Blog: I Reject His Argument: A Buffet of Logical Fallacies

Testing is about not being fooled, and being fooled often starts with fooling yourself. A while back on Twitter, I posted some of these little examples of problems in argumentation, most of which include some logical fallacy or another. It’s a fun game; add your own!

  • I reject his argument because 73.154% of the time, he uses misleadingly precise data.
  • I reject his argument because he’s appealing to authority, and Jerry Weinberg told me that you shouldn’t do that.
  • I reject his argument because by the time he’s done, he’ll have affirmed the consequent.
  • I reject his argument because he uses false dichotomies, and either you reject those completely or you don’t.
  • I reject his argument because, just as everyone else says, he has a tendency to jump on the bandwagon.
  • I reject his argument because he always argues in tautologies that I reject.
  • I reject his argument because he hangs out with guys who accuse other people of guilt by association. (My colleague Ben Kelly adds: You know who else does that? That’s right: Hitler.)
  • I reject his argument because he won’t admit that he’s a control freak.
  • I reject his argument because he’s always speaking in absolutes.
  • I reject his argument because he’s appealing to the slippery slope argument, and if you let a guy do that once…
  • I reject his argument because he’s indecisive. Although, it’s possible that maybe he isn’t.
  • I reject his argument because he’s just the kind of idiot who would use an ad hominem attack.
  • I reject his argument because, like 90% of the population, he uses made-up statistics.
  • I reject his argument because, like 90% of the population, he uses mathematics more ineptly than the remaining 20% do.
  • I reject his argument because, as you can see from this list I’ve prepared, he’s cherry-picked the data in every case.
  • I reject his argument because he’s only a theoretical actor that I’ve posited, not a real person, and therefore unconvincing, or at least he would be if he were real.
  • I reject his arguments because I consider the evaluative bias inherent in language, whereas he simply rants and raves.
  • I reject his argument for one reason and one reason only: he doesn’t believe in multiple paths of causation.
  • I reject his argument because after I do that, he places effect before cause.
  • I reject his argument because he argues using non-sequiturs. Plus he doesn’t like fish.
  • I reject his argument because he’s always using this “holier than thou” tactic, and I’m a better man than that.
  • I reject his argument because he’s the kind of person who always makes the Fundamental Attribution Error.
  • I would reject his arguments if he weren’t so theoretical all the time.
  • I reject his argument because he uses argumentum ad absurdem, and the next thing you know, he’ll be using nuclear warheads.
  • I reject his argument that I’m begging the question, because I have my reasons.
  • I reject his argument because I know he thinks he can read people’s minds.
  • I reject his argument because he exhibited anchoring bias in one of his arguments once, and you just can’t go changing your opinion about people like that.
  • I reject his argument because he’s claiming that confirmation bias is different from assimilation bias, when I know they’re the same thing, and everything I’ve read says so.
  • I reject his argument because he’s just making an assertion, and not backing it up with evidence like I’m doing now.
  • I reject his argument because I’ve thought about 100% of the subject, and he hasn’t.

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10 responses to “I Reject His Argument: A Buffet of Logical Fallacies”

  1. – I reject his argument because he tries to distract us with a red herring, something I would never do with my new shiny iPad 3.
    – I reject his argument for the reason that under this circumstances he perused more than the necessary share of words and verbodity needed for establishing his stance on the matter under discussion, making his argument long and tiresome.

    Michael, I can’t decide if this post is more important or more funny. Of course, it can’t be both!

    To the two wikipedia links you brought, I’d like to add the list of general fallacies: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies

    Shmuel

  2. Shane L Harris says:

    I was with you til you said you’ve thought 100% about any subject which is clearly horse shit.

    Michael replies: Oh dear. I was so close to convincing you, and tripped at the last hurdle. Sigh.

  3. Cute.

    I reject his argument because I have used and preponderance of the evidence available to me to determine that he treats logic like it’s more than a toy for which the most useful application is driving the behavior of automatons.

    Michael replies: I reject your argument because you’re just repeating yourself. πŸ˜‰ Also, I’ll reject your argument that WordPress or some kind of network problem has anything to do with it, since everyone knows that computer systems are perfect.

  4. Cute.

    I reject his argument because I have used logic and preponderance of the evidence available to me to determine that he treats logic like it’s more than a toy for which the most useful application is driving the behavior of automatons

  5. Joep says:

    I reject his argument, because he tries to overwhelm me with a really long list of reasons instead of sticking to the most important ones.

    Michael replies: Watch it, buster. πŸ™‚

  6. Not really a logical fallacy but:

    I reject his argument because I don’t like him, so I won’t like what he has to say.

    Michael replies: But that is a logical fallacy, or at least an illogical argument. It’s argumentum ad homimem, not attacking the argument but attacking the man.

  7. Erik says:

    I reject his argument because he does not really give an argument and besides it is obvious that it should be rejected.

    Michael replies: I reject your comment because it’s a tautology and it begs the question. πŸ™‚

  8. […] I Reject His Argument: A Buffet of Logical Fallacies […]

  9. Shrini says:

    How about this?

    “I reject *that* argument because it does not fit into my value system and beliefs regardless of who says (he or she). And I think my value system and belief has been established after a long scrutiny and has been evolving since”

    Confirmation bias?

    Michael replies: Yes. If I were looking for something very specific, I’d say that the former sentence is a case of the Semelweiss reflex, and that the latter is a case of anchoring bias. But in a way you’ve lost the thread of the game because the sentences, while examples, aren’t paradoxical or funny (at least to me).

  10. MrBeast says:

    I reject his argument because he’s a jerk and is always calling people names.

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