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.
In the example, “energy”, “force”, “balances” and “essences” are all too vague to submit to scientific scrutiny. This is related to the proof by verbosity fallacy.

Case Study One

There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games.
~Ernest Hemmingway

The definitions of “sports” and “ games” are vague, and make a refutation difficult.

Case Study Two

Theists often introduce words such as “faith” and “sin” that have definitions that are contested even within their own sect.

Case Study Three

Those promoting alternative medicines often invoke vague terms such as “energy” and “essence” that seem to have no real referent that can be assessed and critiqued.

Keep in mind that a fallacious argument does not entail an erroneous position.

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