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Fallacies of Relevance by Mind Map: Fallacies of Relevance
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Fallacies of Relevance

Appeal to Ignorance

This says that a claim must be true because no one has proven that it is not true or that a claim must be false because no one has proven it false.

Example: Aliens must exist because no one has been able to come up with evidence to the contrary.

Appeal to the Mob

Also known as Bandwagon Fallacy. If everyone is doing something, that is a good enough reason. It is a fallacy to think that because a large group believes or does something, it is correct or appropriate. This fallacy appeals to the need to be liked and accepted.

Example: All the other kids in school are getting tattoos. It's time I got one.

Appeal to Emotion

It is false to think that we should base our response on an emotional reaction.

Example: Penny is a below average worker, but she should get the promotion because she lost her pet cat in an earthquake last week.

Ad Hominem Attacks

Also known as Personal Attacks. Instead of addressing the claim, the reasons attack the character of another.

Example: John the plumber shouldn't be trusted to repair your busted pipes. He is a liar, a thief, and generally bad person.

Straw Man

This is a misrepresentation of someone’s view.

Example: Senator Smith is obviously opposed to protecting the environment. He voted in favor of increased gun control, and everyone knows hunters are environmentalists.

Playing with Words

This includes slanted language, ambiguity, stereotypes in the writing that are designed to mislead or throw us off the track.

Example: The Democrats are keeping the other parties in the dark. How are they supposed to see to get any work done?

Misuse of Authority

This assumes that if someone popular or powerful says something, it must be true. It doesn’t matter if this popular or powerful person has no expertise in the subject area.

Example: In the NCAA March Madness office pool, the boss picked North Carolina State to win it all. I’m going to pick the same team she picked. After all, she’s the boss.

Red Herring

This occurs when an arguer attempts to distract an audience by raising an irrelevant issue.

Example: Many people criticize the U.S. government for imprisoning Japanese Americans during World War II; however, they don't take into account that this country has some of the most majestic landscapes in the world.