Genetic Fallacy

Proverbs 2:6 “For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”


Proverbs 15:2 “The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.”  Proverbs 15:28


“The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.”  Proverbs 16:10


“The lips of a king speak as an oracle, and his mouth should not betray justice.”


This is another fallacy type of personal attack. It is called “genetic” because it addresses the genesis, or the beginning of something. It is different from the Ad-hominem because it does not attack the person making the argument but the place where the argument comes from.


In other words, the “genetic fallacy” is condemning an argument because of where it began, how it began, or who began it.  A good example of this would be Sigmund Freud in trying to explain why people believe in God. His hypothesis is that when people do not have a good experience or a relationship with their father they wish for and imagine a God who can offer them the things that they missed. He would go on to say that a belief in God who was created out of people’s wishes could not exist. It is very difficult to argue with somebody when he uses this fallacy because no matter what you say they will always claim that it is because of your difficult past and therefore everybody can ignore what you say.


If an argument was made up by a bad person or a bad historical event it does not mean that the argument is necessarily bad itself. An example of this would be in the presidential election of Clinton and Trump. Clinton won the popular vote, but Trump won the electoral votes. The electoral college, which is the system of the Constitution, laid out for choosing the president may have been created by people with bad motives (as some claim, although I do not think so) does not necessarily mean that the electoral college is bad itself. Although some would claim it is.




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