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Fallacies of Omission

 

 

Whenever a logical fallacy is committed, the fallacy has its roots in Agrippa's trilemma which is simply the fact that the foundation of all human thought (without Divine revelation) is one of three unhappy possibilities. These three possibilities are infinite regression, circular reasoning, or bare assertions without any evidence.

 

Fallacies of Omission (leaving out important information)

  • Logical Fallacy of Stacking the Deck / Card Staking / cherry picking / cherry picking Data / Suppressed Evidence / Selective Evidence / Cover Up / Fallacy of Incomplete Evidence / Argument from Selective Observation / Argument by Half-Truth / Fallacy of Exclusion / Ignoring the Counter Evidence / One-Sided Assessment / Slanting (a type of) / One-Sidedness / Eclecticism / Eclectic Fallacy / Exclusion / Concealed Evidence /  Ignoring the Counterevidence / Under-Reporting the Facts: occurs when someone consciously or unconsciously eliminates or is unaware of information that is relevant to the conclusion. As can be discerned from the various names for this fallacy, it can take place at the point of observation, recording, organizing, or reporting evidence. Eclecticism is the idea that it is possible to select the good evidence and discard the bad evidence. Invariably, this selection of evidence will be guided, probably unconsciously, by presuppositions that are determined by inner paradigms (worldviews or fake-realities). In other words, the selection will be biased by circular reasoning. EXAMPLE Sandy: "Radiometric dating proves that the Earth is much older than a few thousand years." Rocky: "Were you aware that the scientists stack the deck by cherry picking the dates that they want and throwing out all the dates that disagree with their favorite theories? The dates that are determined by radiometric dating are routinely discarded if they are not the expected dates. This is a huge problem, but students aren't informed of these problems until they are so thoroughly brainwashed that they are willing to accept just about anything as evidence for evolution." http://creation.com/flaws-in-dating-the-earth-as-ancient - http://creation.com/radioactive-dating-anomalies
  • Ambiguity Effect: occurs when several options are given, but most are left with an ambiguous description. The tendency is to consider the more carefully explained options and to dismiss the ones that seem ambiguous.
  • McNamara Fallacy: occurs when a conclusion is made based solely on quantitative observations and ignoring all others. The reason given is often that these other observations cannot be proven. “The first step is to measure whatever can be easily measured. This is OK as far as it goes. The second step is to disregard that which can't be easily measured or to give it an arbitrary quantitative value. This is artificial and misleading. The third step is to presume that what can't be measured easily really isn't important. This is blindness. The fourth step is to say that what can't be easily measured really doesn't exist. This is suicide.” Daniel Yankelovich
  • Head in the Sand / Ostrich Fallacy: occurs when a problem is ignored. EXAMPLE Sandra: “It’s not necessary to know about the facts in support of creation. All kids need to know is that they believe in the Bible.” Roxanne: “You are sending your children into a den of wolves without any defense. They don’t even know Christ personally. They don’t even know the sound of His Voice. They don’t even know that God speaks through the Bible. They are not filled with the Spirit. All they have is a rationalized faith that is worthless against this enemy.” Sandy has his head in the sand. He personally is too wrapped up in himself to spend any time learning the facts. His kids won’t know that the professors are blowing smoke, because they have not been taught. He ignores the fact that the enemy of our souls is successfully using lies about science and logic to convert 80% of Christian college students into Atheists. EXAMPLE Sandra: “It’s not necessary to know anything about logic. Logic is a tool of the devil.” Roxanne: “Are you saying that God is irrational, or that belief in God is irrational?” Sandra: “Faith has nothing to do with being rational.” Roxanne: “God is telling you and me, through the Bible, that faith is a gift of God? Actually, the Bible doesn’t say anything. God says it through the Bible. There is a different kind of faith, sort of a rationalized human faith. On the other hand, real faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. The Greek, rhema, is translated as “word,” but it means utterance. Faith comes by the utterance of God. That is why it is the evidence of things not seen. If God didn’t say it, then it would not be evidence. If you don’t stand in the Presence of God and listen to His direction in your life, you cannot have real faith. But since we hear His Voice, there is evidence.” Sandy has his head in the sand. He personally is too wrapped up in himself to spend any time learning the facts. His kids won’t know that the professors are blowing smoke, because they have not been taught. He ignores the fact that the enemy of our souls is successfully using lies about science and logic to convert 80% of Christian college students into Atheists.
  • Suppression of the Agent: occurs when the person or thing doing the acting is not specified in such a way that it creates a false impression, acts as a hedging mechanism, avoids detection of what is really being implied, or commits some other fallacy. This is one of the problems of using passive voice. Passive voice makes it hard to identify the agent.
  • Fading Affect Bias / FAB: occurs when the details/information associated with negative autobiographical emotional experiences fade from memory more quickly than the details/information associated with positive emotional experiences. In other words, when one remembers the details of those events that describe one's life, one is more likely to remember the positive things about one's past than the negative things. FAB becomes a fallacy when the remembered details are used as proof of one's own goodness or the goodness of one's life.
  • What I Don't Know Is Not Important / Unteachable: occurs when arrogance or laziness cause a lack of desire to move forward in understanding. EXAMPLE Sandy: “I don’t know about the Scriptural order of the Church, but I don’t think that is important to my Christian walk.” Rocky: “Do you think that God might have had a reason for designing His Body a certain way?” EXAMPLE Sandy: “I don’t know about the Scriptural order of the Church, but I don’t think that is important to my Christian walk.” Rocky: “Do you think that God might have had a reason for designing His Body a certain way?” When the Holy Spirit speaks to us, our place is to listen and to learn.
  • Argument by Selective Refutation: occurs when several arguments have been put forward to support a given conclusion, but the strong arguments are ignored while the weak ones are refuted. Often, when two people are discussing an issue that has thoroughly discussed by others, one person will bring up a strong argument. The other person, rather than dealing with the strong argument, will pull a very weak argument from a book or other source and address that. This is a form of straw man. It is also a red herring.
  • Logical Fallacy of A-Priorism: occurs when reasoning begins with abstract principles to come up with facts rather than beginning with facts that lead the way to conclusions. When a concept is the starting point, any evidence against that concept is discarded without any rational reason for discarding the evidence other than that it conflicts with the desired concept. This is often mixed in with a failure to state the starting assumptions. If, for instance, naturalism (no God) is silently assumed, then all evidence for God must be discarded by some means. This usually happens outside of the consciousness of the person committing the fallacy. EXAMPLE Sandy: "Prove that God exists." Rocky: "It's impossible to prove anything to a person who will not objectively look at the evidence. God says that He made Himself so obvious through the things that He created that anyone who refuses to acknowledge Him is without excuse. I know that Jesus Christ is God because He has revealed that to me personally, and He leads me and teaches me moment by moment. You can verify this to yourself by seeking Him sincerely in humility with a will to do His will and to submit yourself to Him as your God." Sandy: "That's all personal experience and I'm not going to submit myself to any God."
  • Audiatur Et Altera Pars / Failure to State Assumptions: occurs when a logical argument is stated without divulging the assumptions (things believed to be true without evidence) on which the argument is based. A deductive argument always requires a number of core assumptions or else Divine revelations. When assumptions are used, these assumptions are called premises, and are the assumptions the argument is built on. Premises are the reasons for accepting the conclusion. These premises may have been derived from previous reasoning that had its own premises. However, that reasoning also has premises. Unless something concrete is found, all premises are simply assumptions. They have zero truth value. Without Divine revelation, all human conclusions are based on assumptions. Eventually, truth must be based on something beyond an assumption. Assumptions are arbitrary unless they can be proven to be true, in which case, they are not really assumptions any more. They would be facts. The only way to prove anything to be true is through pure Divine revelation. (You can read more about this here.) EXAMPLE Discussions of morality or ethics must be based on either assumptions or Divine revelation. Either source needs to be disclosed or the discussion is irrational. One of the problems is that most assumptions are buried and hidden. Assumptions happen naturally in the human mind without conscious effort. Your own assumptions are generally not something you think about. In fact, you are likely to think of them as being part of reality, which they are not. For this reason, you probably never consciously think about them or admit them.
  • Ignoring Historical Example: occurs when the lessons that God has given in the past are not applied to the present. If we don’t know what has happened in the past, we have trouble understanding what is happening in the present. Failures of the past are lessons. Successes of the past are lessons. God can speak to us through history (His story). Reading through the Old Testament history, the Holy Spirit can speak into our minds the applications of these truths. We see the scoffers of the past and compare them to the scoffers of the presence and see that not too much has changed. We see the people of God being sidetracked on many things things in which God has not called them to walk. We see the many times when decisions were made without asking God what to do along with the disaster that follows. In the same way, we can look at more recent history and see the Hand of God. However, people with personal agendas have stripped out most of that from the Secular textbooks, so you have to dig deeper to find out what really happened. EXAMPLE The Hebrew people decided that they needed to serve their idols rather than God, repeating the same mistake that had gotten them into trouble in the first place. They did this by re-writing history to suit themselves.
  • Overlooking Secondary Consequences: occurs when only the immediate effects of a decision are taken into account while other ramifications are ignored. EXAMPLE “It’s my body. I can have an abortion if I like.” This statement doesn’t take into account that a baby is being murdered. It ignores the guilt of this act and the effect on the mother: hardening of the heart, the abortion-breast cancer link, the abortion-depression link, the abortion-suicide links, risk to future ability to have children, or Post-Abortion Syndrome (PAS), which may be emotional, physical, psychological, social, moral, or medical.
  • Uncontrolled Factors Fallacy: occurs when some factors are compared between two or more groups, but other factors are left out, which means the results could be due to those factors rather than the factors that were counted for comparison. In other words, you haven’t learned anything if you have uncontrolled factors. EXAMPLE “Looking at the demographics, there is no difference between the behavior of teens who define themselves as Christian and teens who don’t define themselves as Christians. Therefore, Christianity doesn’t make any difference in behavior.” It would be interesting to bring in factors like frequency and length of prayer, fervency of prayer, desire to serve Christ, understanding that the Bible is the Word of God without error, whether the teen has a real, living experience with Christ in which Christ leads the teen moment-by-moment, whether there is a firm commitment to serving Christ, time spent per week reading Scripture, daily family devotions, ability to speak freely in the home about doubts, fears, and other faith issues, and experience of the power of God to impart righteousness.
  • Missing Link: occurs when reasoning leaves out critical information (missing link) that would change the outcome of the reasoning. EXAMPLE “We can line up fossils according to similarity. Therefore, one-celled simple living things evolved into ever more complex living things until we have all the variety we see today.” There are many missing links in this argument. One of them is the fact that we can line up 100 pieces of assorted kitchen utensils and silverware (or any other objects) according to similarity. This proves nothing. Another is the fact that Darwinism predicted finding many transitional fossils between kinds (families) of living things. To date, not one indisputable example has been found. Another missing link is the fact that a common designer would explain similarities and many of the designs that don't fit the molecules-to-man story. Missing from this argument is the fact that God says that He created all things. One thing that this argument fails to point out (missing link) is that the entire argument is actually just creative storytelling based on arbitrary assumptions, and the competing account is by Divine revelation. Therefore, the entire argument comes down to made-up stuff versus Divine revelation.
  • Logical Fallacy of Moving the Goal Posts / Raising the Bar: occurs when the criteria of proof keeps moving repeatedly. The goal posts keep moving for what would falsify evolution. Several have been published, but when they have been met, they went away and new ones were established.
  • Gravity Game Fallacy: occurs when there is no competing proposition, yet the validity of a proposition is considered unacceptable even after it has been proven repeatedly and there is no other competing proposition. Keep in mind that this is inductive reasoning, and, if there were two explanations for the same test results, it would be irrational to say that one of the explanations commits the gravity game fallacy. As the Law of Gravity has been proven, the various theories of gravity have not been proven. They are propositions about what has been proven, but these propositions have not been proven. The gravity game is named for the way that a child will knock a ball off a table and watch it drop. The child will then seemingly test to see if gravity always works. What it proven is that the ball drops and how it drops, not why it drops. The fallacy is to continue to believe that something is likely to happen after it has been tested repeatedly and never found not to happen without any exception. At a certain point, you stop denying The Law of Gravity and The Law of Biogenesis. EXAMPLE Bill Nye, arguing against Creation Science: "You said, you asserted that life cannot come something that’s not alive. Are you sure? Are you sure enough to say that we should not continue to look for signs of water and life on Mars, that that’s a waste? You’re sure enough to claim that? That is an extraordinary claim that we want to investigate." We cannot say for certain that life could not possibly ever spring up spontaneously, just as we cannot say for certain that things cannot fall up. However, the chance is remote for either one of these. To spend tax dollars researching either one is a waste.
  • Logical Fallacy of Argument by Demanding Impossible Perfection / Impossible Conditions / Demanding Impossible Evidence: occurs when impossible evidence is demanded to believe or disbelieve something. This fallacy is a type of argument from ignorance. The fallacy may take the form of stating that a certain thing can only be proved or falsified by some standard that is impossible. Often, the evidence asked for is a form of straw man argument. At the same time, it is not a fallacy to demand absolute proof before believing something absolutely. It is not a fallacy to reject any assumptions or stories as proof--we don't even have to accept hidden assumptions. We can ferret those hidden fallacies out, expose them, and reject them. Using fallacies, assumptions, or stories as proof is still always irrational. EXAMPLE Member of the audience: "What, if anything, would ever change your mind [about Bill's dogmatic belief in the Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man story.]?" Bill Nye: "We would just need one piece of evidence. . . . We would need evidence that the Universe is not expanding. We would need evidence that the stars appear to be far away but they’re not. . . . We would need evidence that somehow you can reset atomic clocks and keep neutrons from becoming protons." Bill is applying the question to his belief in the big-bang-billions-of-years-molecules-to-man story. He is trying to create the false impression that he has an open mind. None of these criteria for falsification is necessary or even helpful in falsifying the story. If the Universe is expanding (it may not be), it neither proves the big-bang story nor falsifies God, creation, a young Earth or the flood, but it would be impossible, with what we now know scientifically to disprove that Universe is expanding. The stars are far away, but that fact neither proves the big-bang story nor falsifies God, creation, a young Earth or the flood. The problems with the so-called "atomic clocks" are much deeper that Bill Nye implies by this demand. Bill Nye mentioned two other criteria. Bill Nye: "We would need the fossil that swam from one layer to another." "We would need evidence that rock layers can somehow form in just 4,000 years . . ." Both those criteria have been met, and yet Bill has not changed his mind. 
  • Logical Fallacy of Unfalsifiable Claims / Unfalsifiability / Untestibility / Undisprovable Statements: occurs when a proposition is presented with a claim that it is falsifiable, but the proposition is maintained as true no matter what evidence is presented. In other words, it is a fallacy to claim that an unfalsifiable proposition is falsifiable. Keep in mind that the fact that something is falsifiable cannot prove that something is true. The fact that something is genuinely not falsifiable doesn't prove it false either. For instance, if you tell someone that your toe hurts you, and it does, the other person cannot test whether you feel pain--yet you do. However, it is a fallacy to claim that something is falsifiable when it is not. It is a political move to try to create the illusion of open-mindedness. The fallacy may take the form of stating that a certain thing can only be proved or falsified by some standard that is impossible, in which case, it would be an impossible perfection fallacy. EXAMPLE Evolution has proven to be unfalsifiable, yet it is claimed to be falsifiable. The body of "knowledge" surrounding it has always claimed that it would be falsifiable by certain criteria. When those criteria are met, the story is changed slightly and new criteria are established. FALLACY ABUSE Rocky: "I know Jesus Christ personally, and you have the opportunity to know Him too. Everyone who seeks Him in sincerity, respect, and submission does eventually find Him." Sandy: "That can't be verified. No one can falsify that, so it's not rational for you to experience it." Sandy is committing fallacy abuse. He is committing a fallacy by falsely asserting that Rocky is committing a fallacy. It is a fallacy to claim that something that cannot be falsified is fallacious.
  • The Invincible Ignorance Fallacy: occurs when real evidence and real reason are ignored. EXAMPLE Rocky: “You don’t have to take my word for it. You can know Christ. He is real, a Person, not a theology, feeling, religion, or any such thing. All you need to do is to pray to Him in sincerity, respect, and submission with a will to do His will.” Sandy: “You need to prove that God exists. I want to see physical evidence using repeatable experiments that I can do to personally verify your theory about a god.Sandy isn't willing to look at the evidence. She is committing the fallacy of invincible ignorance.
  • Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Ignorance / Argument from Ignorance / Argument from a Lack of Evidence / Argumentum Ad Ignorantiam: occurs either when it is concluded that something is false because there is no proof that it is not false, or when it is concluded that something is true because there is no proof that it is not true. If you personally have no evidence, the best you can say is that your mind is open and you just don't know. EXAMPLE Rocky: "To this day, scientists have not been able to create life from non-life. Based on this, it's safe to say that spontaneous life didn't pop into existence on its own by natural events. This is strong physical evidence for the Creator God." Sandy: "That is a clear example of an argument from ignorance." "Science will find an answer to this great mystery one day." (Actually, with all the effort and money put into trying to create life and the growing knowledge of just how complex life actually is, this would not be a bad circumstantial argument, but why would anyone use such a weak argument when there is a very strong one available. Evolutionists always hold out a hope that molecules-to-man evolution is possible, but they never try to prove that it actually took place. There just is no evidence of that--which is the point of this fallacy and why those arguments are not valid. The only reason you might mention these things is that people who believe in the Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man story make believe that there is all kinds of evidence, so you may want to refute that. However, the real reason that we know that God created everything in six days a few thousand years ago is the God tells us so. We experience His logos/rhema, His utterance, when we read Scripture. He also tells us that the Scripture cannot be broken, so we have first-hand knowledge. Why would we use inferior evidence? Now, if you, as a Christian, don't have this first-hand experience of Jesus Christ, you can have that first-hand experience simply by acknowledging Him and persistently seeking Him with sincerity, humility, and submission.) EXAMPLE "Absence of proof is proof of presence." EXAMPLE "Absence of proof is proof of absence." EXAMPLE "You can't prove that God doesn't exist, therefore, He does exist." For a follower of Christ, it is never necessary to commit this fallacy, though the fallacy is often committed. If a person knows Jesus and follows Jesus (obviously not the same as claiming to be Christian), then Jesus is leading and teaching that person. This disproves Atheism. But, what of the poor Atheist who is not being led by Christ? How is the Atheist to know that Christ exists? Everyone who persistently seeks (a focus of the mind) Christ with respect, submission, and sincerity will find Christ. God reveals that those who refuse to do this have this motivation: they love darkness rather than light. EXAMPLE "You can't prove that the Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man story didn't happen; therefore, it happened." Actually, those who follow Christ know that this story didn't happen. They know this by Divine revelation. However, if this were not the case, the story would still not be shown to be true. (See universal negative fallacy.)

    Don't be fooled by this commonly used bit of irrational thinking.

  • Logical Fallacy of Ad Ignorantiam Question: occurs when a question (sometimes unanswerable such as a request to prove a universal negative) is used as proof of a claim rather than giving a reason to believe the claim. The logical fallacy of ad ignorantiam question claims that something is either true or false based on another person's ability or lack of ability to answer a certain question. If someone makes a statement that is a universal negative or other statement cannot be proven, there is no fallacy in asking for proof of any claim. It is also not a fallacy to ask a question that points out that a dogmatic belief cannot be defended. This fallacy occurs only when a question (that can't be answered, at least not at the moment) is taken as proof that a claim is true (or false). This is a very common form of ad ignorantiam argument, so it gets its own definition. EXAMPLE "God exists! What proof do you have that He doesn't?" Of course, no one can prove that God doesn't exist, but that is not why we believe. We believe because we know Him personally.
  • God of the Gaps Fallacy: occurs when an argument from ignorance is used to prove the existence of God. This is generally pointing to the gaps in the Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man story. Many of these gaps make the entire story impossible and require that additional stories be made up (stories known as ad hoc rescue fallacies). The gaps only prove that it is irrational to claim that the Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man story is scientifically known. Who knows whether some of these seemingly insurmountable problems with the story may actually be solved? Christians never need to resort to fallacies because God has made His necessary truth obvious. Those who want to disprove God but resort to fallacies since they are trying to disprove truth. Concerning science, God has made His existence and his nature obvious through the things that He has created. There is no need to resort to arguments from ignorance. Jesus Christ also makes Himself known to everyone who genuinely and persistently seeks Him in respect, submission, sincerity. In fact, every person who follows Christ is led by Christ. We know Christ personally. He leads us moment-by-moment. And He reveals to us that the Bible is His Word and that it is without error. Then, He speaks to us through the Bible. And He speaks to us through others who are speaking by the Holy Spirit. "No on can say that Jesus is accursed by the Holy Spirit. And no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit." So this fallacy is never needed and Christians ought to avoid it. EXAMPLE "If life never comes from non-life by natural means, then life must come from supernatural means (God). Life never comes from non-life. Therefore life must come from God." While the notion that life could come from non-life is a bazaar hypothesis, the anything is possible fallacy tells us that it is still possible. And the proof by Naturalism fallacy tells us that the naturalistic (no God) solution is always the best answer. So, a confirmed believer in the sacred cow story of Big-Bang-Billions-or-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man would claim that life had to come from non-life. However, faith comes by hearing the rhema (Utterance) of God. God speaks into our innermost minds. When you look at creation, when you do science, you cannot help but hear His Voice. However, some people refuse to acknowledge Him because they love darkness rather than light.
  • Logical Fallacy of Argument from Silence / Argumentum Ex Silentio: occurs when a conclusion is drawn from the absence of comment. This can be applied to a conversation or debate, if one person doesn't answer the other person's point, this does not prove the other person's point. Historians often fall prey to this fallacy, when an event or person is mentioned in one source but is not found in other writings. Some historians then make the mistake of claiming that the person never lived or that the event never took place. EXAMPLE "We can't find a record of King David anywhere but in the Bible. Had he actually existed, he would have been mentioned in other ancient texts." Now, evidence has been found, pointing out the fallacious nature of this type of thinking.
  • Logical Fallacy of No True Scotsman (a type of stacking the deck): occurs when someone tries to place artificial limits on what will be accepted as a true statement. The no true scientist fallacy is a type of this fallacy. EXAMPLE Sandy: "No scientist believes in creation." Rocky: "Well, Werner Gitt is a scientist and he believes in creation." Sandy: "He obviously doesn't count as a true scientist because he believes in creation. No true scientist believes in creation." This is a very common argument of anti-creationists. One could tend to believe that someone is perhaps teaching this fallacy in schools somewhere, it is that common. Of course, "believes in creation" is often swapped out for "believes in a young Earth", "rejects billions of years", "rejects big bang", "rejects molecules-to-man evolution", "rejects global warming", and the list goes on.
  • No True Scientist Fallacy: occurs when a subset of all scientists is selected, and then an attribute of those selected scientists is added to the definition of the word, "scientists." This is a  targeted application of the no true Scotsman fallacy.
  • Fallacy of Opposition: occurs when it is asserted that anyone who disagrees is not credible—the fact that they disagree is proof of that fact. EXAMPLE Sandra: “Show me one article written by a PhD scientist that refutes evolution [meaning the Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man story].” Roxanne: “You can go to Creation.com, AnswersinGenesis.org, or ICR.org. There are thousands of articles if that’s what you’re looking for." Sandra: “I refuse to look at anything on those sites. They are not credible. If they knew anything, they would be supporting science [meaning the Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man story]. EXAMPLE Roxanne: "If evolution is true, there is no need for Christ. We know, from what God is saying through Scripture, that sin is the cause of death. Christ is the cure. Molecules-to-man evolution puts death before sin. Evolution, as it is believed by some to have happened, is a cruel process where only the meanest and toughest survive and the weak are exterminated. That is not what my God tells me through Scripture." Sandra: "That's ridiculously hypocritical. It also means you don't know a thing about evolution. Christian Evolutionists believe God used evolution to create the Earth and guided evolution [meaning molecules to man] along. It has nothing to do with Christ." Roxanne: "You are assuming that I don't know about evolutionism's claims just because I don't believe the Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood story.” This is the essence of the fallacy of opposition. "You disagree with me. Therefore, you know nothing." FALLACY ABUSE EvoWiki, giving an example of the Fallacy of Opposition: “'The only reasons for excluding intelligent design from science are self-serving ones. Philosophers of science who remain fully committed to evolutionary theory, but know the difference between a good and a bad argument admit as much.' In other words, people that do not consider ID to be scientific are themselves using wrong argumentation according to William Dembski.” [This was given as an example of the fallacy of opposition] The thing that exposes EvoWiki's misunderstanding of this fallacy is that William Dembski didn’t say they were wrong because they oppose ID. He pointed out their reasoning is not rational but based on self-serving biases. There is no fallacy involved in pointing out that someone else is using a fallacy. EvoWiki, in this case, is committing fallacy abuse. The problem is that the people who go to a site like EvoWiki and read a definition of a fallacy that is written like this may get the erroneous impression that they are reading something that is supposed to be rational. While they can't understand it, they think that they are supposed to, so they shoehorn it into their worldview and end up losing the ability to know the difference between reality and make-believe.
  • Frozen Abstraction Fallacy: occurs when a personal view of what a given thing is (a subset of the class), for what the thing actually is (the wider class). This is very similar to or the same as the no true Scotsman fallacy. EXAMPLE "Only those scientists who accept the Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man story as fact are scientists in a real sense." Note that the wider class would include all scientists; however, the personal view of what that class ought to be is used to filter out all the scientists except those who hold certain unproven presuppositions to be true. EXAMPLE The No Child Left Behind program was designed to make certain that every U.S. child would be educated. However, it only covered government-run schools, and failed to help all the other ways that children are educated outside of the government system.
  • Falsified Inductive Generalization: occurs when a class is defined too narrowly to omit certain members that are removed to make a point about the class. This is a form of circular reasoning. It occurs when a wide abstraction (such as scientists) is restricted to a narrow set of particulars (only those scientists who believe in the Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man story) and then it is concluded that an attribute of these particulars (the scientists without the thousands who reject the story) must be definitive of the abstraction (scientists), thus negating the entire principled structure underlying the abstraction (scientists are people who do science: observe, record, make conclusions based on observations, etc.). Falsified inductive generalization looks a lot like the no true Scotsman fallacy or the frozen abstraction fallacy. It is one of the ways that a term can be defined too narrowly, and it is a persuasive definition fallacy. The no true scientist fallacy is a type of this fallacy that has become very popular among zealots of the Secular Humanist religion. Falsified inductive generalization is the counter fallacy to package dealing or equating opposites. Falsified inductive generalization omits part of a class. Package dealing and equating opposites fallacies include things that are not part of the class.
  • Logical Fallacy of Argument from the Negative: occurs when someone asserts that if one conclusion is false, then another one is automatically true. This is very similar to the black-and-white fallacy.
  • Logical Fallacy of A Dicto Simpliciter Ad Dictum Secundum Quid / Accident Fallacy: occurs when a rule is applied generally, ignoring the fact that there are exceptions to the rule; an exception is applied in circumstances where a generalization should apply (converse accident). EXAMPLE "Scientists have the rocks and fossils tested using radiometric dating methods and all the dates concur." (The logical fallacy here is that the exceptions and occurrences of cherry picking of data, which are many, are not mentioned.)
  • Converse Accident / Reverse Accident: occurs when an entire rule is rejected based on the exceptions from a rule. EXAMPLE “God doesn’t answer prayer. I have never gotten an answer to prayer.” This person prayed once just to show that God doesn’t answer prayer. He prayed for a new Porsche to appear before him. It didn’t happen. There are many exceptions to God’s promise to answer prayer. Many of them have to do with our own obedience to Him or our attitude or whether or not He sanctions the prayer.
  • Logical Fallacy of Best-in-Field: occurs when it is assumed that the "best" theory is accurate or even a good theory. EXAMPLE Bill Nye, arguing against Creation science: "So, everybody, just take a little while and grasp this fundamental idea. It’s how you fit in with nature around you. So, as the world changed, as it did for the ancient dinosaurs, they were taken out by a worldwide fireball, apparently caused by an impact." Bill Nye is using the logical fallacy of unsupported assertion. The fireball story is just a story. It ought to be stated as a belief without any proof that this was the cause of the death of the dinosaurs. "That’s the best theory we have." Bill Nye is using the best-in-field fallacy. Here, Bill gives his proof that this is what happened to the dinosaurs. His proof is that this is the best theory that they have. That is a fallacy. It proves nothing. In fact, there is a lot of evidence that the dinosaurs gradually went extinct, largely by being killed by humans.
  • Abductive Fallacy / Retroduction Fallacy / Retroductive Fallacy: occurs when a best-in-field fallacy is committed. The conclusion of a good abductive argument is merely the best explanation we know of. Who gets to define best? If abduction is presented as deduction, a lie has been told.
  • Logical Fallacy of Denialism: occurs when known reality is ignored or denied. EXAMPLE Rocky: "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. If you pray to Jesus Christ, He will make Himself real to you and you will be saved." Sandy: "I don't care about those Bible verses. I'm a good person. There is no such thing as sin or Hell, and every person is basically good. No one has to be saved." Sandy is in denial of the facts. To qualify as denialism, it must be a denial of things that can be defined as known facts, and the facts must have first been presented. It is a fact that God speaks through the Bible and through believers who are speaking by the Holy Spirit. When anyone will not acknowledge what God is saying, that person is denying Him.
  • Logical Fallacy of Reductionism / Oversimplification: occurs when a complex concept is reduced to a subset of its components as if it represented the whole. This often results in an oversimplified understanding of causes and possible solutions. It can also lead to questions being answered in ways that are too simple. That is, when a complex question is asked that requires several answers, a single simplified answer may be provided, but that answer isn't helpful. As with many fallacies, reductionism is often used as a tool for thinking, since the human mind is so limited. We usually can’t think about everything at once. A model, or abstraction, abstracts certain elements so that we can think about those elements and try to do analysis. However, the problem is that we sometimes forget that the model is not reality itself, and then we add it as confirmation bias to prove to ourselves that some parts of our paradigm/fake-inner-reality are real, though they are not. EXAMPLE “The human body is just a combination of a few dollars’ worth of chemicals.” EXAMPLE “The fetus is just a blob of tissue.” EXAMPLE “The Constitution is merely a piece of paper.” EXAMPLE Sandy: "Of course life can form by random chance. Richard Dawkin’s Weasel program proves that." Rocky: "Richard Dawkins' Weasel program actually doesn’t even replicate the part of reality that it was supposed to because it not only abstracts a subset, but it also adds in a mechanism that is never found in nature, a component that targets the desired string of letters and saves them if they fit the target. There is no mechanism like this in nature." Richard Dawkins' Weasel program is a joke of irrationality. It's a wonder that anyone could take it seriously.
  • Persimplex Responsum Fallacy / Very Simple Answer Fallacy / Very Simple Solution Fallacy: occurs when a single and simple answer is provided to a very complex problem that requires answers to multiple questions. Sandy: “In the beginning there was nothing. Then, nothing compressed to a dot smaller than a period on this page. Then it exploded and became everything.” What is the method by which Sandy thinks that he knows this? God says that He did it. He doesn't give us the details about how He did it, but we can see, from Creation, that there is nothing simple about God. FALLACY ABUSE Sandy: "OK, then, how do you think that the Universe came into being." Rocky: "Actually, I know how it came into being because God has revealed it to me. It came into being by God speaking it into existence. That doesn't give the detail about how that exactly works, but it does say something about the power of God's Utterance." Sandy: "There you go. God did it. That's such a simple answer for you, isn't it?" Rocky: "It is very foolish to begin to speculate beyond what you know and then call that knowledge or science. With deep history such as the origins of the Universe, we go beyond what we can observe. There are only two possible ways we can say what happened. One is arbitrary assumptions or storytelling. The other is Divine revelation. Can you think of another way to know what cannot be analyzed using scientific method?"
  •  Logical Fallacy of Reductionism / Oversimplification: occurs when someone reduces a complex concept to a subset of its components as if it represented the whole. As with many fallacies, reductionism is often used as a tool for thinking, since the human mind is so limited. We usually can't think about everything at once. A model, or abstraction, abstracts certain elements so that we can think about those elements and try to do analysis. However, the problem is that we sometimes forget that the model is not reality itself, and then we add it as confirmation bias to prove to ourselves that some parts of our paradigm/fake-inner-reality are real, though they are not. EXAMPLE "The human body is just a combination of a few dollars' worth of chemicals." EXAMPLE "The fetus is just a blob of tissue." EXAMPLE "The Constitution is merely a piece of paper."
    Taboo Fallacy: occurs when certain subjects, standpoints, people, or concepts are off limits for thinking, then other options are assumed the default. Note that taboos are a fallacy when they are used to persuade by eliminating conflicting points of view with taboos. Otherwise, they are simply a tactic of message control. However, message control is usually for the purpose of promoting only one side of an issue. EXAMPLE “Don’t discuss your Christian beliefs around me. Now, back to the subject of the Big Bang.” EXAMPLE Law suits are brought if Creation science is taught in schools, yet the Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man story receives almost no resistance. By making Creation taboo and teaching a lie as if it were a fact, indoctrination takes place in public schools.


Author/Compiler
Last updated: Sep, 2014
 
 


Logical Fallacy of Stacking the Deck / Cherry Picking / Cherry Picking Data / Suppressed Evidence / Fallacy of Incomplete Evidence / Argument from Selective Observation / Argument by Half-Truth / Card Staking / Fallacy of Exclusion

Logical Fallacy of Ambiguity Effect

McNamara Fallacy

Head in the Sand / Ostrich Fallacy

Suppression of the Agent Fallacy

Fading Affect Bias / FAB

"What I Don't Know Is Not Important" / Unteachable Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Argument by Selective Refutation

Logical Fallacy of A-Priorism

Logical Fallacy of Audiatur Et Altera Pars / Failure to State Assumptions

Error of Ignoring Historical Example

Logical Fallacy of Overlooking Secondary Consequences

Uncontrolled Factors Fallacy

Missing Link Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Moving the Goal Posts / Gravity Game / Raising the Bar

Gravity Game Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Argument by Demanding Impossible Perfection / Unfalsifiable Claims / Demanding Impossible Evidence

Unfalsifiable Claims Fallacy / Unfalsifiability / Untestibility

The Invincible Ignorance Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Ignorance / Ad Ignorantiam / Argument from Ignorance / Argument from a Lack of Evidence

Logical Fallacy of Ad Ignorantiam Question

God of the Gaps Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Argument from Silence / Argumentum Ex Silentio

Logical Fallacy of No True Scotsman (a type of stacking the deck)

No True Scientist Fallacy

Fallacy of Opposition

Frozen Abstraction Fallacy

Falsified Inductive Generalization Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Argument from the Negative

Logical Fallacy of a dicto simpliciter ad dictum secundum quid / Accident Fallacy

Converse Accident Fallacy / Reverse Accident Fallacy

Best-in-Field Fallacy

Abductive Fallacy / Retroduction Fallacy / Retroductive Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Denialism / Denial

Logical Fallacy of Reductionism / Oversimplification

Persimplex Responsum Fallacy / Very Simple Answer Fallacy / Very Simple Solution Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Reductionism / Oversimplification

Taboo Fallacy



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