Smokescreen Fallacy Examples

In this article, we will talk about some smokescreen fallacy examples.

In politics, the law, and the media, we frequently witness smokescreen fallacies. However, you may discover that you have used them in conflicts with friends and family!

They frequently occur when people are trapped or under pressure to protect themselves. Deferring to a smokescreen serves to divert attention away from the debate and avoid answering the issue directly. Continue reading to learn more about the smokescreen fallacy, and smokescreen fallacy examples.

What is exactly a Smokescreen Fallacy?

Introducing an irrelevant topic as a distraction to avoid the true issue or a difficult inquiry; is also known as a red herring. The smokescreen fallacy is a diversion strategy used to divert attention away from the primary topic. It frequently steers the discourse or activity in the wrong way, resulting in an inaccurate conclusion or consequence.

The word dates back to the 18th century when William Cobbett related a story about diverting hounds from chasing a rabbit with a fish called herring that had been highly smoked or brine-cured. However, no species is known as a red herring, hence the exact origin of the phrase is unknown.

Intentional Smokescreen Fallacy Examples:

When you don’t have a good rebuttal against the initial point, you frequently resort to such conduct. As a result, you try to steer the discussion or circumstance in a direction that you can manage better.

Here are a few intentional smokescreen fallacy examples:

Example #1

Kimberly works for an IT company that provides its clients with high-level internet security. In one instance, she fails to complete a normal check, resulting in one of their company clients being hacked and losing a significant amount of money. “The workload at the workplace is nuts these days,” she screams to justify her foolishness. Anyone would overlook an item off the checklist after working such many hours.”

Kimberly seeks to shift responsibility by introducing a new obstacle into the picture. She hopes that the company would try to lessen the burden rather than hold her liable for the blunder.

Example #2

Try to recollect any mystery novel or TV episode you’ve seen that involves a crime, such as murder. Nobody knows who the perpetrator is until the investigator arrives.

Regardless, in every case, all evidence pointed to a single major suspect. However, the detective apprehends the perpetrator after an entangling web of suspense and a stunning turn of events. The first suspect is never the perpetrator.

Such a pattern repeats so frequently in all mystery novels that everyone is aware that the person who looks to have done the crime is not the killer. Authors and storytellers employ the smokescreen fallacy to capture your attention and generate suspense.

Example #3

Henry had promised to take his son Owen to the zoo. But he didn’t remember until it was too late in the evening. Here’s how the father attempts to alleviate the problem after he returns home.

“You said we’d go to the zoo today,” Owen says.

“Yes, but don’t you appreciate scoring goals against your dad in football?” Henry asks. That’s exactly what we’re doing now.”

Despite neglecting to take his son to the zoo, Henry makes sure he goes to night pleased. Politicians use similar diplomacy when responding to difficult inquiries from the media.

Unintentional Smokescreen Fallacy Examples:

You frequently employ the smokescreen fallacy to fool yourself. The reason you display such conduct is due to a variety of circumstances and explanations.

Here are some unintentional smokescreen fallacy examples:

Example #1

“My partner does not understand me,” is a prevalent problem in people’s relationships. Maybe you’re having the same issue.

The root reason for such issues is frequently mutual. When both spouses fail to comprehend one another, disagreements emerge. But each of them has the impression that the other person does not comprehend them.

Pointing the finger at your spouse for a problem is a ruse to conceal your failure to give the relationship the attention it demands.

Example #2

Murmurs can be heard in the background whenever someone is promoted. You believe the employer preferred the individual even though you earned more.

Blaming your employer for nepotism is an easy way to ignore your flaws. Because of the smokescreen fallacy, you persuade yourself that you have done everything possible but that no one gave you the credit you deserved.

Example #3

People blame their circumstances for their inability to achieve what they want. For example, you may say, “I wish I could work with concentration, but people in my house keep distracting me.”

While your surroundings may be part of the problem, have you tried to establish a distraction-free environment? You can lock yourself in your room, ask your family to leave you alone during specific hours, or explore a variety of other options.

Rather, blaming others for your problems is the easy way out. You shift the focus from your inability to change yourself to things over which you have control.

The Ending Note 

The purpose of any smokescreen or red herring is to divert the reader’s or listener’s attention away from the issue at hand. People frequently utilize the smokescreen fallacy in arguments and debates, as seen by the smokescreen fallacy examples in arguments and conversations. Our brain is a magnificent piece of nature. On one end, it performs strange things you can’t explain, while on the other, it makes trivial mistakes to deceive yourself and others.

A smokescreen is often a necessary diversion to prevent bigger problems. You can use it as a diplomatic approach to prevent destroying relationships or hurting others. So, if you’re using it on purpose with all good intentions, go ahead. But be careful how you deceive yourself with a smokescreen. A genuine rationale and a phony excuse are separated by a fine line. Can you identify and correct it yourself?

The smokescreen fallacy is an efficient method of diverting a person’s attention to a different issue, and people are frequently unaware that information is being offered to distract their attention. Understanding how the smokescreen fallacy operates in talks and arguments makes it simpler to identify when someone is using a red herring to avoid addressing the issue.

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