Description: A generalization that is technically accurate, but has one or more qualifications which eliminate so many cases that the resulting argument is significantly weaker than the arguer implies. In many cases, the listed exceptions are given in place of evidence or support for the claim, not in addition to evidence or support for the claim.
Claim A is made.
Numerous exceptions to claim A are made.
Therefore, claim A is true.
Besides charities, comfort, community cohesion, rehabilitation, and helping children learn values, religion poisons everything.
Explanation: Besides being a self-refuting statement, the listing of the ways religion does not poison everything, is a clear indicator that the claim is false, or at best, very weak.
Our country is certainly in terrible shape. Sure, we still have all kinds of freedoms, cultural diversity, emergency rooms and trauma care, agencies like the FDA out to protect us, the entertainment industry, a free market, national parks, we are considered the most powerful nation in the world, have amazing opportunities, and free public education, but still...
Explanation: We have many reasons supporting the opposite claim -- that this country is in great shape still, or at least that it is not in terrible shape. By the time all the reasons are listed, the original claim of our country being in terrible shape is a lot less agreeable.
Exception: The fewer exceptions, the less overwhelming, the less likely the fallacy.
Logically Fallacious is one of the most comprehensive collections of logical fallacies with all original examples and easy to understand descriptions; perfect for educators, debaters, or anyone who wants to improve his or her reasoning skills.
Get the book, Logically Fallacious by Bo Bennett, PhD by selecting one of the following options:
Enroll in the Mastering Logical Fallacies Online Course. Over 10 hours of video and interactive learning. Go beyond the book!
Enroll in the Fallacy-A-Day Passive Course. Sit back and learn fallacies the easy way—in just a few minutes per day, via e-mail delivery.
Have a podcast or know someone who does? Putting on a conference? Dr. Bennett is available for interviews and public speaking events. Contact him directly here.