A non sequitur, literally ‘it does not follow’ in Latin, is an inference that does not follow from the premises; it is a logical fallacy resulting from a simple conversion of a universal affirmative proposition or from the transposition of a condition and its consequent. All formal logical fallacies are special cases of non sequitur.
“Non sequitur: when a train of thought proceeds from A to B and back again to Q.” – Bill Griffith, Zippy the Pinhead
Simply put, it is a statement that does not follow logically from or is not clearly related to anything previously said; it is an invalid argument in which the conclusion cannot be logically deduced from the premises. For example:
- It has been very cold this weekend. Global warming is a left-wing conspiracy.
- Many people consider Jesus their personal saviour. The Bible is completely true.
- She is a lesbian. She hates men.
- I lived in a house without a basement; that house flooded. Houses without basements will definitely flood.
- Wood for furniture comes from trees; trees should not be cut down. Therefore, no new furniture should be produced.
- If you do not buy this type of dog food, you are neglecting your pet.
- If evolution is true, why help the poor?
- God does not believe in atheists, therefore atheists do not exist.
- If man evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?