Argumentum Ad Lapidem
- The Act of dismissing a statement as absurd without providing any proof that is absurd.
Similar to Begging the Question
Like Appeal to Ridicule
only it doesn't even try to make an argument.
Compare Fallacy Fallacy
, which is when an argument is dismissed just because it uses a fallacy.
- In Thank You For Smoking, Nick Naylor says that the anti-tobacco council wants kids to die because it's good for their chequebooks, which is countered by "that's ridiculous". Later, he says that it's hypocritical for Senator Finnistre to say he supports American farmers while calling for the end of tobacco farming, which Finistirre counters with "I...just...psh...no." The point in both instances is that Naylor is excellent at winning arguments, rather than that he's right.
- The origin of the fallacy is Samuel Johnson's response to Bishop Berkeley's argument that material objects do not exist, only minds and the ideas within them. He said "I refute it thus" and kicked a stone, which, naturally, failed to show that this was a material object rather than just an idea within a mind.
- A similar story is told about Zeno's paradoxes. Namely, that the Cynic Diogenes, upon having heard Zeno's arguments, said nothing, but merely stood up and walked.