Argumentum verbosium

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Argumentum verbosium is a form of Argument from Intimidation - in this case, by being incredibly verbose, using a plethora of complex words to make one's self sound incredibly smart, and dazzle the opposition. The opposing side will struggle to understand what is being said, and appear to "lose" the debate.

An Example

This is an excerpt from the description of the Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe.

"In the Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe or CTMU, the set of all sets, and the real universe to which it corresponds, take the name (SCSPL) of the required extension of set theory. SCSPL, which stands for Self-Configuring Self-Processing Language, is just a totally intrinsic, i.e. completely self-contained, language that is comprehensively and coherently (self-distributively) self-descriptive, and can thus be model-theoretically identified as its own universe or referent domain. Theory and object go by the same name because unlike conventional ZF or NBG set theory, SCSPL hologically infuses sets and their elements with the distributed (syntactic, metalogical) component of the theoretical framework containing and governing them, namely SCSPL syntax itself, replacing ordinary set-theoretic objects with SCSPL syntactic operators."

Counter Apologetics

One of the things that scientists and skeptics try to do is distill discussion and arguments down to the simplest and most understandable chunks of information. The purpose is to accurately convey ideas. The author of the CTMU has the primary goal of obfuscation, not explanation. It doesn't matter how smart one is; if one cannot convey the idea in a clear and concise way, that intelligence has gone to waste.

If the person using this type of argument cannot use examples, analogies, or other methods of making it clear, then that person is more interested in dumbfounding you than having an intellectually honest debate.

Some of the most brilliant minds of history, such as Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton and Stephen Hawking, love trying to explain their brilliant ideas to common people, and frequently use analogies and examples to help educate. They didn't use high-end vocabulary to try to sound smart.

External Sites

v · d Logical fallacies
v · d Formal fallacies
Propositional logic   Affirming a disjunct · Affirming the consequent · Argument from fallacy · False dilemma · Denying the antecedent
Quantificational logic   Existential fallacy · Illicit conversion · Proof by example · Quantifier shift
Syllogistic   Affirmative conclusion from a negative premise · Exclusive premises · Necessity · Four-term Fallacy · Illicit major · Illicit minor · Undistributed middle
v · d Faulty generalisations
General   Begging the question · Gambler's fallacy · Slippery slope · Equivocation · argumentum verbosium
Distribution fallacies   Fallacy of composition · Fallacy of division
Data mining   Cherry picking · Accident fallacy · Spotlight fallacy · Hasty generalization · Special pleading
Causation fallacies   Post hoc ergo propter hoc · Retrospective determinism · Suppressed correlative · Wrong direction
Ontological fallacies   Fallacy of reification · Pathetic fallacy · Loki's Wager
v · d False relevance
Appeals   Appeal to authority · Appeal to consequences · Appeal to emotion · Appeal to motive · Appeal to novelty · Appeal to tradition · Appeal to pity · Appeal to popularity · Appeal to poverty · Appeal to spite · Appeal to wealth · Sentimental fallacy · Argumentum ad baculum
Ad hominem   Ad hominem abusive · Reductio ad Hitlerum · Judgmental language · Straw man · Tu quoque · Poisoning the well
Genetic Fallacies   Genetic fallacy · Association fallacy · Appeal to tradition · Texas sharpshooter fallacy
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