Tag: fallacy

An Intellectual Code of Conduct, Part 3

Common sense says we should consider pros and cons before making big decisions. Imagine choosing a university to attend or deciding to go through major surgery without weighing all the evidence for and against your choices. The same concept applies to intellectual pursuits—in order to maintain intellectual integrity, we must take into account all the evidence for and against our…

An Intellectual Code of Conduct, Part 2

Wild goose chase, rabbit trail, red herring—all these idioms refer to diversionary tactics. A mystery writer might use a red herring character to distract readers (and even the detective) from the real culprit. A good plot device for authors, but in logic, using a red herring is a fallacy.

Logic 101: Straw Man Fallacy, Part 8 (of 12)

It’s much easier to knock down a straw man than a real man of muscle and bone. When one person distorts the argument of another and then proceeds to critique that misrepresentation (whether in writing or speaking), he commits the informal logical fallacy (a defective form of reasoning) known as “attacking a straw man.”

Logic 101: Ridicule Fallacy, Part 5 (of 12)

Ever heard the expression “the joke’s on you”? I once attended a debate between two biblical scholars where one scholar held liberal views of Scripture and Christianity, while the other was an evangelical and quite conservative both biblically and theologically. The liberal scholar came across as personable and humorous; his arguments, however, were less than cogent. In contrast, the evangelical…