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The word “fallacy” comes to us from the Latin word fallacia, which means “a trick, deceit.” It is related to the Latin word fallax, which means “deceitful or fallacious.”

Dictionary.com gives us these definitions of “fallacy”:

  1. A deceptive, misleading, or false notion, belief, etc.: That the world is flat was at one time a popular fallacy.

2. A misleading or unsound argument

3. Deceptive, misleading, or false nature; erroneousness

4. Logic: any of various types of erroneous reasoning that renders arguments logically unsound

Knowing that humans are “fallen,” we should not be surprised that we are “fallible” and therefore engage in “fallacious” arguments—we commit “fallacies.” Since this afflicts us all, we should be kind and respectful when pointing out the fallacies of others, since we too frequently fall into fallacious argumentation ourselves.