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What does the popular idea of "Pluralism" teach? Is it possible for opposite ideas to true simultaneously? Could it really be the case that all religions are true?? This idea deserves investigation, since it would result in the intellectual overthrow of anyone believing in absolute, exclusive truth...

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Logical Fallacies or Fallacies in Argumentation

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There are different kinds of logical fallacies that people make in presenting their positions.  Below is a list of some of the major fallacies.  It is a good idea to be familiar with them so you can point them out in a discussion, thereby focusing the issues where they belong while exposing error.

It is true that during a debate on an issue, if you simply point out to your "opponent" a logical fallacy that he/she has just made, it generally gives you the upper hand.  But then, merely having the upper hand is not the goal: truth is.  Nevertheless, logical fallacies hide the truth, so pointing them out is very useful.

  1. Ad Hominem - Attacking the individual instead of the argument.
    1. Example:  You are so stupid your argument couldn't possibly be true.
    2. Example:  I figured that you couldn't possibly get it right, so I ignored your comment.
    3. Appeal to Force - Telling the hearer that something bad will happen to him if he does not accept the argument. 
      1. Example:  If you don't want to get beaten up, you will agree with what I say.
      2. Example:  Convert or die.
      3. Appeal to Pity - Urging the hearer to accept the argument based upon an appeal to emotions, sympathy, etc. 
        1. Example:  You owe me big time because I really stuck my neck out for you.
        2. Example:  Oh come on, I've been sick.  That's why I missed the deadline.
        3. Appeal to the Popular - Urging the hearer to accept a position because a majority of people hold to it.
          1. Example:  The majority of people like soda.  Therefore, soda is good.
          2. Example:  Everyone else is doing it.  Why shouldn't you?
          3. Appeal to Tradition - Trying to get someone to accept something because it has been done or believed for a long time.
            1. Example:  This is the way we've always done it. Therefore, it is the right way.
            2. Example:  The Catholic church's tradition demonstrates that this doctrine is true.
            3. Begging the Question - Assuming the thing to be true that you are trying to prove.  It is circular.
              1. Example:  God exists because the Bible says so.  The Bible is inspired.  Therefore, we know that God exists.
              2. Example:  I am a good worker because Frank says so.  How can we trust Frank?  Simple:  I will vouch for him.
              3. Cause and Effect - Assuming that the effect is related to a cause because the events occur together.
                1. Example:  When the rooster crows, the sun rises.  Therefore, the rooster causes the sun to rise.
                2. Example:  When the fuel light goes on in my car, I soon run out of gas.  Therefore, the fuel light causes my car to run out of gas.
                3. Circular Argument - See Begging the Question
                4. Fallacy of Division - Assuming that what is true of the whole is true for the parts.
                  1. Example:  That car is blue.  Therefore, its engine is blue.
                  2. Example:  Your family is weird.  That means that you are weird too.
                  3. Fallacy of Equivocation - Using the same term in an argument in different places but the word has different meanings.
                    1. Example:  A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.  Therefore, a bird is worth more than President Bush.
                    2. Example:  Evolution states that one species can change into another.  We see that cars have evolved into different styles.  Therefore, since evolution is a fact in cars, it is true in species.
                    3. False Dilemma - Giving two choices when in actuality there could be more choices possible.
                    1. Example:  You either did knock the glass over or you did not.  Which is it? (Someone else could have knocked the glass over)
                    2. Example:  Do you still beat your wife?

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