Ten Fallacies
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#FALLACYEXAMPLEACTUAL QUOTEWHAT YOU CAN DO
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1Appeal to Nature

"This is the fallacy of assuming that whatever is "natural" or consistent with "nature" (somehow defined) is good, or that whatever conflicts with nature is bad"

"Logical Fallacies and the Art of Debate" - http://www.csun.edu/~dgw61315/fallacies.html#Nature,%20appeal%20to
"Marriage is only between a man and a woman because that is the natural law of things""The marital act is precisely made fruitful because it is an act between a man and a woman. That is why in laws have always taken this to mean between a man and a woman because of the natural laws of things from where these are based."Aside from explicitly calling out that this is a fallacy called “Appeal to Nature,” you can also point out that it is in our nature to get sick and eventually die. This means that preventing death and sickness from happening is unnatural. And yet we don’t consider modern medicine and doctors as “bad.”
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2Appeal to Popularity

"The basic idea is that a claim is accepted as being true simply because most people are favorably inclined towards the claim."

"Fallacy: Appeal to Popularity" - http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/appeal-to-popularity.html
"I am against same-sex marriage because a majority of the population is against it."PERSON A: "The Roman Catholic Church (RCC) actively supported the passing of Proposition 8, which criminalized gay marriages in the State of California."
PERSON B: "So did a majority of the population including the Mormons!"
As with the first fallacy and all the succeeding fallacies, it is a must that you call out what kind of fallacy the person is using. And then point out that in the past, a majority of the population also believed that the world was flat and the earth was the center of the universe. Both arguments turned out to be false. If you are in the US, you can also point out that last April, same-sex marriage supporters outnumbered the opposition for the first time. Unfortunately, we have no such survey in the Philippines yet.

"Gay Marriage Opponents Now in Minority" - http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/20/gay-marriage-opponents-now-in-minority/
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3Appeal to Tradition

"Appeal to Tradition is a fallacy that occurs when it is assumed that something is better or correct simply because it is older, traditional, or "always has been done.""

"Fallacy: Appeal to Tradition" - http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/appeal-to-tradition.html
"Marriage is reserved for heterosexuals because that's how marriage has been defined for 2000 years""2000 years of history of not recognizing homosexual unions as valid marriages... that enough data for you?"State that slavery was also acceptable for more than 2000 years but that does not make it right. Also state that the 2000 year old definition of marriage has already been redefined a decade ago when same-sex marriage was made legal in the following countries: Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, and Sweden.

"Same-sex Marriage" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage
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4Cherry Picking

"Cherry picking, suppressing evidence, or the fallacy of incomplete evidence is the act of pointing to individual cases or data that seem to confirm a particular position, while ignoring a significant portion of related cases or data that may contradict that position."

"Cherry Picking (Fallacy)" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherry_picking_(fallacy)
PERSON A: "Laws are based on natural moral standards"
PERSON B: “Then why did the Supreme Court disallow Comelec to use morality in denying Ladlad accreditation?"
PERSON A: "The Supreme Court respected Ladlad's right to freedom of expression."

*It is true that the Supreme Court cited the right to freedom of expression. But what person A left out was that the Supreme Court's ruling against the Comelec also included "Public Morals as a Ground to Deny Ang Ladlad’s Petition for Registration"
A: "Laws, my friend are based on natural moral standards"
B: (cite SC decision)
A: "THe supreme court saw the right of freedom of expression to be above what the Comelec decided on."

Actual reasons lifted from SC ruling:

"Compliance with the Requirements of the Constitution and Republic Act No. 7941"
"Religion as the Basis for Refusal to Accept Ang Ladlad’s Petition for Registration"
"Public Morals as a Ground to Deny Ang Ladlad’s Petition for Registration"
"Equal Protection"
"Freedom of Expression and Association"
"Non-Discrimination and International Law"
Refute the claim by presenting the rest of the facts that the person left out. The complete and original text of the Supreme Court’s decision on the Ladlad vs Comelec case is available online. But put simply, the Supreme Court disallowed the Comelec to use Public Morals and Religious Belief to deny Ladlad accreditation. This is important jurisprudence because it tells the public that the use of morality and religion in deciding state affairs is unconstitutional.

“G.R. No. 190582 – SC Decision on Ladlad vs Comelec” - http://icj.org/dwn/database/Ang%20Ladlad%20LGBT%20Party%20v.%20COMELEC.pdf

"ARTICLE III, BILL OF RIGHTS" - http://www.chanrobles.com/article3.htm
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5False Analogy

"A false analogy is a rhetorical fallacy that uses an analogy (comparing objects or ideas with similar characteristics) to support an argument, but the conclusion made by it is not supported by the analogy due to the differences between the two objects."

"False Analogy" - http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/False_analogy
"Marriage is not for everyone. For example, minors can't marry. Mentally handicapped people can't marry. Humans can't marry their pets"“Can minors marry? why not if it is an absolute right? can mentally handicapped people marry? can humans opt to marry their pets?”Explain why the analogies presented are not similar to the original argument. In this case, the family code of the Philippines requires legal consent from both parties, which minors, the mentally handicapped, and pets cannot provide. And then avoid analogies entirely because if they are not used smartly, they have the tendency to backfire.

"The Family Code of the Philippines" - http://www.chanrobles.com/executiveorderno209.htm
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6Moving The Goalpost

"The “Moving the Goalpost” logical fallacy is another one that has a fairly descriptive name. It is the case when Person A makes a claim, Person B refutes it, and Person A moves on to a new or revised claim, generally without acknowledging or responding to Person B’s refutation. Hence, the goalpost of the claim has been shifted or moved in order to keep the claim alive."

"Exposing PseudoAstronomy" - http://pseudoastro.wordpress.com/2009/12/01/logical-fallacies-moving-the-goalpost/
PERSON A: "Moral relativism causes same-sex marriage!"
PERSON B: "But earlier, you said same-sex marriage causes moral relativism, not the other way around."
PERSON A: "No, what I meant was same-sex marriage reinforces moral relativism. I admit that is was poorly constructed because I was in a hurry."
PERSON A: “I oppose this because its repercussions introduce a society where morality becomes relative to a persons preference and taste!”
PERSON B: "So you're saying that: "the result of relativism in morality is the notion that same-sex marriage is good or acceptable" id est: moral relativism causes same-sex marriage. This is in direct contradiction to your original statement: “I oppose this because its repercussions introduce a society where morality becomes relative to a persons preference and taste!” id est: same-sex marriage causes moral relativism. Which is which?"
PERSON A: "in this sentence (poorly constructed I admit as i was in a hurry) I meant to say that the acceptance of same-sex marriage reinforces moral relativism in the society by showing that morality is based merely on ones preference and taste."
Keep track of how many times the person moves goalposts. If the person does this often enough, faulty logic will soon expose itself. The key here is documenting the entire conversation.
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7Presenting Opinion as Fact

"In casual use, the term opinion may be the result of a person's perspective, understanding, particular feelings, beliefs, and desires. It may refer to unsubstantiated information, in contrast to knowledge and fact-based beliefs."

"Opinion" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion
"Laws are based on natural moral standards"
*when what the person really meant to say was "Laws should be based on natural moral standards"
"Laws are based on natural moral standards"
*when what the person really meant to say was "Laws should be based on natural moral standards"


Actual quote:
PERSON A: "you should not have categorically said: "Laws, my friend are based on natural moral standards not taste." That statement describes what you desire for but it is not the reality. You yourself said: "It has become a matter of taste", "some of those who wanted to change the traditional understanding of morality my have had noble causes, albeit misdirected", "many of those who change laws as a matter of taste, i.e. moral relativists, do it, not because of malicious intent, i.e. they want to destroy society, but because of a misdirected compassion." Your three statements above describe reality. So you should have said: "Laws, my friend SHOULD BE based on natural moral standards not taste"

PERSON B: "It has become a matter of taste... I was criticizing the fact that many countries have fallen into moral relativity. IT HAS BECOME... which implies that IT USED TO BE...yes my three statements describe the reality that morality is becoming relative but that in no way makes it true!"

PERSON A: "Right. So just admit that you should not have said this: "Laws, my friend are based on natural moral standards not taste" And should have said this: "Laws, my friend SHOULD BE based on natural moral standards not taste"

PERSON B: "seriously this is a point of contention? to say "are" means historically that they have always been understood to be. To say "should" be assumes they aren't or weren't but should, which puts my view as mere opinion!"
Assert that in the absence of facts, all you have is opinion. But be cautious, too, because not all facts are from credible sources. Prefer facts over stats because stats can be manipulated depending on who is doing the study.
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8Red Herring

"A Red Herring is a fallacy in which an irrelevant topic is presented in order to divert attention from the original issue. The basic idea is to "win" an argument by leading attention away from the argument and to another topic"

"Fallacy: Red Herring" - http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/red-herring.html
PERSON A: "It is not true that homosexuals were not allowed to run for public office"
PERSON B: "Ladlad was barred by Comelec"
PERSON A: "The Comelec didn't just bar Ladlad because of homosexuality because that is oversimplifying the position. Just look at gay pride marches. It is embarrassing. But I'm not saying that just because homosexuals behave that way, they can be discriminated on. I don't understand why people assume that just because I think homosexuality is disordered that I automatically want to bully homosexuals. That's pretty immature."
PERSON A: "It is not true that homosexuals were not allowed to run for public office"
PERSON B: "Ladlad was barred by Comelec"
PERSON A: "The Comelec didn't just bar Ladlad because of homosexuality because that is oversimplifying the position. Just look at gay pride marches. It is embarrassing. But I'm not saying that just because homosexuals behave that way, they can be discriminated on. I don't understand why people assume that just because I think homosexuality is disordered that I automatically want to bully homosexuals. That's pretty immature."

Actual quote:
PERSON A: "Tell me how the LGBT are sidelined politically? Has any LGBT been disallowed the right to suffrage or to run for public office"
PERSON B cites Ladlad Case
PERSON A: "I think the Comelec decision goes beyond mere sex bias. It cites what that organization stands for as being morally unacceptable and to accredit them is tantamount to accepting something immoral. Now lets be clear, I didn’t say that the Comelec did. Whether or not this is legal basis enough to deny them is up to the courts. But to say it’s purely gender bias is oversimplifying the position. One only has to watch and see what happens in gay pride marches to realize that there is certain behavior demonstrated that I would be embarrassed to have my children see. it’s rather telling. I am not however saying that just because homosexuals behave that way, they can be discriminated on. I don;t understand why people in that forum seem to be under the impression that just because I say that homosexuality is disordered that I want to bully, that is pretty immature."
Acknowledge the new information presented. But make sure that your acknowledgement is not taken as agreement. State the exact same question for emphasis before the red herring was thrown at you. Again, this is why documentation is key.
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9Slippery Slope

"The Slippery Slope is a fallacy in which a person asserts that some event must inevitably follow from another without any argument for the inevitability of the event in question."

"Fallacy: Slippery Slope" - http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/slippery-slope.html
"Same-sex marriage will cause population implosion.""Their society is fast becoming sterile. First contraception, then abortion then euthanasia then homosexual marriage. No children, no future, dying society. They are on a population implosion. Let’s see in another hundred years."Ask "how" and ask for facts just a few repetitions short of ad nauseam. Let them ramble and eventually, they will run into self-contradictions. In which case, be ready for more moving goalposts and more red herrings.
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10Spotlight Fallacy

"The Spotlight fallacy is committed when a person uncritically assumes that all members or cases of a certain class or type are like those that receive the most attention or coverage in the media."

"Fallacy: Spotlight" - http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/spotlight.html
"Gays are not oppressed because that's not what we see in the media"“Are they really oppressed? We see many gays in the media… in fact, they lord it over [in the industry] so how can they say that they are being oppressed?”State factual evidence to the contrary. From an international perspective, the United Nations recently released its first report on LGBT rights. You can also download the Philippine LGBT Coalition report (which I co-authored Ü) to the UN’s Universal Periodic Review. It is a good resource for citing actual documented discrimination against LGBT people in the Philippines.

"UN issues first report on human rights of gay and lesbian people" - http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=40743&Cr=discrimination&Cr1=

"Philippine UPR CSO Report on LGBT People in the Philippines - 29NOV2011" - http://www.awid.org/content/download/130123/1460703/file/Philippine%20UPR%20CSO%20Report%20on%20LGBT%20People%20in%20the%20Philippines%20-%2029NOV2011.pdf
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