Logical Fallacies



Tu Quoque : In Latin that means “You too”. It’s a special case of Ad Hominem fallacy where the arguer is blamed for his past actions or silence. Like we blame our intellectuals for them “being” biased rather than discussing if the situation they were pointing to is real and in existence. It’s kind of when someone points a finger at you, you would blame him of being a felon in the past rather than introspecting you. If a smoker were to point out that smoking is dangerous, we, rather than verifying the fact, would argue “And yet you smoke!”

Ad Hominem : In this case though, rather than going through the validity if the argument, we just blame the character of the person who has been arguing the cause. This is the argument our lawyers employ in the cases of molestation. Since the character of the woman under the question is not of respectable character, it is proved that she herself invited that abomination. The same goes with the dressing and all others. “Anyone who dresses like that is not of respectable character”.

Appeal to Authority : Most of the quotations fall under this category. When a popular person says something, rather than verifying the validity of what he had said, we just assume that whatever said by the person of such a stature should be true. When our beloved god-men/politicians comment on various issues, rather than questioning them, we take them for granted.

Appeal to Emotion : When some one argues a point, we respond in an emotional tone. We see these cases in “our sentiments have been hurt” cases, when someone says something, rather than trying to prove/disprove them on what they might have said, we just file a sedition case because of our ‘hurt feelings”.

Bandwagon : When questioned about the validity of the point, rather than answering that, we respond the number of the people who seem to be thinking that the point under the question is valid. Remember this : A million people believing something untrue doesn’t make it the truth; it just makes a million idiots though. Many a people believe in -some or the other form of- astrology, but without a scientific proof, astrology would just be hokum.

Burden of proof : Assuming that the burden of proof (or correctly dis-proof) lies with the one who is not claiming. Bertrand Russel once said if one were to claim of a cup and saucer that are neatly placed on a table orbiting  the earth, it’s not the burden of a well esteemed astrophysicist to come with the disproof before the person who is claiming comes up with a conclusive proof for what he had claimed. May be I should say this to my devotedly religious friend the next time I meet him 🙂


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