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A fallacy is incorrect argument in logic and rhetoric resulting in a lack of validity , or more generally, a lack of soundness . Fallacies are either formal fallacies or informal fallacies . [ edit ] Formal fallacies
This proposed logo for the Information Awareness Office (a US governmental agency) was dropped due to fears that its pseudo-Masonic symbolism would provoke conspiracy theories. A conspiracy theory attempts to explain the cause of an event as a secret, and often deceptive, plot by a covert alliance rather than as an overt activity or as natural occurrence. The term "conspiracy theory" is used by scholars and in popular culture to identify a type of folklore similar to an urban legend, having certain regular features, especially an explanatory narrative which is constructed with certain naive methodological flaws. The term is also used pejoratively to dismiss allegedly misconceived, paranoid or outlandish rumors. Most people who have their theory or speculation labeled a "conspiracy theory" reject the term as prejudicial.
T here are many forms of logical fallacy, errors, and mistakes of reason. In addition to this many fallacies co-exist and network together in yet further complex combinations. The net consequence of this is a conviction and feeling of coherence in the views being held - a sense of things making sense! This feeling of 'everything making sense' in the absence of any evidence, logic or reason, is an illusion based in the collective impact of unstructured thought. The level of the delusion is often far greater than the sum of its underlying parts. The mistakes of thought and reason listed here have been chosen and highlighted on the basis that they are the most common.
Dr. Michael C. Labossiere, the author of a Macintosh tutorial named Fallacy Tutorial Pro 3.0, has kindly agreed to allow the text of his work to appear on the Nizkor site, as a Nizkor Feature. It remains © Copyright 1995 Michael C. Labossiere, with distribution restrictions -- please see our copyright notice .
Occam's razor (also written as Ockham's razor , Latin lex parsimoniae ) is a principle of parsimony, economy, or succinctness used in logic and problem-solving. It states that among competing hypotheses, the one that makes the fewest assumptions should be selected. [ edit ] Overview The application of the principle often shifts the burden of proof in a discussion. [ a ] The razor states that one should proceed to simpler theories until simplicity can be traded for greater explanatory power.