logical fallacies

SkepSun #110 (10_26_2014)

The Straw Man, the Ad Hominem, the Appeal to Authority, Special Pleading, Anecdotal Evidence, the Appeal to Ignorance, the Non-Sequitur, and the Slippery Slope: these are the names given to some of the logical fallacies all of us fall into.  In the same way that learning the names of birds is integral to becoming a better birder, so learning the names of these fallacies help us spot them when they come up in conversation, in the media, and even in our own heads. We’ll hear Brian Dunning run through some of these most common of these fallacies on Skeptoid, then David McRaney on the You Are Not So Smart podcast looks at one of these in depth: the “post-hoc ergo propter hoc” fallacy. Don’t speak Latin? Then you need to stay tuned to find out what that is. But why all this concern with thinking and arguing rationally, anyway, if by nature we’re so pre-disposed to think irrationally. After all, maybe irrationality makes us happier in certain situations. Philosopher Massimo Pigliucci and co-host Julia Galef step into the breach and defend rationality itself on the Rationally Speaking podcast. But first…On Freethought Radio Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor tell us about a landmark Minnesota church abuse case, give us the latest on their Freethought Hall expansion progress, and then interview two former ministers who no longer believe: ex-Lutheran Randy Bender and ex-Pentecostal Matt Killingsworth.

Logical Fallacy

A poster of logical fallacies, suitable for framing, can be found here.

SkepSun #67 (12_01_2013)

On a weekend during which we are thankful for friends, family and food, but also trying to manage holiday stress, we reflect upon where we naturalists get relief from stress, pain and suffering in a universe without the false comfort of an afterlife. According to Sam Harris, you get there by paying close attention to the present moment. Listen to Sam as he gets an enormous auditorium of atheists to meditate: that’s no mean feat! We’ll hear the talk he gave at the April 2012 Global Atheist Convention in Melbourne, Australia entitled “Death and the Present Moment,” in hour two of Skeptical Sunday.  But first on Freethought Radio, we’ll  listen to Shelley Segal’s ode to Christopher Hitchens, “Apocalyptic Love Song,” and then hear two speakers at the recent Freedom From Religion Foundation Convention, journalist Jamila Bey and student activist Zack Kopplin.  In between, we’ll hear a song from Monty Python, the living members of which have announced a reunion show next summer in London and we’ll hear about the logical fallacies of the Slippery Slope and “post hoc ergo propter hoc” on the Skeptic’s Guide 5 x 5.


Always look on the bright side of life: Monty Python’s Eric Idle and Graham Chapman from the 1979 movie “Life of Brian.”