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Fallacies. Ad Hominem. Definition: Arising or appealing to emotions & not to reason or logic

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ad hominem
Ad Hominem

Definition: Arising or appealing to emotions & not to reason or logic

Universal Example: Bill: "I believe that abortion is morally wrong." Dave: "Of course you would say that, you're a priest." Bill: "What about the arguments I gave to support my position?" Dave: "Those don't count. Like I said, you're a priest, so you have to say that abortion is wrong. Further, you are just a lackey to the Pope, so I can't believe what you say."

red herring
Red Herring

A clue which is intentionally or unintentionally misleading from the actual issue whole thons is getting ridiculous

Universal Example: We admit that this measure is popular. But we also urge you to note that there are so many bond issues on this ballot that the

false dilemma
False Dilemma

A situation in that only two alternatives are considered when there is an additional option.

Universal Example: You are either with God or against Him.

appeal to ridicule

Appeal to Ridicule

Example: "The theory of evolution says we came from apes, that's CRAZY"

Definintion: Mockery is substituted for evidence in an argument.

hasty generalization
Hasty Generalization
  • Definition: Drawing to a conclusion without having enough evidence to support it.

Example: Fred the Australian, stole my wallet. Thus, all Australians are thieves.

slippery slope
Slippery Slope
  • Definition: A slippery slope argument states that a relatively small first step leads to a chain of related events culminating in some significant effect

Example: "The US shouldn't get involved militarily in other countries. Once the government sends in a few troops, it will then send in thousands to die."

complex question
Complex Question
  • Definition: Question that is worded so that the answer is embedded.

Example: “Have you stopped cheating on examinations?”

prejudicial language
Prejudicial Language
  • Definition: Loaded or emotive terms are used to attach morals or values to believe in the proposition.
  • Example: ”Good students who care about succeeding in life will always do their homework each and every night.”
begging the question
Begging the Question

Definition: A fallacy when a proposition relies on an premise within itself to establish the truth of the same proposition.

-Using the statement itself as evidence against an issue.

poisoning the well
Poisoning the Well

Definition: rhetorical device used to ridicule everything that the target person is about to say.

-When you say all the bad things that your opponent is doing so they have to defend themselves, and not argue their points.

appeal to fear
Appeal to Fear

Definition: fallacy which creates a support for an idea by using propaganda in attempts to increase fear and prejudice.

NaziAl Qaeda

Red Scare

ad populam
“Ad populam”
  • If most people believe that something is true, then it must be true.


Tabloids. Writers print out outrageous stories, and because they say this is true, most of the public believes it must be true .

post hoc
“Post Hoc”
  • When someone concludes that something is true because it happened in the event before


In 2001, G.W.B, was story-telling to kids in elementary schools, and a few hours later, two planes crashed into the twin towers. Therefore, G.W.B. was the cause of 9/11.

straw man
“Straw man”
  • A person imply ignores a person’s actual position and substitutes a distorted version of that position


Senator Jones says that we should not fund the attack submarine program. I disagree entirely, I cannot understand why he wants to leave us defenseless like that