Straw Man: An argument based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position
Ad hominem: A personal attack on the opponent instead of the opponent’s premise
Missing the point: Answering an argument with a counterpoint that has nothing to
do with the original argument.
Cherry picking: Selecting only the evidence which support one’s own argument while
deliberately ignoring relevant facts which would support the opponent’s argument.
Post hoc (false cause, Non Sequitur): Assuming that because B comes after A, A caused
Weak analogy: Two things that are being compared aren't really alike in the relevant
Appeal to authority: Attempting to impress by referring to irrelevant sources or
Ad populum: An appeal through popularity or bandwagon.
Tu quoque (you too?): An ad hominem attack based on the opponent’s group or behavior.
Appeal to ignorance: The use of the lack of evidence as support for a positive claim
about the truth of a conclusion.
False dichotomy: Attempting to portray a situation as having two opposite or different
parts when in reality they may be similar or grouped together.
False Equivalence:Claiming that two different conditions or results are equivalent
when in reality one is much greater than the other and so much more consequential.
Red Herring: Going off on a tangent or raising a side issue to avoid answering an
opponent’s point or question.
Smoke Screen: An attempt to cloud or confuse the real issue with irrelevant facts,
arguments or inventions.
Begging the question: (petitio principii): Where the conclusion of an argument is
implicitly or explicitly assumed in one of the premises.
Circular reasoning: A premise that says essentially the same thing as the conclusion,
using a conclusion as evidence instead of distinct evidence
Equivocation: Using two or more different meanings of a single word or phrase in
the same argument.
Negative proof fallacy: Because a premise cannot be proven false, the premise must
be true; or, because a premise cannot be proven true, the premise must be false.
Proof by example: Examples offered as inductive proof for a universal proposition.
("This apple is red, therefore all apples are red.")
Correlation does not imply causation: (cum hoc ergo propter hoc): A phrase used in
the sciences and the statistics to emphasize that correlation between two variables
does not imply that one causes the other.
Etymological fallacy: Incorrectly assumes that the original or historical meaning
of a word or phrase is necessarily identical to how it was always used thereafter.
Moving the goalpost (raising the bar): Argument in which evidence presented in response
to a specific claim is dismissed and some other (often greater) evidence is demanded.
Two sets of rules (uneven playing field): Attempting to censor your opponent’s methods,
strategies, or evidence which you allow yourself to use.
Stacking the Deck: Attempting to limit or include evidence or arguments allowed in
the debate to unfairly favor one side.
Stalling: Attempting to run the debate clock out by refusing to address a relevant
fact or important question.
Copycat doctrines: Assuming that a doctrine, law or practice that applied to one
group in the past can be applied to a present day group, without understanding the
important differences between the time, situation and covenantal relationships of
the two groups. (for instance: Sabbath keeping or speaking in tongues)
Event inventions: Fabricating non-existent events or descriptions based on assumptions
that are unsupported by the text or the context. (for instance: 144,000 “evangelists”
and an “invisible” Second Coming)
House of Cards: Theories based on a theories or assumptions based on assumptions
presented as fact unsupported by the evidence directly (example: “Life arose spontaneously
and randomly on this planet, therefore millions of other planets undoubtedly have
life as well”)
Out of Context: A text or quote is removed from its surrounding material in such
a way as to distort its intended meaning or to far surpass its intended purpose.
Obviously true fallacy: Declaring one’s own premise as obvious true, common knowledge,
beyond question, or exclusively intelligent when it is no such thing
Fallacious Definition: Defining a word or phrase incorrectly to support one’s argument.
Hasty Generalization: An argument drawn from too little evidence to support the conclusion
Misquoting: Incorrectly quoting a source in such a way as to change the intended
meaning or attributing a quote to the wrong source.
Symbolic-Literal Fallacy: Incorrectly describing literal language as symbolic or
symbolic language a literal.
Translated Word Fallacy: Using a translated word or phrase as if it had special meaning
only in the translated language. (for instance: “Adam means ‘A is damned’”).
Reading In: Attributing a meaning, fact or statement to a text that is clearly not
Corrupting Text: Deliberately inserting (or removing) a word, phrase, punctuation,
or capitalization directly into a text or translation so as to change its original
meaning in a significant way. (as in “the Word was a god” instead of “The Word was
Fallacy of Grammar:Misunderstanding or misuse of a sentence’s grammar so as to change
its intended meaning in a significant way.
Hyper-Contextualizing:Taking an absolute statement and presumptuously confining
it exclusively to its immediate context.
Complexity arrogance: (a type of smoke screen): Arguing that a topic or issue is
so complex that it cannot be effectively addressed in the present forum, inferring
that only they have the ability to understand it and reach a correct conclusion and
Invisible Evidence: Insisting that a premise must be accepted but refusing to disclose
important evidence because it may be challenged.
Loaded language: Inserting words or phrases which are intended to prejudice opinion
and create a visceral reaction simply by the way they sound or are emotionally perceived.
Loaded Question: A question that also contains a false assumption so as to make any
answer an automatic admission of guilt, error or agreement (as in: “When did you
stop beating your wife?”)
Bogus Statistics: Using statistics that are false, misleading, insufficient, irrelevant,
or whose source is dishonestly prejudiced for one side of the argument.
Junk Science: Science that is not really science, but based on dubious or prejudiced
methodologies, or opinion passed off as science, or mere theory supported by insufficient
or contradictory evidence.
Revisionist History: Deliberately changing historical facts, or ignoring important
facts of history to create an alternative history that never really existed.
Poisoning the Well: Ignoring the details of the evidence and instead trying to discredit
a legitimate source.
Exaggerated Consequences: Attempting to frighten by exaggerating the consequences
of choosing a particular alternative.
Flattery: Attempting to prejudice someone’s opinion, attitude, affection or allegiance
by the use of flattery.
Mixing Apples and Oranges: Attempting to evidence a comparison by using two types
of subjects or facts that are too fundamentally different to support the conclusion.
Ax Grinding: Using a debate forum to express nasty, abusive, vengeful, judgmental,
vicious, or angry impulses in order to get back at the world or hurt others
Violent Intimidation: Making personal threats of violence or harm to intimidate or
silence an opponent.
Troll: An opponent who deceptively pretends to be neutral or support the opposite
side in order to hide their prejudices, cause trouble, get attention, ridicule, draw
blame or misrepresent the beliefs, claims or methods of the other side
Proof by verbosity: (a snow job): Using an argument with an overwhelming volume of
material which superficially appears to be well-researched, but would be extremely
time consuming to untangle and fact check, in an attempt to intimidate the participants
into accepting its legitimacy out of hand.
Appeal of Force: Might makes right. He who has the gold makes the rules. Shut up!
Appeal of Personality (or false authority): A premise is argued as correct based
solely on the authority, identity, or force of personality of an individual’s support.
Hypothetical Speculation: Arguing a premise about something in the real world using
only imaginary or absurd examples
Double Standard (hypocrisy): An argument which condemns the actions of one individual,
but allows another to commit the same act without any such condemnation.
Presumptuous Expertise: Assuming that a source is automatically correct based on
the amount of research they have done, expertise they claim, education they have
achieved, respect they are afforded, notoriety they enjoy, or a label they have attached
Unrelated Connections:Unrelated points are treated as if they should be accepted
or rejected together, when each point should be accepted or rejected on its own merits.
Complex Questions: Asking two or more distinct questions in the form of one question
which are impossible to answer correctly together.
Twisting: Misrepresenting a quote or text in attempt to make it say the opposite
or something completely different than what the speaker or writer stated.
Putting words in the mouth: Stating that an opponent or source is saying something
which the opponent or source has not said
Symbolism Inflation: A legitimate parable, symbol, or type taken farther than the
author originally intended
Misconstrued Symbolism: Interpretation of a legitimate symbol, parable or type that
is fundamentally or completely wrong
Elephant in the room: Deliberately ignoring or hiding an overwhelming fact or a massive
presence of evidence in order to make one’s own point or evidence seem stronger,
more important or more legitimate than it really is
The Emperor has no clothes: An obvious truth that a large population refuses to acknowledge
for fear of going against popular opinion or an intimidating authority.
Convoluted weak argument: The more convoluted and lengthy an argument is, the more
likely it is that the position is invalid.
Orwellian:Arguing a position with an absurd level of double speak, thought policing,
or political correctness from a totalitarian mentality.
Uncivil:Using rude, obscene, discourteous, nasty, vicious, or slanderous words instead
of a factual and reasoned argument.
Offended Bigot: Arguing that a legitimate position, action or belief is personally
offensive based solely on one’s own intolerance or bigotry. (As in: “I am offended
that you are a Christian.”)