Epistemic

Epistemic fallacies are those related to the nature of human belief, including its limitations and the intrinsic and necessary gradient between belief and unbelief.

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Mental cause fallacy:

Definition Example
When the effects of a belief in a thing are assumed to be evidence for the existence of that thing. Those who believe they are intelligent, out-perform on IQ tests those who think they are not intelligent. Therefore they are more intelligent.
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Denial of the epistemic gradient:

Definition Example
When semantic resolution is decreased by invoking artificially binary or granular epistemic categories. Either you believe in space aliens or you don’t. You need to make up your mind.
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Confidence as a validator:

Definition Example
When the certainty one feels in respect to a claim is submitted as evidence for the truth of that claim. I’ve never swayed from my confidence that Santa is real, and there is no degree of evidence that can counter the way I feel. How can you claim I’m wrong?
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Imposed Disbelief

Definition Example
When the lack of belief in X is construed as disbelief in X. Where’s your evidence for your belief that there are no unicorns? Your faith in the lack of unicorns is no different from my faith in the existence of unicorns.
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All or nothing fallacy:

Definition Example
When it is suggested or implied that one must believe all or nothing of a particular set of beliefs. Saint Nicholas clearly existed, so why are you suggesting he does not descend chimneys in a red suit Christmas eve?
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For the sake of argument denial:

Definition Example
When there is an attempt to disallow an assumption introduced for the sake of argument because the assumption is not actually believed by the one making the argument. Your argument that Santa is not real because he would need to fly his sleigh at impossible speeds on Christmas Eve is not valid since you don’t even believe in Santa.
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Argumentum ad populum:

Definition Example
When a conclusion is claimed to be true because many people believe it to be true. Nearly everyone believes chicken soup cures a cold, so how can you say it’s not true?
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Wishful thinking:

Definition Example
When a position is encouraged based on what might be pleasing to imagine, rather than based on evidence or reason. If there were no life after death, then this life would be rather meaningless, and so I choose to believe we have an eternal soul.
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Appeal to emotion:

Definition Example
When a position is promoted through the manipulation of emotions, rather than through the presentation of an actual argument. It would be awesome to know that we were not alone in the universe. Would you want to live in a universe without extraterrestrial neighbors?
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