Let's say, for example, that Joe and Bob are in a formal debate over whether the products used to clean stoves are safe. Joe starts the debate by arguing that the products are unsafe. He cites a few pieces of evidence that are anecdotal and are therefore likely to be disregarded by the judges. Joe bases most or all of his argument on this evidence. However, at no point does Joe offer evidence that serves to refute his argument.

So, essentially, it would be safe to say Bob has basically won the debate before he said anything.

  • Such an argument is simply invalid. Bear in mind that Bob has not won anything before he refutes Joe's argument - without that, the argument stands, flimsy or not.
    – oerkelens
    Commented Sep 6, 2015 at 8:41

1 Answer 1


The expression that is used by lawyers, at least those in Britain, is that there is no case to answer.

It can happen in a criminal trial where the prosecution present a version of events which simply do not hold together.

The defence may claim no case to answer.

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