What, me nit-picky? Paul Hsieh posts a list of self-referential logical fallacies that is quite amusing (later augmented by Steven Den Beste). My only issue with the fomulations he posts is with the Complex Question fallacy, which he states thusly:

Complex Question:

Have you stopped beating your wife and saying Complex Question isn't the best fallacy?

The problem is that the Complex Question fallacy is supposed to (improperly) group together two issues, one of which has a clearly correct position. By grouping a debatable question with an obvious question, the fallacy tries to apply the obvious answer to the debatable issue through (improper) association.

However, the "have you stopped beating your wife" question was originally designed not to have an obvious answer, and is therefore particularly unsuited for use in the Complex Question fallacy. Neither "yes" nor "no" is clearly the right answer, and so there's no false association to be made between beating one's wife and believing that Complex Question is the best fallacy.

A better formulation would be something like:

- "Do you agree that failing to recognize the supremacy of the Complex Question fallacy and beating your wife are grievous offenses?"

- "Isn't it terrible that so many people disparage the Complex Question fallacy and beat their wives?"



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