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X factor fallacy

ChosenWolff
Posts: 3,361
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7/1/2014 2:07:23 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Have you noticed a lot of people have been doing this in their debates recently? An X factor fallacy is when you attempt to correlate two things without a third factor. Or in other words.... "Shirts cause diabetes, because people who wear them sometimes have diabetes"..... or "Homosexuals spread aids because a lot of gay people have aids"...."Tacos taste good which means meat tastes good". To put it in layman's terms, trying to prove a hypothetical connection between two things without a third, supportive reason to back it up. In most cases, the connectors are supports to the overlying idea.

I notice that this happens at least once, by pro or con in a debate. Why do people do this?
How about NO elections?

#onlyonedeb8
LogicalLunatic
Posts: 1,633
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7/1/2014 2:11:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/1/2014 2:07:23 PM, ChosenWolff wrote:
Have you noticed a lot of people have been doing this in their debates recently? An X factor fallacy is when you attempt to correlate two things without a third factor. Or in other words.... "Shirts cause diabetes, because people who wear them sometimes have diabetes"..... or "Homosexuals spread aids because a lot of gay people have aids"...."Tacos taste good which means meat tastes good". To put it in layman's terms, trying to prove a hypothetical connection between two things without a third, supportive reason to back it up. In most cases, the connectors are supports to the overlying idea.

I notice that this happens at least once, by pro or con in a debate. Why do people do this?

In other words, correlation does not equal causation. However, this is not always a logical fallacy. For instance, what you were saying about gay people...
If homosexual males really have THAT much of a higher rate of AIDS compared to straight males, then it might be reasonable to assume that their homosexuality has something to do with it.
Just an example, of course. I am not trying to derail this thread into a flame war on homosexuality.
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ChosenWolff
Posts: 3,361
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7/1/2014 2:13:26 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/1/2014 2:11:43 PM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
At 7/1/2014 2:07:23 PM, ChosenWolff wrote:
Have you noticed a lot of people have been doing this in their debates recently? An X factor fallacy is when you attempt to correlate two things without a third factor. Or in other words.... "Shirts cause diabetes, because people who wear them sometimes have diabetes"..... or "Homosexuals spread aids because a lot of gay people have aids"...."Tacos taste good which means meat tastes good". To put it in layman's terms, trying to prove a hypothetical connection between two things without a third, supportive reason to back it up. In most cases, the connectors are supports to the overlying idea.

I notice that this happens at least once, by pro or con in a debate. Why do people do this?

In other words, correlation does not equal causation. However, this is not always a logical fallacy. For instance, what you were saying about gay people...
If homosexual males really have THAT much of a higher rate of AIDS compared to straight males, then it might be reasonable to assume that their homosexuality has something to do with it.
Just an example, of course. I am not trying to derail this thread into a flame war on homosexuality.

No, you're right. Its a bad example, although the truth of the fallacy remains the same. You're still attempting to connect these two things without a supporting explanation why. Right? Because even if the statistics showed homosexuals have a higher rate of aids, there is no way to prove without an X factor that homosexuality is causing it.
How about NO elections?

#onlyonedeb8
MrLexa
Posts: 28
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7/1/2014 8:31:10 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/1/2014 2:07:23 PM, ChosenWolff wrote:
Have you noticed a lot of people have been doing this in their debates recently? An X factor fallacy is when you attempt to correlate two things without a third factor. Or in other words.... "Shirts cause diabetes, because people who wear them sometimes have diabetes"..... or "Homosexuals spread aids because a lot of gay people have aids"...."Tacos taste good which means meat tastes good". To put it in layman's terms, trying to prove a hypothetical connection between two things without a third, supportive reason to back it up. In most cases, the connectors are supports to the overlying idea.

I notice that this happens at least once, by pro or con in a debate. Why do people do this?

This is the Non-sequitur fallacy.