I discussed the most common avoidance strategy - merely changing the subject (#1) - and suggested effective countermoves to keep a constructive conversation on track. In Part II, I discussed strategies #2 and #3, nitpicking and accusations of overgeneralizing respectively. In Part III, I discussed strategy #4, blame shifting. In Part IV, strategy #5, fatalism.
This post is the third in a series about strategy #6, the use of irrational arguments (previously: non sequiturs; post hoc reasoning). Descriptions of this strategy have been subdivided into several posts because, in order to counter irrational arguments, one first has to recognize them. I will hold off describing strategies to counter the irrational arguments until after I have finished describing some of the most common types.
Irrational arguments are used in metacommunication to throw other people. Listeners either become confused about, or unsure of the validity of, any point they are trying to make or question they are trying to ask. Fallacious arguments are also frequently used to avoid divulging an individual's real motives for taking or having taken certain actions.
He countered that Teflon could have been invented for far less money by doing research on nonstick surfaces instead of moon flights. I then countered with, "But this way, we also get to the moon!"
If listeners present evidence that the behavior seems to be something that is bringing them a great deal of grief or if they offer other options, beggars will then either just ignore what the other person has said, invalidate it by making a snide comment, engage in a game of "why-don't-you-yes-but," or begin the process of-making further refutable arguments and then returning to the initial assertion as if it had been justified.