In reasoning and argument mapping, a counterargument is an objection to an objection. A counterargument can be used to rebut an objection to a premise, a main contention or a lemma. Synonyms of counterargument may include rebuttal, reply, counterstatement, counterreason, comeback and response. The attempt to rebut an argument may involve generating a counterargument or finding a counterexample.
- I shall give you a response to what you have just recited like a magic spell, and a rebuttal to your charming ditty delivered in a bellow. Do not make me out to be an ignoramus -- I will answer you once and for all!
- Reagan finally won the nomination by promoting "Reaganomics", an economic program based on the theory that the government could lower taxes while increasing spending and at the same time actually reduce the federal budget by sacrificing a live chicken by the light of a full moon. Bush charged that this amounted to "voo-doo economics," which got him into hot water until he explained that what he meant to say was "doo-doo economics." Satisfied, Reagan made Bush his vice-presidential nominee. The turning point in the election campaign came during the October 8 debate between Reagan and Carter, when Reagan's handlers came up with a shrewd strategy: No matter what Carter said, Reagan would respond by shaking his head in a sorrowful manner and saying: "There you go again." This was brilliant, because (a) it required the candidate to remember only four words, and (b) he delivered them so believably that everything Carter said seemed like a lie. If Carter had stated that the Earth was round, Reagan would have shaken his head, saying, "There you go again," and millions of voters would have said: "Yeah! What does Carter think we are? Stupid?
- Dave Barry, Dave Barry Slept Here: A Sort of History of the United States (1989), p. 167
- Sometimes people let the same problem make them miserable for years when they could just say, "So what." That's one of my favorite things to say. "So what." "My mother didn't love me." So what. "My husband won't ball me." So what. "I'm a success but I'm still alone." So what. I don't know how I made it through all the years before I learned how to do that trick. It took a long time for me to learn it, but once you do, you never forget.