These arguments are inherently invalid. Below each give an example of a time someone has tried to use this type of faulty reasoning with you.
- Ad Hominem – attacking the person not the argument – “Your opinion on what we should do isn’t valid because you’re an idiot!”
- False Dichotomy – insisting there are only two choices when there are many – “You can pay me to fix your car or it will stop running and you’ll be out even more money.” You might fix it yourself, get someone else to fix it, sell it etc. etc.
- Question Begging – a circular argument, no real reason is offered–“because that’s our policy”
- Straw Man – misrepresenting the opponent’s argument in weakened form so that it can be easily defeated. “Steve’s tax plan would take 15% of poor people’s income and they can’t afford it–we should vote against it.” If Steve were present he might say, “No, my plan calls for no taxes on people who earn less that $42,000 a year.”
- False equivalence – saying that two things are equal when they are not. For example, claiming that two politicians are both “criminals,” and therefore equal, when one has a speeding ticket and the other stole 20 million dollars from government accounts.