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Argumentation. Logical and Illogical Theology 12 Deacon Richard Caporiccio. Logical: Logic – What is it?. A system of reasoning using the principles of proper thinking to arrive at correct conclusions. Can remove intellectual barriers to the truth.

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Logical and Illogical

Theology 12

Deacon Richard Caporiccio

Logical logic what is it
Logical: Logic – What is it?

  • A system of reasoning using the principles of proper thinking to arrive at correct conclusions.

  • Can remove intellectual barriers to the truth.

  • Can’t guarantee wisdom, prove or disprove love, inspiration etc….

Types of illogical argumentation
Types of Illogical Argumentation

  • Special Knowledge

  • False Analogy

  • Leaping to Conclusions

  • Straw Man

  • False Dichotomy

  • Non Sequitur

  • Begging the Question

  • ad Hominem

  • ad Populum

  • ad Verecundiam

  • ad Baclulum

  • ad Misericordia

  • ad Antiquitatem

  • ad Ignorantiam

Illogical argumentation
Illogical Argumentation

  • Special Knowledge

    • Person has no evidence for their claim or their position

    • They just “know” or “sense” it to be true

      “I can’t explain it, but I just know in the very depths of my being that it is wrong.”

Illogical argumentation1
Illogical Argumentation

  • False Analogy

    • No reason is offered to treat the two situations the same

    • The analogies at first glance seem similar, but have significant differences

      “Using drugs is like laying down in the middle of the street waiting for a truck to run over you.”

Illogical argumentation2
Illogical Argumentation

  • Leaping to Conclusions

    • Making assumptions on one example or theory without evaluation or gathering more information

      “My house has demons because the electricity flickered.”

      “My teacher thinks I’m stupid because I got a bad grade.”

Illogical argumentation3
Illogical Argumentation

  • Straw Man

    • Instead of arguing the content and merits of another’s point, the arguer misrepresents the other’s position and proceeds to pick apart and argue against misrepresentation.

      Teacher A – “The neighbors don’t want the school to build more athletic fields.”

      Teacher B – “Why don’t they want to help the children out?”

Illogical argumentation4
Illogical Argumentation

  • False Dichotomy (False Dilemmas)

    • Only two alternatives are presented, when there are other options possible

    • The failure to consider a range of options and the tendency to think in extremes

      “Our public school system is slipping. If we want to improve it we must increase the budget.”

Illogical argumentation5
Illogical Argumentation

  • Non Sequitur (Changing the Subject – A Red herring)

    • The arguer will shift the direction of the conversation, or change the subject so the conversation moves off topic.

      “I support gun control.” Why? “it’s proven to reduce crime.” I read a stat that says private ownership reduces crime. “Anyway, that’s why we need to support education, so would-be criminals will have good jobs instead of turning to crime.”

Illogical argumentation6
Illogical Argumentation

  • Begging the Question

    • Failure to provide adequate reasons to support a claim by accepting as proof something that is in and of itself not proven.

      “This is the best brand in the market. How do I know? It says so on the label.”

      “God exists because (the church, a book, the priest) says so.”

Illogical argumentation7
Illogical Argumentation

  • Argumentum ad Hominem (An attack “to the person”)

    • A personal attack or off-handed dismissal because of something about the person themselves

    • Arguing the expertise of the arguer rather than on the merits of the content of the argument itself.

      “You can’t trust her opinion, she would agree on anything that Coleman says.”

      Bill: "I believe that abortion is morally wrong."

      Dave: "Of course you would say that, you're a priest."

Illogical argumentation8
Illogical Argumentation

  • Argumentum ad Populum (Appeal to the Masses)

    • Person claims to be right based on the popularity of their position alone

    • Can also include large generalizations to prove a point

      “Ford trucks are the best, because they are the most popular.”

      “Contraceptives can’t wrong; everybody is using them, and everybody can’t be wrong.”

      “ The world is flat; everybody believes that.”

Illogical argumentation9
Illogical Argumentation

  • Argumentum ad Verecundiam (arguments towards Respect)

    • Misuse of experts to reach a desired conclusion

    • Appealing on an authority to prove a claim by their word

    • The veracity of an expert giving support for a claim when he/she is speaking outside of their field.

      Tom Cruise tells Oprah - Post-Partum Depression is not real and women should not take medicine for these things.

Illogical argumentation10
Illogical Argumentation

  • Argumentum ad Baculum (Appeal to Force)

    • When a threat or pure fear is the persuasiveness of the argument.

    • Force or fear whether real or perceived will often end a discussion, but it doesn’t the position true.

      “I am the boss and in this office we do it my way or it’s the highway.”

      “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.” (Bill Cosby)

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Illogical Argumentation

  • Argumentum ad Misericordia (Appeal to Pity)

    • An argument that simply appeals to your heart strings, or how you feel – your emotions.

      “Think of all of the poor starving children in Ethiopia! How can we be so cruel as not to help them?”

      "I should receive an 'A' in this class. After all, if I don't get an 'A' I won't get the scholarship that I want."

Illogical argumentation12
Illogical Argumentation

  • Argumentum ad Antiquitatem (Appeal to antiquity or tradition)

    • An argument that something is right or acceptable because “it’s always been done that way.”

      “Slavery is our time-honored tradition; it has always been there.”

Illogical argumentation13
Illogical Argumentation

  • Argumentum ad Ignorantiam (appeal to ignorance)

    • Something believed to be true because it hasn’t been proven false.

      Someone may argue that global warming is certainly occurring because nobody has proven conclusively that it is not.

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Illogical Argumentation


  • Argumentum ad senioritum (senioritis)

    • Belief that “because we are seniors we deserve an A in Apologetics, can sleep, and shouldn’t have to study or take notes any more.”