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Fallacy of Irrelevant Reason


Now we will learn some of techniques to identify the relevance of the reasoning and the ways in which reasoning goes awry.


A reasoning is said to be fallacious if it is not relevant in the case given. At the same time, it must be noted that it need not be necessarily wrong. It may be true, but not relevant in the case given, and hence, fails to establish logical connection between the argument and conclusion. Understand that relevance is not same as being strong reason.



Hindus are protesting against breaking off the Ram-setu, an ancient monument, because they believe that this monument is made by Lord Rama himself and breaking it off will hurt their religious sentiments. According to a recent finding by a politician, “Rama was not having an Engineering degree, hence, this monument should be broken”.


There are two parts of this passage:

1st part – The monument was made by Lord Rama, and hence, breaking it off will hurt the sentiments of Hindus.

2nd part – Since Lord Rama was not having an Engineering degree, so he cannot construct a monument.

At the end, conclusion is derived as—since the monument was not made by Lord Rama, breaking it off will not hurt the sentiments of Hindus.

Now we will try to find flaws in this whole passage:
1st part introduces the statements, and hence, we will not verify that “breaking off the monument hurts the religious sentiments of Hindus or not?” The statement given that “breaking it off will hurt their religious sentiments” 
is true.

2nd part puts logic to establish the connection with 1st part using the statement that “Rama was not having an engineering degree, and hence, he cannot construct a monument”. If this statement is true and universally acceptable, then it is proved that

Rama was not having an engineering degree & he cannot construct the monument & What Hindus believe is false & So breaking the monument off will not hurt the sentiments of Hindus.

We can see that what statement of politician has the connotation that only engineers can construct any monument. Or in other words “any non-engineer cannot construct any monument” which is verifiable.

Hence, politician’s logic fails to establish its veracity, hence, belief of the Hindus that monument was made by Lord Rama is not dis-approved, and hence, the conclusion questionable.

Correlating the Wrong Ends


This occurs when on the basis of a certain result, it is tried to establish a conclusion without examining the proper credentials.



During a recent survey done by a newspaper, it has been found that 65% of the people who responded in the survey have voted as good governance as their most important expectation from the government. So, a party that uses good governance as its main issue in the coming election will win the election and form the government.


Let us find out flaws in the above logic:

  1. Survey results are based on the “people who responded” and does not consider the whole population. Hence, any conclusion derived out of this sample of the respondents may not depict the correct expectation of the whole population.
  2. People who responded to the survey results may not vote in the election, and hence, any conclusion about “who will win the elections” is not definitely true.

Generalization of the Situations


Generalization is inferring a “trend” on the basis of some particular event.



It has been found that if any company goes for sales promotion route, for example giving free samples, or giving at least 20% discount on the MRP, of establishing a shampoo brand, the company is bound to be the market leader in 5 years. Company XYZ, which produces computer motherboard has used the same sales promotion route. Hence, company XYZ is going to be the market leader in coming 5 years.


It is quite understandable that what is true for shampoo market may not be true for computer motherboard market because of (i) different target group, (ii) different expectations of the target group regarding the product features, (iii) involvement of the customers in buying the product. So we cannot have a ‘generalized’ method of being the market leader. The product category plays its own role in deciding the method to be used for establishing a brand and being a market leader.

So the conclusion suffers from the problem of “Generalization”.

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