Questionable Cause Fallacy Examples in Media, Real Life, Politics, News & Ads
Questionable Cause Fallacy
Questionable Cause Fallacy Definition
The Questionable cause fallacy exemplifies people’s efforts to find the cause of an event but unaware of the other possible factors that may have played a role. Questionable cause fallacy, also known as the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, is when someone assumes that the first event caused the second event because one event happens after another. This type of fallacy is common in humans as humans try to make sense of the world and their surroundings.
The Questionable cause fallacy is usually used by those trying to deny a causal relationship. This fallacy can also be used to say that the cause of an effect is unknown because the process is unknown. This fallacy is used to disprove a cause-and-effect relationship falsely.
If someone can’t disprove a cause-and-effect relationship with logical reasoning, then they may use this fallacy in the hopes of dissuading any other logical reasoning, and that’s where the fallacy comes in.
No matter how many times we are told about the fallacy of making such assumptions, it is hard not to make such jumps in the spur of the moment.
Questionable Cause Fallacy Examples
Questionable Cause example in Philosophy
Examples of Questionable Cause Fallacy in Philosophy:
For example, say a man encounters a woman, and she feels uncomfortable. He thinks that she was uncomfortable because she thought he was speaking to her, but if she were concentrating on an iPhone, she would not have been able to hear him.
The question would be what other factors could have been the reason that she was uncomfortable.
Questionable Cause Fallacy Real-Life Examples
Questionable Cause Fallacy in Real Life:
Most people believe, without any evidence to support their beliefs, that if a certain activity has some type of negative health effect, it must be caused by the activity. This is often an issue with the ‘questionable cause fallacy.
For example, people often believe that tobacco cigarettes are what causes lung cancer even though many other factors are associated with lung cancer. It is also believed that many other factors (such as smoking marijuana) can lead to lung cancer.
Other examples include;
- The cause of the fire was arson, so it must have been an arsonist
- The car accident was caused by a drunk driver, which means they were drinking and driving.
- Smoking is bad for your health, so we need to ban smoking in public places.
Questionable Cause Fallacy Examples in Media
Examples of Questionable Cause Fallacy in Media:
The media often uses the fallacy of questionable cause to blame a person or group for something that they did not do.
This can be seen in many different ways, such as blaming someone for being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
It is also common to see this when people are accused of crimes without any evidence.
Questionable Cause Examples in Advertising
Questionable Cause Fallacy in Advertising:
A company advertises that their product will make you lose weight, but the advertisement does not mention anything about diet and exercise.
A company advertises that their product will protect your skin from sun damage, but they do not mention anything about sunscreen or protective clothing.
A company advertises that their product is a cure for cancer; however, there is no scientific evidence to back up this claim.
Questionable Cause Fallacy in Politics
Examples of Questionable Cause Fallacy in Politics:
- The prime minister’s plan to lower the cost of healthcare is a good idea because it will help Canadians
- The prime minister’s plan to lower the cost of healthcare is a bad idea because it will increase taxes for Canadians
- The prime minister’s plan to lower healthcare costs is a good idea because he says so.
- The prime minister’s plan to lower the cost of healthcare is a bad idea because he says so
Questionable Cause Fallacy examples in Movies
Examples of Questionable Cause Fallacy in Movies:
- The protagonist’s actions are not the cause of their success.
- The protagonist does not have any control over their life events, but they are still responsible for them.
- There is an event that happens without a clear explanation as to why it happened.
- A person who is successful in one area of life has no impact on other areas of life.
- The protagonist’s actions are not a result of her own free will, and the antagonist manipulates her decisions. She is being controlled without realizing it.
Questionable Cause Fallacy Examples in Literature
Examples of Questionable Cause Fallacy in Literature:
In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch‘s defense of Tom Robinson is considered to be an example of questionable cause fallacy.
The argument that “Atticus should not have defended Tom because he was black” is an example of this fallacy
Questionable Cause Fallacy Examples in News
Examples of Questionable Cause Fallacy in News:
The fallacy of questionable cause is the idea that correlation implies causation. This means if two events happen at the same time, one event must have caused the other.
For example, a person might believe that because there are more people with autism now than in past years, and because vaccines were introduced into the society around the same time as autism became prevalent, then vaccines must be causing this increase in autism cases.