What Kind of Argument or Logic?

Would this be a classified Argument or Logical Fallacy type?
“I don’t believe statement or assertion X, therefore I will assume Y (which is worse) and therefore make (harsh) judgement Z based on that (false) assumption.”

Basic Human nature of a kind, which does have some value in that we Humans tend to be liars. But there does tend to be a certain type of person, like one of my former bosses, who live and die by that kind of logic.

Anything from;

“Billy hit me so I hit him back”
“I don’t believe Billy hit you, so you’re grounded for a month”

to (as I saw that former boss do to someone else)

“I’m going to be late for work due to an accident on the freeway. I’ve moved about 1/4 mile in the last 10 minutes.” (which turned out to be true, they had to reroute people to side roads for several hours)
“I don’t believe that. I think he just woke up late. I’m going to write him up and have a talk with him about his work ethic when he comes in.”

Hell, even when the truth of it was pointed out, that boss found it easier to believe his alternate, made up, harsher assumption, because it allowed him the luxury of being angry and using his power.


“This happened, then this happened, then this happened, and I did X.”
“I doubt very much that such-and-such happened. It seems easier for me to imagine that Y occured, so you were wrong in doing X.”

As far as fallacy classification, I think you might characterize these as examples of strawmen.

That was pretty much as close as I could come, but it seems it deserves it’s own classification.

It doesn’t seem to be a logical fallacy at all.

“Billy hit me so I hit him back”
“I don’t believe Billy hit you, so you’re grounded for a month”
There are two arguments here. The first is “why I hit billy”. I say that I hit Billy for the reason that he hit me first.

The second is that you do not believe that the evidence for my premise, basically, that it is my word that Billy hit me. Perhaps Billy confirms he hit me first, but for whatever reason, you do not accept the evidence of the premise. Therefore, you do not accept my reason as the cause for the action.

You say that you are grounding me for a month because you do not accept my and Billy’s evidence of the premise (or because Billy denied it, but it’s more fun to mock your abuse of power if Billy admits it) and you want to punish me, or argue that it isn’t an excuse.

In an argument, it is usually assumed that the two sides are on equal footing and engaged in an honest exchange, not that one party is going to decide the outcome. When you decide not to agree with me and punish me, you are in a position to exercise that power, and I wasn’t and won’t be.

This is a case of there is a right way, a wrong way and the bosses way.

I agree. I’d just classify it as “being an asshole”.

Captain Amazing is correct, I think. (Logical) validity and truth are orthogonal. The non-believer’s argument is valid (given their premise) but not true.

Then I will simply refer to it as Punitive Inventive Deduction.

In other words, pulling shit out of your ass to justify punishing someone.