Time for a quick round of "Anticipate the logical fallacies . . ." (In which the fallacies may not be immediately obvious, but you can see them coming around the corner.)
How many instances of sloppy argumentation can you divine in the following contributions by an anonymous commenter at BeepBeep's?
You must show me why I should not believe what I believe. If not, than I claim that neither the United States nor anyone else has been to the moon, and I challenge anyone to disprove me. I also claim that the earth is not millions of years old, or even hundreds of thousands of years old. Prove me wrong on both accounts. [. . .]Just to get you started . . .
Ok. For the sake of debate I will concede that the ‘burden of proof’ doesn’t rest with the naysayer. And I agree that science can’t prove anything. So please demonstrate that I could very possibly be wrong on both accounts.
(a) "Were you there?"
(b) "My cognitive faculties are not so developed as to allow me to conceive of the possibility that x has occurred. Therefore, x has not occurred."
(c) "My pastor/Fox News/The Weekly World News told me that x is wrong. Therefore, x is wrong."
(d) "My pastor told me that the scientific community, libraries, the edjumacation system and the media are all controlled by Satan. Therefore, anything you may possibly learn from these sources regarding the veracity of x is guaranteed to be a lie! A damn stinking lie!!!"
Bonus points if you can answer his questions. Well? Come on, virtue terrorists! Answer the questions!
Or is your evilsecularatheistevolutionistmarxistsocialisthomosexualagendasinglemother-
liberalacademicpostmodernistislamofascist house of cards crashing down around you?
(And no cheating, either. I said no cheating!!)
(P.S. The Bill Muehlenberg Trophy is inspired by, but is in no other way affiliated with the Robert O'Brien Trophy at Dispatches from the Culture Wars.)