Nov 3, 2011

Posted by in Fallacy of the Week | 0 Comments

Fallacy of the Week – Fallacy of False Cause

Fallacy of False Cause _ claiming the existence of a false cause-and-effect relationship between two separate events. (non causa pro causa)

(subclass 1): “After this, therefore because of this”: post hoc ergo propter hoc

(subclass 2): “With this, therefore because of this”: cum hoc ergo propter hoc

Example:

The “Rooster Syndrome”. Every morning the old rooster crows just before dawn. He believes it’s his crowing that causes the sun to rise.

The form is: “A” occurred, then “B” occurred. Therefore “A” caused “B”.

Here’s another scenario:

You live in the country and you’re out on your property doing a little target practice. Your neighbor comes over and frantically claims you just shot and killed his dog. Upon further investigation, you find no injury to the dog. Apparently he had died of purely natural causes.

Sometimes opponents are so eager to make a point that they don’t stop and use rational thinking to arrive at their conclusion. Others are just engrained in a particular way of thinking that is void of didactic reasoning. Still some will stop their ears, shut their eyes and will not look at the evidence provided them because it conflicts with their worldview. They usually evade questions about their reasons for holding a view or they become indignant and often resort to more fallacious behavior.

For those who choose to reason, the solution is to just slow down and look at all the available evidence. Then you can begin to carefully work through that information to the truth. Remember, reality gets to speak last and when it does, it has the final word.

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