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Insignificance

 

Disciplines Argument > Fallacies > Insignificance

Description | Discussion | Example | See also

 

Description

X is actually one relatively minor cause of Y. Yet X is assumed to be a major cause of Y.

Blow up a minor cause to be a major cause. Make a big deal about it. Show how wonderful or terrible it is.

Example

I was in too much of a hurry to put on my make-up, which is obviously why he did not ask me to dance.

Genetically-modified crops are a terrible threat to human health. [spraying with chemicals is not something I want to talk about]

This stage is far too small. No wonder we are not getting the audiences we deserve.

Discussion

Blowing up an insignificant cause can have two different benefits for the persuader. First, if this minor cause is important to the persuader, then disproportionately high significance is placed on it. The other use is when the persuader wants to avoid talking about another cause. By making a big deal of the minor cause, a distraction away from the unwanted cause is created.

Classification

Assumptive, Causal, Distraction

See also

Amplification principle

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