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Stupid Debating Tricks -- 9 Of My Least Favorite Debate Tactics
Right Wing News ^ | 9.29.03 | John Hawkins

Posted on 09/29/2003 1:59:43 PM PDT by mhking

As you'd expect, I've spent a lot of time arguing with left-wingers. As a result of those discussions, I've learned a lot of the little tricks the left -- and yes, sometimes those on the right -- like to use when arguments are going against them. Here are some of those techniques...

1) Attack The Messenger: Instead of addressing the argument that has been made, people using this method attack the person making it instead. This is particularly easy for many delusional people on the left who believe that almost everyone on the right is a racist, sexist, homophobic, Fascist who longs for the return of the Confederacy and is planning to start throwing leftists in prison camps if they let their guard down for five minutes. The charge made doesn't even have to be accurate, in fact it's better in some ways if it's off target. That's because the more whacked out the charge is, the more compelled your opponent will feel to spend his time defending himself while you continue to make your points.

2) The Bait & Switch: When a claim is made and your opponent refutes it, don't try to respond, simply change the subject. Example,

Lefty Debater: I think we all know what kind of job George Bush has done with the economy. Right off the bat, he got the economy into a recession.

Conservative Debater: Excuse me, but you're incorrect. The recession started under Bill Clinton, not George Bush.

Lefty Debater: Well what about his tax cuts? They're for the rich, the rich I tell you!

Conservative Debater: What about getting rid of the marriage penalty and increasing the child tax credit? Are you arguing that only rich people get married and have kids?

Lefty Debater: Haliburton, did I mention Haliburton? What about that, huh? I guess you want to dodge that issue.

The best part about this from the left-wing debater's perspective is that since they never acknowledged they were wrong, they can feel free to make the exact same incorrect claim in future debates.

3) The Blitzkrieg: The goal here is blast your opponent with so many accusations that they can't possibly respond. Example,

Lefty Debater: George Bush? Who would defend someone who was AWOL from the National Guard, used coke, lied about weapons of mass destruction, raised taxes on the poor, wants to cut Social Security, is the worst environmental President we've ever had, and who has destroyed the US economy?

Moderator: That's great, but the question was, "Should the Israelis kick Arafat out of the "Disputed Territories"?

It doesn't matter if all -- or even any -- of the accusations are true, relevant, or make any sense. The goal is just to get them out there. Making an accusation takes a few seconds, refuting one takes much longer. So an opponent confronted with these accusations will never actually have time to respond.

4) Enter The Strawman: Tremendously exaggerating your opponent's position and then claiming to fight against a position they don't hold is always a great way to dodge the issues. In all fairness, this is a technique often used by the left & right. But still, the right can't hold a candle to the left in this area. I mean how many times have you heard, "Republicans are going to take your Social Security away," "The GOP wants to poison the water and the air," "Republicans want to take away your Civil Rights" etc, etc?

This whole concept has gotten so out of hand on the left that we now even have some people on the left comparing the Israelis to Nazis. Look, when you're claiming that a bunch a Jews defending themselves from people who want to kill them are like Nazis, you've gone so far past irony that you almost need a new word to describe it like -- "Idiorony" or "outofyourmindony". But that's what happens when people wink at all these strawmen that are tossed out in debates. Eventually some people start to take them seriously and build on them.

5) History Will Be Kind To Me For I Intend To Write It:

The technique is similar to using strawmen in some respects. What you try to do is to rewrite history, to claim that a debate in a previous time was different than it actually was. Here's an example of how this is done,

Mother: I told you to be back by 11 PM and you're just getting in at 1:30 AM!

Teenage Daughter: I don't think I remember you mentioning that...

Mother: I told you 3 times to be in by 11, I left a note reminding you on the dinner table and snuck one into your purse, I called you on your cellular phone at 10:30 and reminded you to make it home by 11 and I even told your boyfriend he'd better have you back in time.

Teenage Daughter: Oh, oh, oh wait...I remember now -- you meant 11 PM? I thought you meant 11 AM. I thought that by getting in at 1:30 AM I was here 9 and 1/2 hours early. Silly me!

Mother: Nice try, you're still grounded!

The build-up to Iraq war has been treated in a similar fashion by the anti-war crowd. Before the war there were complaints that Bush wouldn't stick to one reason for invading, now there are claims that it was only about WMD. There was almost no debate on Capitol Hill between Dems & the GOP about whether Iraq actually had WMD until after the war when it became apparent that none were going to be quickly be found. Throwaway lines that were hardly noticed before the war (like the controversial yet true 16 words in the State of the Union speech) have been treated as if they were core arguments made by the Bush administration after the fact. It's all just a way to rewrite history.

6) I'm Not Hearing You -- La La La: Just totally ignoring what your opponent has to say and going on to something else is another technique often used by politicians of all stripes, but no one, and I mean no one, can hang with Yasser Arafat and company when it comes to totally blowing off any uncomfortable questions that are asked. For example...

Moderator: So Mr. Arafat, are you willing to disarm Hamas & Islamic Jihad?

Arafat: The Israelis want to kill me! They are causing all the problems! We want peace, but the Israelis don't!

Moderator: That's fine Mr. Arafat, but are you willing to disarm Hamas & Islamic Jihad?

Arafat: Why don't you ask the Israelis if they will stop their terrorism against our people? Why don't you ask them that?

Moderator: Mr. Arafat you seem to be ignoring my question.

Arafat: Are you questioning me? Do you know who I am? I am general Arafat! This interview is over!

When they duck the question, it's a pretty good indication that they don't have an answer anyone wants to hear.

7) Motives Matter, Results Don't: Oftentimes when people on the left are losing an argument or can't explain why they seem to be so inconsistent on certain issues, they start questioning the motives of their opponents. For example, if you favored going to war with Serbia based on nothing more than humanitarian grounds, then logically you should also be in favor of invading Iraq for exactly the same reason. But of course, that's not how it works for a lot of people.

So to get around that, they just claim that there are impure motives afoot. The Bush administration may have claimed to care about stopping terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, humanitarian causes, or UN Resolutions, but it was really all about stealing oil, getting payoffs for business buddies, getting revenge for an attack on "daddy", because Bush needed Iraqi sand for his garden, Bush was jealous of Saddam's rugged good looks, etc, etc, who cares -- they're all equally ridiculous. When the real issues are too tough to deal with, it's all too easy to just pretend something else is what you're really upset about.

8) That Context Is On A Need To Know Basis: Stripping away the context of a situation is a favored technique of people who hate the United States. They talk about something the United States has done without discussing the reasoning behind it, the actions that provoked it, or other things that the United States might have also done that would place us in a more favorable light. It's very easy to make someone look like a bad guy if you simply don't include every detail that doesn't support your case. For example,

Lawyer: Your honor, I intend to prove that my client is innocent of all charges and that the police shot him maliciously, recklessly, and without cause as he was minding his own business at the park.

Judge: He was minding his own business? According to the police report I have in front of me, your client had shot 3 drug dealers who were standing in "his spot" and was firing off rounds from an Uzi at a passing school bus, two nuns on a nearby park bench, and at the officers as they arrived. That doesn't sound like he was "minding his own business" to me.

Lawyer: It does if his business is being a drug dealing thug -- ha, ha, ha! Hey, that's just a little joke. It was getting a little tense in here....you're not laughing. OK, just checking -- is that plea bargain still available?

9) That's Mean, Mean, Mean! When it comes to certain subjects, ordinarily rational people turn into complete bubbleheads. For example, you could probably put together a bill that called for nuclear waste to be dumped in every Walmart in America and as long as you called it the, "Feed The Children For A New Tomorrow Bill" about a 1/3rd of the American population would support it. So naturally, some people take advantage of this and claim that certain policy proposals are "mean". Once you say that, results, logic, how expensive the project is, etc, etc, goes out the window and the argument becomes over whether someone is "mean" or not.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: pufflist

1 posted on 09/29/2003 1:59:43 PM PDT by mhking
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To: Howlin; Ed_NYC; MonroeDNA; widgysoft; Springman; Timesink; dubyaismypresident; Grani; coug97; ...
Just damn.

If you want on the new list, FReepmail me. This IS a high-volume PING list...

[As i mentioned, the B/C & JD! lists are going to float into and out of whack over the forseeable future, while I try to cobble a rig back together for myself. My apologies for any incovenience or misunderstandings in this time frame. New signups/removals may be flaky in this time-frame as well; please bear with me, and keep in mind you may have to FReepmail me more than once for me to get it done. Thanks again!]

2 posted on 09/29/2003 2:00:13 PM PDT by mhking (Anyone who disagrees with me is mentally ill and should be shot.)
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To: mhking
Bump for later.
3 posted on 09/29/2003 2:06:04 PM PDT by Springman (No Kobe, none of the time.)
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To: mhking
LOL! Good post.

The one he missed is the time-tested "Emotional Appeal" tactic. (OTOH, maybe this fits under the "mean, mean, mean" heading....)

I've seen this one a lot in debates over same-sex blessings in the Episcopal Church. The pro-sodomites simply cannot win on logic, and certainly not on Scripture.

So they appeal to pity (ours) and rage (theirs). For example, "the church is telling us we cannot have sex -- just you try going without sex." This seems like an effective argument untul you recognize it as simply an appeal to pity. There are lots of things the church says "don't do."

4 posted on 09/29/2003 2:07:36 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: mhking
This was excellent.... and fun!

I debate a Greenie all the time who posts to my community association board. It's a constant barrage of "Bush made 9/11 happen on purpose" and that type of garbage. He uses every tactic listed here... and then some ;-)

Thank you!
5 posted on 09/29/2003 2:08:33 PM PDT by Tamzee ("Big government sounds too much like sluggish socialism."......Arnold Schwarzenegger)
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To: mhking
Don't forget the most-often used tactic:

Don't stop talking. When the host turns to the right-wing guest, the left-wing guest will keep talking, or interrupt the right-wing speaker with sentence fragments like "But... but..." or "not true... not true...". It is meant to distract the speaker or drown out the point that the speaker is trying to make. Usually the conservative is respectful of the liberal's time on the air, but the liberal is almost always rude when the conservative is speaking.

-PJ

6 posted on 09/29/2003 2:11:04 PM PDT by Political Junkie Too (It's not safe yet to vote Democrat.)
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To: mhking
That listing (and example) is very apt. The only thing not included are the infamous "stat" wars: "Her" vs. "His" type stat wars. "I have here a study done by (insert dubious or even prestigiousname-of-institute) purporting that global warming reduces testicle size"...
7 posted on 09/29/2003 2:11:38 PM PDT by Alia (California -- It's Groovy! Baby!)
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To: r9etb
Definitely missed out on emotional appeal, which I think would include "for the children" and to "protect mother earth".

Evil Republicans are polluting Mother Earth, despoiling the lands, evaporating the ozone layer, pouring nuclear waste on arctic lands and luring dolphins into Tuna nets without caring about "at-risk" eco-systems. We've got to stop them for the children.

8 posted on 09/29/2003 2:17:40 PM PDT by theDentist (Liberals can sugarcoat sh** all they want. I'm not biting.)
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To: mhking
It doesn't matter if it is a left-winger or a yellowdog RAT, they all mean the same thing: Don't try and confuse me with facts.
9 posted on 09/29/2003 2:19:40 PM PDT by sticker
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To: mhking
Great find. I add:
-the "you against the world" approach, where the leftist claims that "the American people" want us to move on, or "the world community" hates the US. This is rarely backed up with objective fact, and yet is rarely challenged.

bttt
10 posted on 09/29/2003 2:21:56 PM PDT by ellery
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To: Hoverbug
Bump
11 posted on 09/29/2003 2:25:17 PM PDT by PRND21
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To: PatrickHenry; VadeRetro; Piltdown_Woman
Any of these sound familiar?
12 posted on 09/29/2003 2:27:53 PM PDT by Junior (Killed a six pack ... just to watch it die.)
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To: mhking
This is fitting, I got this in another board today after listing the countries and how they have helped out durring "Iraqi Freedom"

http://www.vcorps.army.mil/www/cjtf7/forces.htm



"""So we had 33 out of 192 countries, paid off the good majority of the 33, and you are proud? This is freaking just plain sad.

I wonder if Dubya wakes up every morning 'knowing' his sorry butt is going back to that pitiful hole for a state he spawned from?

Look out black, poor people and queers, Dubya comming home...

The price of freedom is that people like you can't be hung in town square anymore for being an idiot and threatening the gene pool. I bet you have some really---really stupid kids don't you?"""




Nice guy, Huh?
13 posted on 09/29/2003 2:32:18 PM PDT by OXENinFLA
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To: mhking
#10 Distract your opponent with your breasts

14 posted on 09/29/2003 2:35:32 PM PDT by evets (Warning: graphic images.)
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To: mhking
Did A List of My Own Once. It adds what you might call "refusal to infer" (abuse of "Just because ... doesn't mean ..."), begging the question, appeal to authority, and everyone's favorite: ad hominem.
15 posted on 09/29/2003 2:37:59 PM PDT by VadeRetro
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To: Junior
Any of these sound familiar?

All of those tactics, and maybe 50 more, are in regular use in the evolution vs creationism threads.

16 posted on 09/29/2003 2:38:02 PM PDT by PatrickHenry
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To: evets
Well, I think Mary would be a bit more appealing if her belly didn't stick out further than her breasts....
17 posted on 09/29/2003 2:38:30 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: OXENinFLA
Sounds like a typical tolerant, sensitive, caring, compassionate liberal (he wants you dead because you disagree with him on a political issue).
18 posted on 09/29/2003 2:39:15 PM PDT by chimera
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To: mhking; *puff_list; CSM; Flurry; Texan5; Just another Joe; SheLion; metesky; Madame Dufarge
Sure desribes a lot of folks we seem to tangle with on a regular basis, doesn't it!!!
19 posted on 09/29/2003 2:43:34 PM PDT by Gabz (Smoke-gnatzies - small minds buzzing in your business - SWAT'EM)
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To: Political Junkie Too
...the liberal is almost always rude when the conservative is speaking.

Ain't it the truth! Sometimes I'll have Fox News on while cleaning the house or something and I'm not really looking at the TV. I've gotten to where I can tell who's a conservative and who's a liberal just by the way they talk. If someone is constantly interrupting and talking over their opponent, you can bet they're a liberal.

20 posted on 09/29/2003 2:48:20 PM PDT by Nea Wood
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To: mhking
Another tried and true method:

DEMAND OF PROOF: When presented with an unpleasant fact, dmand proof of said fact, then declare any proffered proof to be insufficient and/or biased.
21 posted on 09/29/2003 2:53:37 PM PDT by The Clemson Tiger (Hold that Tiger!)
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To: Gabz
I use some of those in response to the use of some of those! Isn't that OK?
22 posted on 09/29/2003 2:54:10 PM PDT by Conspiracy Guy (The big picture is missed by those who focus on pixels.)
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To: Flurry
Of course it is. It's called fighting fire with fire!!!!
23 posted on 09/29/2003 2:56:40 PM PDT by Gabz (Smoke-gnatzies - small minds buzzing in your business - SWAT'EM)
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To: Political Junkie Too
That's right. They desire to get only one idea out there: Their own. And too bad if you have one that goes against theirs.

I remember some years back there was a talk show hosted by a woman named Jane Whitney. The subject was homosexuals in the military, with pro and con presented in that order, separately. They had three people who may or may not have served on the pro, and they brought on David Hackworth for the con.

Hack was able to get out a single sentence before those on the pro side began to argue with him, constantly interrupt him, try to drown him out, and eventually called him a bigot. (Imagine, calling someone with more military experience than all three on that panel combined a bigot because he does not believe it is a good idea to have open homosexuals in the military. How stupid and childish.)

Of course, Ms. Whitney just stood by and did nothing about this blatant attack. So much for fairness and tolerance.

24 posted on 09/29/2003 2:58:27 PM PDT by Houmatt (Why is it every time I think of Michael Moore I get more angry?)
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To: mhking
Fallacies:

Peter A. Angeles Dictionary of Philosophy-- published by Barnes and Noble, copyright 1981.

Fallacy, classification of informal. Informal fallacies may be classified in a variety of ways. Three general categories: (a) Material fallacies have to do with the facts (the matter, the content) of the argument in question. Two subcategories of material fallacies are: (1) fallacies of evidence, which refer to arguments that do not provide the required factual support (ground, evidence) for their conclusions, and (2) fallacies of irrelevance (or relevance) which refer to arguments that have supporting statements that are irrelevant to the conclusion being asserted and therefore cannot establish the truth of that conclusion. (b) Linguistic fallacies have to do with defects in arguments such as ambiguity (in which careless shifts of meanings or linguistic imprecision's lead to erroneous conclusions), vagueness, incorrect use of words, lack of clarity, linguistic inconsistencies, circularities. (c) Fallacies of irrelevant emotional appeal have to do with affecting behavior (responses, attitudes). That is, arguments are presented in such a way as to appeal to one's prejudices, biases, loyalty, dedication, fear, guilt, and so on. They persuade, cajole, threaten, or confuse in order to win assent to an argument.

Fallacy, types of informal. Sometimes semi-formal or quasi-formal fallacies. The following is a list of 40 informal fallacies which is by no means exhaustive. No attempt has been made to subsume them under general categories such as Fallacies, Classification of Informal [which I will also include].

1. Black-and-white fallacy. Arguing (a) with the use of sharp ("black-and-white") distinctions despite any factual or theoretical support for them, or (b) by classifying any middle point between the extremes ("black-and-white") as one of the extremes. Examples: "If he is an atheist then he is a decent person." "He is either a conservative or a liberal." "He must not be peace-loving, since he participated in picketing the American embassy."

2. Fallacy of argumentum ad baculum (argument from power or force.) The Latin means "an argument according to the stick." "argument by means of the rod," "argument using force." Arguing to support the acceptance of an argument by a threat, or use of force. Reasoning is replaced by force, which results in the termination of logical argumentation, and elicits other kinds of behavior (such as fear, anger, reciprocal use of force, etc.).

3. Fallacy of argumentum ad hominem (argument against the man) [a personal favorite of mine]. The Latin means "argument to the man." (a) Arguing against, or rejecting a person's views by attacking or abusing his personality, character, motives, intentions, qualifications, etc. as opposed to providing evidence why the views are incorrect. Example: "What John said should not be believed because he was a Nazi sympathizer." [Well, there goes Heidegger.]

4. Fallacy of argumentum ad ignorantiam (argument from ignorance). The Latin means "argument to ignorance." (a) Arguing that something is true because no one has proved it to be false, or (b) arguing that something is false because no one has proved it to be true. Examples: (a) Spirits exist since no one has as yet proved that there are not any. (b) Spirits do not exist since no one has as yet proved their existence. Also called the appeal to ignorance: the lack of evidence (proof) for something is used to support its truth.

5. Fallacy of argumentum ad misericordiam (argument to pity). Arguing by appeal to pity in order to have some point accepted. Example: "I've got to have at least a B in this course, Professor Angeles. If I don't I won't stand a chance for medical school, and this is my last semester at the university." Also called the appeal to pity.

6. Fallacy of argumentum ad personam (appeal to personal interest). Arguing by appealing to the personal likes (preferences, prejudices, predispositions, etc.) of others in order to have an argument accepted.

7. Fallacy of argumentum as populum (argument to the people). Also the appeal to the gallery, appeal to the majority, appeal to what is popular, appeal to popular prejudice, appeal to the multitude, appeal to the mob instinct [appeal to the stupid, stinking masses]. Arguing in order to arouse an emotional, popular acceptance of an idea without resorting to logical justification of the idea. An appeal is made to such things as biases, prejudices, feelings, enthusiasms, attitudes of the multitude in order to evoke assent rather than to rationally support the idea.

8. Fallacy of argumentum ad verecundiam (argument to authority or to veneration) [another of my personal favorites]. (a) appealing to authority (including customs, traditions, institutions, etc.) in order to gain acceptance of a point at issue and/or (b) appealing to the feelings of reverence or respect we have of those in authority, or who are famous. Example: "I believe that the statement 'YOu cannot legislate morality' is true, because President Eisenhower said it."

9. Fallacy of accent. Sometimes clasified as ambiguity of accent. Arguing to conclusions from undue emphasis (accent, tone) upon certain words or statements. Classified as a fallacy of ambiguity whenever this anphasis creates an ambiguity or AMPHIBOLY in the words or statements used in an argument. Example: "The queen cannot but be praised." [also "We are free iff we could have done otherwise."-- as this statement is used by incompatibilists about free-will and determinism.]

10. Fallacy of accident. Also called by its Latin name a dicto simpliciter asd dictum secundum quid. (a) Applying a general rule or principle to a particular instance whose circumstances by "accident" do not allow the proper application of that generalization. Example: "It is a general truth that no one should lie. Therefore, no one should lie if a murderer at the point of a knife asks you for information you know would lead to a further murder." (b) The error in arumentation of applying a general statement to a situation to which it cannot, and was not necessarily intended to, be applied.

11. Fallacy of ambiguity. An argument that has at least one ambiguous word or statement from which a misleading or wrong conclusion is drawn.

12. Fallacy of amphiboly. Arguing to conclusions from statements that themselves are amphibolous-- ambiguous because of their syntax (grammatical construction). Sometimes classified as a fallacy of ambiguity.

13. Fallacy of begging the question. (a) Arriving at a conclusion from statements that themselves are questionable and hae to be proved but are assumed true. Example: The universe has a beginning. Every thing that has a beginning has a beginner. Therefore, the universe has a beginner called God. This assumes (begs the question) that the universe does indeed have a beginning and also that all things that have a beginning have a beginner. (b) Assuming the conclusion ar part of the conclusion in the premises of an argument. Sometimes called circular reasoning, vicious circularity, vicious circle fallacy [Continental Philosophy-- sorry, I just couldn't resist]. Example: "Everything has a cause. The universe is a thing. Therefore, the universe is a thing that has a cause." (c) Arguing in a circle. One statement is supported by reference to another statement which is itself supported by reference to the first statement [such as a coherentist account of knowledge/truth]. Example: "Aristocracy is the best form of government because the best form of government if that which has strong aristocratic leadership."

14. Fallacy of complex question (or loaded question). (a) Asking questions for which either a yes or no answer will incriminate the respondent. The desired answer is already tacitly assumed in the question and no qualification of the simple answer is allowed. Example: "Have you discontinued the use of opiates?" (b) Asking questions that are based on unstated attitudes or questionable (or unjustified) assumptions. These questions are often asked rhetorically of the respondent in such a way as to elicit an agreement with those attitudes or assumptions from others. Example: "How long are you going to put up with this brutality?"

15. Fallacy of composition. Arguing (a) that what is true of each part of a whole is also (necessarily) true of the whole itself, or (b) what is true of some parts is also (necessarily) true of the whole itself. Example: "Each member (or some members) of the team is married, therefore the team also has (must have) a wife." [A less silly example-- you promise me that you will come to Portland tomorrow, you also promise someone else that you will go to Detroit tomorrow. Now, you ought to be in Portland tomorrow, and you ought to be in Detroit tomorrow (because you ought to keep your promises). However, it does not follow that you ought to be in both Portland and Detroit tomorrow (because ought implies can).] Inferring that a collection has a certain characteristic merely on the basis that its parts have them erroneously proceeds from regarding the collection DISTRIBUTIVELY to regarding it COLLECTIVELY.

16. Fallacy of consensus gentium. Arguing that an idea is true on the basis (a) that the majority of people believe it and/or (b) that it has been universally held by all men at all times. Example: "God exists because all cultures hae had some concept of a God."

17. Fallacy of converse accident. Sometimes converse fallcy of accident. Also called by its Latin name a dicto secumdum quid ad dictum simpliciter. The error of generalizing from atypical or exceptional instances. Example: "A shot of warm brandy each night helps older people relax and sleep better. People in general ought to drink warm brandy to relieve their tension and sleep better."

18. Fallacy of division. Arguing that what is true of a whole is (a) also (necessarily) true of its parts and/or (b) also true of some of its parts. Example: "The community of Pacific Palisades is extremely wealthy. Therefore, every person living there is (must be) extremely wealthy (or therefor Adma, who lives there, must be extremely wealthy." Inferring that the parts of a collection have certain characteristic merely on the basis that their collection has them erroneously proceeds from regarding the collection collectively to regarding it distributively.

19. Fallacy of equivocation. An argument in which a word is used with one meaning in one part of the argument and with another meaning in another part. A common example: "The end of a thing is its perfection; death is the end of life; hence, death is the perfection of life." 20. Fallacy of non causa pro causa. the LAtin may be translated as "there is no cause of the sort that has been given as the cause." (a) Believing that something is the cause of an effect when in reality it is not. Example: "My incantations caused it to rain." (b) Arguing so that a statement appears unacceptable because it implies another statement that is false (but in reality does not).

21. Fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc. The Latin means "after this therefore the consequence (effect) of this," or "after this therefore because of this." Sometimes simply fallacy of false cause. Concluding that one thing is the cause of another thing because it precedes it in time. A confusion between the concept of succession and that of causation. Example: "A black cat ran across my path. Ten minutes mater I was hit by a truck. Therefore, the cat's running across my path was the cause of my being hit by a truck."

22. Fallacy of hasty generalization. Sometimes fallacy of hasty induction. An error of reasoning whereby a general statement is asserted (inferred) based on (a) limited information or (b) inadequate evidence, or (c) an unrepresentative sampling.

23. Fallacy of ignoratio elenchi (irrelevant conclusion). An argument that is irrelevant; that argues for something other than that which is to be proved and thereby in no way refutes (or supports) the points at issue. Example: A lawyer in defending his alcoholic client who has murdered three people in a drunken spree argues that alcoholism is a terrible disease and attempts should be made to eliminate it. IGNORATIO ELENCHI is sometimes used as a general name for all fallacies that are based on irrelevancy (such as ad baculum, ad hominem, as misericordiam, as populum, ad verecundiam, consensus gentium, etc.)

24. Fallacy of inconsistency. Arguing from inconsistent statements, or to conclusions that are inconsistent with the premises. See fallacy of tu quoque below.

25. Fallacy of irrelevant purpose. Arguing against something on the basis that it has not fulfilled its purpose (although in fact that was not its intended purpose).

26 Fallacy of 'is' to 'ought.' Arguing from premises that have only descriptive statements (is) to a conclusion that contains an ought, or a should.

27. Fallacy of limited (or false) alternatives. The error of insisting without full inquiry or evidence that the alternatives to a course of action have been exhausted and/or are mutually exclusive.

28. Fallacy of many questions. Sometimes fallact of the false question. Asking a question for which a single and simple answer is demanded yet the question (a) requires a series of answers, and/or (b) requires answers to a host of other questions, each of which have to be answered separately. Example: "Have you left school?"

29. Fallacy of misleading context. Arguing by misrepresenting, distorting, omitting or quoting something out of context.

30. Fallacy of prejudice. Arguing from a bias or emotional identification or involvement with an idea (argument, doctrine, institution, etc.).

31. Fallacy of red herring. Ignoring criticism of an argument by changing attention to another subject. Examples: "You believe in abortion, yet you don't believe in the right-to-die-with-dignity bill before the legislature."

32. Fallacy of slanting. Deliberately omitting, deemphasizing, or overemphasizing certain points to the exclusion of others in order to hide evidence that is important and relevant to the conclusion of the argument and that should be taken into accoun of in an argument.

33. Fallacy of special pleading. (a) Accepting an idea or criticism when applied to an opponent's argument but rejecting it when applied to one's own argument. (b) rejecting an idea or criticism when applied to an opponent's argument but accepting it when applied to one's own.

34. Fallacy of the straw man. Presenting an opponent's position in as weak or misrepresented a version as possible so that it can be easily refuted. Example: "Darwinism is in error. It claims that we are all descendents from an apelike creature, from which we evolved according to natural selection. No evidence of such a creature has been found. No adequate and consistent explanation of natural selection has been given. Therefore, evolution according to Darwinism has not taken place."

35. Fallacy of the beard. Arguin (a) that small or minor differences do not (or cannot) make a difference, or are not (or cannot be) significant, or (b) arguing so as to find a definite point at which something can be named. For example, insisting that a few hairs lost here and there do not indicate anything about my impending baldness; or trying to determine how many hairs a person must have before he can be called bald (or not bald).

36. Fallacy of tu quoque (you also). (a) Presenting evidence that a person's actions are not consistent with that for which he is arguing. Example: "John preaches that we should be kind and loving. He doesn't practice it. I've seen him beat up his kids." (b) Showing that a person's views are inconsistent with what he previously believed and therefore (1) he is not to be trusted, and/or (2) his new view is to be rejected. Example: "Judge Egener was against marijuana legislation four years ago when he was running for office. Now he is for it. How can you trust a man who can change his mind on such an important issue? His present position is inconsistent with his earlier view and therefore it should not be accepted." (c) Sometimes related to the Fallacy of two wrongs make a right. Example: The Democrats for years used illegal wiretapping; therefore the Republicans should not be condemned for their use of illegal wiretapping.

37. Fallacy of unqualified source. Using as support in an argument a source of authority that is not qualified to provide evidence.

38. Gambler's fallacy. (a) Arguing that since, for example, a penny has fallen tails ten times in a row then it will fall heads the eleventh time or (b) arguing that since, for example, an airline has not had an accident for the past ten years, it is then soon due for an accident. The gambler's fallacy rejects the assumption in probability theory that each event is independent of its previous happening. the chances of an event happening are always the same no matter how many times that event has taken place in the past. Given those events happening over a long enough period of time then their frequency would average out to 1/2. Sometimes referred to as the Monte Carlo fallacy (a generalized form of the gambler's fallacy): The error of assuming that because something has happened less frequently than expected in the past, there is an increased chance that it will happen soon.

39. Genetic fallacy. Arguing that the origin of something is identical with that thing with that from which it originates. Example: 'Consciousness orinates in neural processes. Therefore, consciousness is (nothing but) neural processes. Sometimes referred to as the nothing-but fallacy, or the REDUCTIVE FALLACY. (b) Appraising or explaining something in terms of its origin, or source, or beginnings. (c) Arguing that something is to be rejected because its origins are [unknown] and/or suspicious.

40. Pragmatic fallacy. Arguing that something is true because it has practical effects upon people: it makes them happier, easier to deal with, more moral, loyal, stable. Example: "An immortal life exists because without such a concept men would have nothing to live for. There would be no meaning or purpose in life and everyone would be immoral."

41. Pathetic fallacy. Incorrectly projecting (attributing) human emotions, feeling, intentions, thoughts, traits upon events or ojects which do not possess the capacity for such qualities.

42. Naturalist fallacy (ethics). 1. The fallacy of reducing ethical statements to factual statements, to statements about natural events. 2. The fallacy of deriving (deducing) ethical statements from nonethical statements. [is/ought fallacy]. 3. The fallacy of defining ethical terms in nonethical (descriptive, naturalistic, or factual) terms [ought/is fallacy].

25 posted on 09/29/2003 3:02:08 PM PDT by Psycho_Bunny
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To: mhking
I gotta read this.
It is tedious and frustrating to be discussing or debating with the clueless.
In the future I can just respond "#6, have a nice day" and not feel so bad...
26 posted on 09/29/2003 3:06:59 PM PDT by Publius6961 (californians are as dumb as a sack of rocks.)
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To: mhking
I hate to burst your bubble but those techniques are not limited to liberals. Conservatives routinely use them. It's called human nature (pride) and having a preference to remain blissfully ignorant.
27 posted on 09/29/2003 3:46:56 PM PDT by nmh
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To: mhking
P.S. I did enjoy your post. Thanks for taking the time to do it.
28 posted on 09/29/2003 3:47:54 PM PDT by nmh
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To: mhking
Awesome Article !!!! LOL

For example, you could probably put together a bill that called for nuclear waste to be dumped in every Walmart in America and as long as you called it the, "Feed The Children For A New Tomorrow Bill"

Totally true. And a lot of freepers would vote in favor of it even if it didn't have Feed the Children attached to it LOL

29 posted on 09/29/2003 4:20:31 PM PDT by BSunday
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To: mhking
"4) Enter The Strawman: Tremendously exaggerating your opponent's position and then claiming to fight against a position they don't hold is always a great way to dodge the issues. In all fairness, this is a technique often used by the left & right. But still, the right can't hold a candle to the left in this area. I mean how many times have you heard, "Republicans are going to take your Social Security away," "The GOP wants to poison the water and the air," "Republicans want to take away your Civil Rights" etc, etc?

This whole concept has gotten so out of hand on the left that we now even have some people on the left comparing the Israelis to Nazis. Look, when you're claiming that a bunch a Jews defending themselves from people who want to kill them are like Nazis, you've gone so far past irony that you almost need a new word to describe it like -- "Idiorony" or "outofyourmindony". But that's what happens when people wink at all these strawmen that are tossed out in debates. Eventually some people start to take them seriously and build on them."

This is also done in reverse. I've had a few debates where my opponent tried to claim that what he said in plain english, still proudly displayed further up on the message board, didn't mean what it clearly meant. For example, I once had someone claim that "In and RPG, it's character skill that matters. Period" didn't mean that only character skill mattered.
30 posted on 09/29/2003 4:46:53 PM PDT by Sofa King (-I am Sofa King- tired of liberal BS! http://www.angelfire.com/art2/sofaking/)
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To: Gabz
Sure desribes a lot of folks we seem to tangle with on a regular basis, doesn't it!!!

Your not kidding! Hits the nail right on the head!

31 posted on 09/29/2003 5:09:42 PM PDT by SheLion (Curiosity killed the cat BUT satisfaction brought her back!!!)
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To: Gabz
Sure desribes a lot of folks we seem to tangle with on a regular basis, doesn't it!!!

Yes, yes it does.

32 posted on 09/29/2003 5:10:43 PM PDT by Just another Joe (FReeping can be addictive and helpful to your mental health)
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To: Nea Wood
that's why Gore lost the first debate, he sighed and sighed and sighed to the point of being obnoxious
33 posted on 09/29/2003 5:10:51 PM PDT by votelife (Free Bill Pryor)
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To: Sofa King
The Libertarians are famous for channeling beliefs from people

"Well you must believe in gun control if you support the War on Drugs. You'll get my guns over MY DEAD BODY, STATIST".

34 posted on 09/29/2003 5:17:22 PM PDT by AppyPappy (If You're Not A Part Of The Solution, There's Good Money To Be Made In Prolonging The Problem.)
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To: mhking
PROPAGANDA TECHNIQUES & FALLACIES
35 posted on 09/29/2003 5:23:50 PM PDT by Fraulein (TCB)
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To: mhking
nicely written
36 posted on 09/29/2003 5:30:16 PM PDT by moodyskeptic (weekend warrior in the culture war)
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To: mhking
Here is something that really annoys me in debates. It is when one of the candidates (usually the liberal one) has a "human-interest" story to work into one of his answers. Such as a single mother who was helped by some government program. Of course, this mother just so happens to be sitting in the audience, so after telling the story, the candidate then points to the audience and says "And there she is, sitting right over there." Didn't Gore pull something like this?

Another thing I hate is the scripted one-liners. The candidates are so eager to use these quips that they end up using them towards the end of the debate even though they have no relevance. The candidate just can't bear not getting it off.

37 posted on 09/29/2003 5:38:06 PM PDT by SamAdams76 (212.8 (-87.2) Homestretch to 200)
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To: mhking
Thank you so much for the post; I'll print it and carry it for reference during the next argument with a lefty!

Reminds me of one of the arguments I had with lefties during an anti-war march on Market Street in San Francisco. One was real obnoxious and used most of the techniques in the post.

Leftie: It's all about the oil.
Me: The Germans and French rely more on Iraqi oil than us.
Leftie: Bush is killing the babies in Iraq.
Me: We're targeting military targets. Palestinians target babies.
Leftie: The U.S. is dropping bombs on places in Iraq with human shields there.
Me: If they're guarding a military target then they become a military target.
Leftie: Oh, you're probably just like Bush, you would want to drop a bomb on me.
Me: For once we agree on something.
Leftie: See, see! You're a fascist!

38 posted on 09/29/2003 5:47:56 PM PDT by roadcat
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To: Gabz
Sure desribes a lot of folks we seem to tangle with on a regular basis, doesn't it!!!

Yes indeedy!

Like deja vu all over again.

39 posted on 09/29/2003 6:13:11 PM PDT by Madame Dufarge
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To: mhking
Later.
40 posted on 09/29/2003 10:47:46 PM PDT by thegreatbeast (Quid lucrum istic mihi est?)
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To: evets
LOL!!

That'll work!
41 posted on 09/29/2003 10:55:59 PM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: Junior
Yup, sounds like some people we know lifted their "debating skills" directly from this article.
42 posted on 09/30/2003 12:16:52 AM PDT by Aracelis
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To: mhking
Hey, who leaked the War On Drugs debate handbook?
43 posted on 09/30/2003 7:46:56 AM PDT by MrLeRoy (The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. - Jefferson)
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To: mhking
thanks for posting that. I'll e-mail you a transcript of a recent thread (elsewhere) which is a vivid illustration of this list.
44 posted on 09/30/2003 2:09:42 PM PDT by King Prout (people hear and do not listen, see and do not observe, speak without thought, post and not edit)
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