Argument from incredulity

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Argument from incredulity, also known as argument from personal incredulity, appeal to common sense, or the divine fallacy,[1] is a fallacy in informal logic. It asserts that a proposition must be false because it contradicts one's personal expectations or beliefs, or is difficult to imagine.

Arguments from incredulity can take the form:

  1. I cannot imagine how F could be true; therefore F must be false.
  2. I cannot imagine how F could be false; therefore F must be true.

Arguments from incredulity can sometimes arise from inappropriate emotional involvement, the conflation of fantasy and reality, a lack of understanding, or an instinctive 'gut' reaction, especially where time is scarce.[2] They are also frequently used to argue that something must be supernatural in origin.[3] This form of reasoning is fallacious because one's inability to imagine how a statement can be true or false gives no information about whether the statement is true or false in reality.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Carroll, Robert T. "divine fallacy (argument from incredulity)". The Skeptic's Dictionary. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  2. ^ "Toolkit for Thinking".
  3. ^ Sen, Madhucchanda (2011). An Introduction to Critical Thinking. Pearson Education India. ISBN 9788131734568. Retrieved 2016-11-26.
  4. ^ "The Argument from Incredulity: How People Explain What They Don't Understand – Effectiviology". Retrieved 2019-08-10.