The Gish gallop and logical fallacies - Deepstash

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Gish Gallop: When People Try to Win Debates by Using Overwhelming Nonsense - Effectiviology

The Gish gallop and logical fallacies

Arguments in a Gish gallop often contain various logical fallacies, such as the strawman fallacy which attacks a fabricated argument, or appeals to nature, which claims something is good because it is perceived as natural.

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Straw man arguments

A straw man argument is a misrepresentation of an opinion or viewpoint, designed to be as easy as possible to contradict.

The only purpose is for it to be easy to expose. I...

Hollow man arguments

This is a weak case (similar to the Straw man arguments) attributed to a non-existent group: Someone will fabricate a viewpoint that is easy to contradict, then claim it was made by a group they disagree with. Arguing against an opponent which doesn’t exist is a pretty easy way to win any debate.

People who use hollow man arguments will often use vague, non-specific language without explicitly giving any sources or stating who their opponent is.

Iron man argument

It is designed to be resistant to attacks by a defier.There arguments are difficult to avoid because they have a lot of overlap with legitimate debate techniques.

A person using an iron man argument will most likely make their own viewpoint so vague that nothing anyone says about it can weaken it. They’ll use jargon and imprecise terms. This means they can claim anyone who disagrees didn’t understand them, or they’ll rephrase their argument multiple times.

Win Debates Without Being Unfriendly

Normally, any debate has the potential to turn into an ugly match, due to the fact that both the sides are trying to win. The problem is that one person will win the debate, and tw...

The Common But Wrong Strategy Of Debating: Logic

Logic is not the best strategy for winning a debate. Any logic has plenty of counter logic waiting to pounce on it.

A simple NO can wash over:

  1. Any overwhelming facts and proof explaining why one is right.
  2. Any valid counterpoints to the other person’s arguments.

We falsely assume that our explanation is bulletproof, and forget that the other person has a choice to not agree with us. We could say the sun exists, and the earth is round, but the other person can simply say ‘No’.

How To Win An Argument: Changing Premises

Instead of trying to persuade someone that they are wrong, try to create a different premise. You can debate to learn something, or to see the other person’s viewpoint, understanding why they disagree. You can also politely put on the table what you think about the topic, not waiting for them to change their mind.

The fun part is when you are not trying to win an argument, you usually do.

Cherry picking

It is a logical fallacy and it happens when we choose and focus only on evidence that supports our views and arguments while ignoring anything that may contradict us.

The problem with cherry picking
  • It fails to take into consideration all the available information
  • It presents information in a misleading way.
  • It might lead to improper analysis and might cause someone to paint a misleading picture of a certain outcome.
The principle of total evidence

Also referred to as Bernoulli’s maxim, it states that, when assessing the probability that a certain hypothesis is true, we must take into account all the available information.