My goal is to make people think - about what they hear, say, and believe.
Seems like a simple goal, right? Actually, it's often quite difficult to persuade people to look at things from a "logical" point of view.
I believe that we (as a "people") have recently become so conditioned to having someone else tell us what is "true", that many of us have lost the ability to "think for ourselves". (I realize that I am committing my own logical fallacy in this previous statement, however my point is to illustrate my belief that critical thinking and common sense have lost their impact within many of the public discussions we hear in our everyday lives.)
My goal then, is to attempt to point out logical fallacies in popular statements that we encounter in the media. By doing so, I hope that readers of this site will begin to learn the techniques they can use to critically assess the statements and arguments that they hear.
What is a Logical Fallacy?
In its simplest form, a Logical Fallacy is an error in reasoning. Logical Fallacies are generally used in arguments to persuade someone that a conclusion is valid, when in fact conclusion is false. The use of fallacious arguments is extremely common, and can be very persuasive.
A simple example of this can be seen in this statement: "John's belief in climate change is like believing in little green men". This is an "Appeal to Ridicule", which is to compare the argument to something that appears absurd, and thus make John appear to be absurd.
Many statements can contain more than one fallacy, such as the statement above, which could also be considered an Ad Hominem attack (inferring that John believes in little green men), a False Equivalence (inferring that there is no difference between believing in climate change and little green men), etc.
I am not a logician. Nor do I play one on TV. However, one does not have to be a scholar of philosophy to recognize Logical Fallacies. As such, I hope you will take the information provided on this website in the spirit it was intended: as a learning tool to aid in your understanding of the arguments that we hear and see in our everyday lives.