Explanation

The fallacist’s fallacy involves rejecting an idea as false simply because the argument offered for it is fallacious. Having examined the case for a particular point of view, and found it wanting, it can be tempting to conclude that the point of view is false. This, however, would be to go beyond the evidence.

It is possible to offer a fallacious argument for any proposition, including those that are true. One could argue that 2+2=4 on the basis of an appeal to authority: “Simon Singh says that 2+2=4″. Or one could argue that taking paracetamol relieves headaches using a post hoc: “I took the paracetamol and then my headache went away; it worked!”

Each of these bad arguments has a true conclusion. A proposition therefore should not be dismissed because one argument offered in its favour is faulty.

Example

“People argue that there must be an afterlife because they just can’t accept that when we die that’s it. This is an appeal to consequences; therefore there is no life after death.”