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Ugh, where should I start... First, a part of the definition is taken from CS Lewis essay with only a minor changes and without attribution, spliced together with a definition of the term from Wiktionary, again without attribution. The "strict usage" section reproduces verbatim text from wp:Bulverism.
Second, a big  for the use of the word as a term for a logical fallacy. I've never seen it in the places dedicated to discussing fallacies (e.g. The Fallacy Files). To me, it looks like an obscure synonym for "appeal to motive", which in turn is just a subtype of argument ad hominem.
And third, I have the nagging feeling that the article was created only for the last section. :) Lewis himself pointed out in the original essay, the argument goes both ways. :)--ZooGuard (talk) 13:10, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
- Oh, I see that someone have added an example of my last point while I was typing this.--ZooGuard (talk) 13:13, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Is this really a fallacy?
According to the article, this is "assuming without discussion that a person is wrong and then distracting his or her attention from this (the only real issue) by explaining how that person became so silly, usually associating it to a psychological condition." This is a combination of other fallacies, and seems oddly specific in any case. Also, the people who employ such a tactic do not follow the logical order defined in the second part of the page, they do not use their statements to say the opposing position is wrong, rather, they use it as an ad hominem. As the definition states, this already assumes the position is wrong, unlike an appeal to motive, which tries to prove it is wrong.
The examples are problematic because they seem to confuse explaining the origins of an idea or concept with fallacy. Once one has shown an idea to be false (or even true), it's not a fallacy to try and determine how it came about.
The religious examples ignore the fact that religion has a very large amount of historical context. Once someone has logically decided religions are not divine inspired, it's rational to try and explain why they exist anyway.
In the same way, it's logical for a convinced believer to try and explain the existence of atheism. The problem comes when they attempt to use this as an argument against atheism, rather than as an explanation for it in the context of religious belief, which is what I think the article refers to.
The key is they assume the standpoint of the originator, and then go from there.
If used as an argument, these two examples would constitute a variant of circular reasoning, rather than a new fallacy.
As for the political examples, if they were ever used in a serious debate, they would quickly called out as ad hominems.
If this was truly Rational Wiki
- Drink! Also, who uses said argument? Zero (talk - contributions) 19:05, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
- Actually, if you bothered to read the article, we do note an example of atheist bulverism. But by all means, continue with this particularly ironic objection. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 21:19, 22 April 2016 (UTC)