Illegitimate Arguments

The times they are a-changin’.

This post seems to be older than 14 years—a long time on the internet. It might be outdated.

Quinn and Peter are roommates. Quinn has one cat and Peter has two. Quinn gets up and feeds his cat and when done feeding, closes the door leading to the food. At this point one of Peter’s cats comes in and attempts to gain access to the food. Having noted that Peter was out of dry food the night prior, Quinn remarks that Peter should feed his cats. Peter responds, “I could say the same to you every day your cat already ate three cans in two days.” Despite the fact that Peter’s English doesn’t make complete sense, it’s an illegitimate argument. It doesn’t respond to the initial statement and instead deflects the current issue. Also, this is the first instance of Peter’s grievance toward Quinn and, as it has been going on for some time without notification until a grievance is filed against Peter, it is an invalid argument.

Does anyone else agree with this line of thinking?

Note:This post is based on a true story, names have been changed to protect the innocent guilty.

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3 thoughts on “Illegitimate Arguments”

  1. “It doesn?t respond to the initial statement and instead deflects the current issue.”

    What this all really boils down to is: are all male cat owners homosexual?

  2. Let’s dissect:

    “I could say the same to you every day your cat already ate three cans in two days.” —> What does this really mean? This misunderstanding might have been avoided with the application of a few simple punctuation marks. Or could it?

    “I could say: the same to you! Every day, your cat already ate three cans. In two days… [incompleted thought]”

    “I could. Say, the same to you every day! Your cat already ate! Three cans in two, daze.”

    “I could say the same. To you, every day your cat already ate. Three cans in two days!”

    “I. Still am not feeding my cats. Over and out three cans.”

    … and what are your cats doing eating cans, anyway?

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