Tactical

Tactical fallacies are those in which there is an attempt to marginalize your opponent’s position with a rhetorical device to distract or evoke emotion rather than providing a genuine argument.

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Vague insulators:

Tactical Fallacy
Definition Example
When terms are intentionally chosen for their vagueness in an attempt to make a position unassailable. The energy in these pills creates a force that balances the body’s essences.
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Empty refutation:

Tactical Fallacy
Definition Example
When an argument is said to be wrong, yet no information or explanation about what in the argument was wrong is offered. You misrepresented my position in your argument, so your argument is clearly wrong.
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Bare assertion fallacy:

Definition Example
When a premise is introduced as a conclusion without substantiation. My father Is 3 meters tall. Your father is only 1.5 meters tall. Therefore my father is taller than your father.
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Thought-terminating cliché:

Tactical Fallacy
Definition Example
When a commonly heard and accepted phrase is rhetorically introduced as a substitute for an actual argument. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Humans will never overcome their violent nature in spite of recent claims of progress.
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Straw man argument:

Tactical Fallacy
Definition Example
When a misrepresentation of an opponent’s position is offered that can then be more easily attacked. Evolutionists believe life came from nothing. Nothing can come from nothing, so their position is absurd!
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Red herring

Tactical Fallacy
Definition Example
When there is an attempt to distract from the opponent’s argument without actually addressing it. Your ex-wife told me that you once kicked a cat. This renders your argument invalid.
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Proof by verbosity:

Definition Example
When an argument is presented that is too complex, obtuse or verbose to reasonably deal with. Insomuch as it remains within our agency, it behooves us to eschew obfuscation, and espouse elucidation.
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Poisoning the well:

Tactical Fallacy
Definition Example
When negative claims are preemptively made against a position with the intention of discrediting whatever person is about to say. Before my opponent speaks, let me remind you that he is a college dropout and has never held a job longer than a year.
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Perverted analogy:

Definition Example
When an opponent’s analogy is distorted to mean something broader or more narrow than intended. Tom said life is like a river in that those who spend the energy to maneuver their boats to the middle of the river will see more during their lifetime. This is ridiculous since he can not explained where the boats come from.
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Moving the goalpost:

Definition Example
When the evidence presented by A to meet an initial standard of evidence is dismissed by B, and some greater standard of evidence is then imposed by A on B. You’re so weak you can’t even lift this box! … All right, I see you can lift that box, but you’re still weak. I bet you can’t lift this bigger box!
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Misleading vividness:

Definition Example
involves describing an occurrence, often exceptional, in vivid detail, to distort the actual severity of the problem. You should never date a Texas girl. My friend dated one, and she slashed the tires on his car and killed his dog.
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Judgmental language:

Definition Example
insulting or pejorative language to influence the recipient’s judgment. Your position on free community health checks is accepted only by prostitutes! Only whores would accept such a concept!
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False surrender:

Tactical Fallacy
Definition Example
When there is offered an unwarranted or premature truce on a point of contention in order to misrepresent opponent’s position as unprovable or inconclusive. My belief that all swans are white isn’t necessarily falsified by your photo of a black swan. We’ll just have to agree to disagree.
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Fallacy of many questions:

Tactical Fallacy
Definition Example
When someone asks a question that presupposes something that has not been proven or accepted by all the people involved. So Henry, have you stopped beating your wife?
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Contextomy:

Definition Example
When there is a selective snipping of words from their original linguistic context in a way that distorts the intended meaning. I know he actually said “You are pretty cruel”. But I’m content just to know he said “You are pretty”.
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Cherry picking:

Definition Example
When individual cases or data are emphasized to confirm a particular position, while other cases or data that may contradict that position are ignored. I found 2 statistical studies that conclude violent video games do not actually increase violence among children. That’s proof enough for me!
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Argumentum ad baculum:

Definition Example
When a position is promoted through coercion or threats of force. You’ve been a good employee up to this point, John. And I think you’ll agree that shining my shoes is not nearly as humiliating as losing your job for not shining my shoes.
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Argument from repetition:

Tactical Fallacy
Definition Example
When it is claimed that, because no one cares to discuss your position with you any longer after repeated rehashing of the same arguments, that your position is correct. I’ve been arguing with my wife for 20 years about my gambling habit. She finally stopped arguing with me, demonstrating that she finally admits to the virtue of gambling.
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Ad hominem:

Definition Example
When the person is attacked instead of the argument. What would you know about economics? You filed for bankruptcy last year!
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Appeal to novelty:

Definition Example
When a something is claimed to be superior or better solely based on it being new or modern. This brilliant new unprecedented strategy that the management has introduced is revolutionary and will change the way we do business!
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Tu quoque:

Definition Example
When it is assumed that, if one wrong has been committed, another wrong will remove its culpability. I admit to stretching the truth a bit, but you and everyone else tells a white lie from time to time. You can’t judge me.
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Association fallacy:

Definition Example
When a claim is deemed true or untrue based on an association with some irrelevant element. Jane is an exceptional pianist, and also pretty. Therefore, all pianists are pretty.
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Appeal to emotion:

Definition Example
When a position is promoted through the manipulation of emotions, rather than through the presentation of an actual argument. It would be awesome to know that we were not alone in the universe. Would you want to live in a universe without extraterrestrial neighbors?
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Appeal to accomplishment:

Definition Example
When an claim is deemed true based on the accomplishments of its sponsor. Isaac Newton had an immense impact on science, so there must have been some value in his later work in alchemy.
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