Accused of a fallacy? Suspect a fallacy? Ask Dr. Bo and the community!

Quickly register to comment, ask and respond to questions, and get FREE access to our passive online course on cognitive biases!
Register!

one moment please...


Welcome! This is the place to ask the community of experts and other fallacyophites (I made up that word) if someone has a committed a fallacy or not. This is a great way to settle a dispute! This is also the home of the "Mastering Logical Fallacies" student support.


Dr. Bo's Criteria for Logical Fallacies:

  1. It must be an error in reasoning not a factual error.
  2. It must be commonly applied to an argument either in the form of the argument or in the interpretation of the argument.
  3. It must be deceptive in that it often fools the average adult.

Therefore, we will define a logical fallacy as a concept within argumentation that commonly leads to an error in reasoning due to the deceptive nature of its presentation. Logical fallacies can comprise fallacious arguments that contain one or more non-factual errors in their form or deceptive arguments that often lead to fallacious reasoning in their evaluation.

Contact Form



Send me a copy of this message
Send Message sending message...

Q&A Home Question

0

votes

image loading...
Anon

Eager Newbie

image loading...

Anon


Eager Newbie

About Anon

Sorry, this user has not created a bio yet.
#example
#help me
#pleasehelp
#whatfallacyisthis
isitafallacy
Mon, Sep 30, 2019 - 07:22 PM

Never Being Named Directly - Fallacy or Fair Argument?

For example Bob robs a bank, but indirect evidence plus multiple corroborating eyewitness testimonies implicates another man, Steve in helping Bob plan the heist. However, some police reports (not all, some are still hidden in the archives) leak to the public and their contents never even mention Steve whatsoever and only implicates Bob as the executor of the heist. Steve sees this as his exoneration and claims because the reports make no mention of him whatsoever that means in his eyes he's innocent and that his accusers were either lying or being deceived. Although some reports were leaked, more police reports regarding the case are is still in the archives and Steve has not seen them yet.

Is Steve committing any type of fallacy here? Is it fair to disregard the evidence and testimony like this, as Steve has just done?Sorry if this example was sort of bad, I'm not that creative nor good at articulating my points.



Quick Comment On This Question (no login required):
Your comment below will be anonymously sent to the question owner, it will not be posted, and you will not get a response.

Send Comment sending comment...

3 Answers

2

votes

image loading...
Bo Bennett, PhD
Author of Logically Fallacious

Moderator

image loading...

Bo Bennett, PhD

Author of Logically Fallacious

Moderator

About Bo Bennett, PhD

Bo's personal motto is "Expose an irrational belief, keep a person rational for a day. Expose irrational thinking, keep a person rational for a lifetime."  Much of his charitable work is in the area of education—not teaching people what to think, but how to think.  His projects include his book, The Concept: A Critical and Honest Look at God and Religion, and Logically Fallacious, the most comprehensive collection of logical fallacies.  Bo's personal blog is called Relationship With Reason, where he writes about several topics related to critical thinking.  His secular (humanistic) philosophy is detailed at PositiveHumanism.com.
Bo is currently the producer and host of The Humanist Hour, the official broadcast of the American Humanist Association, where he can be heard weekly discussing a variety of humanistic issued, mostly related to science, psychology, philosophy, and critical thinking.

Full bio can be found at http://www.bobennett.com
Print Tue, Oct 01, 2019 - 06:41 AM
Fallacies relate to arguments, so we can assume there are some implied arguments by Steve. But we also need to make sure these are errors with reasoning.

1) Some police report leak to the public and their contents never even mention Steve whatsoever; therefore, Steve is exonerated.

No fallacy, this is just a misunderstanding of exoneration in a legal sense.

2) Steve claims because the reports make no mention of him whatsoever that means in his eyes he's innocent.

No fallacy, he is just wrong and desperate. Again a legal issue. Innocence isn't proven; at most this just demonstrated insufficient evidence to prove him guilty.

3) Steve claims because the reports make no mention of him whatsoever that means that his accusers were either lying or being deceived.

No fallacy, perhaps just sloppy/ambiguous wording. "Means" implies causality, in which case, this is wrong. A lack of evidence might "suggest" that his accusers were either lying or being deceived, depending on circumstances.
Bo Bennett, PhD
Social Scientist, Business Consultant
Consulting > https://scroops.com/Lm5XFu
About My Businesses > http://www.archieboy.com
About Me > http://www.bobennett.com
Books I’ve Written > https://tinyurl.com/bosbooks
Courses I Teach > https://tinyurl.com/boscourses
Podcasts I Host > https://tinyurl.com/bospodcasts


Quick Comment On This Answer (no login required):
Your comment below will be anonymously sent to the answer owner, it will not be posted, and you will not get a response.

Send Comment sending comment...

0

votes

image loading...
Michael Chase Walker
Screenwriter, producer, mythoclast

Master Contributor

image loading...

Michael Chase Walker

Screenwriter, producer, mythoclast

Master Contributor

About Michael Chase Walker

Michael Chase Walker is an actor, author, screenwriter, producer, and a former adjunct lecturer for the College of Santa Fe Moving Images Department, and Dreamworks Animation. His first motion picture was the animated classic, The Last Unicorn.
Michael was an in-house television writer for the hit television series: He-Man, She-Ra, Voltron, and V, the Series. In 1985, he was appointed Director of Children's programs for CBS Entertainment where he conceived, shaped and supervised the entire 1985 Saturday Morning line-up: Wildfire, Pee Wee's Playhouse, Galaxy High School, Teen Wolf, and over 10
Print Mon, Sep 30, 2019 - 08:59 PM
Not a fallacy, per se, but it does resemble the plot to Taylor Sheridan’s Hell or High Water.

0

votes

image loading...
skips777

Seasoned Vet

image loading...

skips777


Seasoned Vet

About skips777

Sorry, this user has not created a bio yet.
Print Mon, Sep 30, 2019 - 11:28 PM
Interesting truth few people know, there are no fallacies in bank heist stories.


Quick Comment On This Answer (no login required):
Your comment below will be anonymously sent to the answer owner, it will not be posted, and you will not get a response.

Send Comment sending comment...

Registered User Comments

Anon
Tuesday, October 01, 2019 - 05:24:58 PM
@Bo Bennett, PhD: I was thinking (though not certain) that this would be an argument from ignorance/absence of evidence fallacy. Steve's argument sort of boils down like this: "The released reports implicates only Bob. The report contains no evidence implicating Steve, therefore Steve is innocent and the eyewitnesses are wrong"

But you say that there is no fallacy, just a poor argument. Could you explain a bit for me why this isn't fallacious? And if it isn't fallacious and just a bad argument, what exactly would be the proper counterargument to this? I see this tactic a lot in dismissing corroborating eyewitness testimony + circumstantial evidence simply on the basis because the documentary evidence doesn't mention what the eyewitness' claims or makes a different claim altogether, although not refuting the eyewitnesses.

login to reply
1 reply
0 votes
 
Reply To Comment
working...
 

Bo Bennett, PhD
moderator
Wednesday, October 02, 2019 - 07:27:18 AM
I don't see this as fallacious because of the legal context. On the one hand, in the United States, people are "innocent until proven guilty." Therefore, Steve claiming innocence is not unreasonable. On the other hand, "not guilty" does not mean "innocent." (see https://www.apnews.com/4a19347996e34a5f904543d1f656b04f). I would leave this one to the legal experts to debate.

As for the "absence of evidence fallacy," this is not always a fallacy (much longer discussion), but in this context, a lack of evidence to convict does mean that we shouldn't convict. Does that mean innocent since people are "innocent until proven guilty?" I don't know. I could ask my lawyer but he would charge me about $200. :)

login to reply
 
0 votes
 
Reply To Comment
working...

Anon
Tuesday, October 01, 2019 - 12:04:11 AM
I'm confused by the people saying this is not a fallacy. How is this not a form of appeal to ignorance/evidence of absence fallacy? Is Steve not using incorrect reasoning to disregard corroborating evidence simply on the basis that some documents never mentions Steve and solely refers to Bob? The police documents themselves haven't been fully released yet, so Steve doesn't even fully know whether they mention/implicate him or not!

login to reply
0 replies
0 votes
 
Reply To Comment
working...

Anon
Monday, September 30, 2019 - 11:56:04 PM
@skips777: I don't understand what you mean

login to reply
0 replies
0 votes
 
Reply To Comment
working...



About Archieboy Holdings, LLC. Privacy Policy Other Books Written by Bo
 Website Software Copyright 2019, Archieboy Holdings, LLC.