I felt slightly uncomfortable reading this for the simple fact that I have come to realize that I use some informal fallacies when I argue. In particular, I use the ‘Straw Man’ a lot. I don’t personally attack people in arguments, but I do find myself making my opponent’s position seem more extreme so I can more easily refute it and ‘win’ the argument. I find myself doing this a lot with my mom in political arguments. Another one I use a lot is ‘Hasty Generalization.’ If I don’t like what my opponent is saying, I’m quick to put them in a specific category or to put them in one specific box. That way, it’s easier to make their argument seem invalid, but I understand that this strategy takes away from actually discussing the issue at hand. I found the fallacy ‘Argument from Ignorance’ to be present in a lot of debates I find myself in, especially with religion. I’ve found that a lot of my religious friends are quick to say that God’s existence can’t be refuted so he must exist. That particularly bothers me because it takes the discussion away from its true point. I’m glad I know about these fallacies now so that I can avoid them and become a more effective debater and actually cover some ground in a a debate rather than simply having the goal of beating my opponent.

Advertisements