Mystery of the Missing Mask
Video Articles News Books & DVD Contact Home

Simple Red Herring

by Hans Bluedorn

Toby asks . . .

We have used some of your logic texts but have encountered an informal argument we thought may be a fallacy not covered in the books. We name it after the kid who uses it.

A certain camper wore the same t-shirt all week. When my Dear Husband, his counselor, told him on Thursday to change shirt, his reply was, “Why? This shirt was fine on Monday - you had no complaints on Tuesday - no problems on Wednesday, and now all of a sudden you are saying something is wrong with it?”

Is there a name for this fallacy we just are not catching?

Answer

Toby,

Your camper might be committing a simple red herring fallacy. This is when somebody introduces something irrelevant into an argument.
While your husband does agree with this camper that his shirt was okay on previous days, this avoids your husband’s argument that the accumulation of grime has reached the point today when his shirt is a hindrance to good social interaction.

Hans

Copyright June 17, 2008, all rights reserved. 9175 views


Facebook Comments