I had to pause and bite my tongue this week. In my haste to deliver I’d forgotten how to debate effectively and broke one of these rules. Reading Donald Taylor’s succinct post recently made me realise that these rules need to be more well known.
1. Thou shall not attack a person’s character but the argument itself. (“Ad hominem”)
2. Thou shall not misrepresent or exaggerate a person’s argument in order to make it easier to attack. (“Straw Man Fallacy)
3. Thou shall not use small numbers to represent the whole. (“Hasty Generalization”)
4. Thou shall not argue thy position by assuming one of its premises is true. (“Begging the Question”)
5. Thou shall not claim that because something occurred before, it must be the cause. (“Post Hoc/False Claim”)
6. Thou shall not reduce the argument down to two possibilities. (“Fake Dichotomy”)
7. Thou shall not argue that because of our ignorance that the claim must be true or false. (“Ad Ignorantiam”)
8. Thou shall not lay the burden of proof onto him who is questioning the claim. (“Burden of Proof Reversal”)
9. Thou shall not assume “this” follows “that” when “it” has no logical connection. (“Non Sequitor”)
10. Thou shall not claim that because a premises is popular, therefore, it must be true. (“Bandwagon Fallacy”)
Recognise any of these in other people? Or yourself?