The Fallacies of Irrational Thinking is the topic

of this paper. To understand this concept you must first know the definition of the term fallacy. Fallacy is defined as deception, an error in logic, or an often plausible argument using false or invalid inference. In this course we learned that there were eight fallacies: perfection, approval, should, overgeneralization, causation, helplessness, and catastrophic causation. In this paper I will attempt to explain each of them.

The fallacy of perfection is when a person that
thinks that everything must be perfect. It can be as innocent as someone who must keep their things neat and clean or as extreme as a person cleans constantly because they don’t feel that anything is clean enough. In their eyes, everything must be flawless. A person with this fallacy may most commonly be known as a perfectionist. One of their setbacks is that they are some busy perfecting that they don’t have time to do other things.

The fallacy of approval is when a person that
insures that they say and do is acceptable to
others. They are people pleasers, willing to do
anything to make everyone happy and often say what
the listeners want to hear. They are sometimes known as two-faded because they are on everyone’s side of an argument. Most often affected by this fallacy are adolescents because they thrive on peer approval. A
downfall is that the individual is so consumed with
pleasing other the it may be difficult for them to
find self-fulfillment.

The fallacy of should is when a person confuses what they want with what should be. They never understand why things are not going their way. This fallacy, unlike most of the others, can sometimes be beneficial, in moderation, in careers fields such as law enforcement and politics. In these field, in general, what the individual want usually will benefit public. On the other in hand, an extreme fallacy of should can be disasterist. One such example in history is Nazi Germany. Hitler’s fallacy of should lead to the death of thousands of people.

The fallacy of over-generalization uses the expressions always and never frequently. These people often times have trouble recognizing the things people do often especially if it is some thing position. For instance in an argument they may use statements like, You never help me with the kids. or You always leave the toilet seat up. As a consequence of this fallacy the person that they are arguing with may become considerably defective.

The fallacy of helplessness is when a person feels that they have no control over any situation. They feel that they are hindered by obstacles and they have say in the outcome. The example that stands of in my mind is when African-American males say that they are oppressed by the man ( referring to white people). This is their justification for not being able to hold a steady job and any other unjust treatment they receive. What a lot of these people with this fallacy fell to realize is their part in the injustice (i.e. police record, excessively tardy to work) Another pitfall of this fallacy is that it leads to stereotypes and prejudice.

The fallacies of causation and catastrophic causation with the exception of catastrophic causation is too the extreme. The word causation means that the person feels that everything that can go wrong will go wrong. They also feel that their thoughts and feelings cause negative emotion. I, personal, have never met anyone with either of these fallacies but I would think that a effect of having one of them would damage them socially because of their fear of an unfavorable outcome.

Each fallacy affects people a different way but by knowing and understand each of them I have a better understanding for why act or react the way that they do. This was the most beneficial concept I learned in this course.


Philip Levine

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