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Logical Fallacy of Defining Terms Too Broadly


Logical Fallacy of Defining Terms Too Broadly

Defining terms too broadly is one of the many smokescreens that are used to cover the fact that the reasoning is based on one of the three fallacies of Agrippa's trilemma. Whenever a logical fallacy is committed, the fallacy has its roots in Agrippa's trilemma. All human thought (without Divine revelation) is based on one of three unhappy possibilities. These three possibilities are infinite regress, circular reasoning, or axiomatic thinking. This problem is known as Agrippa's trilemma. Some have claimed that only logic and math can be known without Divine revelation; however, that is not true. There is no reason to trust either logic or math without Divine revelation. Science is also limited to the pragmatic because of the weakness on human reasoning, which is known as Agrippa's trilemma. This is a fallacy that superimposes another level of fallacy on top or one or more of the three fallacies of Agrippa's trilemma.

The logical fallacy of too broad definition of terms occurs when the definition of a term is too broad so that it includes people, items, things, or concepts that should not be included.

Examples of the Logical Fallacy of Too Broad Definition or Terms

Sandra: "Evolution is change from generation. We can observe change from generation to generation, for instance, you don't look exactly like your parents. Therefore, we have observed evolution. Darwinism is empirical science."

Roxanne: "Your definition of evolution is too broad so that it no longer carries meaning. The fact that there are changes from generation to generation does not prove particles-to-people Darwinism. It only proves adaptations, some of which are abilities already programmed into the cells and some of which are the result of the loss of information due to mutations. None of these add information to the cell. However, for particles-to-people evolution to even be possible would require much universal information being added for each supposed tiny step in evolution. But we have never observed this addition of new, innovative, universal information. We have now had enough research into this that the scientific Law of Universal Information states that information only comes from information. So by including adaptation built into cells, losses of information, and a story about a process that slowly turned particles into people, your definition of the word, evolution, is too broad and your conclusion is not shown to be true as a result."

The term, evolution, as change from generation to generation, makes it cover both the loss of information, which has been observed, and the story that says that kinds of living things can morph into other kinds of living things, which has never been observed. That definition is too broad and actually begs the question, that is, it is circular reasoning.

Rocky: "Can you give me one example of an intermediate fossil or living thing?"

Sandy: "We observe speciation all the time. There are four types of speciation: allopatric, peripatric, parapatric, and sympatric and artificial."

Rocky began with terms that are defined too broadly and Sandy gave a true answer. Had Rocky used the term, kind, to limit the question to something more relevant to the discussion, the point would not have been lost. As it is, the subject got changed to speciation, which has nothing to do with particles-to-people evolution, the story that information is added to cells until one kind/baramin turns into another kind/baramin.

Fallacy Abuse

Rocky: "Can you give me one example of conclusive evidence for one kind/baramin of living thing becoming another kind/baramin of living thing? A kind, here, is defined as one of the original created kinds, like the cat kind, including kitties, lions, and tigers, or the dog kind, including collies, wolves, and hyenas. In other words, conclusive evidence of what you would call "macro-evolution" that would be somewhere near what you might classify as a taxonomical 'family?'"

Sandy: "The term, 'kind/baramin,' has not had enough research done to conclusively define the word as it relates to living and fossil observations of living things. Therefore, your definition is too broad."

Rocky has defined the word adequately for the question to be answered, but the answer will be that there are no such conclusive observations, so Sandy is dodging using fallacy abuse.

Last updated: Sep, 2014
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Toons & Vids



Logical Fallacy of Ambiguity

Logical Fallacy of the Barnum Effect / P. T. Barnum Effect / The Fallacy of Personal Validation / The Forer Effect

Logical Fallacy of Ambiguous Assertion

Logical Fallacy of Innuendo

Sly Suggestion Fallacy

Syntactic Ambiguity Fallacy / Structural Ambiguity / Grammatical Ambiguity / Amphiboly / Semantic Ambiguity / Semantical Ambiguity Fallacy

The Logical Fallacy Lexical Ambiguity


Shingle Speech

Use-Mention Error / UME

Double Entendre

Logical Fallacy of Misuse of Etymology

Logical Fallacy of Garden Path Ambiguity

Squinting Modifier Fallacy

Quantifier Fallacy / Quantifier Shift Fallacy

Illicit Observation Fallacy

Metaphorical Ambiguity Fallacy


Logical Fallacy of Equivocation / Bait and Switch / Amphiboly / Semantic Ambiguity / Type-Token Ambiguity / Vagueness

Redefinition Fallacy

Middle Puzzle Part Fallacy

Idiosyncratic Language Fallacy

Type-Token Ambiguity Fallacy

Fallacy of Modal Logic / Modal Scope Fallacy / Misconditionalization

Modal Fallacy / Modal Scope Fallacy

Scope Fallacy

Ambiguous Middle / Ambiguous Middle Term

Logical Fallacy of Hypnotic Bait and Switch

Definist Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Defining a Word in Terms of Itself

Socratic Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Defining Terms Too Broadly

Logical Fallacy of Defining Terms Too Narrowly

Logical Fallacy of Failure to Elucidate

Logical Fallacy of Persuasive Definition / Appeal to Definition / Appeal to the Dictionary / Definist Fallacy (type of) / Rhetorical Definition

Logical Fallacy of Composition / Exception Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Division / False Division / Ecological Fallacy / Ecological Inference Fallacy

Etymological Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Nominalization, Misnomer, Labeling

Logical Fallacy of Inference from a Label

Pigeonholing Fallacy / Ahistoric Fallacy

Category Mistake / Category Error

Logical Fallacy of the Conjunction Effect / Conjunction Fallacy

Disjunction Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Argument by Fast Talking / Information Overload / Bang-Bang-Bang

Logical Fallacy of Proof by Verbosity / Argumentum Verbosium

Logical Fallacy of Argument by Gibberish / Bafflement / Prestigious Jargon

Logical Fallacy of Confusing Contradiction with Contrariety

Logical Fallacy of Ambiguous Collective / Type-Token Ambiguity

Conceptual Fallacy

Anti-Concreteness Mentality Fallacy / Attributing Abstractness to the Concrete / Mistaking an Entity for a Theory / Mistaking Reality for an Assumptions

Butterfly Logic

The Logical Fallacy of Process-Product Ambiguity / Act-Object Ambiguity



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