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  • False Conversion
  • False Dilemma
  • False Effect
  • Far-Fetched Hypothesis
  • Faulty Comparison
  • Gambler’s Fallacy
  • Genetic Fallacy
  • Hasty Generalization
  • Having Your Cake
  • Hedging
  • Historian’s Fallacy
  • Homunculus Fallacy
  • Hypnotic Bait and Switch
  • Hypothesis Contrary to Fact
  • The Fallacies: If–Mu
  • If-By-Whiskey
  • Illicit Contraposition
  • Illicit Major
  • Illicit Minor
  • Illicit Substitution of Identicals
  • Inconsistency
  • Inflation of Conflict
  • Jumping to Conclusions
  • Just Because Fallacy*
  • Just In Case Fallacy
  • Least Plausible Hypothesis
  • Limited Depth
  • Limited Scope
  • Logic Chopping
  • Ludic Fallacy
  • Lying with Statistics
  • Magical Thinking
  • Meaningless Question
  • Misleading Vividness
  • Missing Data Fallacy*
  • Modal (Scope) Fallacy
  • Moralistic Fallacy
  • Moving the Goalposts
  • Multiple Comparisons Fallacy
  • The Fallacies: Na–Ri
  • Naturalistic Fallacy
  • Negating Antecedent and Consequent
  • Negative Conclusion from Affirmative Premises
  • Nirvana Fallacy
  • No True Scotsman
  • Non Sequitur
  • Notable Effort
  • Overwhelming Exception
  • Package-Deal Fallacy
  • Poisoning the Well
  • Political Correctness Fallacy
  • Post-Designation
  • Prejudicial Language
  • Proof by Intimidation
  • Proving Non-Existence
  • Quantifier-Shift Fallacy
  • Quantum Physics Fallacy*
  • Questionable Cause
  • Rationalization
  • Red Herring
  • Reductio ad Absurdum
  • Reductio ad Hitlerum
  • Regression Fallacy
  • Reification
  • Relative Privation
  • Retrogressive Causation
  • Rights To Ought Fallacy*
  • The Fallacies: Sc–Wi
  • Scapegoating
  • Selective Attention
  • Self-Sealing Argument
  • Shoehorning
  • Slippery Slope
  • Special Pleading
  • Spiritual Fallacy*
  • Spotlight Fallacy
  • Statement of Conversion
  • Stereotyping
  • Stolen Concept Fallacy
  • Strawman Fallacy
  • Style Over Substance
  • Subjectivist Fallacy
  • Subverted Support
  • Sunk-Cost Fallacy
  • Suppressed Correlative
  • Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy
  • Tokenism
  • Two Wrongs Make a Right
  • Unfalsifiability
  • Unwarranted Contrast
  • Use-Mention Error
  • Weak Analogy
  • Willed Ignorance
  • Wishful Thinking
  • Appeal to Accomplishment

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    (also known as: appeal to success)

    Description: When the argument being made is sheltered from criticism based on the level of accomplishment of the one making the argument.  A form of this fallacy also occurs when arguments are evaluated on the accomplishments, or success, of the person making the argument, rather than on the merits of the argument itself.

    Logical Form:

    Person 1 claims that Y is true.

    Person 1 is very accomplished.

    Therefore, Y is true.

     

    Person 1 presents evidence against claim Y.

    Person 1 is told to shut up until person 1 becomes as accomplished as person 2.

    Example #1:

    I have been around the block many times, and I have had my share of success.  So believe me when I tell you that there is no better hobby than cat-juggling.

    Explanation: We can all admire accomplishment and success, but this is irrelevant to cat-juggling.  There are many accomplished and successful people who are immoral, mean, insensitive, hateful, liars,  miserable, and just plain wrong about a great many things.

    Example #2:

    I hold a doctorate in theology, have written 12 books, and personally met the Pope.  Therefore, when I say that Jesus’ favorite snack was raisins dipped in wine, you should believe me.

    Explanation: While the credentials of the one making the statement are certainly impressive, in no way do these credentials lend credibility to the belief that Jesus’ favorite snack was wine-dipped raisins.

    Exception: When one’s accomplishments are directly related to the argument, it is more meaningful.

    I have been around the block many times, and I have had my share of success in real estate.  So believe me when I tell you that, if you know what you are doing, real estate can be a great way to make a great living.

    Tip: Many successful people attempt to use their success as a wildcard to be an authority on everything.  Don’t allow one’s own success to cloud your judgment of the claims they are making.  Evaluate the evidence above all else.





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