An Illustrated book of bad arguments

I finished “An Illustrated book of bad arguments”. The book illustrates the top 19 logical fallacies the author observed through his work, political situations, and when people argue on the internet.

The book presents every fallacy in two pages, one with text describing the fallacy and how people use it in bad arguments, the other contains an illustration explaining the fallacy using graphical art.

One interesting experience while reading this book is I read it with a friend. We were together on a flight and I told him I brought this so we read it together. We started going page by page. At the beginning, we were starting from the left page which contains the text, read it out loud, then watch the comic. We found it becomes easier to understand the fallacy if we start with the comic, try to understand what is the fallacy at hand, then read the text on the left page explaining it.

Reading a book with someone while it may be slow, makes the experience much more fun. We had discussions on where we see different fallacies in everyday life. We also had fun going back and forth through the book to find the similarities/differences between the fallacies we finished, and the one we are reading at that moment.

SPOILER ALERT: Here is a list of my favorite fallacies, I tried to summarize each in one sentence.

Appeal to irrelevant authority: You should believe the old man, he has seen a lot in his life so he must be true.

Not a cause for a cause: Correlation is not causation.

Appeal to fear: We are fighting terrorism. If we are gone, the country will be in chaos, therefore we shouldn’t go.

Hasty generalization: I never saw a man’s hair grows till his knee, therefore such men with long hair don’t exist.

No true scotsman: He is not a true [something], regardless of his argument, we shouldn’t listen to him.

Genetic fallacy: He is a man, he will never understand women’s challenges.

Guilt by association: Says the man who smokes that smoking is deadly (this is different from the genetic fallacy where one attacks a person’s argument based on an association they can’t control, like being a man).

Appeal to hypocrisy: What you are saying is wrong, I saw your old Facebook status from a year ago when you said otherwise (the fact someone said something different some time ago doesn’t make the current argument false).

Slippery slope: If we have free internet, people will watch porn, porn is bad, then we shouldn’t have a free internet (this argument is most used by my mom when she tries to justify refusing something. I also see it the most when I discuss individual freedom topics with conservatives and what I call “Fake Liberals” which are people who claim to be liberal, as long as these liberties are not given to conservatives).

The book is available to read online for free here. It is translated in many languages including Arabic.

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