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  1. #1
    NodakPaul's Avatar
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    How to debate something on PP.O without looking like a jerk

    PP.O, like all great forums, brings together people with many different views and opinions. That will naturally lead to some disagreement. Disagreement and debate are fine, and should be encouraged, but it amazes how many people resort to fallacy instead or reason when trying to drive their point home. That being said, below are some points from Dr. Michael C. Labossiere on how to argue without being an asshole. (Sorry for the length...)

    Fallacies

    A fallacy is a deceptive argument. If you ever find yourself using fallacies, maybe you should consider conceding your point. After all, if you had really good reasoning, would you stoop to using fallacies? I know that when I hear somebody using fallacies I'm pretty certain that their point is dead.

    Fallacy is a lot like Jedi Mind Tricks: They only work on the weak-minded. And of course, if you attempt to use a Jedi Mind Trick on somebody, you are essentially saying, "I think you are weak-minded enough to fall for my Jedi Mind Trick!" Kind of insulting really.

    And now I present my list of fallacies:

    1) Proof by Abuse (ad Hominem Fallacy)
    Your argument is wrong because you are a jerk!
    Your argument is wrong because your mother dresses you funny!

    2) Proof by Personal Offense
    Your argument is wrong because I am personally offended by something in your argument.
    "Is that some sort of slam because I'm Chinese?"

    3) Proof by Opinion as Fact
    Your argument is wrong.
    Your argument is wrong. Period.

    This is usually done by somebody that is too weak minded to come up with something better. So they just say, "you're wrong" or "the only solution is..." They state it clearly and concisely as if there can be no alternative. It is as if they have the royal voice.

    4) Proof by Anecdote
    Your argument is wrong because I once did it a different way.

    5) Proof by Inflation (Slippery Slope Fallacy)
    Your argument is wrong because your argument times a billion is wrong
    If everybody did it, the world would end.
    You should never drink alcohol because if you did, you wouldn't be able to stop, and then you would be die of liver disease.

    6) Proof by Decency (Prejudicial Fallacy)
    Decent people agree with my argument.
    "Any reasonable person can see that this bill is too expensive!"
    "Any decent person would stay off the grass."

    We can combine the Prejudicial Fallacy with the Ad Hominem Fallacy quite easily:
    "What kind of jerk would support any war?"

    7) Proof by Dismissal
    Whatever.

    8) Proof by Straw Man (Straw Man Fallacy)
    Your argument is wrong because something similar is wrong.
    "Organic apples are bad because I don't like apples with worms in them."

    This is called the "Straw Man Fallacy" because you set up an obvious bad thing and then link the argument to the obviously bad thing. It's easy to beat up the obviously bad thing. Worms in apples are bad (unless you're a chicken - then the apple is good and the worm is better). Apples from a professional, organic orchard generally have the same worm count as apples from a professional, non-organic orchard: none. Yet the statement above really throws you off your feed, doesn't it! The mighty power of the straw man fallacy!

    The straw man is probably one of the most common fallacies in use.

    9) Proof by Limited Survey (Hasty Generalization Fallacy)
    My argument is right because I asked three people and they said so.

    10) Proof by Analogy (False Analogy Fallacy)
    My argument is right because it's like cookies. Cookies taste good!

    11) Proof by Termination
    Your argument is wrong because it is impossible and this conversation is over.
    Your argument is wrong because I'm leaving in protest.

    12) Proof by Volume (Appeal to Force Fallacy)
    YOUR ARGUMENT IS WRONG BECAUSE I CAN TYPE IN ALL CAPS!

    13) Proof by Profanity
    Your argument is wrong because of my use of profanity.

    14) Proof by Rolling Eyes
    Your argument is wrong because I'm rolling my eyes. :roll:

    15) Proof by Past Crimes
    Your argument is wrong because you were once wrong about something else.

    16) Proof by Language Barrier
    Your argument is wrong because your language is not my native language, and I'm hoping it is too much hassle for you to try again.

    17) Proof by Limited Options (False Dilemma)
    Your argument is wrong because I will only consider two options and what you propose is not one of them.
    You're either with us or against us! And you aren't with us ...

    18) Proof by Vote (Bandwagon Fallacy)
    My statement is fact because 51% agree with me.
    This was the argument that Columbus faced when he tried to tell people that the world was round: "Everybody knows the world is flat."

    19) Proof by Association
    Your argument is wrong because you live in Wisconsin!

    20) Proof by Tradition
    My argument is right because we have always done it that way.

    The Evil Banana

    1) Place five gorillas in a cage.
    2) Suspend a banana in the cage above a ladder.
    3) When any gorilla attempts to use the ladder, wet all five gorillas with a fire hose.
    4) When gorillas no longer attempt to use the ladder, replace one gorilla.
    5) Note that when the new gorilla attempts to use the ladder, the other gorillas will beat him up. The fire hose is no longer needed.
    6) Repeat step 4 until all original gorillas have been replaced.
    7) Note that at this point, no gorillas use the ladder and none of them knows why.

    There are two possible morals to this story:

    1) Many people will prevent you from getting a perfectly good banana even though nobody knows why.
    2) Many people will prevent you from getting a perfectly good banana for a very good reason, although nobody knows what that reason is.

    21) Proof by Sarcasm
    Oh sure, your argument is right.... And the pope's a Buddhist!

    22) Proof by Mystery
    Your argument is wrong because nobody has made that argument before.
    Your argument is wrong because nobody has proven it to be true.
    Your argument is wrong because nobody has proven the opposite to be false.

    (This one will almost always work both ways)
    Nobody has proven that there is a Santa Claus; therefore there isn't a Santa Claus.
    Nobody has proven that there is not a Santa Claus; therefore there is a Santa Claus.

    23) Proof by Lame Jedi Mind Trick
    Aw, c'mon!
    Give me a break!
    You have to be kidding!

    It's amazing how this really does work on the especially weak-minded. That's what makes it especially insulting to the not-so-weak-minded.

    24) Proof by Baby Talk
    Yow awgument is wong because I've devewoped a baby-towk speech impediment.
    Your argument is wrong because I'm... talking... slow... enough... for... stupid... people... to... understand...

    25) Proof by Whining
    Your argument is wrong because I'm having a really bad day.

    26) Proof by Absent Expert (Appeal to Authority Fallacy)
    Your argument is wrong because Woody Allen said so.

    27) Proof by Persistence (ad Nauseum Fallacy)
    Your argument is wrong. Your argument is wrong. Your argument is wrong. Your argument is wrong. Your argument is wrong. Your argument is wrong. Your argument is wrong. Your argument is wrong...

    This has been proven to be an amazingly powerful tool frequently used by politicians and advertisers.

    28) Proof by Burden of Proof
    Your argument is wrong because you have no proof. Therefore my argument is right (please overlook the fact that I have no proof either!)

    "Prove it!" - amazing how two words can really take the wind out of your sails.
    Zeus wrote:
    When are you going to realize that picking out the 20 bad throws this year and ignoring the 300 good ones does not make your point?

    =Z=

  2. #2
    cajunvike's Avatar
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    Re: How to debate something on PP.O without looking like a jerk

    Sure....take ALL of the fun out of the vast majority of the debates here! :lol:

    Good article!
    BANNED OR DEAD...I'LL TAKE EITHER ONE

  3. #3
    josdin00's Avatar
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    Re: How to debate something on PP.O without looking like a jerk

    What kind of idiot would post that? I am deeply offended that you'd think I'd fall for that kind of BS. Who are you kidding. This discussion is over.




    (how many of 'em did I hit?)

  4. #4
    Webby's Avatar
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    Re: How to debate something on PP.O without looking like a jerk

    A reasonable person would think that was a world class article, Josdin.

    LOL

  5. #5
    twiztedfait's Avatar
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    Re: How to debate something on PP.O without looking like a jerk

    20) Proof by Tradition
    My argument is right because we have always done it that way.

    The Evil Banana

    1) Place five gorillas in a cage.
    2) Suspend a banana in the cage above a ladder.
    3) When any gorilla attempts to use the ladder, wet all five gorillas with a fire hose.
    4) When gorillas no longer attempt to use the ladder, replace one gorilla.
    5) Note that when the new gorilla attempts to use the ladder, the other gorillas will beat him up. The fire hose is no longer needed.
    6) Repeat step 4 until all original gorillas have been replaced.
    7) Note that at this point, no gorillas use the ladder and none of them knows why.

    There are two possible morals to this story:

    1) Many people will prevent you from getting a perfectly good banana even though nobody knows why.
    2) Many people will prevent you from getting a perfectly good banana for a very good reason, although nobody knows what that reason is.



    This one has to be my fav. I just found it funny and don't know why.

  6. #6
    josdin00's Avatar
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    Re: How to debate something on PP.O without looking like a jerk

    "Webby" wrote:
    A reasonable person would think that was a world class article, Josdin.

    LOL
    Whatever :roll:


    :lol:

  7. #7
    ultravikingfan's Avatar
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    Re: How to debate something on PP.O without looking like a j

    Webby is the unofficial psycho analyst of the site.

    Or at least he told me so once.

    :grin:

  8. #8
    mblack76's Avatar
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    Re: How to debate something on PP.O without looking like a jerk

    This two have to be the best...
    Whatever and :roll:

  9. #9
    VKG4LFE's Avatar
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    Re: How to debate something on PP.O without looking like a jerk

    Wow, that was a lot of reading!

    I get the most pissed off looks from people with my VKG 4 LFE Wisconsin license plate, and I LOVE IT!!

  10. #10
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    Re: How to debate something on PP.O without looking like a j

    "ultravikingfan" wrote:
    Webby is the unofficial psycho of the site.

    Or at least he told me so once.

    :grin:
    Whatever! :lol:
    BANNED OR DEAD...I'LL TAKE EITHER ONE

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