Description: An irrelevant topic is presented (sometimes under pretext of relevancy) in order to divert attention from the original issue. (Usually when they have no valid arguments left)
Example: C: "....and these are some of the reasons why we cannot accept the Darwinian explanation for the fossil record"
D: "This is just Creationism in disguise which is pseudo-science and has no place in the classroom."
Example: C: "...and this conclusively demonstrates the difference between ‘fundamentalist' Christianity and ‘fundamentalist' Islam."
A: "Fundamentalism is real reason why there are so many religious wars..."
Example: C: "Israel has every right to exist in the land and here is the historical evidence."
P: "I cannot accept that evidence. I don't believe the Bible either."
Description: To regard or treat an abstract concept as if it had concrete or material existence.
Example:“Even while Joe was home, his job was calling him, luring him back to the office“
Example: "The evidence speaks for itself"
Example: “Creationists say the world was created supernaturally, but science says otherwise.”
Exposition: Of course, not all language should be taken literally. However, when reification is used as part of a logical argument, it is fallacious. The reason for this is that using such a poetic expression is often ambiguous and can obscure important points in a discussion or debate.
Description: This occurs when someone attacks the cause or origin of a belief rather than its substance.
Example: "The Nazi regime developed the Volkswagon, therefore it is wrong to purchase VW's."
Exposition: Why a person believes something is not relevant to the belief's legitimacy /soundness/ validity of the truth/falsehood of his belief.
Poisoning the Well
Description: An attempt is made to discredit what a person might later claim by presenting unfavorable information whether by misleading, emotive phrases or loaded assertions. (Sometimes it's simply known as ‘gossip'.)
Example: "Tonight, we have a Christian of the fundamentalist persuasion who actually takes the Bible seriously. He isn't as experienced as the spokesperson for our side of the debate...and here he is!"
Sophistici elenchi (aka Straw Man)
Description: A weak or even untrue misrepresentation of a person's position is refuted instead of the actual position.
Example: JW:"The Bible says that there is only one God; you trinitarians say there are three Gods, so you are teaching heresy"
C: "The Triunity is not three Gods, but one God comprised of three *persons* as indicated by these scriptures here...."
Example: A: "I consider myself to be a good person, and I am without God, therefore this is proof that God doesn't exist."
C: "It is perfectly possible to live a "good" life without belief in God. No one ever stated otherwise. Now, what is your standard for 'good'.......?"
Ad Populum (aka Appeal to Popularity)
Description: A proposition is argued to be correct because it is widely held to be true.
Example: "9 out of 10 prefer this brand of toothpaste, so it must be the best."
Example: "Most people accept evolution as fact, why not you? Can billions of people be wrong?"
No True Scotsman
Description: In order to dodge an inescapable conclusion about a person or position, it is claimed that the person/position was never a true respresentative.
Example: A: "No Scotsman drinks Jack Daniels."
R: "But my uncle Angus is from Glasgow and he drinks Jack Daniels."
A: "Then your uncle Angus is no true Scotsman!"
Example: A: "Atheists don't kill anyone because they have no good reason to do so."
C: "Stalin and Mao were atheists and they killed millions of people."
A: "Then Stalin and Mao were No True Atheists."
Exposition: Sometimes, when the media report that a "Christian" has done something horrendous (eg mass murder) and Christians denounce that person as being a true Christian, ‘atheists' claim that this is an example of the ‘No True Scotsman' fallacy. While on the surface this may seem to be the case, there is a huge problem with this claim: For example, while there are no *absolute* moral/ethical restrictions or standards on the ‘atheist' to commit murder. (within a *consistent* 'atheistic paradigm other than the law of the land and whether they can get away with it), for Christians, we are held to an absolute standard as clearly delineated in scripture, so if anyone *unrepentantly* and audaciously does something contrary to the Word of God, then this is a patent indicator that this person isn't a Christian. As one should be able to tell, this is a patent distinction.
Description: The same term or word is used which has two or more different meanings (dependent on context).
Example: A Darwinist claims that Evolution has been proven and points to different shapes of beaks or varieties of dog.
Exposition: This, however, is micro-evolution which are changes within kinds, but Darwinists often extrapolate this to mean macro-evolution which are changes from one species to another. Eg cow to whale or ape-like creature to man.
Example: A: "Since fundamentalist Muslims have no problem killing people, the fundamentalist Christians must be the same."
Description: Instead of addressing the issue being discussed, the character of the person is mocked.
Example: H: "I believe that all faiths are equally valid"
C: "Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but by Me.' Therefore, you and Jesus can't both be correct."
H: "You're a loony to believe that!"
Circumstantial Ad Hominem
Description: In some cases, this fallacy involves substituting an attack on a person's circumstances (such as the person's religion, political affiliation, ethnic background, etc.) as opposed to the contents of their argument itself.
Example: "You are only pro-life because you are a Christian so we can disregard any evidence you have provided."
Exposition: Circumstantial ad Hominem is fallacious because a person's interests and circumstances have no bearing on the truth or falsity of the claim being made. While a person's interests will provide them with motives to support certain claims, the claims stand or fall on their own merits and proofs provided.
Ad Hominem Tu Quoque
Description: This is an attempt to justify and wrong action or evidence etc because others do it also.
Example: "So what if I cheat on my taxes; Some ultra-rich people do it too, why shouldn't I?"
Example: "How dare you say that I am a sinner? I'm no worse than any Christian."
post hoc, ergo propter hoc ("after this, therefore because of this")
-- This might also be described as the causality fallacy: Event Y follows from Event X, so one automatically concludes that X caused Y. (A young man walks by a neighbor's house and sees a cat scurrying away; he looks up and sees a giant hole in the window. The hole, he infers, must have been caused by the cat, who fell through the pane. The inference is hasty, because the hole might have been caused by any number of things -- a baseball that missed a friend's glove and flew over his head; young brothers fighting inside and accidentally smashing the window, etc.).
The Masked Man Fallacy (Illicit Substitution of Identities)
Description: An assumption is made that because something is known under one perspective, it must also be known the same way under a different perspective.
Example:"Thousands of years ago some people believed lightning, rain and droughts were caused by a/the god(s). This has been disproved by science. Therefore God played no role in the creation of the Universe."
Argumentum e Silentio (a.k.a. Argument from silence)
Description: It is assumed that if little or no evidence or argument in support of a position is given, the opposite must be true.
Example:"Jesus never outright said that He is God, therefore He is not."
Example:J: Where are my car keys?
B: (says nothing)
J: I KNEW you took them!
Example:"The word 'rapture' isn't in the Bible therefore the doctrine is false.'
Example:"Absence of evidence IS evidence of absence"
Example: "I have never seen God or evidence for Him, therefore He doesn't exist!"