The 10 Commandments of Logical Fallacies

1. Thou shall not attack the person’s character, but the argument. (Ad hominem)

2. Thou shall not misrepresent or exaggerate a person’s argument in order to make them easier to attack. (Straw man fallacy)

3. Thou shall not use small numbers to represent the whole. (Hasty generalization)

4. Thou shall not argue thy position by assuming one of its premises is true. (Begging the question)

5. Thou shall not claim that because something occurred before, it must be the cause. (Post Hoc/False cause)

6. Thou shall not reduce the argument down to two possibilities. (False dichotomy)

7. Thou shall not argue that because of our ignorance, claim must be true or false. (Ad ignorantium)

8. Thou shall not select only the supporting information and ignore everything that goes against the claim. (Cherry-picking)

9. Thou shall not assume “this” follows “that” when it has no logical connection. (Non sequitur)

10. Thou shall not claim that because a premise is popular, therefore it must be true.(Bandwagon fallacy)

Which logical fallacies do you think belong on this list?

Slightly adapted from here.


  1. Oh wow. If I could only count the number of times each day I hear these fallacies. (And if I could only recognize them a little better in my own fallacious arguments - it's so easy to sprinkle them in unintentionally.)

  2. Good list, correlation and causation is another popular one that could be added.

  3. That is a good one, Gerald, I agree.

  4. I see only one problem - your definition of ad hominem is a little off. It is not a logical fallacy to call someone a jackass. It only becomes a fallacy when you say "my opponent is a jackass, therefore his argument is wrong".

    Think of it this way. Replace the word "jackass" with the word "Christian". "you, sir, are a Christian" is merely a statement of fact/opinion which has no bearing on the argument, despite the fact that it might be considered a personal insult by some. (Athiests, Muslims, etc.) "You are a Christian, and therefore incapable of logic" on the other hand, is a serious ad hominem fallacy.

  5. Well, it was just a very brief description. Thanks for clarifying. I agree, of course. :)

  6. "Argumentum ad numerum (argument or appeal to numbers). This fallacy is the attempt to prove something by showing how many people think that it's true."

    Surprised this isn't on the atheist shortlist! ;)

    Bill Maher said it best " in 'Eat shit. Twenty trillion flies can't be wrong.'"

  7. Thanks Lilly, that's a great one! You're right! There are so many "good" ones it's hard to narrow it down and easy to forget some really important fallacies.