This isn't a debate, but is directly tied in with the subject matter. Think of it more as a guide?
Logical fallacies are concepts in arguments or debates that are undeniably false in logic, and therefore renders the entire argument as false. I see this used a lot, and I'm completely certain that I use them a lot as well, but I feel having this should help both me and the community to an extent in future debates.
I'm giving a list of falacies with a (hopefully) simple description, and an example.
Ad Hominem- I see this one a lot. An Ad Hominem argument is any that involves attacking the person instead of addressing the issues brought up by that person. In essence, this is a technical term for flaming. An example would be to say that any wrestling fan is an idiot for believing that the whole thing is staged, even if the person they're attacking stated that they don't actually think wrestling is real.
Ad Ignorantum- Essentially, this is an argument stating that something must be true simply for the fact that it hasn't been proven to be false. For instance, there has never been conclusive evidence that aliens don't exist, therefore aliens must exist.
Argument from Authority- Someone in high authority has said something is true/false, therefore it must be right. People use this while overlooking the fact that a claim's validity should be based on logic or experience, not the authority of the person saying the claim. An example would be stating Stem Cell Research is bad because the president says it's bad.
Argument from Final Consequences (or telelogical arguments): This argument reverses cause and effect, by stating that something is caused due to something's effect. For example, God must exist, otherwise life wouldn't exist.
Argument from Personal Incredulity- You believe a claim is false due to the fact that you personally do not understand or comprehend it. For example, you say that you can't imagine the govercnment taking part in the 9/11 attacks, and you therefore disregard it as false.
Confusion of "Currently Unexplained" and "Unexplainable"- This is a widely used fallacy, that states that the fact that something can't be explained currently means that it never will be explained. A good example would be "Acts of God", or odd phenomena (living through a very dangerous disease with no treatment) that occur seemingly for no reason, and the lack of an explaination means that God must have caused it.
False Continuum- States that the lack of a clear distinction between two things means that they are the same thing. For instance, there isn't a huge different between In The Groove and Dance Dance Revolution, so the two games must be the exact same thing.
False Dichotomy- The act of simplifying a set of many possibilities to two black and white extremes. An example is that either God exists, or we wouldn't exist (throwing out other possibilities).
Inconsistancy- Essentially, just being a hypocrite falls under this. You are applying a set of rules or standards to one claim, argument or belief while disregarding others. I don't have an example for this one, but it's pretty self explanitory.
The Moving Goalpost- Purposely moving the acceptable amount of evidence required for "proof" of a claim or belief outside of the range of current evidence. An example would be to deny certain facts and evidence that 9/11 wasn't caused by the government simply because a few other things haven't been explained
Non-Sequitur- Also meaning "Doesn't Follow" in latin, this is basically saying that one thing proves another completely irrelevant claim or belief. For instance, stating that we exist is proof that God exists (the fact that we exist proves nothing of the existance of a deity)
Post-hoc ergo propter hoc- This is stating that A came before B, therefore they must be related. This would be like stating that a user created a thread, and then the forum crashed, therefore that thread created the crash.
Cum Hoc ergo Propter Hoc- Pretty much the same as the above scenerio, but A comes at the same time as B, therefore A caused B.
Reductio ad absurdum- The act of stretching the argument to extremes to prove a point. This would be like saying people who don't believe in God also can't believe in The Great Wall of China, since they haven't seen either of them.
Slippery Slope- This insists that a position cannot be accepted because the extremes of that position must also be accepted. This is like stating that anyone who believes 9/11 was a conspiracy must also believe that anything else the government does is a conspiracy in some way. Essentially an "everything or nothing" belief.
Straw Man- Instead of arguing against your opponent's points, you instead create a scenerio within your opponent's argument to specificially make it easier to argue against. This happens everywhere; pointing out someone's statement to make it seem like they're contradicting themself, attacking a weak opponent and assuming they are the voice of the majority, etc.
Special pleading- This is the act of adding unrelated or unprovable claims to an argument to make your argument sound more valid. This can be taken to extremes, basically just to refuse to acknowledge the other person's factual evidence. An example would be explaining that ESP has not been conclusively tested in a controlled environment because ESP does not occur during testing, it only happens naturally.
Tautology- This is an illogical circle of arguments that basically goes A = B, therefore A = B. This would be like explaining why something happens, and then giving the definition of the occurance as it's reasoning.
Tu quoque- Essentially arguing that the fact that one person might be wrong gives way for the possibility for other people to be wrong. Although this can be true, and usually is, it is irrelevant in argument. An example is arguing that one might be incorrect about Creationism, but for that reason Evolution is just as faulty.
Ignoratio elenchi- An argument whose conclusion has nothing to do with the premises. This would be like arguing that you shouldn't get a ticket for speeding, because there are rapists and murderers that the cops should be chasing, disregarding the fact that just because there are other criminals out there does not affect your breaking of the law.
Ad populum- Attempting to pursuade your opponent by saying that the majority of people think the way you do, without providing logic or evidence. An example is stating that marijuana should be illegal because most people think it's bad.
Petitio Principii- This is the act of using evidence that requires you to accept what you're arguing against as true. A common example is disproving the existance of God through quotes in the Bible. In order for your evidence to be valid, you must first accept that the source (the Bible) is valid.
If you haven't read this, consider reading at least some of them. They'll definitely help you in future debates.
More information at this page: http://www.theskepticsguide.org/reso...fallacies.aspx