ad-lapidem

Logic Fallacy =  Bad Argument.

If you have every argued with another human (and if you read this blog then I bet that you have) at some point you have certainly heard logic fallacies.
Recognizing and discrediting them is an easy way to win almost any debate. Even when you are in the wrong. But, like a timely joke, it’s so hard to remember them when you need them.
No longer! In this series we present the most common logic fallacies in their most basic forms
Here’s the last addition to our “Easy-Peasy guide to Winning Arguments and Losing Friends”. But don’t worry, most of your soon to be ex-friends are fallacious losers anyways.

Argument Ad Lapidem

(frequency: rare)
(aka Appealing to the Stone)

A is false because ?!

The argument ad lapidem attempts to dismiss a statement as absurd without giving any good reason as to why.

 

The Latin name is misleading because it actually gets it’s name from a rather more recent century.

 

In the 1700’s Dr. Samuel Johnson (an English writer) refuted Bishop Berkeley’s (Clergyman) philosophy of Immaterialism (that there are no material objects, only minds and within ideas), by kicking a stone while stating: “I refute it thus!”

 

Thus the name for the logical fallacy (Ad Lapidem = To the stone) that consists of dismissing a statement as “silly” without actually giving proof of its “silliness”.

Examples:
John: “Women shouldn’t join the Army because they make poor fighters”

Sarah “You sound silly!”

 

“Learning is a fools path to knowledge, only if you open your heart to knowledge can it be obtained.”

 

“I’ve known Adolf since he was a boy and he isn’t a mass murderer because he’s not that kind of person.”

 

Deborah: “I think that aliens built the pyramids.”
Joe: “Nobody would waste time on triangles!.”

 

DEFENSE: The best defense is to point out that your opponent’s counter argument does nothing to refute your statement.

WARNING:  While seeming simple enough an argument ad lapidem can often be hidden within a puzzel, riddle or paradox. Take for example Zeno’s (c. 450 BCE) best known paradox of Achilles and the Tortoise. Achilles can never catch the tortoise because every time he has reached it’s location the tortoise will have moved a bit further.

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