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Copyright notice

This report is copyright 2006 with all rights reserved. Do not steal in part
or in whole any information contained herein. You may not copy or
distribute.

Mr. Merrill devotes a lot of his time hunting down any copyright offenders
both online and offline. If anyone breaks the rule stated above, Mr. Merrill
will have his attorneys contact the offender(s) in person.

In addition, readers of this report must understand that the information in


this book is an opinion as opposed to any legal or personal advice, and Mr.
Merrill is not responsible for any of the readers’ behaviors.

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Table of contents

Copyright notice ................................................................................................................... 2


Table of contents ................................................................................................................. 3
Foreword ................................................................................................................................. 7
Who said it? ........................................................................................................................... 8
Example 1: ..................................................................................................................... 8
Example 2: ..................................................................................................................... 8
Universal Form:............................................................................................................ 8
Counter statement: .................................................................................................... 8
Emotional manipulation .................................................................................................. 10
Wishful thinking.............................................................................................................. 10
Example 1: ................................................................................................................... 10
Example 2: ................................................................................................................... 10
Fear ..................................................................................................................................... 11
Example 3: ................................................................................................................... 11
Example 4: ................................................................................................................... 11
Flattery .............................................................................................................................. 11
Example 5: ................................................................................................................... 11
Example 6: ................................................................................................................... 11
Hate..................................................................................................................................... 12
Example 7: ................................................................................................................... 12
Example 8: ................................................................................................................... 12
Sympathy.......................................................................................................................... 12
Example 9: ................................................................................................................... 12
Example 10: ................................................................................................................ 12
Universal Form:.............................................................................................................. 13
Counter statement: ...................................................................................................... 13
Distraction ............................................................................................................................ 14
The same .......................................................................................................................... 14
Example 11: ................................................................................................................ 14
Example 12: ................................................................................................................ 14

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Red herring ...................................................................................................................... 14
Example 13: ................................................................................................................ 15
Example 14: ................................................................................................................ 15
Universal Form:.......................................................................................................... 15
Possibility vs. evidence.................................................................................................... 16
Example 15: ................................................................................................................ 16
Example 16: ................................................................................................................ 16
Universal form:........................................................................................................... 16
Counter statement: .................................................................................................. 16
Example 17: ................................................................................................................ 17
Example 18: ................................................................................................................ 17
Universal Statement: ............................................................................................... 17
Counter statement: .................................................................................................. 17
Majority vs. Minority......................................................................................................... 18
Example19:.................................................................................................................. 18
Example 20: ................................................................................................................ 18
Universal statement:................................................................................................ 18
Counter statement: .................................................................................................. 18
Assumption .......................................................................................................................... 19
Example 21: ................................................................................................................ 19
Example 22: ................................................................................................................ 19
Universal form:........................................................................................................... 19
Counter statement: .................................................................................................. 19
Imprecise language .......................................................................................................... 20
Example 23: ................................................................................................................ 20
Example 24: ................................................................................................................ 20
Universal form:........................................................................................................... 21
Counter statement: .................................................................................................. 21
False analogy....................................................................................................................... 22
Example 25: ................................................................................................................ 22
Example 26: ................................................................................................................ 22
Universal form:........................................................................................................... 22
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Counter statement: .................................................................................................. 22
Generalization ..................................................................................................................... 23
Example 27: ................................................................................................................ 23
Example 28: ................................................................................................................ 23
Example 29: ................................................................................................................ 23
Example 30: ................................................................................................................ 23
Universal form:........................................................................................................... 24
Counter statement: .................................................................................................. 24
Compromise......................................................................................................................... 25
Example 31: ................................................................................................................ 25
Example 32: ................................................................................................................ 25
Universal form:........................................................................................................... 25
Counter statement: .................................................................................................. 26
Gambler’s logic ................................................................................................................... 27
Example 33: ................................................................................................................ 27
Example 34: ................................................................................................................ 27
Universal form:........................................................................................................... 27
Counter statement: .................................................................................................. 28
If I knew................................................................................................................................ 29
Example 35: ................................................................................................................ 29
Example 36: ................................................................................................................ 29
Universal form:........................................................................................................... 29
Counter statement: .................................................................................................. 29
Circular reasoning ............................................................................................................. 30
Example 38: ................................................................................................................ 30
Universal form:........................................................................................................... 30
Counter statement: .................................................................................................. 31
Distortion .............................................................................................................................. 32
Example 39: ................................................................................................................ 32
Example 40: ................................................................................................................ 32
Universal form:........................................................................................................... 32
Counter statement: .................................................................................................. 32
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Invalid induction ................................................................................................................ 34
Example 41: ................................................................................................................ 34
Example 42: ................................................................................................................ 34
Universal form:........................................................................................................... 34
Counter statement: .................................................................................................. 34
Additional qualifier ............................................................................................................ 36
Example 43: ................................................................................................................ 36
Example 44: ................................................................................................................ 36
Universal form:........................................................................................................... 36
Counter statement: .................................................................................................. 37
Argument from fallacy ..................................................................................................... 38
Example 45: ................................................................................................................ 38
Example 46: ................................................................................................................ 38
Universal form:........................................................................................................... 38
Counter statement: .................................................................................................. 38
Prove me wrong ................................................................................................................. 40
Example 47: ................................................................................................................ 40
Example 48: ................................................................................................................ 40
Universal form:........................................................................................................... 40
Counter statement: .................................................................................................. 40
False causal effect ............................................................................................................. 41
Example 49: ................................................................................................................ 41
Example 50: ................................................................................................................ 41
Universal form:........................................................................................................... 41
Counter statement: .................................................................................................. 41

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Foreword

Criteria for the examples used in this book:


1. Simplified to the core
2. Daily situation
3. Two different examples

There are many situations in which you are at a loss of words because you
are inexperienced. And the patterns reoccur over time and the purpose of
this book is to educate you and help you develop a logical and acute mind
so you won’t be fooled by the conventional tricks.

Many people don’t use the tricks intentionally but use it due to instinct or
experience.

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Who said it?

The speaker assumes that the validity of statement (often controversial


and cannot be immediately proven) is dependent on the issuer of the
statement.

Example 1:
“Peter thinks the universe is endless. It’s certainly wrong because he’s
such an ignorant person.”

Whether the universe is without end is independent of Peter’s opinion. The


speaker could be right that the universe has a boundary but that wouldn’t
have anything to do with Peter’s belief.

Example 2:
“Confucius (or even worse: “a great philosopher/writer/speaker”) once
said, “Learning is the greatest pleasure of mankind.” So we must always
consider learning as our top priority.

The fact that somebody made a statement doesn’t make it true or false. It
only serves as a strong support or indication. Confucius or Aristotle or any
great man could have made a mistake, however unlikely.

Universal Form:
A said B, A is believable/unbelievable/authoritative, so B is
believable/unbelievable/ authoritative.

Counter statement:
Even if B is of a certain quality, that doesn’t make A the same.

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Or
There is only a high correlation (high possibility of your statement) but no
definitely relationship between A and B.

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Emotional manipulation

The speaker wants you to believe something because if that something (or
the result it leads to or the assumption of it) will be emotionally satisfy
you (often assumed), vice versa.
Or
The speaker wants you to believe something entails a result because you
want to see the result, vice versa.

And the following are some common emotions that are susceptible to
manipulation.

Wishful thinking

Example 1:
This product will make you rich. Having a lot of money will fulfill all your
dreams. So buy it!

Obviously you want to be rich, but the desirability of being rich doesn’t
mean the product will make you rich. Beware of such sales pitch!

Example 2:
Your boyfriend couldn’t have cheated you. How wrong that would be! And
how sad you’d become!

Whether your boyfriend has cheated does not depend on whether you’d be
sad. In fact, it contributes to whether you’d be sad or not. Such
statements often work because you naturally (or subconsciously) dismiss
the negative possibility and assume things will happen for the best.
However, whether something happens has nothing to do with its
emotional appeal

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Fear

Example 3:
If you don’t study hard, you’ll never find a job and have to live on the
street.

You could be rich in other ways. You may simply cite examples of people
who dropped out of school and became great businessmen.

Example 4:
Believe in God or burn in hell!

Obviously you don’t want to burn in hell. But that’s where they claim you’ll
end up. They can’t prove you cannot be somewhere else if you don’t
believe in God. Fear blinds many people and stops them from asking
further.

Flattery

Example 5:
I’m sure any smart man like you will agree with this decision.

…As if agreeing with this decision means you’re smart. Smart guys make
decisions by themselves, don’t they?

Example 6:
I wanted to find a beautiful woman to support our organization, so
naturally I thought of you.

That’s really nice! What’s supporting the organization got to do with looks?

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Hate

Example 7:
Don’t agree with John on this company decision! Think about all the
horrible things he did to your best friend!

John may be a real bastard and you should hate him. But it’s still possible
he’s making a right move for the benefit of the company and everyone
else.

Example 8:
Vote for John’s opponent in the coming election! That way you can get
back at him.

Though you might want to see John fail, but voting for his opponent just
based on your dislike is not the right move and may not benefit you either
in the short term or long term.

Sympathy

Example 9:
Please buy my product. I spend all my money on its development. I don’t
know what to do if nobody buys it.

Whether the product is worth buying for you has nothing to do with how
much effort spent in its development. If it is a great product, respect for
the developer. Otherwise, just feel bad for him/her.

Example 10:
Please don’t believe what they said about the kid stealing money. He’s
just a poor homeless orphan!

A poor homeless orphan might just steal money as a spoiled rich kid.
Though it would be such a pity that such a thing should happen at all.
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There are other ways to help than believing something without
investigation.

Universal Form:

(Don’t) do A, because (some statement that affects your emotions).

Counter statement:

How I feel does not have a bearing on the choice of doing A, though it
might have an impact on how I feel. So it doesn’t give me sufficient
reason to agree with you.

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Distraction

The same
This trick equates correctness to “common” conduct. In other words, as
long as everybody else involved in the issue does the same thing,
everybody is right.

Example 11:
(Kids like to use this very often)
Mother: Tommy, why did you lie to the teacher today?
Tommy: the best student in our class, Johnny, also lied.

Whatever someone else has done (though it may have influenced your
action) does not affect the judgment of your conduct.

Example 12:
(This is related to the emotional manipulation of hate that we talked about
earlier)
“How can he accuse me in public of terrible things I never did!”
“Well, why don’t you do the same to him tomorrow?”

Two wrongs don’t make a right. However, doing something to prevent the
next wrong doing is different from pure retaliation and revenge. In other
words, if an action is taken to modify a behavior, this principle doesn’t
apply.

Red herring
You often heard this term but may not know what it means. It basically
refers to arguments which may be valid themselves but are made in order
to support a different argument: A proves B, so A proves C. It is

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frequently used as a means to distract the reader/listener from the
judgment of the real issue.

Example 13:
I should be promoted in the company! I’ve been with the company for
over 8 years and obviously I’m the most experienced!

You may well be the most experienced employee, but promotion depends
on many other factors such as contribution to the company.

Example 14:
Jack may be a brilliant engineer in the company, but didn’t you hear about
how he cheated on his wife? Why should he be in charge of this project?

Jack’s personal life has much less bearing to the quality of his work than
his engineering qualifications. The speaker attempts to distract the
listener from the professional criterion of a project manager.

Universal Form:
Considering A, B should be done.

Counter statement:
A has nothing to do with B. Whether B should be done is based on other
factors.

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Possibility vs. evidence
It assumes something will definitely happen if there is a possibility of it
happening. In many cases, the speaker always “hopes for the worst”.

Example 15:
There are many dishonest people out there. If you don’t exercise caution,
you’ll get cheated big time.

The fact that you could encounter dishonest people doesn’t mean you
definitely will. Furthermore, even if you do encounter a dishonest person,
he/she might not cheat you. But one should always be alert, since there is
a high possibility of being deceived.

Example 16:
Of course Lucy is promoted so fast. She’s our boss’s daughter.

It might be possible (more so if Lucy’s not the boss’s daughter) that the
boss is being unfair, but it is also possible that Lucy has earned her place.

Universal form:
A is highly possible and A leads to B. Therefore B.

Counter statement:
It’s also possible A doesn’t happen.
Or
B could be caused by something other than A.

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Tradition vs. novelty

It assumes how something has been previously done affects its current
quality or outcome.

Example 17:
Why do you always want to do things your way? This method was
invented 20 years ago and everyone has been following it since.

The fact that a new method has not been previously attempted does not
mean it will fail or become the best.

Example 18:
This is the latest product from the company since it has been reorganized.
You should definitely buy it.

The latest product may not be the best product, and the company may
not improve after it was reorganized.

Universal Statement:
A is what people have been doing for a long time, so it must be the best.
Or
A is the newest so it must be the best.

Counter statement:
Something’s quality is not necessarily determined by its duration of
existence, though they might be related.

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Majority vs. Minority

It assumes that the majority/minority of people is always right. Thus we


have sayings like “following the crowd” and “the truth is always with the
minority”.

Example19:
Since so many people like to be rich, money must be a good thing.

If something is good, usually people would want it. The reverse is not
always true.

Example 20:
Think about it—only you and Mary believe him. How can he be honest?

Whether he is lying is not determined by how many people believe him,


although if many people don’t believe him, the chance of him lying is
usually higher.

Universal statement:
Majority/minority thinks A, so it must be right/wrong.

Counter statement:
The fact majority/minority thinks A is merely an indication not a proof.

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Assumption

It is reasoning based on a premise that is not proven.

Example 21:
Suppose tomorrow it will rain. I don’t go out when it is raining, so
tomorrow I won’t go out.

What if tomorrow it doesn’t rain?

Example 22:
(Harder to discover when the assumption is implicit or accepted by many
people.)
The act of intentionally killing someone one is wrong, and death penalty is
such as act. So death penalty is wrong.

The reasoning is wrong because the premise “the act of intentionally


killing someone is wrong” has not been proven. But again, though the
reasoning is wrong, the conclusion might not be.

Universal form:
Because of A which implies B, B.

Counter statement:
A is not proven so the reasoning doesn’t follow.

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Imprecise language

This trick intentionally uses imprecise language (especially adjective) and


definition without continuum to confuse the reader/listener.

Example 23:
Is 1 grain a heap?
No.
2 grains?
No.
10?
No.
100?
No.
Then let me keep on adding another grain. It’ll never become a heap.

The definition of a heap is based upon how many people think if it is a


heap or not.
When the number is 1, 100% probability says it is not a heap
When the number is 100, 50% probability says it is not a heap
When the number is 1000000, 0% probability says it is not a heap

Example 24:
Is a 5 feet man considered tall?
Not really.
Would 1 more inch make a difference to a short man?
No.
Yeah, so you even if you keep making the 5-feet man 1 inch taller he’ll
never be tall.

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There are no definite line drawn between tall and short. It’s based on
people’s perception of an actual figure, as well as the probability of how
many people see that figure as tall.

Universal form:
Change A for a negligible amount many times doesn’t change it.

Counter statement:
The accumulation of those negligible changes each time will eventually
reach a point of “quantum leap”.

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False analogy

It attempts to establish links between two different things that are


superficially similar yet fundamentally different, arriving at the conclusion
that they have same properties.

Example 25:
People are like dogs. They respond best to clear discipline.

People and dogs do share some similarity, but they do not respond to
discipline in the same way. This seemingly clever observation is based on
a false analogy.

Example 26:
(Harder to spot as it sounds philosophical and motivating)
Just as in time the gentle rain can wear down the tallest mountains, so, in
human life, all problems can be solved by patience and perseverence.

Rain and patience are two vastly different concepts and should not be put
side by side even the effect is quite impressive.

Universal form:
A is just like B and shares B’s attribute.

Counter statement:
A is like B doesn’t mean A is B and has every attribute that B has.

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Generalization

It attempts to describe the entire class though a sample (including


exceptions) which can be itself biased.

Example 27:
Everyone loves that song!

“Everyone” in most people language means roughly 3 – 4 friends or


acquaintances.

Example 28:
The US is a dangerous place. Just look at the number of crimes on TV!

The TV obviously doesn’t represent the entire country and is a biased


sample since news reporters favor violence.

Example 29:
Brushing your teeth is totally a waste of time. So many people still have
bad teeth.

Brushing teeth may not prevent 100% of people from having bad teeth,
but the exceptions don’t discount the fact that it has saved many of the
rest people from bad teeth.

Example 30:
(Hard to spot due to the distraction of detailed description.)
I’m thinking about buying a new laptop but I will never buy a Toshiba
brand again. My old one has given me so much trouble. It broke down in a

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week, made me travel to the service center at the other end of town every
month, generated loud noises all the time, had a short battery life of 40
minutes—it was terrible.

The fact that your old Toshiba laptop gave you a hard time doesn’t
necessarily mean all Toshiba laptops are not worth buying. But this trick
frequently works because of the emphasized risk of doing something.

Universal form:
A is a member of B, so all members of B must have a certain quality just
like A.

Counter statement:
Other members of B may not share the same attribute with A, so the
generalization of B is not logically sound.

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Compromise

This is a very common trick which equates fairness to reciprocal


compromise made on the same scale with the same amount or a solution
simply in the middle.

Example 31:
(You hear this most often when people are bargaining)
Seller: (Knowing the original price of the goods is $30): $60
Buyers: that’s crazy! How about $20?
Seller: how about $40—fair enough?

This is an illusion of fairness because the two proposed may not be based
on true intentions and thus the compromise made to reach the middle
ground are really not the same despite numerical equality.

Example 32:
The first group of stock advisers say that the stock price will go up and the
second group of experts say it will go down, so the truth must be
somewhere in between.

The statement ignored the possibility that either of them (the stock price
goes up or down) is correct or neither of them is correct (the stock price
stays the same).

Universal form:

There are choices A and B. In order to be fair/correct, let’s choose C in


between.

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Counter statement:

Every solution between A and B and some other solution outside this
range may all be the real right solution.

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Gambler’s logic

It assumes that previous same/similar events alter the next even while in
fact they are all independent of one another.

Example 33:
(Many gamblers think in the following way.)
This coin is tossed 5 times and the results were all heads, so let me
choose tail this time, which will be more likely. And since I just lost for the
5th time, let me continue playing till I win my money back.

The tosses of a coin are independent events and have a 50/50 chance
every time. The gambler fails to see that the small possibility of 6 heads in
a row is said before the coin was tossed (every time a coin is tossed the
situation “renews” itself). As a result, if the gambler decides to play many
times from now, he will get back to his current state which is having lost 5
times.

Example 34:
I’m more likely to win a lottery by choosing different numbers every time
as opposed to choosing the same numbers every time.

You are equally likely to hit the jackpot no matter which strategy you use.

Universal form:

A has happened many times in a row, so B is more likely to take place.

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Counter statement:

If A and B are dependent, the statement might be correct. If they are


independent events, A is just as likely to happen again as B is.

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If I knew

This is common logical error we make on a daily basis. It assumes that a


decision maker in the past has the same amount information and the
same perspective.

Example 35:
I shouldn’t have bought this computer because it’s giving me a really hard
time.

You do not know the computer would cause you a lot of trouble back then.

Example 36:
Julius Caesar should not have seized power, because it would lead to his
assassination.

He of course didn’t know about the assassination like we do today.

Universal form:
A led to B which is undesirable, so A shouldn’t have happened.
Or
A led to B which is desirable, so A should have happened.

Counter statement:
There was insufficient information to arrive at the decision that is deemed
right now.

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Circular reasoning

This trick uses the premise to prove the conclusion and then use the
conclusion to support the premise. It is also referred to as “begging the
question” (you may have heard that term many times).

Example 37:
The Bible is the word of God.
The Bible says it is the word of God.
If it is the word of God, and says that it is the word of God it must be,
because the word of God must be true.

The assumption here is that the Bible is the word of God. It dismissed the
possibility of the contrary and proved the assumption using the conclusion
of that assumption. What if the Bible is not the word of God? No matter
whether it says it is the word of God or not—can’t be relied on according
to the logic of the above statement.

Example 38:
(Happening in many day-to-day conversations.)
“What makes you think you are right about this?”
“Because I am!”

This is a common example of circular reasoning. The reason and


conclusion are the same thing. You might as well say, “You are wrong
about this because you are wrong.”

Universal form:
If A leads to B and B proves A, both of them are true.

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Counter statement:
The other possibility is “if A doesn’t lead to B” and is missed out.
Or
If A leads to C contrary to B and C proves A, B must be false. (Using the
same logical error to attack the logical error.)

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Distortion

This trick first distorts the actual statement or position through


exaggeration, substitution, misrepresentation, etc., and subsequently
attacks the distorted version and sometimes succeeds in proving it wrong.

Example 39:
Mom, I can’t understand why you don’t let me go to the party at Peter’s
house. Why do you want to restrict my freedom just because you can’t
stand me having a bit of fun!

The reason why the mother forbids the child to go to the party might be
considerations of the child’s safety. The child distorts the mother’s
decision into a ridiculous position and attacks it.

Example 40:
We should not allow possession of guns. Why would the government grant
people the rights to assault or even murder other members of the society!

Obviously that’s not the governments’ intentions. Attacking that


misrepresented idea doesn’t prove allowing possession of weapon is a
wrong policy.

Universal form:

A is wrong because B (which is in fact A) is absolutely wrong.

Counter statement:

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B obviously is not A, and the fact that B is wrong doesn’t discount the
possible validity of A.

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Invalid induction

It is usually related to illogical “if-then” statements which draw conclusion


to serve the writer/speaker’s purposes.

Example 41:
A cat is an animal and a dog is an animal, so a dog is a cat.

The fact that two things belong to the same group doesn’t mean they are
the same.

Example 42:
A cat is an animal and a dog is not a cat, so a dog is not an animal.

The fact that a cat is an animal doesn’t mean other animals such as dogs
cannot be an animal.

Universal form:

If A and C belong to B, they are the same.


Or
If A belong to B and C is not A, C doesn’t belong to B.

Counter statement:

A and many other things such as C, D, E, etc. can all belong to B at the
same time.

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Additional qualifier

This trick secretly modifies a concept by adding an additional qualifier


such as “real” or “true” during rebuttal.

Example 43:
“Every American loves basketball!”
“My brother doesn’t…”
“Well, every true American loves basket ball.”

Obviously, not loving basket ball doesn’t contradict being an American, or


a “true” American. The first speaker asserted the quality of an American
without justification.

Example 44:
“If you love our country, you should agree to every decision our
governments make.”
“But certain policies are worth reconsideration…”
“If you really love our country, you shouldn’t be thinking this way.”

In this example, the first speaker combined this trick with emotional
manipulation (of course the second speaker doesn’t want to be considered
as not loving his/her country) and modifies the concept of “love” in order
for the rebuttal to work.

Universal form:

Every “true/real” A leads to B.

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Counter statement:

If B doesn’t logically follow A, adding a “true/real” or any other adjective


doesn’t change the fact.

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Argument from fallacy

One easy and common trick that is hard to spot is the argument from
fallacy. The speaker first points out a logical fallacy and then arrive at the
conclusion the inverse must be true.

Example 45:
“You can tell from my London accent that I’m from London.”
“That’s obviously not logical. Your accent doesn’t prove your origin. You
can’t be a Londoner.”

Though the first speaker indeed made a logical mistake, his claim false
might not be false. (His reasoning is though). So by simply negating the
conclusion, the second speaker also made a logical mistake.

Example 46:
Arriving at a right conclusion. (The hardest to spot.)
“All dogs are animals. No cats are dogs. So cats are not animals.”
“That’s not logical. Other animals including cats can be animals. Your
conclusion is wrong. So all cats are animals.”

The second speaker’s conclusion is right, but his reasoning based on the
first speaker’s logical error is also fallacious.

Universal form:

Your proof of A leading to B is wrong, so A doesn’t lead to B.

Counter statement:

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A may still lead to B even though my reasoning is wrong. The fact and my
reasoning are independent of each other.

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Prove me wrong

Many people find this very common trick is hard to argue. It shifts the
burden of proof to the listener and equates “not necessarily wrong” to
“right”.

Example 47:
“Tomorrow it’ll definitely rain!”
“I’m not so sure about that…”
“Well, how do you know it won’t rain?”

The chance of it raining tomorrow is not the same as that it will rain.

Example 48:
“This amulet I’m carrying will protect me.”
“It might protect you...there is the possibility.”
“Prove me wrong then!”

The fact I can’t prove carrying amulet doesn’t work does not mean it
definitely works. You might be wrong nonetheless. (In other words,
carrying an amulet might really work. This also applies to religion.)

Universal form:
If you can’t prove that A doesn’t lead to B, A leads to B.

Counter statement:
There is still a possibility of A not leading to B, and the lack of proof
doesn’t alter the possibility itself.

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False causal effect

This is often used by people to illustrate an alleged causal relationship.


You can sometimes read such reasoning in certain marketing reports.

Example 49:
In summer, the sales of ice-cream goes up, and so does crime rate. So
ice-cream sales contributes to the hike of crime.

The consumption of ice-cream and crime are most likely independent of


each other, although we cannot claim for sure they are unrelated.

Example 50:
(Hard to spot when the conclusion is intuitive and generally accepted.)
Teenage boys like to play basketball and they grow taller in a fast rate,
which shows playing basketball can increase height.

There is a high correlation between playing basketball and growing in


height for teenage boy. That is not equal to causality.

Universal form:

A and B usually occurs at the same time, either A causes B or B causes A.

Counter statement:

The fact that A and B goes “hand in hand” doesn’t imply causal
relationship. It could be just a coincidence or influenced by some other
reasons.

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