An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments


Please tell me there’s a Fallacy of Extension argument with a man made of straw in this book.


A nice, concise, fairly comprehensive list (not to detract from the book):


I think I want this book. Give a copy to the people who want to argue with right wingers. Not that pointing out the arguments helps, but it can be sort of nice to know what to call what they are doing.

The next step is. "So when they use this, what do you do next? Is there a way to “win” the argument?

Because I’ve found if you can defeat one they find others. They will never quit, never surrender, never give ground. And that too is a method they use.


What’s going on with the Wink books and the Tidy lady book? Are these promoted posts? Almost every day there is a Wink book being promoted. It’s a nice site and all but it’s just suspicious to have so many of their products featured regularly.


“This is a good book, because it anthropomorphized animals on its cover drawn in an amusing way.”

Is this a good argument…?

(ETA: Yes, that argument is not being explicitly made in the post. But it came to mind.)

“The only winning move is not to play.”

  — Joshua

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Would you like to play a nice game of chess?

“What are you, chicken?”

You can see the whole book at


It took me a couple of readthroughs to understand that by “mistake” you meant that he cheated, perhaps inadvertently. I mean, if he had made a mistake shouldn’t you have won?


That is a good reason, but I have fond memories of discovering logical fallacies because of how it changed my own thinking and the way I related to others and their arguments. Part of the problem is that many illogical ways of thinking are invisible to the person using them. I find the names get used a lot to shoot down opponents, but it’s amazing (and kind of liberating) to realise that you’ve been basing a lot of your thinking on faulty premises and there’s a whole world out there that’s bigger than your circular reasoning, more complex than your appeal to authority and with more possibilities than your appeal to fear will allow.


This. If you only want to know the names of logical fallacies so you can use them to shoot down “right-wingers” then you’re doing it wrong.


I’m adopting “No True Scotsman” as my official argument mascot.

Page 18 contains what is clearly the origin of Monty Python’s Dead Parrot sketch (together with an excuse Michael Palin should have used but didn’t).

Any real rhetorician would eschew such a choice.

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The Duck That Won the Lottery: and 99 Other Bad Arguments is good fun with less pics, more words.

If no less a personality than John Cleese used it, I think we can safely say that it’s valid.

beat me to it!
available there for “name your price”

Oh shut up! Questioning yourself can only lead to liberalism, and you’ll end up being Woody Allen and Alan Alda’s love child. Have you forgotten 9/11?

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