For example, if I ask someone "What does it feel like to be a gay Christian?" I'm suggesting that the person to whom I'm asking is gay and Christian, neither of which may be true.


4 Answers 4


Loaded Question

A loaded question or complex question fallacy is a question which contains a controversial or unjustified assumption (e.g., a presumption of guilt)

The classic is, "when did you stop beating your wife?"

For what it's worth, the word loaded by itself is gaining a broader meaning which can also include less explicit assumptions, and instead mean there is bias included in the question. Bias which one has to be careful not to tacitly accept in the answer.

loaded -

(of statements or questions) charged with associative significance and often meant to mislead or influence


"Plurium interrogationum"

  • the rhetorical trick of asking a question that cannot be answered without admitting a presupposition that may be false, as "have you stopped beating your wife?"

  • from Wikipedia plurium interrogationum (Latin, "of many questions") is a question that has a presupposition that is complex. The presupposition is a proposition that is presumed to be acceptable to the respondent when the question is asked. The respondent becomes committed to this proposition when he gives any direct answer. The presupposition is called "complex" because it is a conjunctive proposition, a disjunctive proposition, or a conditional proposition. It could also be another type of proposition that contains some logical connective in a way that makes it have several parts that are component propositions.[1]

A "double-barreled question" expresses, perhaps even better, what you are asking. When you include "gay" and "Christian" in the same question, you are touching on more than one issue.

  • It is committed when someone asks a question that touches upon more than one issue, yet allows only for one answer. This fallacy can be also confused with petitio principii, begging the question,which offers a premise no more plausible than, and often just a restatement of, the conclusion.
  • double-barrelled
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jul 21, 2015 at 6:59
  • @Mari-LouA traveled/travelled, barreled/barrelled, gamboled/gambolled AmE/BrE.
    – Centaurus
    Jul 21, 2015 at 16:12
  • But it looks wrong! :)
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jul 21, 2015 at 16:58
  • Not double-barreled. The term is a double-bind nlp-mentor.com/double-bind Oct 28, 2015 at 10:51
  • @chaslyfromUK It looks like there is more than one term. I've provided a link to "double barreled".
    – Centaurus
    Oct 28, 2015 at 12:28

A false premise is an incorrect proposition that forms the basis of an argument or syllogism. Since the premise (proposition, or assumption) is not correct, the conclusion drawn may be in error. However, the logical validity of an argument is a function of its internal consistency, not the truth value of its premises.

False premise - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



A complex question fallacy or loaded question is a question which contains a controversial or unjustified assumption (e.g., a presumption of guilt).



Oops - I've just spotted that stevesliva has mentioned this term.

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