Logical Fallacies and You
Coming from a more NationStates mindset, let's work with what we're familiar with, shall we?
"Either you support me, or you're against me and a tool for my oppressors."
This is what's known as a False Dilema. We see this sort of thing all the time, unfortunately, with people forgetting that there can be, and usually is, neutral ground to one degree or other. Statements like this only serve to polarize groups, and force those who tend to be more weak-willed or not wishing to cause too much fuss, to eventually choose sides when in reality, they needn't.
"Person A said that Person B had a history of trolling behaviour, but because I didn't personally see it all and Person B is my friend, it must not be true."
This here is called an Argument from Ignorance. I'm sure you can see where the name comes from. Because one has not seen or does not see the whole picture, whether by choice or no, one decides to disbelieve entirely. Ignorant indeed, and again, seen all too often.
"If you ban one person for something, you have to ban everyone for everything even remotely resembling it."
Slippery Slope, this. It doesn't take into account individual differences with each particular case, and overgeneralizes, aiming to 'panic' one's opponent into making a decision more palatable to the challenging side. Basically, blowing a situation out of proportion with wild suppositions. Never pretty.
"If you won't give me your support, I'm going to declare war on you."
Appeal to Force - I think that one is self-explanatory. Tell me how often we see that sort of stuff, on forum and off. Though this refers to some of the n00b wars that go on all the time, I'm sure you can see how it can apply to a plethora of other situations.
"I was here first, so I shouldn't have to share!
You're just trying to undermine me and take away everything I have by engaging me in conversation!"
Appeal to Pity - appropriately pitiful, and based entirely on 'feelings' rather than anything of content dealing with the case at hand. More often than not, emotional fluff designed to evoke a 'you poor baby, everyone stop picking on them' response so they can avoid having to face facts or deal with a the situation. Tender-hearted or overly-emotional types seem to be particularly succeptable to this one.
"If you keep wanking so hard, it's going to fall off."
Could not resist getting ye olde Steel Penii ref in there, perdon. Appeal to Consequences. Again, looking to 'scare' the person into giving in.
"Anyone with an ounce of sense knows that the religious text known as The Bibkortalmicon is a load of collops."
Predjudicial Language - just one more tool to try and make one's opponent appear or feel foolish, rightfully so or not. A very common tactic, and one all too easy to fall into, given how competitive and hasty debates can get.
"I got voted the Most Forum-y Forumite on the forum, so I think I ought to know what I'm talking about when I say anything concerning it. Everyone else accepts it, why not you?"
Appeal to Popularity/Emotion. Because X amount of people claim something, it must be true. Even when it isn't. I'm sure you can see where this one comes in, no? Unfortunately, even decent folk fall into this particular trap. 'How can all those people be wrong?' springs to mind. While a point being argued can very well be true, this isn't the most effective way to prove it.
"You're a <--insert race, creed, color, gender, religion, alliance member, what have you-->, so you aren't qualified to offer an opinion."
"Person A is part of the Big Bad Alliance, so you obviously can't take their word for anything."
"You're telling me I can't have $tech, but you use the same thing!"
Ad Hominem attacks. Now, I'm sure we've all seen them, and likely many of us have used them in the heat of the moment. From the mild, to the mean, these arguments tend to have nothing based in fact, and are simply designed to cut, and often, elicit a negative emotional response in ones opponent - sometimes in the hopes that they will commit a greater faux pas. Basic message? 'Because you're $thing, you suck'.
Bad, naughty. Moving on.
"Long ago, a Bangladeshi lied to me, therefore, all Bangladeshi are liars."
Hasty Generalizations. Any time you stoop to painting any group with so broad a brush you open yourself up for all sorts of trouble - and run the risk of looking like a bigoted idiot. Not to disparage, but this and other fallacies like it seem to pop up most often in the debate/discussion forums simply because the activity there lends itself more to it. Often used to flame, to bait, and otherwise just be nasty, it's one of the less palateable fallacies we see all too often on the boards.
"In discussing what we think ought to be done about $problem in NationStates, me and my group of ten or so people got together and polled one another, and came up with a solution that we know everyone will agree to."
Unrepresentative Sample. Often you see this with well-meaning (or otherwise) groups out to save the world, or make it all a better place because they, for some reason, have the answers, and fail to see why we all don't just jump on the bandwagon. This isn't to say they're all malicious, anything but. What they miss is that a small group of like-minded people cannot in any reasonable way represent a much larger group who hasn't been asked their opinion on the topic at hand. The idea may or may not be a good one - that's beside the point when arguing 'we've polled this small group and come up with an answer for the whole'.
Not to be confused with Moderation, where a small group has been asked by the owner to well, moderate.
"The Thelelfymenelricosians breed like roaches, hence, like roaches, they ought to be exterminated."
False Analogy, and another one of the others with the potential to get rather nasty rather fast. Arguing that because two things supposedly share a trait, that they must obviously share others and be treated accordingly. It falls flat when shown that there are other elements that prevent the analogy from holding true.
"In spite of having been warned repeatedly about posting unsuitable content on the boards, Player A contines to maintain they have done nothing wrong, and that they are obviously the focus of some grand conspiracy to keep them down."
Slothful Induction is likely the hardest argument to overcome, as usually the subject of it is so convinced of their innocence they are unwilling to consider another option. Seen many, many times in Moderation under one form or other, be it trolling, flaming, posting, griefing, what have you - this one will likely (sadly) never die out. So long as an appropriate cross can be found, you'll find these folks hanging themselves on it.
"Because Player A seemed to be rushed in his response, he was clearly misquoted, and the other side are misrepresenting him."
Style Over Substance - wherein the manner an argument or statement was delivered is said to affect the truth of it. Often offered up by apologists or well-meaning people who dislike seeing anyone shown up, this is hoped to draw either pity to allow the person to avoid having to answer it, or an attack by the opposites in that - those loking for any weakness to show up and blow out of proportion. "Showing a temper? Obviously lying," for example.
"Half of the new members of The Syndicate are from the group 'AirPowah', meaning there is a conspiracy by that group to take over."
(This after excluding the fact that several other members have left The Syndicate, a majority of other various groups were included in between the memberships in question, and others were already members of The Syndicate before becoming members of AirPowah.)
The Fallacy of Exclusion - the delightful argument that is used rabidly to defend one's point of view, while leaving out pertinent details. Another one that can be difficult to argue against on NS, given how many of those who tend to use it dislike having uncomfortable facts brought up that mess with their limited viewpoint. Some fall into this trap simply by not knowing the rest of the story, and can generally be talked to amicably enough, even if they still disagree by the end of it.
"Freedom of speech is a good thing, thus, we all ought to be free to express ourselves any way we wish to on the forums."
Granted, freedom of speech can be a wonderful thing when not abused, but these sorts of 'Accidental' arguments suggest that a general rule should cover everything when exceptions realy ought to apply. We see a lot of this get argued on the forums as well, and it's usually all well and fine until something comes up the arguer doesn't prefer, then it's all sorts of 'take it off and ban the jerk, I am offended!' To put it more clearly, 'Tubgirl', anyone?
"Because one deletion was reversed, all deletions should be reversed."
The ever-popular Converse Accident where the one arguing claims that because an exception was made for one, all cases should be treated the same, regardless of the circumstances. This is one I've seen mostly come up with those who feel they or their buddies have been wrongfully treated and thus, when someone else gets a break, claim they ought to get one as well.
"As far as I'm concerned, you and my friend are rivals. Therefore, nothing you say can be considered rational. So it isn't."
Ah, Begging the Question. This is always a fun one where the person arguing presumes that all points have been agreed on, hence, their analysis must be correct. It boils down to 'because I say so', in essence, and is a weak argument along the same lines of "Because I'm telling the truth, I'm not lying." One of the more arrogant approaches to debate, and usually, aside from the yes-men who invariably support one side or other in it, it falls flat.
"But as the $political_preference you are, it must have given you a thrill to ban one the best informed $opposing_political_preference posters."
Attacking an argument from a different and generally weaker position than their opponent, otherwise known as a Strawman tactic. This to me has always smacked of the 'Oh yeah, well you're just jealous!' sorts of responses that seem to happen when the one using said weak attack gets frustrated with losing headway in an argument.
"Whatsisbucket of the Great and Terrible Alliance has terrible spelling problems, therefore all members of that alliance are poor spellers."
The fallacy of Composition - one that is extremely easy to fall into, regardless of what group you associate with. After all, if you lump folks together and make them look worse than you ... you get the picture. See also 'Hasty Generalization'. Both can be rather poisonous depending on the context used.
For those interested in a more succinct reference, there is this page, among others to better familiarize oneself with the more common fallacies.
A secondary disclaimer:
To those who find themselves looking, and thinking 'hey, I think she's taking a shot at me', fine and well. When idly typing this up for my own amusement, I used a plethora of past and present examples, most often, having been melded together from several occurences - some more widely memorable than others, granted. Given how many threads, and warnings, and bans, and rants we have to draw from, I figure it's inevitable that there may be a similarity or two here and there.
I suppose you'll be presented with several choices, then. One might be to take the opportunity for a bit of introspection. Another might be to just blow this off as just someone elses take on things. You could I suppose choose to be offended and make a fuss where there needn't be one, but as always, that would be up to you.
Me, I'm gonna order some pizza, kick back with my fam, and call it good.
Happy Debating, all.