RationalWiki's 2020 Fundraiser

There is no RationalWiki without you. We are a small non-profit with no staff – we are hundreds of volunteers who document pseudoscience and crankery around the world every day. We will never allow ads because we must remain independent. We cannot rely on big donors with corresponding big agendas. We are not the largest website around, but we believe we play an important role in defending truth and objectivity.

If everyone who saw this today donated $5, we would meet our goal for 2021.

Fighting pseudoscience isn't free.
We are 100% user-supported! Help and donate $5, $20 or whatever you can today with PayPal Logo.png!

Donations so far: $2120Goal: $3500

Argumentum ad lunam

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Cogito ergo sum
Logic and rhetoric
Icon logic.svg
Key articles
General logic
Bad logic

Argumentum ad lunam (also appeal to the Moon[1]) is the argument that, "if we can put a man on the Moon", we must also be able to X (usually something really important).

The argument is almost always an informal fallacy and a false analogy.


Bo Bennett raises the following examples:[2]

P: We can put a man on the Moon.
C1: (unstated) We can do anything.
C2: We can end world hunger.

While C1 might be stated differently (if it is stated), its ludicrosity is obvious. Just because you can do one thing, does not mean you can do another (usually) unrelated thing.

There is one (mostly) non-fallacious form of the fallacy:

P1: We put a man on the Moon in 1969!
P2: (unstated) We can do things we've done before!
C: We can put a man on the Moon today!

P2 here seems much stronger — usually, people can do things in repetition. In this case, however, such an illusion falls away with a glance at NASA's budget.

See also[edit]

xkcd's take