It’s time to play everybody’s favorite game: Spot The Logical Fallacy! Each week (or whenever we get round to it), we pull quotations from news reports from around the world which contain logical fallacies. It is your job to spot them. You could win valuable prizes!
The more egregious and obvious to spot a fallacy is, the fewer the points that will be awarded to its unveiler. Likewise, the more subtle and complex the fallacy, the more it’s worth. Only the first person to correctly identify the fallacy gets the points, so be sure your entries are in early.
No points are taken away for incorrect entries. Points will be cumulative.1 Occasional style points will be awarded for properly giving the Latin name for the fallacy: these are at the discretion of the MC.
All judgments of the MC are final and are considered to be, for the purposes of this game, infallible.
Send examples of fallacies to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 5 points Hot Air linked to a 1979 interview with convicted child rapist, movie star, and film director Roman Polanski, in which he said in the way of self-exculpation:
If I had killed somebody, it wouldn’t have had so much appeal to the press, you see? But…f—ing, you see, and the young girls. Judges want to f— young girls. Juries want to f— young girls. Everyone wants to f— young girls!
Hint First take the empirical statement “Everyone wants to f— young girls!” is false; and then assume it is true. This is to show that even if you are Woody Allen and playing this game, you will come to the same conclusion.
- 3 point follow-up The French Film association SACD commenting on Polanski’s recent arrest issued a statement which read in part:
By their extraterritorial nature, film festivals the world over have always permitted works to be shown and for filmmakers to present them freely and safely, even when certain States opposed this.
The arrest of Roman Polanski in a neutral country, where he assumed he could travel without hindrance, undermines this tradition: it opens the way for actions of which no one can know the effects.
Amplification Even though each fallacy in this statement is not stated at the same level of complexity, they are each worth 3 points.
Bonus 2 points Is there a way to read SACD’s argument so that it does not include a logical fallacy?
- 3 points Eric Spitznagel, a writer seemingly unable to pen a profanity-free paragraph, contributed an article to Vanity Fair, the magazine of idiotic but glossy celebrity tittle tattle for those who like to pretend they are uninterested in salacious, IQ-draining gossip. He asked of magician Penn Jillette:
It is just a coincidence that we have a black president and now [the Tea Partiers are] fed up with big government? Taxing us for an expensive and pointless war in Iraq is fine, but don’t you dare use my taxes to pay for universal health care!
Amplification Each fallacy is worth 3 points.
1 Contestants are responsible for keeping track of their own scores because your MC is too lazy.