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Argument by Repetition

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argumentum ad nauseam

(also known as: argument from nagging, proof by assertion)

Description: Repeating an argument or a premise over and over again in place of better supporting evidence.

Logical Form:

X is true. X is true. X is true. X is true. X is true. X is true... etc.

Example #1:

That movie, “Kill, Blood, Gore” deserves the Oscar for best picture.  There are other good movies, but not like that one.  Others may deserve an honorable mention, but not the Oscar, because “Kill, Blood, Gore” deserves the Oscar.

Explanation: There are no reasons given for why, Kill, Blood, Gore deserves the Oscar, not even any opinion shared.  All we have is a repeated claim stated slightly differently each time.

Example #2:

Saul: At one time, all humans spoke the same language.  Then because of the Tower of Babel, God got angry and created all the different languages we have today -- or at least some form of them.

Kevin: I studied linguistics in college, and I can pretty much guarantee you that’s not what happened.  Besides the short story in the Bible, what other evidence do you have to support this theory?

Saul: We know, because of the Word of God, that God got angry and created all the different languages we have today -- or at least some form of them.

Kevin: You said that already.  What other evidence do you have to support this theory?

Saul: In the Bible, it says that all humans once spoke the same language.  Then because of the Tower of Babel, God got angry and created all the different languages we have today -- or at least some form of them.

Kevin: (nauseated from the repetition, hurls all over Saul’s slacks)

Explanation: Restating the same claims, even rearranging the words or substituting words, is not the same as making new claims, and certainly does not make the claims any more true.

Exception: When an opponent is attempting to misdirect the argument, repeating the argument to get back on track is a wise play.

References:

This a logical fallacy frequently used on the Internet. No academic sources could be found.



Registered User Comments

Jonathan Simpson
Thursday, January 12, 2017 - 09:42:35 AM
I find it interesting how you always use a Biblical example for almost every fallacy but you yourself use a fallacy by not showing all the facts. You like to make Christian look like they do not use logic when just like non-Christians some Christian do not use good logic but there are many that do us good logic, and have very good support for what they believe. My world view as well as yours does affect how we view these different accounts. I was not there but you were not either. I interpret the facts through my world view and you interpret the facts through your world view. You make it out to be there is no possible conclusion that would allow for a Biblical view.

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Bo Bennett, PhD
Thursday, January 12, 2017 - 09:58:59 AM
but you yourself use a fallacy by not showing all the facts

No, that is not fallacious because I am not making an argument. Even if I were making an argument in a debate-like setting, not showing facts to support your opponent's argument is not fallacious; it is good debating. I didn't think it had to be said, but these examples are not meant to convey a balanced argument for any issues whether sex, politics, or religion; they are meant to demonstrate a fallacy.

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