What would you call someone, or what sentence would you use for someone who does not present any additional facts or supporting arguments for a debate.

Example of argument

"I think marijuana should be illegal because it has been shown to be harmful to brain development" - (just an example, I have no idea)

Example of what they might say back

"You are so wrong, it's funny!"

What is a good descriptive word or sentence for this?

  • 2
    Are you looking for 1) a lack of argument, 2) a weak or baseless argument, 3) a way to deflect the debate, 4) a peremptory inconclusive statement, 5) another connotation ? – Graffito Oct 28 '15 at 22:04
  • I'd call it "opinion". – Hot Licks Oct 28 '15 at 22:27

There are a number of ways to describe a person who refutes claims or makes assertions without presenting a valid argument, but I don't know of a single word to describe such a person. Examples of people employing tactics similar to those which you've described generally fall within the realm of logical fallacies. Logical fallacies are arguments which might appear at face value to have merit, but actually have no merit, due to the fact that they employ bad logic or faulty assumptions.

Some examples of popularly employed logical fallacies include:

argumentum ad hominem - a personal attack on the person making an argument rather than attacking the argument itself. For example, if someone stated "Crime is on the rise", and someone responded with "No, it's not, because you're a stupid face!", that would qualify as argumentum ad homimem.

argumentum ad temperantiam - also known as "argument to moderation" - an argument which presumes (fallaciously) that the truth can always be found in compromising between two opposite positions.

appeal to ridicule - an attack which presents an opponent's argument as absurd without presenting any evidence to refute it. This is not to be confused with reductio ad absurdum which is a legitimate form of argument.

In your case, the person replying "You are so wrong, it's funny!" appears to be employing appeal to ridicule in place of a legitimate argument.

Please note, however, that bringing this to their attention is unlikely to convince them to present a real argument, and will likely provoke a series of ad hominem attacks.

  • Argumentum ad hominem is almost exactly what I'm looking for. If I don't see anything that fits better after a while, I'll accept. – wizloc Oct 29 '15 at 12:04
  • ad hominem fits, but I think appeal to ridicule is more precise for the example you've given. The individual in your example is indeed attacking their opponent personally rather than their opponent's argument, but they're also employing ridicule to do so. – Dr. Funk Oct 29 '15 at 16:42

I would say, Thanks, but where's the beef (or meat)?

: where is the content or substance, as in That was a very articulate speech, but where's the beef? This usage was originally the slogan for a television commercial for a hamburger chain attacking the poor quality of rival chains. (1984) The phrase was almost immediately transferred to other kinds of substance, especially in politics. The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms

Another nice expression is, all (or lots of) potatoes but no meat.

meat and potatoes: fundamental part or parts of something, as in This paragraph is the meat and potatoes of the contract. This metaphoric term transfers what some regard as basic fare to the basics of an issue. [Mid-1900s] The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms

It was really pretty dull and I could not get through it. Lots of talk but no action. It was like she put in a lot of words just to fill up the pages; all potatoes but no meat (Amazon review)


The word specious is used to describe an explanation or a statement that sounds good or amusing or pleasant at first glance, but in fact is useless or meaningless. The oft-used phrase, habitual for some:

"It is what it is."

is a specious statement. At first it sounds like a profound summation, until you think about it and realize: in what possible situation would this not apply? Of course it is what it is, what else could it be?


Off/away with the fairies, in a world of their own, naive, infuriating, an apple short of a picnic, not the sharpest tool in the box ...


Apart from the word "liar", someone who doesn't present their own facts and simply makes their own can be referred to as a fabricator.

Fabricator: (someone who) creates or makes up (something, such as a story) in order to trick people.

There is another word: truthiness, which characterizes the truth someone creates based on intuition - "a gut feeling" - without regards to logic or evidence. The word itself dates back to 1824, however, it has gained headway in recents events through media, such as The Colbert Report, New York Times, and more.


"Fabricate." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2015. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fabricate

Meyer, Dick (December 12, 2006). "The Truth of Truthiness". CBS News. Retrieved December 14, 2006.

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    The person who simply responds "You're wrong" is not a fabricator at all. There's a huge difference between not having facts and fabricating them. – A.P. Oct 28 '15 at 20:37
  • @A.P. Duly-noted. However, someone who creates their own facts is - to an extent - a fabricator. I believe the word could possibly aid the OP find the answer they're looking for - if not be the answer itself. – Le Sunstrike Oct 28 '15 at 22:12

The word unsubstantiated should fit:

not established as valid or genuine


You could say the guy's arguments or assertions were completely unsubstantiated. Or that they lacked substance.

Another word would be groundless:

Having no ground or foundation; unsubstantiated

(American Heritage Dictionary)

Baseless and unfounded assertions would seem to work too.

  • 1
    You can't call someone "unsubstantiated". Doesn't it sound weird to you? – user140086 Oct 28 '15 at 20:41
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    @Rathony I'm not calling anyone unsubstantiated, only their assertions or arguments. As for the downvotes, I only downvoted "fabricator" and left a comment as to the reason. – A.P. Oct 28 '15 at 20:48
  • 1
    "What would you call someone" starts the question. – user140086 Oct 28 '15 at 20:50
  • 1
    Yes, and it goes on to say "or what sentence would you use for someone". My sentence is "that someone's arguments are X, Y, and Z". A sentence provide more leeway, correct? – A.P. Oct 28 '15 at 20:53
  • I see. You edited your answer. – user140086 Oct 28 '15 at 20:55

You could call topicality for In Round Abuse, Research Burden or Potential Abuse
Topicality is when they state something that you can't counter or go against because they either A) Broke a rule or B) Playing an unfair advantage against you.
The two statements you can bring up are Ground/Education: Because the Affirmative is making the debate less educational or Jurisdiction/Rule of the Game: The Affirmative is not being topical and should always lose

but if it is related to the topic
Then it is called Anecdotal Evidence or A Strawman Argument

Statement you use in debate round
The Affirmative has stated many different arguments with no evidence to back it up, Which is why I call a Topicality on the Grounds that they are getting rid of the educational aspect of this debate

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