Tips for successful argument.

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Joseph E. Smith
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Tips for successful argument.

Post by Joseph E. Smith »

The following are Fallacies which you may wish to avoid when engaged in argument. These are put here because they can help you better sculpt your argument, and avoid saying what you wish not to say.

These are not rules for posting here, nor will they be enforced. Instead, they are suggested in the hope that the creativity and skill of argument can flourish rather than stumble and burst into flames.


Logical Fallacies to avoid in discussion or debate:

Post Hoc Ergo Proptor Hoc or “After this, therefore because of this” – a logical fallacy in which one assumes that because something occurred after a prior event, that it was caused by that event.
Example:
The sky starts brightening in the east, then the sun rises, thus causing a great fool to assume that the sky’s brightening is what caused the sun to rise.

Argumentum ad hominem or “Argument against the person” – a logical fallacy which consists of countering an point by attacking the person presenting the case rather than the actual point.
Example:
John: The sky is blue.
James: John is a (insert your choice of pejorative term here.)

Affirming the consequent – a logical fallacy in which one assumes that the reverse of an argument is true, generally occurring with a statement consisting of a cause and effect, asserting that the truthfulness of the effect implies the veracity of the cause.
Example:
Humans are mortal.
Bear is mortal.
Bear must be human. (actually, that’s my pet Labrador.)

Appeal to authority – a logical fallacy in which the veracity of a statement is supported only by authority of the one that said (or wrote) it.
Example:
John makes a statement.
John is an expert in the field to which the statement pertains.
Therefore, the statement must be true.

Argumentum ad populum – is a logical fallacy in which a statement is assumed true because a majority of people believe it true.
Example:
Most people believe the earth is flat.
Therefore, the earth is flat.

Argumentum ad ignorantiam is a logical fallacy in which a statement is assumed valid because there is no evidence of it being false or conversely, that it is false only because it has not been proven true.
Example:
There is no evidence that there is extraterrestrial life. Therefore, there is no extraterrestrial life.

Cum hoc ergo proptor hoc – a logical fallacy in which one assumes that because event A and B occur together, one must have caused the other.
Example:
CO2 levels and crime have both risen since the 1950s.
Therefore CO2 causes crime.

False dilemma – a logical fallacy in which two alternative points of view are the only considered options, exclusive of other possibilities not considered.
Example:
Bob voted against my crime bill. Therefore he must be against law enforcement.

Secundum quid – a logical fallacy in which one jumps to a conclusion based on insufficient information.
Example:
I like Stilton, therefore I will like all blue cheeses. (ignoring the fact that Gorgonzola tastes nothing like Stilton.)

Red Herring – a logical fallacy in which one deliberately attempts to distract from the actual point.
Example:
The Lewinski scandal.

Straw man – a logical fallacy in which one intentionally misrepresents an opponent’s position. To set up a “Straw man” argument is to create a position that is easy to refute, then assign that position to an opponent. Though this technique can be convincing, it is misleading as it does not address the opponent’s actual position.
Example:
A: I think War Games was a better movie than Tron.
B: Why do you insist on berating Tron?



If you can think of more (and I am certain there are), let me know and I will include them to this list.

Thanks to Cofaidh for bringing these to my attention and suggesting they be stickied. It has been a long time since I took Ethics, I had forgotten some of these.

Have fun. :D


Thanks!
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I.D.10-t
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Post by I.D.10-t »

Logical Fallacies
Wow these are fun!

"No Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge."
Last edited by I.D.10-t on Wed Sep 20, 2006 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Be not deceived by the sweet words of proverbial philosophy. Sugar of lead is a poison."
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Joseph E. Smith
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Post by Joseph E. Smith »

I.D.10-t wrote:Logical Fallacies
Wow these are fun!


Thanks for that link. By all means, the more the merrier.

Here's a link to a whole mess of 'em:

http://www.cuyamaca.net/bruce.thompson/ ... /index.asp

That link is from this site:

http://www.cuyamaca.net/bruce.thompson/ ... lacies.asp

A little light reading. :D
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Post by SteveShaw »

I don't like it so I'm shifting it though it will live on forever in Idiot's quote.
Last edited by SteveShaw on Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:59 am, edited 2 times in total.
"Last night, among his fellow roughs,
He jested, quaff'd and swore."

They cut me down and I leapt up high
I am the life that'll never, never die.
I'll live in you if you'll live in me -
I am the lord of the dance, said he!
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Post by I.D.10-t »

SteveShaw wrote:Heheh. I always thought that Secundum quid was the money the barman asked for when you hadn't tendered quite enough for your pint. The most glaring omission (though it is related to "Straw Man") is the Aunt Sally, in which you deliberately set up the position of an opponent (usually inaccurately) in the worst possible light so that you can then knock it down. I won't bother you with examples, as you can find plenty in any thread inhabited by a certain person who doesn't do weekdays. :D

It figures that you would try to poke holes in the link and call it incomplete and stupid. Why don't you try to learn for a change? After all you wouldn't want to look like an idiot.
"Be not deceived by the sweet words of proverbial philosophy. Sugar of lead is a poison."
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Post by missy »

Are you guys going to actually start a thread arguing on how to argue??? :o
Missy

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Post by SteveShaw »

Away into the ether with ye, oh post.
Last edited by SteveShaw on Sat Jun 28, 2008 5:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Last night, among his fellow roughs,
He jested, quaff'd and swore."

They cut me down and I leapt up high
I am the life that'll never, never die.
I'll live in you if you'll live in me -
I am the lord of the dance, said he!
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SteveShaw
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Post by SteveShaw »

missy wrote:Are you guys going to actually start a thread arguing on how to argue??? :o


Well, we're not very good at it... :(
"Last night, among his fellow roughs,
He jested, quaff'd and swore."

They cut me down and I leapt up high
I am the life that'll never, never die.
I'll live in you if you'll live in me -
I am the lord of the dance, said he!
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I.D.10-t
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Post by I.D.10-t »

missy wrote:Are you guys going to actually start a thread arguing on how to argue??? :o

Sorry, I was using a Straw Man misinterpretation followed by an Appeal to Fear, leaving SteveShaw with an Aunt Sally.
"Be not deceived by the sweet words of proverbial philosophy. Sugar of lead is a poison."
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Post by DaveM »

I.D.10-t wrote:Logical Fallacies
Wow these are fun!

"No Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge."


Not true. Beer is full of sugar.

Dave
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Post by dubhlinn »

Weeks come and go, and as Shaw as night follows day there will be arguments.
May the Dale come when we live in Peace.

Slan,
D. :wink:
And many a poor man that has roved,
Loved and thought himself beloved,
From a glad kindness cannot take his eyes.

W.B.Yeats
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Post by SteveShaw »

dubhlinn wrote:Weeks come and go, and as Shaw as night follows day there will be arguments.
May the Dale come when we live in Peace.

Slan,
D. :wink:


Wassamatter, Dub - couldn't find a way of working "fiddleronvermouth" into your play on words? :lol:
"Last night, among his fellow roughs,
He jested, quaff'd and swore."

They cut me down and I leapt up high
I am the life that'll never, never die.
I'll live in you if you'll live in me -
I am the lord of the dance, said he!
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dubhlinn
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Post by dubhlinn »

SteveShaw wrote:
dubhlinn wrote:Weeks come and go, and as Shaw as night follows day there will be arguments.
May the Dale come when we live in Peace.

Slan,
D. :wink:


Wassamatter, Dub - couldn't find a way of working "fiddleronvermouth" into your play on words? :lol:


Tricky one that...I'm workin' on it :lol:

Slan,
D. :)
And many a poor man that has roved,
Loved and thought himself beloved,
From a glad kindness cannot take his eyes.

W.B.Yeats
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Post by Flyingcursor »

I.D.10-t wrote:
missy wrote:Are you guys going to actually start a thread arguing on how to argue??? :o

Sorry, I was using a Straw Man misinterpretation followed by an Appeal to Fear, leaving SteveShaw with an Aunt Sally.


I recognized it. Missy obviously doesn't like people with numbers in their handle. :lol:
I'm no longer trying a new posting paradigm
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Post by fiddleronvermouth »

dubhlinn wrote:
SteveShaw wrote:
dubhlinn wrote:Weeks come and go, and as Shaw as night follows day there will be arguments.
May the Dale come when we live in Peace.

Slan,
D. :wink:


Wassamatter, Dub - couldn't find a way of working "fiddleronvermouth" into your play on words? :lol:


Tricky one that...I'm workin' on it :lol:

Slan,
D. :)


Try "Kerri". Works in way easier.

But, seriously, are we to leave brianc with no defences whatsoever? Surely a FEW logical fallacies can be tolerated in the interest of being an open and inclusive community. :D
"Is that stupid? Maybe. But that's the way I am."

~Bill O'Reilly, The O'Reilly Factor for Kids
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