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Thought-terminating cliche, logical fallacies

Thought-Terminating Cliché

A commonly used phrase, sometimes passing as folk wisdom, used to quell cognitive dissonance, conceal lack of forethought, move on to other topics, etc. – but in any case, to end the debate with a cliché rather than a point.

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appeal to the stone fallacy

Appeal to the Stone (argumentum ad lapidem)

Dismissing a claim as absurd without demonstrating proof for its absurdity.

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gambler's fallacy - logic

Gambler’s Fallacy

The Gambler’s Fallacy is the flawed belief that separate, independent events can affect the likelihood of another random event.

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Fallacy of the Single Cause (Causal Oversimplification)

Fallacy of the Single Cause (Causal Oversimplification)

It is assumed that there is one, simple cause of an outcome when, in reality, that outcome may have been caused by a number of only jointly sufficient causes.

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post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, false cause, logical fallacies

Post Hoc (False Cause) Fallacy

Post hoc is from the the Latin phrase “post hoc, ergo propter hoc,” which translates as “after this, therefore because of this.”

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ecological fallacy design, logic

Ecological Fallacy

Inferences about the nature of individuals are solely based on the aggregate statistics collected for the group to which those individuals belong.

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association fallacy illustration, logic, philosophy, arguments, reason, thinking

Association Fallacy (Guilt by Association and Honor by Association)

Arguing that because two things share (or are implied to share) some property, they are the same.

Premise: A is a B.

Premise: A is also a C.

Conclusion: Therefore, all Bs are Cs.

Association fallacy illustration

  • Benny is a con artist. Benny has black hair. Therefore, all people with black hair are con artists.
  • Simon, Karl, Jared, and Brett are all friends of Josh, and they are all petty criminals. Jill is a friend of Josh; therefore, Jill is a petty criminal.

Guilt by Association as an Ad Hominem Fallacy

Guilt by association can sometimes also be a type of ad hominem (“to the man”) fallacy.

In this twist of the Guilt by Association fallacy, the argument attacks a person because a specific or singular ideological similarity exists between the person making the argument and another unrelated (and hated) group.

This form of the argument is as follows:

  • Source S makes claim C.
  • Group G (which is currently viewed negatively by the recipient of source S’s claim) also makes claim C.
  • Therefore, source S is viewed as associated with – or similar to – group G, and source S inherits recipient R’s negative perception of group G.

guilt by association ad hominem fallacy illustration

“My opponent for office just received an endorsement from the Puppy Haters Association. Is that the sort of person you would want to vote for?”

In this case, the common interest (similarity) between the Puppy Haters and opponent O is that they both want O to get elected.

Guilt of puppy hating is being assigned to O because O and P.H. have similar political interests. (They may very well have different views on animal cruelty and treatment of puppies.)

Another example of this is when those opposed to “safe spaces” on college campuses – or opposed to the use of recently developed gender-neutral pronouns – are lumped together with white supremacists or the ill-defined alt-right.

While many white supremacists or “alt-righters” may hold similar stances on these issues, this does not mean that everyone who is similarly opposed to “safe spaces” or use of gender-neutral pronouns can be easily classified as a “white supremacist” or a “member of the alt-right”.

The entities in question might share opinions on some issues, but this does not mean that they agree on all issues (e.g. white supremacy, anti-Semitism, misogyny, etc.).

Guilt by Association as an Ad Hominem fallacy is a favorite among proponents of identity politics.

Honor by Association

The logical inverse of “guilt by association” is honor by association, where one claims that someone or something must be reputable, trustworthy, or reliable because of the people or organizations which are related to it or otherwise support it.

Many businesses heavily use the principle of honor by association in their advertisements and marketing. For example, an attractive spokesperson will say that a specific product is good. The attractiveness of the spokesperson gives the product good associations.

Some information and examples taken/adapted from Wikipedia.

Please see disclaimer.

argumentum ad populum, fallacies, logic, philosophy, appeal to the majority, appeal to the people, appeal to widespread belief, bandwagon argument

Appeal to the Majority (Appeal to Widespread Belief, Bandwagon Argument, Appeal to the People, Argumentum Ad Populum)

A proposition is claimed to be true or good solely because a majority or many people believe it to be so.


#1: Nine out of ten of my constituents oppose the bill, therefore it is a bad idea.

#2: Nine out of ten of my fellow congressmen favor the bill, therefore it is a good idea.

bandwagon argument illustration

#3: Brand X vacuum cleaners are the leading brand in America. You should buy Brand X vacuum cleaners.

#4: Watch Show X – the #1 watched show on television!

#5: Fifty million Elvis fans can’t be wrong.

#6: All of my friends are doing it.

#7: In a court of law, the jury vote by majority, therefore they will always make the correct decision.

#8: Everyone jaywalks here and as long as I look carefully, nothing will happen.

#9: Many people use agave nectar and believe it’s healthy, so it must be.

#10: Most dermatologists approve of and prescribe Accutane, so it must be safe.

#11: Many scientists say there isn’t a god of the universe, so there cannot be one.



Some information and examples taken/adapted from The Full Wiki


Please see disclaimer.






chronological snobbery fallacy - logic - clock on table

Fallacies – Chronological Snobbery

A thesis is deemed incorrect because it was commonly held when something else, known to be false, was also commonly held.


Mendel’s laws of inheritance (1865) cannot be correct, because some people (e.g. William Carpenter) also believed in a flat earth in 1865. Obviously, nothing good can come out of 1865.

chronological snobbery fallacy illustration

Please see disclaimer.

Fallacies – Argument From Ignorance (Appeal to Ignorance, Argumentum ad Ignorantiam)

Assuming that a claim is true because it has not been or cannot be proven false, or vice versa.


#1: Unicorns exist, because it cannot be proven that they don’t exist. (True because can’t be or hasn’t been proven false.)

argument from ignorance

#2: Whitney Houston wasn’t murdered, because it can’t be proven – or hasn’t been proven – that she was. (False because can’t be or hasn’t been proven true.) Although check this out:

Please see disclaimer.

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