Bollocks arguments that just don’t wash.

If you rattle around the web long enough, or frankly even just your local boozer, you get involved in a few discussions here and there. Whilst there is an awful lot of good stuff out there, often discussions are low quality and arguments pathetic. I love reason based argument with examples and supporting evidence. With that in mind, these arguments just don’t wash:

‘You don’t have the personal experience I have.”
Personal experience is great for supporting arguments but it’s not an argument in itself. Equally, it’s not really a valid criticism of someone else’s argument to counter that they don’t have any personal experience of what they’re discussing. I have never had an abortion, I’ve never had any children, I am not a woman and I have never been to the moon. But I can have opinions on paedophiles, pregnancy, feminism and space travel.

‘You’re too young to remember.”
This is nearly the same as the above but with added patronising. It’s the equivalent of saying: ‘I’m older so I know better because I remember something that’s valid to this discussion and because you’re younger and don’t remember it, your position is wrong.” George Bush (both of them) is older than Barack Obama, I think we all know which is the wiser man with the better judgment.

‘It’s just like Hitler/the Nazis.”
Invoking comparisons with the Nazis or Hitler is rarely relevant or valid. It’s the desperate act of someone losing an argument. Reductio ad Hitlerum is bollocks and its inevitability is called Godwin’s Law. I love the net. There’s nearly always a name for everything.

Nitpicking isn’t an argument
Different from a valid ‘point of order, picking a few nits and muddling that with a reasoned argument is fun, but not really the name of the game. It’s a useful tactic, of course, but not a strategy. It’s reminiscent of how many forum members it takes to change a lightbulb.

2 Responses to Bollocks arguments that just don’t wash.

  1. Sue says:

    My personal favourite is that sweeping poke-in-the-eye argument finisher, “think about it”.

  2. Lynne says:

    hahahaha remind me not to go down your pub…:D

Leave a Reply

Please use your real name instead of your company name or keyword spam.