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Questionable Cause

This fallacy occurs when a causal connection is assumed without proof. All too often claims to a causal connection are based on a mere correlation. The occurrence of one event after the other or the occurrence of events simultaneously is not proof of a causal connection.

Examples:

  1. We never had a problem with this elevator until you moved into the building.
  2. They had a very successful business. Then they decided to adopt a child, and the business when immediately into the red.
  3. Please read this message then forward it. Three people who received and forwarded this message received thousands of dollars each, but Ms. Elma Smith failed to forward this message and she suffered a lengthy problem with an ingrown toenail. Forward this to five people right away, if you know what is good for you.
  4. When the NFC wins the Super Bowl, the Stock Market usually has a good year. I hope the NFC wins next year because my portfolio is taking a beating.
  5. I'm sure that Marilyn Manson's music had something to do with those murders. They found Manson CD's in one of the murderer's private collection.
  6. Well, right after my wife divorced me, I couldn't get a date to save my life. There's got to be some connection there.
  7. Six months after Hoover took office in 1929, the stock market crashed and the Great Depression began. He is therefore responsible for this tragic episode in our history.
  8. My day had been going fine up to the time I walked under that ladder. After that, everything went sour.
  9. For every thought in our heads, there is a corresponding chemical activity in the brain. What more evidence do we need that our thoughts are caused by brain processes?
  10. After women started working in this county, divorce rates went up and now an alarming number of homes in this nation are broken. It's obvious that if we value marriage as an institution, we should discourage women from working.