I know we have a lot of threads and discussion about logical fallacies (i.e. “which one is this?”), but I thought it might be interesting to collect and discuss debating tactics that are not necessarily fallacious in themselves, but are still awful.
For example (and part of my brain wants to predict that someone will immediately identify this as a formal fallacy, but anyway) here’s one I see from time to time - trying to have the last word by repeatedly declaring the argument you started as trivial. - it goes like this:
- Bob asserts some conspicuously inflammatory, controversial or aggressive statement
- Alice engages the debate with all proper civility and decorum
- Bob then says something like “Of course, I don’t care, but…” followed by further assertion or reinforcement of the initial position
- Alice, remaining composed, presents some valid counterpoints and refutations to Bob’s arguments
- Bob says “Like I said, I don’t care - in fact, you’re the one making a fuss here; you don’t have to even respond, but…” followed by further very unreasonable, false, and invalid argument
- After this, any time Alice tries to address Bob’s arguments (which, as well as being demonstrably wrong, Alice perceives as being quite strenuously asserted, indicating that Bob does actually care, despite protestations to the contrary), Bob will further stress that Alice is the one causing trouble, and being unreasonable, because Bob doesn’t care, but at the same time, Bob will again try explicitly to advance the argument.
Ever seen that one? Or others?