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Argumentum Ad Lapidem

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Agumentum Ad Lapidem

Which means:

  • Appeal to the Stone

The act of dismissing a statement as absurd without providing any proof that it's 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.

Examples:

Comic Books

  • Wonder Woman (1987): When a group of angry parents come in and start tearing down the posters and decorations of a High School Wonder Woman fan club saying that it promotes converting to paganism, abortion and becoming lesbians the adults brush off the girl's well argued protests by treating them like little kids who have been brainwashed and are crazy instead of addressing what is being said.
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Film

  • In Thank You for Smoking, Nick Naylor says that the anti-tobacco council wants kids to die because it's good for their checkbooks, 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 as their products also kill, 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.

Video Game

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition: Sera often refutes anything the Inquisitor says that she doesn't like or agree with as "That's stupid" or "You're stupid," without explaining why it's stupid.

Real Life

  • 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.
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  • This is a favorite tactic of politicians, pundits and op-ed writers in general on both sides; by presenting perfectly reasonable arguments and reacting to them as if someone had just told them Godzilla was about to attack — instead of addressing the argument itself — they can make their audience think the argument being presented is nonsensical (though it's not likely they needed much help in that regard).

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