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Fallacies Dull Everyone's Capacity to Reason

Updated: Nov 14

Fallacious forms of reasoning practiced by some communities dull everyone’s capacity to reason -- not only theirs.



Galileo Galilei. Painting by Justus Suttermans. Photograph by Hakjosef


If my religion is genuinely from God, then it is going to survive all these years. My religion has survived all these years — thousands of years, in fact. Therefore, my religion is genuinely from God.


If I have full-blown AIDS, then I am going to experience fever. I am experiencing fever. Therefore, I have full-blown AIDS.

P implies Q. Q. Therefore P. This form of argument is a formal fallacy. It is called Affirming the Consequent Fallacy.

If I am doing right as per God’s will, then I am going to be blessed. I am blessed. Therefore, I am doing right as per God’s will.

If we are the chosen people of God, then we are going to be blessed. We are blessed. Therefore, we are the chosen people of God.

Same story, Affirming the Consequent Fallacy.


Some pyramiding testimonies are altogether the same story.


If I am on the right path, my business is going to do well. My business is certainly doing well. Therefore, I am on the right path.


Add, fools in government.


If God wants me to rule, I am going to be elected. I have been elected. Therefore, God wants me to rule.


Another version.


If you are a satanist, you would want abortion laws to pass. You want abortion laws to pass. Therefore, you are a satanist.

Here is another type of formal fallacy employed by some communities.


If you are religious, you want to help the poor. You are not religious. Therefore, you do not want to help the poor.

If you follow Jesus, you are going to be inspired to win. You are not following Jesus. Therefore, you are not going to be inspired to win.

Like saying this.

If Jose Rizal joins the Katipunan, many are going to join the Katipunan. Jose Rizal is not joining the Katipunan. Therefore, not many are joining the Katipunan.

This is the form involved. P implies Q. Not P. Therefore, not Q. It is a formal fallacy called Denying the Antecedent Fallacy.


Here is a type of informal fallacy, meaning it is not the form of the argument that matters but rather its context. This type of informal argument is called Argumentum Ad Populum.

My religious sect has the most number of believers. Therefore, it is must be the true religion from God.

“True” is a description of some statement or sentence. In the context of the sentence above, however, true is used to describe some term or the concept it is used to refer to. Rather than “true,” it would be more apt to use “genuine.”

My religious sect has the most number of believers. Therefore, it is must be the true religion from God.

Like saying this.

Everyone believes that the Earth is flat. Therefore, it must be flat.

Fallacies contaminate people’s minds like viruses contaminating people’s bloodstreams. Some communities have a way of unknowingly acting as some superspreader media.

Try identifying these communities and help them get on the right track by showing them how to reason well. Means, of course, we need to work on our own capacity to reason.


Good luck to us.

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