is irrelevant,’ this is an ad hominem attack, and a fallacy. Several good examples of this fallacy can be found in your article entitled, ‘Why are atheists so racist?”

    When a person says, ‘Mr. itsnobody makes all of these ridiculous arguments and self-aggrandizing statements, and therefore, he is an idiot,’ this is called forming an opinion based on the examination of evidence, and is wholly appropriate.

  5. Chris P / Feb 6 2012 11:47 pm

    Wow – guess I can’t argue with you – you haven’t shown anything worth arguing over. You just keep prattling on about “ad hominems” “atheists” and “racism”

    Worthless conversationalist. Do you know any science or mathematics to talk about facts.

    Why do need to go to college – most of us already graduated – won’t they give you a degree to evaluate your worth?

    • itsnobody / Feb 8 2012 2:16 am

      What do you mean? Are you upset that your ad hominems don’t have any effect on me? If someone throws personal attacks without refuting any statement I made then I rightfully claim that their post is just an ad hominem.

      Posting ad hominems like you do really is worthless and a waste of time.

      I don’t really blame atheists for throwing ad hominems, they are incapable of refuting any statement I made an in anger and desperation just throw personal attacks instead.

      • Anonymous / Jul 22 2013 2:44 am

        He didn’t post a single ad hominem.

  6. Not an atheist but still / Feb 6 2012 2:29 am

    Um, so, the definitions you have given for the logical fallacies appear to be correct and the examples that you have used are like-wise.
    These may be legitimate logical fallacies however you attribute their uses to atheists to undermine the atheist standpoint but give no evidence or examples that these are used by atheists.
    I have never had a discussion with an atheist who says ” ‘A’ is true, this youtube video states it is and look how many thumbs up it has.” or anything along the lines.
    The major one is appeal to authority, while the fallacy exists with all the mumbo-jumbo in the public sphere, those people with the PhD’s are exactly the people that we should be listening to. While just because they say it, it doesn’t make it absolute. They have the PhD, so they are more qualified to find the proof, and once they have found the evidence (that either proves or just suggests) then when they state it as fact its true BECAUSE its been proved (just like the “super-religious Theists” proved theories about EMT and mathematics) not just because they say so. If you ask some one why they have a leak in their plumbing and they tell you “I know its this because thats what the plumber says” should we be telling them they’re wrong?
    As for the Ad Hominem, when there are people like Ray Comfort out there talking about banana’s being shaped by god for easy human consumption, the insult only alludes to the attributed that person has shown. It doesn’t prove them wrong, but it certainly help people to highlight people’s past trespasses as they can be an indicator for future foolishness/unreliability.

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