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The Catchy fallacy name fallacy is an argument by assertion in which an attempt is made to refute an argument simply by citing the name of a fallacy, without any further explanation. This isn’t strictly a logical fallacy but it’s poor arguing.

This risks falling into expecting skeptic jargon to be understood by all, and you may have problems if the fallacy referred to is not actually present in the argument, making the attempted refutation itself fallacious. Take the time to explain why the particular argument is fallacious. (Unless you're attempting to answer a Gish gallop in real time.)

Example

For example, the cosmological argument as originally formulated by St. Thomas Aquinas read roughly as follows:

"Everything that exists requires a cause. There cannot be any infinite regression of causes. Therefore, the universe must have a first cause: God."- {{{2}}}

The proper response is that this argument exhibits special pleading, since God is arbitrarily exempted from the requirement that all things require a cause. Theists' response has been to modify the argument slightly:

"Everything that begins to exist requires a cause. There cannot be any infinite regression of causes. Therefore, the universe must have a first cause: God."- {{{2}}}

This explicitly exempts an "eternal" God from the need for a cause, so does not contain any special pleading. However, if somebody were to dismiss this modified version of the argument with "That's special pleading," it would be an instance of the catchy fallacy name fallacy.

External links

Adapted from a deleted RationalWiki article

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