Ad hoc rescue

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The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy describes ad hoc rescue logical fallacy thus:

Ad Hoc Rescue

Psychologically, it is understandable that you would try to rescue a cherished belief from trouble. When faced with conflicting data, you are likely to mention how the conflict will disappear if some new assumption is taken into account. However, if there is no good reason to accept this saving assumption other than that it works to save your cherished belief, your rescue is an ad hoc rescue.

Example:

Yolanda: If you take four of these tablets of vitamin C every day, you will never get a cold.

Juanita: I tried that last year for several months, and still got a cold.

Yolanda: Did you take the tablets every day?

Juanita: Yes.

Yolanda: Well, I'll bet you bought some bad tablets.

The burden of proof is definitely on Yolanda's shoulders to prove that Juanita's vitamin C tablets were probably "bad" -- that is, not really vitamin C. If Yolanda can't do so, her attempt to rescue her hypothesis (that vitamin C prevents colds) is simply a dogmatic refusal to face up to the possibility of being wrong.[1]

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