Other Terms and/or Related ConceptsKook, Crank, Nutter
DescriptionThe advocate puts forward a claim that is comprehensively and self-evidently flawed - a claim that is beyond flawed - it borders on the insane. Because the claim is so error ridden one would not actually know where to begin in trying to analyse it. The WTF?* Fallacy is only to be invoked when the claim under consideration is so lacking in any rational basis that one is left speechless with perverse admiration - how could anyone, in their right mind, make such an astonishingly stupid assertion? The only possible response is those three little words, muttered in hushed and awed tones: "What the F....?
CommentThough similar in nature to Simple-Minded Certitude, the WTF? Fallacy is more extreme. WTF?ers ought to have seen the absurdity of their claim for themselves. There is simply no point in engaging with a WTF?er, as meaningful interaction will be nigh on impossible. Our advice is to completely avoid any interaction. If you must engage in social intercourse, a supercilious attitude is best, and moreover, such an attitude is completely justified. Heap nothing but scorn and derision upon the advocate.
A clue for spotting WTF?ers is that initially one would naturally assume that the deluded one was putting forth an absurdist joke. To which your natural response might be: "Good one mate... Hahahaha... That's a hilarious suggestion."But there will be no reciprocal jovial response from the WTF?er, merely a blank stare. A blank stare which should be met with raised eyebrows, and a comment such as: "Please tell me you're not serious?"
The WTF?er of course will continue to stare blankly... no data can ever enter that tinfoil-covered case-hardened skull.You should avoid drooling when your mouth reflexively drops open at this point. A shorthand way of describing your state at this moment of realisation is "gobsmacked". Take a step backward (for reasons of personal safety - at this point you realise you are not dealing with a rational human being after all), turn on your heel, shake your head, beat a safe retreat, and mutter: "What the Fuh...?"
Other examples“I mean, one of the biggest problems that exists right now in the world is nuclear waste... That's something I've been involved with for a while with a group of scientists - finding a way to neutralise radiation, believe it or not... According to science, we aren't going to have a planet in about 50 years at the rate we're going with nuclear waste... I can write the greatest songs and make the most fabulous films and be a fashion icon and conquer the world, but if there isn't a world to conquer, what's the point?” Madonna (2006).
"I'm just wondering what the heck is in our water supply?... Of metallic oxide salts, that create a rainbow effect in a sprinkler? What is oozing out of our ground, that allows this type of effect to happen? ... This cannot be natural. We all know, it wasn't something that happened 20 years ago, but now it's happening now." A lady viewing the "rainbow" in her sprinkler, Youtube clip - Haarp's Rainbow Aerosol's [sic], July 6, 2007
"We used to have, in Atlantis, 12 strands [of DNA], and they're in the form of four triangles facing in, in each cell. And we forgot who we were in the experiment after Atlantis, and everything changed; reincarnation was introduced..." Elisis Livingstone, professional faith healer, in The Enemies of Reason.
* We are aware that there may be other interpretations of WTF?, however as far as we're concerned it stands for "What the Fuh…?"
Podcast on WTF? Fallacy http://ia700208.us.archive.org/3/items/HuntingHumbug101Episode1-WhatIsHumbug/18Tutorial18_Wtf_Fallacy.mp3