What is a logical fallacy? On a simplistic level, it is the case where faulty logic can bring one to a faulty conclusion. (The conclusion could still be correct even if it is argued incorrectly; the person in that case would be correct just by being lucky ;-).
"Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic."
~Thomas Huxley, an English biologist, known as "Darwin's Bulldog" for his advocacy of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.
If you'd like to discuss the different logical fallacies, in order to better understand them, then feel free to visit the free meetup event on Thur. April 24th in Beaverton. All the details can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/k7ytdsw .
One of the more interesting fallacies is called "the fallacy fallacy." Essentially it means that just because an argument is incorrect, doesn't mean that the conclusion is wrong. For example, suppose a child has the conclusion that the Earth is in orbit around the Sun. This is true. But suppose their supporting argument for it is that the Earth starts with the letter "E" and Sun starts with "S," and therefore the "S" is more important because it follows later in the alphabet, and therefore the solar system has the Sun as its center. So even though the supporting arguments for the conclusion are wrong, the conclusion is still correct.
In the god debates, someone may believe in the existence of God, but not know how to correctly argue for it. In that case, they could still be correct if God really exists, but they just aren't equipped in order to argue the point, if in fact God does exist. In the same way, if God doesn't exist, it is a fact whether or not the atheist can intellectually argue the point. So what really matters is trying to get good logic, which can lead us to a good conclusion. If the logic is solid, then it can give us high confidence that the resulting conclusion is solid. This requires not only following the laws of logic, but also making sure the premises are true.
This event is sponsored by The Center for Philosophical Naturalism, which was created to help people understand life from a naturalistic worldview. Bernie Dehler will lead the discussion.
For those of a nonreligious mindset, here's some other groups on meetup.com that you might find interesting:
-- Westside Science & Religion Disc.: http://tinyurl.com/bkmhdl5
-- Sunday Assembly: http://tinyurl.com/kkc8nyw
-- Center for Inquiry: http://tinyurl.com/mps923r
-- Humanists of Greater Portland: http://tinyurl.com/kmbmt57
-- Atheists Etcetera: http://tinyurl.com/nhjr3ha
-- Philosophy Workshop: http://tinyurl.com/pzs4ajc
-- The Center for Philosophical Naturalism: http://tinyurl.com/l6rd4sl