An Argumentum ad Gibberum is just about impervious to any kind of counter-argument because it just makes absolutely no sense. It's like fighting fog with bullets - there's nothing to target. There's no chain of reasoning to undermine, no premises to reveal as flawed - you could suggest that people who use this approach integrate sweeping generalities, StrawMan
arguments and suchlike into their tirade, but they don't stop long enough for you to identify them.
I've always known of this tactic for "winning" arguments, but only recently have I noticed how wide-spread it is. It frightens me how well this tactic works. --EmlynShannon
It only works when you let it. The thing is, you don't counter-argue, you ask seemingly benign questions that will eventually lead to a contradiction even in their eyes. It's a less hostile approach and must be done patiently with genuine interest and without sarcasm or ArgumentByHighVolume?. i.e. SoftlySoftlyCatcheeMonkey for arguments.
Related to FallaciousArgument
in this sense are CharacterizationsMadeOutOfContext?
, where the point made is in another context than that intended by, or meant by the originator. Any characterization of Why someone does this or that falls within this definition. Perhaps even why you do this or that, why I do this or that can be classified as such. I know why I do things, don't you? -- AnonymousOnPurpose
Possible Solutions To Gibberish Arguments
- and why they don't work
- Ignore Them - any supporters of the argument can say that you're unable to rebutt their claims (which is true, technically) and therefore they are right (which does not necessarily follow, but it's what they'll believe)
- Assert That It's Gibberish - Doesn't work. Trust me.
- Use Their "Logic" Against Them - Be accused of Extrapolation ad Absurdum (somewhat hypercritically, I might add)
- Submit To Their Superior Gibberish Skillz - Have to live with legislation allowing police to detain you without a warrant.
- Ask for clarification - Point out specific passages that are not clear to you and state why they are not clear. If the author doesn't want to provide clarification, then you may want to move on.
Maybe no solution or counter-argument or disputation is needed, perhaps the gibberish is to the hearer because SomethingUnspecified was meant, but the connection didn't happen. Underlying the heard gibberish may very well be something which denies definition, but is rather a shared understanding of sympathetic souls. But it could be gibberish after all, maybe, as this is, I don't know. -- AnonymousOnPurpose
Don't allow any component of the argument to become gibberish. If your contender uses a term that you don't know or you can't understand in the context then stop the discussion and ask for clarification of that term. If your contender won't provide one then you are at a TenSeven
Don't allow your contender to make unqualified assertions. As soon as he asserts some gibberish point as being valid ask for his source of validity on that point. If he fails to provide one you have arrived at a TenSeven
Stop your contender when he tries to run over you with a "stream of consciousness" containing any gibberish at all. Don't let the gibberish build up. If your contender won't let you challenge his gibberish then you need to TenSeven
him and do something productive.
I have a new technique I use with my ultra-liberal friends who insist on quoting far left wing media "news" stories -- I ask for a link to the data. "Hey, I'd like to know more. Send me a link on that, willya?" Works every time.
Whoever created this topic is a big fliffnibobkiflkasdfas!