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Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

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Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc also known as a causal fallacy or a false cause fallacy is a logical fallacy in which one argues that because one event happened after another event, the event that happened first caused the second event.

This is illustrated thus:
Here, a poignant example of the "false cause fallacy", Fred Phelps blames a mentally unstable gunman's attack upon innocent civillians is retribution for Congress passing laws against his church.

  1. A happened before B.
  2. Therefore, A is the cause of B.

The fallacious nature of this argument is illustrated with this absurd example:

  1. After I coughed, my microwave exploded.
  2. Therefore, my coughing caused my microwave to explode.

The phrase itself is Latin for "after this, therefore because of this".


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