Faulty Sayings

It is always fun to dissect news reports and play the game of “name that logical fallacy”. In fact, it’s the only way to feel less depressed about the quality of news nowadays.

Recently I heard someone on the news saying “if this can happen, anything can happen”, which is of course a common saying and often repeated without thought. Really? Does the occurrence of an unlikely event increase the likelihood that another unlikely event will occur? Seems to be a case of Reductio ad absurdum, which is also a Non-Sequitur.

A more accurate way of conveying the concept would be “this shows that unlikely events do in fact occur”.

Of course they occur. Otherwise it wouldn’t be news.

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