So I just read this post (about a different argument topic) & clicked the link that explains the answering-criticism-with-criticism fallacy, and my immediate thought was that that sounds exactly like my conversation with Kiowa.

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Anyway, I’m going to give it a few more days before I start asking people to circulate that post I made about her.

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4 responses to “

  • Siggy

    Having thought way too much about various fallacies for many years, I’m so so cynical about them. The burden of proof isn’t a logical rule, it’s a series of social rules about The Way Arguments Must Work, According To Me. Unfortunately, no such rules are enforceable.

    Tu Quoque is a fallacy alright but it’s legitimately difficult to distinguish between Tu Quoque and just a mutual exchange of criticism. Or sometimes, I’m not criticizing you as a refutation of your argument, it’s just that I think your argument refutes itself and is unworthy of response, so let’s move on to more worthwhile topics, like how terrible you are. (That’s the rhetorical you.)

  • Hezekiah the (meta)pianycist

    I’m not really sure how conscious most people employing the techniques I wrote about are of that they’re not actually engaging with the substance of the argument. It’s culturally very common for people to think that shifting the burden of proof is a good argument style, even though it’s not actually engaging the substance of anything.

    I have a lot of anxiety about shifting the burden of proof in particular because it’s an argument technique used a lot when people are trying to gaslight you. Shifting the burden of proof isn’t automatically gaslighting, but gaslighting often employs shifting the burden of proof, if you try to confront someone who’s gaslighting you.

    Sometimes the only way I can feel less anxious when someone on the internet is making an outrageously offensive argument is to look at my logical fallacies poster (it’s the one from yourlogicalfallacyis.com) and figure out for my own benefit if they’re doing any of them.

    • Siggy

      Fallacies are a decent way to start spotting bad arguments, but the endgame is realizing that nearly all arguments everywhere are terrible. Seriously, people don’t even need to resort to fallacies, they often just assert their conclusions loudly at each other.

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