Logical Fallacies: The Argument from Incredulity

The Argument from Incredulity, also known as an Appeal to Personal Incredulity, is a logical fallacy where someone concludes that because they can’t believe or understand something, it must not be true or likely. In other words, they reject an argument or evidence on the basis that it is personally difficult for them to accept or comprehend.

This fallacy relies on emotion and a lack of imagination rather than rational analysis. Just because one finds something hard to believe does not make it untrue. An individual’s disbelief or lack of understanding is not sufficient evidence against a claim.

Person A: “Scientists say that the universe is around 13.8 billion years old.”
Person B: “I just can’t believe that. It’s impossible for something to be that old. Therefore, the universe must be much younger.”

In this example, Person B dismisses scientific evidence about the age of the universe based solely on their personal incredulity, or inability to believe it. Their argument doesn’t provide any actual evidence against the scientific consensus; it merely states that they find it hard to believe.

The fallacy lies in assuming that one’s inability to understand or believe a concept automatically invalidates the concept. This form of reasoning is not a substitute for a logical argument or empirical evidence.

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