How not to argue like a stupid moron by timo_vanhalen
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Posted 6/10/08 , edited 6/10/08
First of all I didn't write this therefore all complaints should go to timo_vanhalen he left this to me as his last words because he can no longer stand the idiocy of the people here. again not my words

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Logical Fallacies. These are the things which idiots use for arguments. It's not that they have no point to argue, it's just that THEY DON'T KNOW HOW TO.

Being an Atheist, I've have to deal with more religious zealot morons than most people do. That would be fine and all (because I personally love proving the shit wrong out their "God"), if only they could simply hold a decent argument. It is not only these stupid religious types that are stupid, but pretty much almost everyone in this community cannot hold a passable argument. So I've personally (being such a gracious and loving fellow) took this into account and TELL you what NOT to do in an argument. I did not make these stuff up. It's been there for a long time. If you think this is long and hard to read, then fuck you. Just continue with your "lol u suk" arguments so that people can blissfully ignore and laugh at you.

1) Straw Man - This is tossed a lot around these days, but what does it actually mean (that or nobody knows what it even is)?

Example:

Timo: "I think drugs should be legal."
Idiot: "Drugs makes kids take acid. That means drugs are wrong."

Did you see what happened there? I made a statement which we will label position "A", he then distorted said statement to mean something I never intended to, we'll call this position "B". He then refutes position B and then acts as if he defeated position A. Fucked up right?

A common distortion of the Atheist position is that we don't simply disbelieve in God, but we do believe in God, but reject him out of spite.

This distorts it to a view that no Atheist recognizes and then proceeds to argue agaisnt that position rather than the position that we actually hold.

2) Ad Hominem - Calling an asshole an asshole is not Ad Hominem but just plain truth. However, it is when a person attempts to defeat an asshole's position by calling him an asshole.

Example:

Timo: "I think eating pussy is good."
Idiot: "You're a bald loser."

This is not a ad hominem, but if -

Timo: "I think eating pussy is good."
Idiot: "You're a bald loser, therefore sucking dick is better."

Then that is the Logical Fallacy known as Ad Hominem.

It is when position A is never addressed at all. Your opponent simply disqualifies you from position A by making accusation X against you personally and then claiming accusation X is somehow "support" for position B. Many people often mistake exploitive and insult-laden refutations or arguments to contain Ad Hominems. They do not.

Example:

Timo: "Orlando Bloom has a vagina."
Angry Teenage Fangirl: "No he doesn't, he's obviously a man, you disgusting piece of ugly and shit."

That is not Ad Hominem because she argues that his gender is self-evidently male, which is a fair enough refutation. The fact that she tacked in a few insults does not make it an Ad Hominem.

Before I move on, I do not think that Ad Hominems are always inappropriate. Especially not in a informal discussion. When someone points out that you have character flaws that might call into question your reasons of you taking the positions that you do, therefore, it seems perfectly valid to me to point them out. However, this should never entirely consist your argument. Use it with your generalization and such.

3) Ad Hominem To Quoque - This one is similar to the garden variety Ad Hominem, but with a slight important difference. It makes it's assertion that based on an accusation on incongruity with a person's stated position.

Example:

RandomCR Idiot 1: "Fucking little boys is immoral and unjust."
RandomCR Idiot 2: "I have photos of you fucking little boys, so fucking little boys is actually okay."

The example shows how ridiculous this argument is. It basically argues that if a proponent of position A has exhibited hypocrisy in his dedication to position A, then position A must be a false position.

Now if RandomCR Idiot 2 said, "I have photos of you fucking little boys, therefore you are a hypocrite", that's fair because that is not an Ad Hominem To Quoque. It is only that if his hypocrisy is used as evidence as for position A's falsehood.

4) Appeal to Authority - Well, this one is pretty simple.

Example:

Timo: "Global Warming is real because my friend , Bob, said so."

That's an Appeal to Authority because "Bob" has no credentials to the fields pertinent to the subject of discussion. But if I say-

Timo: "Global warming is real because my friend ,renowned climatologist Bob, said so."

That's NOT an Appeal to Authority because "Bob" is a renowned expert at the field under discussion.

Because of all these distinctions, it's better not to think of this fallacy as Appeal to Authority, but rather Appeal to Dubious Authority.

5) Appeal to Common Practice - Like the previous fallacy, this one is also easy to grasp.

Example:

Some Random Jew: "It is common for male babies to be circumsized, therefore, male genital mutilation is permissible."

Action A is not right simply because it is common. A great many horrible practices are common, or have been common in the past.

6) Appeal to Consequences of Belief - Us, Atheists, encounter this one all the time. Christians make the argument that if we didn't believe in God, we'd have no moral values and be nothing but evil murderous savages. I'll ignore that patent dishonesty of that Slippery-Slope argument (which I will get to later).

Let us suppose that a godless society is a violent and dark society full of darkness and woe. It's a moot point. Just because a certain truth has a negative consequence, doesn't make it untrue. If position A is true, bad shit will happen, therefore position A must be false- that's not fucking reasoning. It's called WISHFUL THINKING.

This fallacy also applies to positive outcomes such as,

Timo: "I've got blue balls like a motherfucker! I just know I'll get some pussy today!"

In other words, if position A is true, it will have positive results, therefore it must be true, right? Wrong.

Reality: The world does not work like that. Some truths are unpleasant, some pleasantries are untrue.

7) Appeal to Fear - My most hated fallacy. Christian built their entire religion off this one. It works like this--

Timo is presented with a terrifying idea. Then Timo is asked to accept position A, in order to avoid said terrifying idea.

Example:

Some Stupid Christian: "Hell is a horrible place full of torture and demons and smoke and fire and eternal bleeding and suffering and screaming and getting fucked with cacti and listening to Garth Brooks, and only by accepting Jesus in your heart can you be saved from this torment."

Now, of course, there are non-theistic examples as well. Like-

George W. Bush: "There are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq! They could attack and kill all our babies and steal all of our delicious Cheeto's unless we attack first!"

You get the idea.

8) Appeal to Popularity - "The majority of people believe in God, therefore God is true." This is just about the simplest fallacy to grasp.

Position a is popular, therefore position A is true. Bullshit. This is probably the main reason why people listen to hip-hop or Rhianna as well. Fucking Conformists.

9) Appeal to Ridicule - Atheists are actually far more prone to this fallacy than Christians. Because we are more clever and frankly, we have more to ridicule. This fallacy is basically when the ridicule is used to substitute for an actual argument. So when an Atheist like me says something like:

Timo: "HA! God? That mythological old fairytale?"

That's an Appeal to Ridicule.

10) Begging the Question - This is a VERY important fallacy. Begging the Question is a serious intellectual no-no. It's when you basically try to use something as evidence of itself by making the conclusion of your argument also part of the premise of your argument.

Example:

Christian Idiot: "The Bible is true because it is the inspired word of God and God is true because he is written about in the Bible."

Stupid. Another example?

Idiot: "We should kill all rapists because all rapists deserve to be killed!"

You see how the conclusion of the statement ,"then all rapists should be killed", is also the premise of the statement.

Another example. Because I feel like it.

Another Idiot: "Abortion is wrong because killing babies is murder."

You see, we are asked to accept that abortion is murder as the justification for the position that abortion is murder. This argument, though incredibly weak, is often used to great effect by a great many people. Watch out for it. It can be very subtle at times.

11) Burden of Proof - Another fallacy that I hate immensely. This is when someone makes a claim that cannot proved, and then says that they do not have to prove their claim but then it is up to YOU to disprove it.

Example:

Religion Asshole: "God is real. You can't disprove it."

Once, a Christian told me that because I resented the hypothesis that God is false, the burden of proof was on me. In other words, it went like this:

Timo: "God is not real."
Religious Idiots: "Prove it."

Even though I was the person who made the initial proposition, they are the ones committing the burden fallacy. It is not based upon who made the first statement, it is based on what supposition is based on evidence, and what supposition is not.

For instance, in an argument pertaining to the existence of Santa Claus, whether or not the argument is Santa is real, or Santa is not real, the Burden of Proof still rests on he who is arguing for Santa's existance, and not the other way around. When the Santa believer tries to place the Burden of Proof squarely on the shoulders on the Santa disbeliever, they are committing this fallacy.

12) Correlation does not equal Causation - This when someone tries to pull some shit like this--

Idiot: "Whenever it rains, the ground is wet, therefore, a wet ground must cause it to rain."

Granted, it doesn't have to be THAT stupid, it's simply when someone sees that events A and B together and then presumes that A causes B, when in fact B may cause A or A and B might share a 3rd cause in which the observer is not immediately aware of. This fallacy is often shoveled down my throat in a form of studies. For instance, I read an article once that said that teen who have sex are more depressed than teens who don't have sex, therefore sex must have made them depressed. I kept waiting for the voices of reason to show and say, "it may well be that depressed teens are more likely to have sex than teens who do not. Or maybe teen sex and teen depression have a common thrid cause." I never heard that voice.

13) False Dilemma - These will frustrate the ever-loving shit out of you. It is when you are given bullshit choices between two things.

Example:

Stupid Politician: "You're either with me, or with the terrorists!"

A and B are presented as our only options, when in fact, there are many other options available to us. Spit in his face whenever you hear shit like this.

14) False Cause - This one is similar to the previous fallacy, but again, with a small twist. This is when event A occurs, and is followed by event B, then event A is assumed to be the cause of B. In other words, the events are not of correlation, it happened in a particular and definite order, but they are not actually related.

For instance, if a hot teenage girl let's her boyfriend cum on her face, then a week later she has a break-out of acne, she may well blame it on the semen, even though the semen is not likely the cause.

In more relevant terms, look at the war in Iraq. After the surge, violence in the US declined for a time. This lead many conservative imbeciles to conclude that the surge was working. Of course, violence soon restored to it's previous levels and idiots stopped saying that.

Another example.

After the US economy went to shit after a huge amount of Mexicans came across the border, every stupid redneck who should have blamed Bush's economic policies was instead blaming Mexican immgrants.

15) Genetic Fallacy - I'm calling it the Genetic Fallacy here, but I honestly prefer the term "Argument from Origin". It goes a little something like this--

Idiot: "He was born to white supremacist parents, so he's obviously not trustworthy!"

Basically, it holds that if person or proposition A originated under circumstances with an attached social stigma, A is untrustworthy or false.

16) Guilt by Association - The sky is blue, right? But what if Hitler and Darth Vader said that the sky is blue? Wouldn't it then be false because bad people said it was true?

Of course not. Truth is not at all contingent on those who accepts it. Regardless of whether or not they are virtuous or vile. This argument is made by Christians quite often.

Example:

Religious Fool: "Hitler was an Atheist, they say."

This is not even true, but if it were, it is as irrelevant as pointing out that serial killer, child raping Robert Fish was a Christian. Position A is not wrong simply because it is associated with negative factor X.

17) Poisoning the Well - This is when a third party is biased on an argument before hearing it.

Example:

Some Random Guy: "What you're about to hear is completely disgusting filth and if you hear it, you are the a vile degenerate."

It's stupid like Christians.

18) Red Herring - Honestly, this is one of my most encountered type of argument in this community. This is when you are discussing proposition A, and your opponent brings up proposition B under the hospices under it being pertinent to proposition A, but they are only actually using it as a distraction.

For instance,

Timo: "Give me practical applications for your idea of 'God'."
Stupid Zealot: "Oh God doesn't need practical applications because he is above such things and you need to humble yourself before him and seek relationship with him and blah blah blah."

You see how they change the topic of the question to a "lack of humbleness" on my part? That's a Red Herring.

Another Example. Let's say that I shot your mother. You then ask my why I shot your mother. Then I say, "Yeah, but first you need to understand my childhood..." and then I proceed to do so, but never go to the part where I actually talk to you about why the fuck I shot your mother.

This is really common. Why? Because CR idiots can't argue for shit.

19) Slippery-Slope - Yeah, we finally get here. I'm getting tired now. Just shut up. I'm doing YOU a favor, so you will thank me.

Now, that last sentence was a Slippery-Slope. Yeah, even though I actually mean it, it's an example of one nonetheless.

More clearer examples--

Stupid Person: "If we pass out condoms to schools, they're gunna have them orgies in the hallways!"
Another Stupid Person: "Now that we passed the law on shoes, people are gonna walk on their hands!"

Meh, people love their little nasty Slippery-Slopes. Be careful though, it's hard to tell if something is a Slippery-Slope or if it is actually insightful speculation.

20) No true Scotsman - I'm tired of typing and giving you examples and shit. You probably know more than you need to know by now, so I'll make this the last one.

If a Christian says that no Christian has ever murdered, and I'll point out that many Christians have in fact, murdered, their retort is that that Christian is not a like REAL Christians, then they are committing this fallacy. It is when you ascribe a trait to a group and then when examples that contradict that claim is presented, those examples are discounted on the basis that they are not TRULY part of said group. Stupid shit heads.

And that, is my guide on how to NOT make a total embarrassment out of yourself when it comes to arguments. Now hopefully, you won't bother anyone anymore with your inane babbling. To Christians -- I am not regretful for calling your religion stupid. Because it is true. Maybe I'll write a guide on how NOT to be a stupid religious zealot, but don't get your hopes up.

Credits:
Me - This had me typing for a good 3 hours. You better be grateful you little shits.
TheAmazingAtheist - for teaching all this stuff to begin with.
Christians and God - For giving Atheists a plentiful amount of rubbish to ridicule.
Posted 6/10/08 , edited 6/10/08
Manzi - isn't there a thread exactly like this?
Hang on...

Here it is
http://www.crunchyroll.com/forumtopic-124838/Logical-Fallacies.html

Can you please move your first post to that thread?
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