Freshness never tasted so good

Spice up your relationship-wrecking fights by sharing these comparatively fresh fallacies!

Reading Time: 6 minutes

If true believers love anything more than the god or gods of their geography-dictated choice, it’s beating anyone who will listen over the head with poor reasoning. Unfortunately, some of the old favorites are showing some wear and tear. Yes, we all love personal attacks and irrelevancies, but we’ve heard it before. If you’d like to put the spark back into your heated arguments with friends and relatives, here are a few (comparatively) new unsound arguments to share with your favorite fanatic…

  1. Gambler’s Fallacy
Old-timey Batman villain Mark Twain/The Gambler invites you to ante up, suh. (DC Comics)

Most of us have heard this one before and just didn’t realize it had a name. The Gambler’s Fallacy is reasoning that the outcome of a random chance is directly influenced by the previous outcomes.

Example: “I’ve flipped this coin seventy-six times in a row and it’s always come up heads. It’s as past due for tails as I am for work!”

Pro Deo: “Well, Jesus hasn’t shown up the last 36,999 times, so he’s due. Hear that, Jesus? You’re due. Don’t make a fool of me.”

The Gambler’s Fallacy is especially fun if you or your interlocutor likes to pretend you’re James Bond getting sloshed on martinis (read: Boone’s Farm) and arguing with a stranger on the internet in some exotic locale like Monte Carlo.

  1. Package Deal Fallacy

Also known as a false conjunction, this fallacy argues that things that are usually grouped together must always be grouped together or the consequences will be dire.

Example: “Ringo is best-known as a Beatle. He’ll never make it without the others. Savage wolves will get him.”

Pro Deo: “Similar to the Bride of Frankenstein, I’m well-known as a bride of Christ. Take that away and I’m just ‘a bride of…’ No one will marry me and I’ll die alone. Savage wolves will get me.”

To-Do: Fall upon Ringo. Pose for wicked T-shirt. Raise orphan boy. (@bonopeppers/Unsplash)
  1. Base-Rate Fallacy 

A variation on the prosecutor’s fallacy. We can just stop there, right? No? Fine. A variation on the prosecutor’s fallacy, this… fallacy relies on ignoring statistical information in favor of using irrelevant information one mistakenly believes to be relevant to make a judgment.

Example:Only 12% of applicants make it into that college. But my boy will do it! He’s got a half a tank of me in him!”

Pro Deo: “Your precious ‘tests’ may have yielded unbiased, empirical data– but you forgot to poll all the Christians who refused medical treatment, didn’t you? And what about all the many dead Jews who presumably worship the same god? Did you poll them, Doctor Goebbels?”

Honestly, did– anyone even think about fighting the Nazis with karate? (OpenClipArt-Vectors, Pixabay)

Fun Fact: Did you know you can mix up your bad faith positions by substituting Argumentum ad Goebbelium for Argumentum ad Hitlerum? It’s true!

  1. Relative Privation

Have you ever argued a position by comparing a situation to the best or worst-case scenario? If you’re like most unreasonable people, you have! And you were wrong! As wrong as you’ve ever been! Unless it was one of those situations where you weren’t, as illustrated below. In which case, keep up the pragmatism, champ.

Example (Bad): “You should be glad you have a house, even if it is haunted. There are a lot of people in this very city who would love to have a haunted house so long as it had a roof. Seriously. Lock your doors.”

“Oh, for the love of– We told you damn squatters it was open house day. Don’t worry, ma’am, we’ll hose them out before closing. Shoo!” (cottonbro, Pexels)

Example (Good): “Yes, you were fired, but it could be worse– savage wolves could get you.”

Pro Deo: “You should hope I’m right about my geographically-determined god. Shiva is much, much worse. Really any Asiatic god.”

  1. Appeal to Envy
This is what comes up when you search “Latin” on Pixabay. Apparently they’re changing the name to “Pixaheeeyyy.” We sincerely apologize. (Kelfit, Pixabay)

The Latin for this one is “argumentum ad invidiam.” Isn’t it great how Latin died, phew, a hundred years ago or more, and yet it still comes up with words for everything? Really makes you think. Anyhow, this is when you attempt to persuade someone of your position by relying on envy rather than evidence. Like FOMO.

Example: “If all you think about is how you’re going to pay for it, you’re going to miss out on buying that old abandoned mill. Then somebody else will get to dress up like a ghost to scare teenagers away.”

Pro Deo: “You’re really missing out on a lot without Jesus. He could be your spiritual backpack while you run. People were shorter back then.”

  1. Word Magic
Behold, the legends of Atlantis: The Poet, the Physician, the Farmer, the Dead-Eyed Child Magician Whose Father Insisted He Be Interested In This Hocus Pocus Horseshit, the Scientist. (Amina Filkins, Pexels)

If there’s a word for it, it must exist, right? No. Words are just glorified grunting. Say the same word 100 times out loud. It loses all meaning, doesn’t it? Dr. Seuss made up a lot of words too and when was the last time you or someone you love was eaten by a Lorax or someone named Sam?

Example: Really any gibberish.

Pro Deo: “We know God exists because no matter where you go in the world, there’s always a word for ‘god.’ Yes, I know that puts Coke bottles on the same footing as my Lord and Savior, but I’m building to something.”

  1. Bribery

Easily the most lucrative fallacy, bribery or material persuasion hinges on the person you’re debating giving you some money out of their pocket to agree with their position. Alternatively, you can offer them money to agree with yours. In the end, no one learns anything or grows in any way, but, honestly, that’s the case with most of capitalism. If someone offers you a twenty to humor their invisible friend, I say take it. I also say give me some. I like money. Yea God.

Example: “I’ll give you this crisp two-dollar bill to tell all your lady of the night friends I’m a good lover. Look, it’s got Thomas Jefferson on it. Did you know he was in terrible financial straits and had actually mortgaged his slaves to keep Monticello? What? Oh, sorry, sorry. Ooh. Yeah. Mmm. Baby, what you do.”

Pro Deo:

Them: “Here’s a dollar, call someone and tell them the Good News.”

You (if you’re truly reasonable): “You really should have clarified which specific ‘good news’ you meant before I yanked that dollar out of your hand and blew it on pop, which I’m off to do now.”

I don’t know ancient exchange rates, but I’m pretty sure for 30 of these I could buy and sell Jesus at least 69 times. Teeheehee, 69.
(OpenClipArt-Vectors, Pixabay)

Be sure to share these fallacies with a friend, family member, or stranger on the internet. They’ll appreciate you taking the time to help them learn a new trick, and you’ll enjoy the special feeling that comes from helping the less fortunate. That feeling is called “schadenfreude,” but you probably already knew that, huh, Desert Fox?

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As a comedy writer, the details of my life are depressing at best and sketchy at worst. I have written for all of the best comedy sites and none of the bad ones, resulting in a net gain of half a ham sandwich....