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Word magic

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Cogito ergo sum
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Kant objects that existence is not a predicate. A hundred thalers that I merely imagine, he says, have all the same predicates as a hundred real thalers.
Bertrand Russell[1]

Word magic is a logical fallacy that occurs when it is assumed that an entity exists, because the word for it exists.

The fallacy is a form of mistaking the map for the territory and an informal fallacy.


There are words for God, reptoids, the NWO, unicorns, Klingons, faeries, the FSM, UFOs, the Celestial Teapot, and Bigfoot. Are they all real?

Oh, you want a little more detail? Okay. The fact that a word has been invented merely means that the concept that word represents is conceivable by the human mind — in other words, that it is possible to imagine the existence of that thing. It does not necessarily mean that the thing which embodies that concept actually exists. The word "dog" represents nothing more or less than the concept of a dog. However, dogs exist, and their existence is readily observable by just about anybody. The word "god" represents nothing more or less than the concept of a god. However, humanity has not yet found any way to observe the existence of a god, nor has it found a way to completely disprove the possibility that a god exists; no gods have ever made contact with humans in a way that is unambiguously a communication from a god (rather than a non-god entity or a simple delusion), nor has any technology developed by humans been able to find any evidence for or against the existence of a god. Given that gods are by definition supernatural entities (which, by definition, means that they are not explainable by science), it is highly unlikely that the existence of a god will ever be definitively proved or disproved.

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  1. Russell, Bertrand (2009, 1st pub. Simon & Schuster (US) 1945). History of Western Philosophy: Collector's Edition. Routledge. p. 569. ISBN 0415478812.