I've argued with over 500 atheists (mostly online, but a few times in person) and I can say beyond hyperbole each and every one argues the exact same thing, in the exact same way and makes the exact same mistakes over and over. Then I came across this website called www.atheismsfallacies.com and on one of its articles, there exists a full list of errors atheists make. What I have here is a reproduction of the list filled with definitions, examples and exceptions to the rule that show contrary to what atheists claim, Christianity does not commit these errors:
Argumentum ad antiquitatem (the argument to antiquity or tradition)- the argument that something is right or acceptable because of tradition or history.
Example: Whenever an atheist says "Atheism is the default position."
Exception to the rule: There is no exception per say, but the fallacy itself rests on two assumptions: the notion was correct when first introduced; in other words, it was correct because it was the most common view, plus past justifications for the tradition are still valid at present. Neither of these apply to Christianity given what research has shown concerning the notions found in Christianity for both God existing and the morality found in the Bible (more on this later)
Argumentum ad hominem (argument directed at the person)- attacking the person making the stand and not the stand itself.
Example: Whenever an atheist says, "Christians are nothing more than bigots!"
Exception to the Rule: if the label matches the facts given about a person, or if a certain trait may very well be relevant to the issue, or if the trait can be proven, then no fallacy was committed. Hence, why I can get away with saying atheists are idiots.
Argumentum ad ignorantiam (argument to ignorance)- stating a notion is true because it hasn't been proven false.
Examples: either the atheist will say "God can't exist because no one has proven there is one" or they'll place an impossible or unlikely condition for belief, such as "Unless god shows himself and walks on water so that I can see it happen I refuse to believe in a god."
Exception to the rule: If despite all known evidence and research, we still can't figure out the undeniable answer, we are to go with the answer that best fits the evidence. As Sherlock Holmes once stated, "when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever is left--no matter how implausible--must be correct." Hence, why Christians can say God created the universe.
Argumentum ad nauseam (argument to the point of disgust; i.e., by repetition)- the fallacy of trying to prove something by repeating it over and over again and the expectation that the repetition alone will substitute for real arguments. It is also known as proof by assertion, an informal fallacy in which a proposition is repeatedly restated regardless of contradiction.
Example: whenever an atheist presents the same refuted argument over and over again.
Exception to the rule: As far as I can tell, there is no exception to the rule; there is however the burden of the person restating the refuted notion to prove why it's right in spite of overwhelming evidence.
Argumentum ad populum (argument or appeal to the public)- the fallacy of trying to prove something by arguing that the majority of popular opinion agrees with you.
Example: whenever an atheist says the number of atheists are growing. (Notice the slight of hand: if the Christian population were growing, the atheists would think the people are crazy, but if the atheists are growing, they can't praise it fast enough.)
Exception to the rule: This has five exceptions. If one uses the numbers to show people do hold the belief, if it's a matter of social convention, if it concerns a law in regards to public safety, how people speak a language or if one can show why people hold the belief, then no fallacy committed. Hence, why Christians can say their faith is a matter of culture, because what culture basis itself on atheism?
Begging the question- when what you are trying to prove is already assumed.
Example: They will often argue that "Atheism isn't belief. Atheism is the lack of belief." This is nothing more than a play on words.
Exception to the rule: if something outside your assertion can prove the assertion true. This is why atheists claiming "Christians think the Bible is true because it says it's true" doesn't work. Even Michael Shermer found that wasn't the case
Dicto simpliciter (sweeping generalization)- he fallacy of making a sweeping statement and expecting it to be true of every specific case; aka a stereotype
Example: whenever atheists claim all religious people bomb buildings
Exception to the rule: if an objective piece of evidence shows a group actually does perform this action.
Post hoc ergo propter hoc (with this, therefore because of this)-when correlation is mixed with causation.
Example: any given atheist notion concerning prayer, or saying prayer doesn't work
Exception to the rule: if correlation can indeed prove causation.
Naturalistic fallacy- the fallacy of trying to form a value conclusion (what is right or good) from statements of fact alone.
Example: someone might argue that the premise, "Science has concluded that
naturalistic causes are solely responsible for the origins of life. You
should therefore believe that a god does not exist."
Exception to the rule: There is no exception to this rule.
Non Sequitur ("It does not follow")- the simple fallacy of forming a conclusion about something that does not
strictly follow from the premises or that may have another explanation.
Example: claiming that since ice cream sales rise the same time as car thefts, then ice cream causes car thefts. Or alternatively, saying atheism is rising shows atheism is the better position.
Exception to the rule: No real exceptions per say; one merely has to show what one has to do with the other.
One-Sided Assessment-fallacy committed by many atheists when they ignore arguments of evidence from religion since it isn't what they prefer evidence to be.
Example: saying there are more Christians in prison than atheists. This doesn't work since a) it has nothing to do with God existing b) the study used doesn't exist.
Exception to the rule: none
Red herring-the fallacy of bringing irrelevant facts or ideas to an argument in order to distract from the topic at hand.
Example: whenever atheists try to refute atheism being a religious stand by concluding baldness is a hair color. One has nothing to do with the other.
Exceptions to the rule: same as non-sequitor
Slippery slope-an argument that says adopting one idea or belief will lead to a series
of ideas or beliefs, without showing a causal connection between the two
ideas or beliefs.
Example: A popular example in atheism is when atheists argue in favor of there
being no gods because believing in gods will lead to atheism of other
gods. Denial of one has nothing to do with acceptance of the other.
Exception: when Christians claim having no absolute values leads to overall breakdown of values as this is based on credible studies
Straw man- This fallacy occurs when a debater sets up a related but
often extreme version or easier position of somebody's argument, rather
than the actual argument made.
Example: using crime rates in Christian nations to show Christians murder people, even though that ignores the teachings of the Bible
Exception to the rule: the best way is to show how your take is related to the one at hand.
Tu quoque ("you too" or "you are another")- This is the fallacy of defending an error in one's reasoning by pointing out that one's opponent has made the same error.
Example: When confronted with the suffering atheism has caused, atheists will say "Christians caused far more misery," which a) answers nothing and b) is not historically accurate.
Exception to the rule: If one can prove it applies to the other side, but not at all to your own.
Now, let me add a few more to this list:
Chronological Snobbery- the erroneous argument that the thinking, art, or science of an earlier time is inherently inferior to that of the present, simply by virtue of its temporal priority.
Example: any time atheists refer to the Bible as "Bronze age nonsense."
Exception to the rule: none
Category Error (aka Category Mistake)- a semantic or ontological error in which "things of one kind are presented as if they belonged to another" or, alternatively, a property is ascribed to a thing that could not possibly have that property.
Example: saying God can't be real because science can't prove God's existence, even though Christianity never claimed that.
Fallacy of Guilt by Association- asserts that qualities of one thing are inherently qualities of another, merely by an irrelevant association.
Example: every time an atheist brings up the Inquisition or the Crusades, since they don't know much about either.
Exception to rule: if you can prove this is not typical behavior of the group.
Burden of Proof error- placing the burden of proof on someone or something that doesn't deserve it.
Example: (and this is VERY common with atheists) Saying it is up to the Christian to prove God exists, when it should be on the atheist.
Exception to the rule: If the notion is one held by the majority of people and can be shown why they believe it, then no fallacy committed. Note that this by itself doesn't mean it's true but it does show who has to explain what.
Appeal to Authority- claiming something is true because an authority says it's true.
Example: if an atheist cites an atheist thinker as to why they hold a notion.
Exception to the rule: (and both of these must hold true) If the notion is held as mutual consensus by experts in the field, then no fallacy was committed.
No True Scotsman-
When faced with a counterexample to a universal claim,
rather than denying the counterexample or rejecting the original
universal claim, this fallacy modifies the subject of the assertion to
exclude the specific case or others like it by rhetoric, without
reference to any specific objective rule.
Example: If an atheist says "all true Christians are hypocrites."
Exception: if the notion matches the textbook definition (ie all atheists don't believe in God) or mentions a trait a group is supposed to have (ie all humans are mammals) no fallacy committed.
So there you have it...all atheist fallacies and how to refute all of them. Trust me: point out to an atheist that they committed a fallacy and they will fall to pieces.