Genuine but Insignificant Cause|
The object or event identified as the cause of an effect is a
genuine cause, but insignificant when compared to the other
causes of that event.
Note that this fallacy does not apply when all other
contributing causes are equally insignificant. Thus, it is not a
fallacy to say that you helped cause defeat the Tory
government because you voted Reform, for your vote had as
much weight as any other vote, and hence is equally a part of
- Smoking is causing air pollution in Edmonton. (True, but
the effect of smoking is insignificant compared to the effect
of auto exhaust.)
- By leaving your oven on overnight you are contributing
to global warming.
Identify the much more significant cause.
(Cedarblom and Paulsen: 238)
06 October 1995