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Logical  Fallacy: a error in reasoning
  (adj)     (noun)

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Statement #176 Discussion

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Below is the statement as it appears with the fallacy marked as correct. You can see the totals of most frequent responses to this statement. And after reading the any discussion going on below, you can select your choice(s) for the correct answer. For now, whoever posts each statement can update corrections.
A study into the health risks of mobile phone involved mobile phone companies. Therefore, the study cannot be trusted.
Circumstantial Ad Hominem
Category: Fallacies of Relevance (Red Herrings) → Ad hominems (Genetic Fallacies)

A Circumstantial ad Hominem is a fallacy in which one attempts to attack a claim by asserting that the person making the claim is making it simply out of self interest. In some cases, this fallacy involves substituting an attack on a person's circumstances (such as the person's religion, political affiliation, ethnic background, etc.). The fallacy has the following forms:

  1. Person A makes claim X.
  2. Person B asserts that A makes claim X because it is in A's interest to claim X.
  3. Therefore claim X is false.
  1. Person A makes claim X.
  2. Person B makes an attack on A's circumstances.
  3. Therefore X is false.
A Circumstantial ad Hominem is a fallacy because a person's interests and circumstances have no bearing on the truth or falsity of the claim being made. While a person's interests will provide them with motives to support certain claims, the claims stand or fall on their own. It is also the case that a person's circumstances (religion, political affiliation, etc.) do not affect the truth or falsity of the claim. This is made quite clear by the following example: "Bill claims that 1+1 =2. But he is a Republican, so his claim is false."

There are times when it is prudent to suspicious of a person's claims, such as when it is evident that the claims are being biased by the person's interests. For example, if a tobacco company representative claims that tobacco does not cause cancer, it would be prudent to not simply accept the claim. This is because the person has a motivation to make the claim, whether it is true or not. However, the mere fact that the person has a motivation to make the claim does not make it false. For example, suppose a parent tells her son that sticking a fork in a light socket would be dangerous. Simply because she has a motivation to say this obviously does not make her claim false.

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 833 Total Answer Attempts   44%
 370 Correctly Popped Fallacies
 463 Incorrectly Un/Popped
posted by wikiworldorder     
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Most Common Responses

 
370 - Circumstantial Ad Hominem
44 - Guilt by Association
37 - Poisoning the Well
36 - Biased Generalization
23 - Burden of Proof
22 - False Dilemma
22 - Fallacy of Composition
21 - Misleading Vividness
19 - Genetic Fallacy
18 - Appeal to the Consequences of a Belief
17 - Hasty Generalization
16 - Fallacy of Division
16 - Relativist Fallacy
15 - Personal Attack
13 - Red Herring
13 - Ignoring a Common Cause
12 - Begging the Question
12 - Confusing Cause and Effect
11 - Post Hoc
10 - Ad Hominem Tu Quoque
10 - Appeal to Ridicule
10 - Slippery Slope
9 - Ad Hominem
7 - Special Pleading
7 - Appeal to Fear
6 - Appeal to Spite
6 - Appeal to Belief
5 - Appeal to Common Practice
5 - Appeal to Emotion
4 - Appeal to Popularity
4 - Appeal to Authority
4 - Appeal to Flattery
3 - Middle Ground
2 - Appeal to Novelty
2 - Gambler's Fallacy
2 - Appeal to Pity

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* Fallacious statements are usually paired with a random image of a person who never spoke those words.
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