Bad arguments

On my social media accounts — particularly on Facebook  — I post a lot about my views on Trump (barf), feminism, marriage equality, reproductive freedom and other polarizing issues that matter to me. I post liberal memes that are snarky, just like my conservative friends post their memes that are snarky too. Freedom, right?

And sure, I’ll toss comments back and forth with someone who is on the other side of an issue. I actually *like* variety. I’m friends with people who hold wildly different views on politics, religion and other polarizing topics. For example, my husband is a Rush Limbaugh-style Republican, and I’m a Rachel Maddow-style Democrat. And yet we get along. You and I can too, or we can at least agree not to headbutt each other.

My personal rules of engagement are:

1Get to know me, and remain civil. If I don’t know you and you were stirred to respond about one of my opinionated posts on a mutual friend’s page, I’m willing to tolerate your strong disagreement with me, but I’m not willing to stand there and meekly serve as your verbal punching bag. Don’t push it. Particularly if I don’t frigging know you.

2Don’t try to dominate, dismiss or patronize. That’s a waste of my time — and yours too. Use your own website or Facebook page as your bully pulpit instead of using mine. You’re a guest here. And the door’s thataway. Consider this a golden invitation to scram if you’re an inveterate mansplainer.

3Don’t try to pass off your opinion as fact. Facts are one thing, and dogma is something else. Have evidence to back up your views, or just be frank and say that it’s your OPINION based on nothing more than your life experience and your gut feelings.

4Don’t expect me to be your unpaid research assistant. Look up your own articles and sources; I may share because I choose to do so, but I am not at someone else’s beck and call, accepting “assignments” willy-nilly. Prickly people who aren’t used to being questioned will often puff out their chests and demand that I “prove” my views. (I believe they do this only so that they can take aim and try to shoot me down on petty premises just to bolster their own flagging egos, rather than so they can learn from another person). Meanwhile, they hold themselves to a far lesser standard.

I’m not going to stand by for some bossy git‘s foot stomping.

In the future, I think I will first ask, “What specific source or type of source would you consider to be an unbiased, thorough, reliable and authoritative source of information? If we can’t agree on that, I won’t waste my time looking up details to share with you.”

5Be logical, not manipulative. It’s tiresome to explain over and over to the other person why the WAY he’s arguing is a problem and why this blocks legitimate discussion.

… SO …

To hasten our journey to a civil and fair discussion, I’ve got some interesting info below that should help us all. Instead of tirelessly explaining why a person’s argument is flawed, I grouped some common logical fallacies here for reference. Going forward, instead of handcrafting individual responses, I will just refer to the definitions on this page. I even added links for extra info. #AngelOfMercy

Here come the lessons on ….

LOGICAL FALLACIES

This is NOT an all-inclusive list (there are HUNDREDS of logical fallacies, and most have multiple names). I’ll continue to expand and refine this list as my time allows. For now I am linking out to other sites, but I will eventually create my own page for each of these logical fallacies listed below. For now, I’m still studying them and trying to figure out some of the nuances differentiating some very similar ones.

OTHER TACTICS

Gish Gallop (Spreading) Link 1