One of the logical fallacies I used to frequently violate was that of the non sequitur fallacy. Per one source, “A non sequitur fallacy is a statement or conclusion that does not follow logically from what preceded it.”
Non sequiturs can be responses which have little to do with the conversation at hand and are often based on flawed logic. To better understand how a non sequitur functions, consider what one source outlines:
The standard logical structure of such arguments might look something like the following:
1. If A is true, we should do B.
2. A is true.
3. Therefore, we should do C.
1. A is B.
2. B is C.
3. Therefore, C is D.
1. If A, then B.
3. Therefore, C.
To illustrate each of these arguments, in sequential order, consider the following syllogistic examples:
1. If COVID-19 vaccines aren’t as safe and effective as we were told, we should use caution with mandating further injections.
2. COVID-19 vaccines aren’t as safe and effective as we were told.
3. Therefore, we should all use hand sanitizer on a daily basis.
2. Evidence-based psychotherapy is helpful to mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being.
3. Therefore, things which are helpful to mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being are costly.
1. If I disagree with Deric’s practice of REBT, then I can try another form of psychotherapy.
2. I disagree with Deric’s practice of REBT.
3. Therefore, psychotherapy is useless.
According to one source, “The fallacy of non sequitur (“it does not follow”) occurs when there is not even a deceptively plausible appearance of valid reasoning, because there is an obvious lack of connection between the given premises and the conclusion drawn from them.”
I admit my history of violation concerning this form of logical fallacy, because I once thought that argumentation was about little more than winning a verbal dispute. As long as I kept talking and offering conjecture to an argument, I could outlast my opponent—or so I thought.
However, I was coming from a place of ignorance and my debate tactic was based on illogical and unreasonable counterpoints. Now that I know how the non sequitur fallacy works, I have significantly improved my ability to dispute my own irrational beliefs and hold rational conversations with others.
Therefore, I promote this topic so that the reader can also understand how to better use logic and reason. After all, logic can be useful in everyday life. Disputation of irrational beliefs can be useful in everyday life. Consequently, the practice of yoga may be useful in everyday life.
(See what I did there?)
If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life—helping you to sharpen your critical thinking skills, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.
As a psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues ranging from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.
At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!
Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW
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Schagrin, M. L. and Rescher, N. (2023, September 11). Fallacy. Britannica. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/topic/fallacy#ref1102393