Monday, April 02, 2012

Information is Beautiful’s guide to logical & rhetorical fallacies

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Here’s an excellent and elegant reference that should be kept around for the next time anyone starts spewing arguments that send your bullshit detector into hysterics:

Click for the full list. I think the only one left out is the all-popular Argumentum ad Hitlerum.

I do have a nit to pick with one of the items, though:

Appeal to Ridicule
My transcript: (click the [+/-] to open/close →) []

Appeal to Ridicule
Presenting the opponent's argument in a way that makes it appear absurd.

“Faith in God is like believing in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.”

To be fair, it is somewhat unfair to compare Yahweh (or any other Creator deity, really) to Santa or Ms. Toothy. After all, the latter two’s powers are much more limited; they’re both unquestioned examples of good behavior and compassion; and no-one’s claiming that they created the entire universe, constantly influence it despite somehow existing apart from it, and that everyone should worship at the jolly fat man’s sleigh or the fairy’s magic wand under penalty of eternal suffering.

Honestly, comparing God(s) to Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy might actually be insulting to the more reasonable two, not the other way around. And that’s not even mentioning how they all have the exact same amount of evidence supporting their existence – which is to say, exactly none. Point taken!