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fallacious argument

We all resort to fallacious argument when we react too quickly or "intuitively" or "from within" to criticism. Exit counselors encounter some of the most absurd arguments from cult members when they try to defend the cult pov.

When RSEians attack Catholicism or Christianity they often resort Ad Hominem, reductive fallacy, cliche thinking, error of fact, and equivocation.

eg, Saxim used equivoation when comparing the codes of criminals with cops that may get away with beating people unnecessarily:
"Not only prisoner criminals, but law enforcement too. Have you seen all the various Taser videos lately? How about the cops that take steriods? Oh yeah, what about the athletes? The cops get videoed beating up people, using a Taser on people displaying no deadly force, but say it is our training policy."

Sax seems to think that two wrongs make him right!

To better grasp fallacious arguments, see the list:

here is his first example:
"Ad Hominem (Argument To The Man):
attacking the person instead of attacking his argument. For example, "Von Daniken's books about ancient astronauts are worthless because he is a convicted forger and embezzler." (Which is true, but that's not why they're worthless.)
Another example is this syllogism, which alludes to Alan Turing's homosexuality:

Turing thinks machines think.
Turing lies with men.
Therefore, machines don't think.
(Note the equivocation in the use of the word "lies".)

A common form is an attack on sincerity. For example, "How can you argue for vegetarianism when you wear leather shoes?" The two wrongs make a right fallacy is related.

A variation (related to Argument By Generalization) is to attack a whole class of people. For example, "Evolutionary biology is a sinister tool of the materialistic, atheistic religion of Secular Humanism." Similarly, one notorious net.kook waved away a whole category of evidence by announcing "All the scientists were drunk."

Another variation is attack by innuendo: "Why don't scientists tell us what they really know; are they afraid of public panic?"

There may be a pretense that the attack isn't happening: "In order to maintain a civil debate, I will not mention my opponent's drinking problem."

Sometimes the attack is on intelligence. For example, "If you weren't so stupid you would have no problem seeing my point of view." Or, dismissing a comment with "Well, you're just smarter than the rest of us." (In Britain, that might be put as "too clever by half".) This is related to Not Invented Here, but perhaps it is more connected to Dismissal By Differentness and Changing The Subject.

Ad Hominem is not fallacious if the attack goes to the credibility of the argument. For instance, the argument may depend on its presenter's claim that he's an expert. (That is, there is an Argument From Authority.) Trial judges allow this category of attacks.

simply attempting to make the other person angry, without trying to address the argument at hand. Sometimes this is a delaying tactic.
Needling is also Ad Hominem if you insult your opponent. You may instead insult something the other person believes in ("Argumentum Ad YourMomium"), interrupt, clown to show disrespect, be noisy, fail to pass over the microphone, and numerous other tricks. All of these work better if you are running things - for example, if it is your radio show, and you can cut off microphones. A compliant host or moderator is almost as good. "

Re: fallacious argument

thank you Joe
very informative.

I can see future posts:
a quote made by a Ramster, followed by
he used equivocation, so this just stance
does not hold water.