Logic 101: Fallecies for those who would like to conduct/follow a healthy debate


by aynak

A few weeks back on the ocassion of Bastille day, I commented on my hope of one day having the same type of celebration, for Evin. In that writing, I shared a brief history of Bastille, and of course in the end, associated the concept of a modern free socieity, with having no political prisoners.

This seemingly benign post, spiraled to a heated exchange and when I visited that thread back, and another that I see today titled: "Sources on Pahlavi Family Looting" ...   made me wonder if those commenting are familiar with the basics of --rational debate--.

In logic and rhetoric, a fallacy is a misconception resulting from incorrect reasoning in argumentation. By accident or design, fallacies may exploit emotional triggers in the listener or interlocutor (e.g. appeal to emotion), or take advantage of social relationships between people (e.g. argument from authority).
Fallacious arguments are often structured using rhetorical patterns
that obscure the logical argument, making fallacies more difficult to
diagnose. Also, the components of the fallacy may be spread out over
separate arguments.

For a comprehensive list of fallacies you can refer to:


In specific, one blogger here comes to mind who uses these couple of these fallacies rather routinly:

Proof by verbosity
  • Proof by verbosity, sometimes colloquially referred to as argumentum verbosium
    - a rhetorical technique that tries to persuade by overwhelming those
    considering an argument with such a volume of material that the
    argument sounds plausible, superficially appears to be well-researched,
    and it is so laborious to untangle and check supporting facts that the
    argument might be allowed to slide by unchallenged.

Doesn't matter what the subject of discussion is, this individual , posts 100 links from a library I assume he maintains, just to do the above.   (In the Bastille day thread, he is posting about Neda?!?) 

Irrelevant Conclusion

In the looting by Pahlavi family, the subject is very clear:   The poster is providing sources for what he suggests are proof for Pahlavi's mis-appropriation of funds.    Whoever wants to respond to this post in a logical way (and not introduce a fallacy) would have to focus on:

--The content of the post, and rejec it on that basis.

Instead, here are the list of the responses:

1-Mollahs have stolen 100 times more  (the authore never claimed Mollah's stole any less, so that forms a red-herring)

The same way if I say X killed 5 people, does not mean Hitler did not kill millions does it?

2-Pahlavi's did not loot because they did so much for the country (Even if they did, it is not addressing the question raised)

3- Attacking the poster  (this one is real popular, instead of replying to content, attack Jebhe Melli, its supporters, intellectuals ...

The responders may do this knowingly or unknowingly.   In the former case it is a type of malacious mis-information to divert from the topic.   In the case of latter, it may be just a frustration of  a reader who supports a person or a concept without the proper backing and has to use the above fallacies.

At any rate, in a court of law, that is un-biased and fair/impartial these type of responses are easily rejected by a judge or pannel of judges.   As  readers/posters  we should be familiar with these arguments, try to identify them and avoid them (unless our intention is not the truth).


more from aynak

Thank you all for your comments

by aynak on


since the topic is fresh here:

Pastor writes:   


the cream of the crop of supporters of

Hezbollah here, Prof. MK, has not been able to produce unambiguous and
irrefutable evidence in support of his ridiculous allegations that the
Pahlavi's looted Iran"

I have been trying to avoid the subject of looting by Pahlavis to get to a more fundamtal debate issue, but the great Pastor just provided a perfect example to drill the point.

This sujbect (looting) has been discussed many times over the years by many.  Some believe the family did loot some don't.   The point is, if one says they looted, it should not be the same as a UFO siting, as important, it certainly would not make one a Hezbollahi:

Aruthur C.Misspaugh and adviser at the U.S. State Department’s
Office of the Foreign Trade, who was hired to re-organize the Finance
Ministry of Iran
from 1922–1927 and 1942-1945, (Administrator-General of finance of Iran in some of those years)  in his 1946 book titled: Americans in Persia,  page 34 writes: In sum, Reza Shah in his years as the king --milked-- his country.... Ahmad Kasravi (Certainly no Hezbollahi, as he was murdered by one, condemans Reza Shah in Parchm 1321 (Dar bareh Reza Shah) for:

به دلیل پایمال کردن قانون اساسی مشروطه گرد آوری ثروت شخصی غارت اموال
مردم و .... مخوم می کند 

Since you great Pastor among all should at least trust the words of a high ranking U.S official, tasked with shaping Iranian economy,  or Kasravi at least you should not label DR Kazamzadeh a Hezbollahi just for repeating what an American official had state 76 years ago or what Kasravi said 60+?!   

At any rate, your response by using the term Hezbollahi, to refute a point of view that you disagreed with, is just another example of a fallacy.   Even if in your view Dr.Kazaemzadeh does not provide enough/satisfactory evidence how does that make him Hezbollahi?


THANK YOU for this blog!

by Marjaneh on

There is a lot of e.g.:

It's hot in Morocco

It's hotter in Kenya

Therefore it is not hot in Morocco



going on on this website and I've also caught the confusion .....although I do try to keep it at a chronic level, despite the little games...

Maybe we should have weekly excercises?

„Podrán cortar todas las flores, pero no podrán detener la primavera."- Pablo Neruda

P.S. Ad hominem can be quite amusing sometimes. Especially when hurled by anonymous posters at each other (with evident, great psychic abilities).


Exellent post Aynak! !

by P_J on

When you can’t come up with a legitimate response to a historical event…..character assassination seems a way out!   Since, deep down you know that writer is right, and you can’t convincingly respond!

This is called “SAFSATEH” in Persian…a feeble attempt to either change the subject or muddy the water.   Neither has ever worked….not in an intelligent alert society.



by Agha_Irani on

Nice blog.

I agree with your observations.  

I started reading these Iranian sites after the 2009 stolen  election when I noticed how much garbage is posted by the pro-islamist pro-regime element.  

For instance Sargord Pirouz always responds to an article criticizing the present regime by finding some obscure example in US history and saying well there you go it happened in America. Or even  contradicting his usual style, I saw one regarding the inheritance laws for women where he said you can't compare different places in the world. (They have other topics and other methods which they post on but I won't elaborate here).

I just think that when you are faced with such people it is no good simply adhering to the logical principles of debate - you need to go to the heart of the matter and get 'down and dirty with them'.  They would otherwise fill up these pages with their propaganda, so briefly that is my take on why I would not always follow the rules of debate.

Thoughtful of you to bring this up. 


pastor bill rennick

Brohter/sister (?) aynak, the cream of the crop of supporters of

by pastor bill rennick on

Hezbollah here, Prof. MK, has not been able to produce unambiguous and irrefutable evidence in support of his ridiculous allegations that the Pahlavi's looted Iran.

Referencing books that were published circa 70's making these hold-no-water claims are tantamount to the ineptness and barbaric nature of the elements of Hezbollah on this site and around the world!


God bless the US Supreme Court!

Masoud Kazemzadeh

great blog

by Masoud Kazemzadeh on

Aynak jaan,

Thanks.  Great blog.



Great topic, good blog and

by Bavafa on

Great topic, good blog and god knows most of us could use some logic in our discussion.

But why use logic when you can just call others names, such as Olagh?!!!!


P.S. good question Fooladi. nice touch



aynak, you are

by oktaby on

lecturing and defending what you failed to do. The point is neither whether good debate techniques are useful (have been discussed on IC many times). I also put the link to other blog you came in and talked about addressing points raised but you as a reader and participant contributed nothing.

Your comment 'false reasoning in rebuttal' indicated your:

-agreement with author and insistence on 'logical' rebuttal' to fluff

-did not read/understand all the comments

-failed to keep context and history of these discussion on IC in mind

-Took sides while playing moderator, and then chose to lecture about debating

-based on your own comments and interaction on the last two blogs, you have failed to apply rigor or logic to either. That is when you got the comment you got from me and your response, therefore, in disingenuous. 

No one is arguing the proper debating technique's merit; but your lack of application of what you preach is glaring. Specially on the subject of Shah with provocative title of 'looting' built on poor references, to serve divisiveness, while IRR is killing Iran & Iranians.

'ba elm agar amal nakoni shakh e bibari' 



hamsade ghadimi

ever wondered why you like to steal?

by hamsade ghadimi on

logics of the day:

"Iranians are thieves by nature."


"...Sharaf and Vojdan, very unusual characeristics among my countrymen."



logic 102: be polite

by MM on

You posted good rules for the participants in a debate to follow.


Speaking up for the Olagh's of animal kingdom...

by fooladi on

I have no idea what this poor beast of burden has done to certain "fundamentalist monarchists", which make them use it's name in such derogatory manner.....


  Dear Hamsadeh

by aynak on


Dear Hamsadeh Ghadimi:

" one of the most commonly used fallacies that i've seen on this site is
generalization.  just by using an unsubstantiated phrase as "iranians
are ..." one can come up with any conclusion of his liking.  some
examples "iranians are olagh", "namaknashnas", ... "

You identified real well.   Of course people who are Olagh (as you stated some have labled us Iranians as) would not be able to decide or choose.   They would need a Valeeh Fagheeh (who literally is supposed to protected the Nadan or Safeeh) or Shah to look after their best interest.

Although Olagh factually is no "dumber" than most other animals, my take is the one attribute of Olagh that these folks find repugnant is that Olagh does a lot of useful work.   My only conjucture here is that since they don't put an honest day of work they see   Olaghs work ethics as the ultimate insult.


BTW here is my link to Bastille:


See how when someone mentioned a desire for the end to both Shah and Sheiekh he got royal treatment.


I claimed no originality of work, in fact I provided a link but cut and pasted the important section for those who did not want to read the whole fallacy arguments.   Not sure why you get so defensive.    Useful debate must have some ground rules, fortunately most of these rules have been established since the time of Plato and before.  I hope it is not unreasonable to ask adherence to these prior to posting.


hamsade ghadimi


by hamsade ghadimi on

one of the most commonly used fallacies that i've seen on this site is generalization.  just by using an unsubstantiated phrase as "iranians are ..." one can come up with any conclusion of his liking.  some examples "iranians are olagh", "namaknashnas", ...  need not to list all, just go to the thread where iranians are asked to describe themselves in one word.  i suspect that those who use such logic typically describe "all" by their own dominant personality or personal experience.

i find the content of this blog useful for those who participate in a debate.  the subject is a fundamental requirement in research methods that is taught in universities (also see critical thinking).


aynak, you are not qualified

by oktaby on

to conduct this copy/paste lecture as I made clear in response to your empty claim of debate etiquette & logic based on both lacking on your part in the slander blog //iranian.com/main/blog/masoud-kazemzadeh/sources-pahlavi-family-loot

Talk is cheap. You can't teach what you don't know and can't lead where you don't go.