This is a list of logical fallacies. Not a list of rules on acceptable human discourse.
Even rational thinkers are allowed to introduce humor or emotion or even subjective opinions into conversations.
There are a lot of circumstances in which may of these fallacies are appropriate.
If I am having a brainstorming session with my staff, I am most certainly not going to advise against “hasty generalizations” because that is what brainstorming is. We know we are going to dismiss the majority of ideas that are generated, but we are trying to break out of existing molds and find a new solution to a problem.
Appeal to ridicule? Friendly banter can build bonds among friends, or even make dissenting voices in a discussion stop and laugh at themselves. And sometimes it is a valid way to demonstrate the flaws in an argument. I love watching Ancient Aliens on Friday nights. It is on right now. And I love to retell the arguments that they make in a deadpan tone. Especially to new age people. Who often look a little uncomfortable and nod and agree that it is more than a little silly.
I think that in many circumstances, appealing to fear or appealing to pity are often valid. If I were having a quick discussion about the upcoming US election with someone who has not yet decided how to vote, I would not hesitate to tell that person the ways in which I believe a Romney administration would probably have a negative impact on that person’s life, family or community. And I think that sometimes there is a fine line between pity and empathy. And if empathy has the potential to become a motivating factor for someone, then pointing out the pain that someone else is suffering is valid.
Appeal to common practice or appeal to tradition? There are times those arguments can be appropriate. As I watched a friend try on clothes recently, I suggested “people our age probably shouldn’t wear skirts that short,” rather than blunting stating that in my opinion she looked ridiculous.
Appeal to probability? Well, I sure as hell will be presenting that argument to my daughter about unprotected sex.
This is a great list. I'm suspect most of us can look at this list and become more aware of the ways in which we have used (or continue to use) logical fallacies in debates or arguments. Being aware of the wide range of fallacies that we can fall victim to is an important step towards improving our ability to understand the ways in which we interpret all of the input that the world has to offer, including but not limited to understanding the news media, politicians, beloved but irritating family members, pompous bosses, petty bureaucratics, authoritative teachers, and irrational lovers.
But just because we are atheists does not mean that we are required to monitor all of our human interactions as if we were perpetually defending a doctoral dissertation.