By Major_Hellstrom 47 Comments
My Thoughts About the No Limits Fallacy
For starters the no limits fallacy is not a real thing. No debating site has it listed and no one in the academic world knows what it means. It is a purely battle forum term. Which is why it bothers me when people just say “no limits fallacy (NLF)” as if it somehow debunks anything, because it doesn’t. Heck, no fallacy debunks anything on its own since that would fall under the Argument from Fallacy.
So what is the no limits fallacy? In general, people claim that the no limits fallacy means that if someone has no stated limits they are therefore limitless, for example: If Hulk gets stronger the madder he gets and if he can get infinitely mad, he must have infinite strength.
Now that obviously isn’t a good argument to make, but saying it is NLF, isn’t a good counterargument either. This is because the “no limits fallacy” is the Frankenstein’s monster of fallacies. Let me explain what is actually going on here.
First: Burden of Proof
It is universally understood that the burden of proof falls under the person who makes the claim. This means that the person who makes the said NLF claim has to prove it, which might not seem like a counter to you yet since you can find plenty of examples in comics that would ‘support’ no limit fallacies. Except most of the time they wouldn’t because......
The nature of proof
There are 4 types of acceptable proof in the court of law
- Tangible evidence
- Demonstrative evidence
- Witness testimony
To explain why this debunks a majority of ‘evidence’ for NLF claims we most discuss what each entails.
- Tangible evidence- this has to be evidence that is physical, meaning a showing of the said NLF ability. If you claim that Superman is infinitely durable you’d need to show him taking an infinitely powerful attack, said attack would also have to be proven to be infinite in power independently, otherwise it would fall under circular reasoning. I
- Demonstrative evidence- this is pretty self explanatory, you would have to demonstrate your NLF claims which is impossible.
- Witness testimony- a witness testimony give you some leeway, you don’t have to show Superman taking an infinitely powerful attack to prove he is infinitely durable. But you do need to have a witness that can testify that they saw Superman taking an infinitely powerful attack. Meaning, he would still need to have taken an infinitely powerful attack, there must still be a form of tangible evidence, the only difference is that we the readers haven’t seen it. This means that general statements are not counted as evidence unless they are stating an event that they themselves witnessed. So the narrator saying “Sentry has the power of one million exploding suns” proves nothing but a character saying “I have seen Sentry unleash an attack which has the power of a million exploding suns” can be considered as evidence.
- Documentary- this means that your claim has to be documented. This is basically a witness testimony except in text or video. You’d still need to prove that someone tangible happened that was documented in order to prove your claim.
Basically this means feats or GTFO. If you have no tangible feats or statements that a tangible feat occurred then you have nothing but meaningless claims. Author statements or general statements of power prove nothing, at best they can be called expert testimonies, good supporting evidence. But if that is all you have then you have nothing.
Second: Counter Evidence
If your opponent claims that a character has no limits, do not simply claim that they made a fallacy therefore GG no re. Again, that is a fallacy in and of itself. What you need to do is either 1. Ask for proof. 2. Show evidence to the contrary.
So if you want to disprove your opponent, by either questioning their assertion, in which case they would be disproved if they cannot provide adequate evidence, or by disproving them. So if you have tangible proof that a character has shown limits, for example Hulk falling to lift something, then you have counter evidence. Even if your opponent provides evidence, if your counter evidence is stronger than what they provided (either through quantitatively or qualitatively) then you would still win the argument. There is no such thing as someone who is partially limitless.
Third: Fallacy of Division
Some people use the no limits fallacy like this
Premise: Goku has infinite physical and piercing durability.
Conclusion: Goku is immune to anti-matter, because he has infinitely durability.
First things first the premise is flawed which is already fallacious. Asides from that, one can argue that this is a form of the fallacy of division. This fallacy states that one cannot infer information for a part because it is true for the whole or the majority. For example: That guy has a big chest therefore he has a big heart.
Now you might be wondering how this connects to the Goku durability example, this is circumstantial but I believe it would go something like this. According to Comic Vine there are four main forms of resistance that encompass the term durability
- Energy durability (resistance to attacks related to energy i.e thermal)
- Piercing durability (resistance to bladed attacks))
- Physical durability (resistance to kinetic attacks)
- Specific durability (telepathic resistance, acidic resistance, etc. general hax stuff)
This means that, according to the division fallacy, one cannot assume what is true for parts based on what is true for the whole/majority. So just because Goku, as a whole, is infinitely durable in one or more aspects, does not mean that he is infinitely durable to everything.
I personally dislike the term “no limits fallacy” and I think that it’s kinda dumb sometimes. But it can be used, as long as the user understands what the no limits fallacy entails. Simply dismissing an argument vased on the premise that it falls under te no limits fallacy is ironic, as that would be a fallacy in and of itself, and the no limits fallacy isn even offically recognised do it would be the worst form of ‘argument from fallacy’ possible. I think that if you wanted to debunk a NLF user, you should just sinply ask for objective feats that are either shown or actually happened, as those are mainly the only types that count as actual evidence. Statements are just statements, they could he used as suppirting evidence but are not evidence themselves.
Disclaimer: I’ve been using the Vine for almost 3 years now and these are just my opinions. Take them as you will.