Flag definition

GhiOm flagged Fallacy Palooza with insufficient_sample

There is an unsupported over-generalisation in the five first sentences.
Usage of “all”, “anyone”, “everyone” has a clear over-generalization smell.
There is in the text no argument supporting these assertions.

(It sounds very familiar though !)


Mixed bag of muck!
posted by Andrew Kenworthy on February 11, 2010 00:42

This is almost as bad as some of the “letters to the editor” in my local paper!

Let me take a swing at this one…

“You cannot trust people over 30!”. As absurd a generalization as this is, can this really qualify as a fallacy? It is the premise and as such stands to be proven true or false right? So on it’s own it can’t be flagged can it?

“They all have sold out to the system”. Presuppositions: The writer presupposes some information that supports his/her claim; the writer does not confirm the assumed material.

“Anyone who says otherwise is an ignoramus.” Ad hominem: This is an attack on the character of a person rather than her/his opinions or arguments.

“Young people have the advantage because they still have their youth”. Circular Argument: This restates the argument rather than actually proving it.

“Everyone who has studied the history of science knows all the great discoveries were made by people who were less than 30.” Appeal to authority: Often we add strength to our arguments by referring to respected sources or authorities and explaining their positions on the issues we’re discussing. If, however, we try to get readers to agree with us simply by impressing them with a famous name or by appealing to a supposed authority who really isn’t much of an expert, we commit the fallacy of appeal to authority.

“If you allow people over 30 to hold young people back, then the pace of discovery will slow dramatically.” This one is a bit squishy but I’ll go with: Non-Sequitur:
This refers to an argument in which the conclusion does not necessarily follow from the premises. In other words, a logical connection is implied where none exists.

“It may be that older people have some value, but we are better off to ignore that fact. It will just make life more complicated.”
Appeal to ignorance:
In the appeal to ignorance, the arguer basically says, "Look, there’s no conclusive evidence on the issue at hand. Therefore, you should accept my conclusion on this issue.

Great fun! Thanks be to you nocturnal one!