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Talk:Fallacy fallacy

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Needs work (from WIGOCP)[edit]

I don't think the God Delusion reference is appropriate here. First of all, the example is an extreme simplification of the argument, and really doesn't do it justice. Furthermore, I don't remember seeing this specifically in the book.

It also seems to me that this fallacy is subject to recursion--if you call someone out for using a fallacy to refute your bullshit argument, aren't you doing the exact same thing by calling out their fallacy? Thus, using this fallacy seems unproductive in a discussion. -- Seth Peck (talk) 16:19, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

The parts of The God Delusion that deal with God's existence refute the teleological argument only. Hence, Dawkins's arguments that theists are deluded progress solely from his refutations of the teleological argument. This is the reason why Dawkins's "God Hypothesis" specifies that God be a "creator" — had he not done that it would have made the fallacy blindingly obvious to even the casual reader. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 21:20, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
Reading it I got the impression that he was refuting the concept of a supernatural designer. I don't think he set out to, or claimed to, somehow disprove a deist god that wouldn't be a tinkerer or have an effect on real life. After all, he's refuting god as an observable phenomenon that interacts with the universe - something founded almost entirely in teleology. The final line is probably more accurately expressed as "Therefore, God as an interacting entity and designer does not exist." - in which case it isn't the fallacy fallacy at all. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 16:11, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
It is still an invalid argument. Dawkins's arguments only refute the idea that the breach of natural law was necessary for the formation of life. They do not prove that such a breach did not occur. Even less do they disprove the entire idea of divine involvement with the creation of life. Had Dawkins drawn the scope of what he was disproving narrowly enough to make his arguments valid, it would have been an effective admission of failure. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 02:04, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

It should be noted that the Fallacy Fallacy is not itself a fallacy. The argument given would imply that a thing is the same as it's name. "fallacy" is not a fallacy, it is a label for a specious argument.Shinola (talk) 18:56, 10 March 2016 (UTC)

Is there a reverse form of this?[edit]

I've been looking for a term for a sort of inverted form of this, which goes

  • Argument A supports the proposition P
  • P is true
  • Therefore argument A does not contain a logical fallacy.
Not even wrong --Trinity (talk) 03:36, 21 September 2015 (UTC)

Attribution[edit]

Some content from EvoWiki. http://evolutionwiki.org/wiki/Fallacy_Fallacy and http://evolutionwiki.org/wiki/Bad_Reasons_Fallacy Cømrade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (talk/stalk) 18:55, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

Alternative definition[edit]

This is the Fallacy that occurs When one comes across an assertion with which one cannot agree and one either invents a fallacy to describe it, or points out a fallacy that is not pertinent to the truth of the assertion. For example the fallacy of relative privation is usually invoked by a moralizer who is mocked for the relative insignificance of their cause: A is not as bad as B, therefore it is better to work on B is a moral argument and not a logical one: It points to what ought to be and is rhetorical. It is equivalent to an argument of the sort "God loves men who do A better than he loves men who do B. Therefore One should do A." The problem with that sort of argument is that it may appear to an individual to be specious if it contradicts their desires or beliefs. If one assumes God exists, or that there are real moral responsibilities that must be undertaken, it is perfectly valid to prioritize them. Our above moralizer is not necessarily wrong in wanting to work on A (and does so because fuck you, that's why), and our syllogist (who may be a real jerk) is not wrong in asserting that working on B would be better than working on A. Shinola (talk) 21:11, 8 March 2016 (UTC)

Can you provide an example of this in the "wild"? -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 21:39, 8 March 2016 (UTC)

The commonest example is fallacy labeling: basically, I don't have to deal with your argument because it is a fallacy or is based on a fallacy. For example, we can't believe Climate scientists about global warming because they have an economic incentive to lie about it. Thus the invented fallacy implied here is "people who earn their livings as experts in a specific area of knowledge can be trusted to tell the truth."Shinola (talk) 01:22, 9 March 2016 (UTC)

Are there fallacies that also make the conclusion invalid?[edit]

I do understand the premise of fallacy fallacy a bit but I'm just curious if there are fallacies that do break the argument so much that it cripples the conclusion. For example circular reasoning (this example has been take from the article itself)

  1. The order and magnificence of the world is evidence of God's Creation.
  2. Therefore, we know that God exists.

Does the fallacy itself injur the argument/conclusion? Or would it be a fallacy fallacy to say so? Wait, if arguments still can be valid with fallacies then what's the point of even having something that basically point out bad logic/reasoning? Ok, I probably over-complicated this more than I should have and thus confused myself even more but, man, the world of arguing is more difficult to understand than I initially thought. Still, it's better to learn and as a result of that improve my debating skills :P.--WMS (talk) 00:30, 22 November 2016 (UTC)

One vital thing to understand about the fallacy fallacy — it's not actually in conflict with any other fallacies. The fallacy fallacy does not mean that "what was considered fallacious a second ago is no longer considered fallacious". It still is.
What the fallacy fallacy entails is: let's imagine that I'm the first human in history to propose that the Earth rotates around the sun (which it actually does — meaning, my conclusion is right).
Let's imagine further that the evidence (or rather, premises) I offer up for this belief is simply: the fact that ferrets can't speak English. Based on this premise and this premise alone, I infer that the Earth must rotate around the sun.
Now, it would be absolutely correct to invalidate my inference on the basis that my premises clearly do not support my conclusion (i.e., the fact that ferrets can't speak English does not lend credence to the suggestion that the Earth rotates around the sun).
Let's finally imagine that I can't come up with any other evidence for my original stipulation than the observation regarding ferrets. Neither can anyone else. Thus, we all conclude that my argument was silly and that the Earth must not rotate around the sun after all (!).
This is where the fallacy fallacy enters. It states that just because my inference was fallacious, doesn't mean that my conclusion has to be. Now, my inference is wrong — we know that for reasons of an informal fallacy (that the premises didn't lend support to the conclusion, in this case).
The meaning of the fallacy fallacy is, in other words — that it's a way of saying "The conclusion has yet to be infered non-fallaciously (meaning, we have no reason to believe in the conclusion) but just because you tried to infer something in a fallacious way, doesn't mean the thing in question is now disproven!".
A third way of putting it could be: the general idea with inferences is that a logically sound argument in favor of X is proof of X. Right? But! The fallacy fallacy points out that a logically unsound argument against X is not proof against X. The fact of the matter is that fallacious arguments are just that — fallacious — and thus, they don't really say anything about the conclusion, since they're fallacious anyway.
We prove things with logically sound arguments. We disprove things with logically sound arguments. We prove and disprove nothing with logically fallacious arguments. That is the core of the fallacy fallacy. It just says that "Whatever you wanna do, proof or disproof, it cannot be logically fallacious".
Hope that helps! Th hug.gif Reverend Black Percy (talk) 00:58, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
Thank you RBP, you have again explained to me well how a fallacy works and it has helped me a lot! :D Th hug.gif.--WMS (talk) 01:14, 22 November 2016 (UTC)


This article itself is an example of that...
"so using false logic to defend an opinion is not proof of the opinion being wrong"
An opinion, by its inherent nature, cannot be "wrong" nor does an opinion require any "logic" to support it. If it did, it would be a statement/argument, not an opinion.
What you're describing sounds a lot like the false dilemma fallacy (although there are many others that are similar)...
--Onideus (talk) 01:04, 22 November 2016 (UTC)