Amazing Universe
Types of Arguments
Ad Hominem

An argumentum ad hominem is any kind of argument that criticizes an idea by pointing something out about the people who hold the idea rather than directly addressing the merits of the idea. ''Ad hominem'' is Latin for "directed toward the man" (as opposed to the issue at hand). An alternative expression is "playing the man and not the ball". Ad hominem attacks are ultimately self-defeating. They are equivalent to admitting that you have lost the argument.

from Ignorance

Also known as argumentum ad ignorantiam or "appeal to ignorance" (where "ignorance" stands for lack of evidence to the contrary), is an inference that a proposition P is false from the fact that P is not proved to be true or known to be true.

Cherry Picking

Cherry picking, suppressing evidence, or the fallacy of incomplete evidence is the act of pointing to individual cases or data that seem to confirm a particular position, while ignoring a significant portion of related cases or data that may contradict that position. It is a kind of fallacy of selective attention, the most common example of which is the confirmation bias.

Circular Argument

Uses its own conclusion as one of its stated or unstated premises. Instead of offering proof, it simply asserts the conclusion in another form, thereby inviting the listener to accept it as settled when, in fact, it has not been settled. Because the premise is no different from and therefore as questionable as its conclusion, a circular argument violates the criterion of acceptability.


In rhetoric, chiasmus is the figure of speech in which two or more clauses are related to each other through a reversal of structures in order to make a larger point; that is, the clauses display inverted parallelism. Chiasmus was particularly popular in Greek and Latin literature, where it was used to articulate the balance of order within the text. As a popular example, many long and complex chiasmi have been found in Shakespeare and the Greek and Hebrew texts of the Bible.

Confirmation Bias

Also called confirmatory bias or myside bias, is a tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses. People display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way. The effect is stronger for emotionally charged issues and for deeply entrenched beliefs.

Double Entendres

Ambiguity of meaning arising from language that lends itself to more than one interpretation; a word or expression capable of two interpretations with one usually risqué.

Fallacious Reasoning

Keeps us from knowing the truth, and the inability to think critically makes us vulnerable to manipulation by those skilled in the art of rhetoric.

List of Fallacious Arguments

God of the Gaps

A theological perspective in which gaps in scientific knowledge are taken to be evidence or proof of the existence of a deity. If you can't explain it scientifically, then the Lord, or Jesus is behind it. God of the Gaps argument uses religion, or the Christian God, to fill in any and all gaps without providing any proof whatsoever. Study the universe, study cosmology, study the motion of planets. Don't just haphazardly formulate an opinion without first doing some research.

Ignorance Fallacy

Based on the fact that a fallacy is a mistake in belief based on an unsound argument; so, an ignorance fallacy occurs when a person mistakenly believes something to be true that is not, because he or she does not know enough about the subject to know otherwise.

Mediocrity principle

The mediocrity principle is the philosophical notion that "if an item is drawn at random from one of several sets or categories, it's likelier to come from the most numerous category than from any one of the less numerous categories" (Kukla 2009). The principle has been taken to suggest that there is nothing very unusual about the evolution of our Solar System, the Earth, humans, or any one nation. It is a heuristic in the vein of the Copernican principle, and is sometimes used as a philosophical statement about the place of humanity. The idea is to assume mediocrity, rather than starting with the assumption that a phenomenon is special, privileged or exceptional.