A causal fallacy is one where the conclusion can be false even if the premises are true. This type of fallacies often happens when something is taken to be the only possible cause for something else, when it in fact there could be multiple possible reasons why something happens. We often tend to confuse correlation with causation (cause and effect) in our everyday thinking. On the surface causal fallacies often sound reasonable because it focuses on core cause of a problem. However, it is important to remember that just because two things happen together (and therefore correlate) does not mean that one thing caused the other. That is, two things happening together does not guarantee that one caused the other because it is quite possible that it was a coincidence or that a third thing was the cause for them both.
Example Argument: “ The flu causes sore throats, so since I have a sore throat I must have the flu.”
Premise 1: If I have the flu, then I have a sore throat
Premise 2: I have a sore throat
Conclusion: Therefore I have the flu
Now we know that the flu causes a sore throat, but we cannot say that the flu is the only cause of a sore throat since many other things cause sore throats like: a cold or yelling too much. That is, a sore throat doesn’t necessarily determine if we have the flu.