The Credentials Fallacy: What It Is and How to Respond to It

  The credentials fallacy is a logical fallacy that occurs when someone dismisses an argument because the person who made that argument doesn’t appear to have sufficient formal credentials in the relevant field. For example, if someone raises concerns about a certain social issue, someone using the credentials fallacy might dismiss those concerns without addressing …

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False Authority: When People Rely on the Wrong Experts

  A false authority is someone whose supposed authority in a certain domain is substantially flawed, generally because their credentials or expertise are irrelevant, dubious, insufficient, or missing entirely. For example, an actor who promotes a medical product despite having no medical training can be considered a false authority, because they lack relevant credentials or …

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The Fallacy Fallacy: Why Fallacious Arguments Can Have True Conclusions

  The fallacy fallacy (also known as the argument from fallacy) is a logical fallacy that occurs when someone assumes that if an argument contains a logical fallacy, then its conclusion must be false. For example, if someone fallaciously claimed that a certain medical treatment is preferable to alternatives because it’s more “natural”, the fallacy …

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Red Herring: Using Irrelevant Information as a Distraction

  A red herring is a piece of information that’s meant to distract people from something important in a misleading manner. Red herrings are usually used either as a literary device, such as when an author uses a side character to divert attention from another character, or as a rhetoric technique, such as when someone …

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The Divine Fallacy: When People Assume that God Must Be the Explanation

  The divine fallacy is a logical fallacy that occurs when someone assumes that a certain phenomenon must occur as a result of divine intervention or a supernatural force, either because they don’t know how to explain it otherwise, or because they can’t believe that this isn’t the case. For example, if someone doesn’t understand how …

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The Argument from Incredulity: What It Is and How to Respond to It

  The argument from incredulity is a logical fallacy that occurs when someone concludes that since they can’t believe something is true, then it must be false, and vice versa. For example, someone using the argument from incredulity might claim that since they don’t see how a certain scientific theory could be true, then it …

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Loaded Questions: What They Are and How to Respond to Them

  A loaded question is a trick question, which presupposes at least one unverified assumption that the person being questioned is likely to disagree with. For example, the question “have you stopped mistreating your pet?” is a loaded question, because it presupposes that you have been mistreating your pet. This type of fallacious question puts …

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Gish Gallop: When People Try to Win Debates by Using Overwhelming Nonsense

  The Gish gallop is a rhetorical technique that involves overwhelming your opponent with as many arguments as possible, with no regard for the accuracy, validity, or relevance of those arguments. For example, a person using the Gish gallop might attempt to support their stance by bringing up, in rapid succession, a large number of …

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The Appeal to Novelty Fallacy: Why New Isn’t Necessarily Better

  The appeal to novelty is a logical fallacy that occurs when something is assumed to be either good or better than something else, simply because it’s perceived as being newer or more novel. For example, a person using the appeal to novelty might claim that a certain new exercise plan that a celebrity just …

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Ad Hominem: When People Use Personal Attacks in Arguments

  An ad hominem argument is a personal attack against the source of an argument, rather than against the argument itself. Essentially, this means that ad hominem arguments are used to attack opposing views indirectly, by attacking the individuals or groups that support these views. Ad hominem arguments can take many forms, from basic name-calling to …

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