What does it mean to argue or ask something “in bad faith”?

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What does it mean to argue or ask something “in bad faith”?

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Your mind is made up or a narrative is formed before asking the question. Usually in a debate of controversial issues.

Normally when you argue something or discuss something there is an implicit agreement that both of you are arguing for the sake of discussion or the exchanging of opinions and ideas; and that both of you are “playing fair” and not hiding your motives.

Arguing in bad faith generally means one of you isn’t playing by the rules or are arguing for a dishonest purpose. If you’re arguing something to humiliate the other person, that’s bad faith. If you’re arguing to stroke your ego, that’s bad faith. If you’re arguing to “win” some imaginary battle and aren’t intending to give your opponent a fair shake, that’s bad faith. If you intentionally misrepresent your evidence, lie, cheat, divert the discussion away from areas that you don’t have the upper hand, that’s bad faith.

Questions asked in bad faith work in the same way. Generally one asks a question because they’d like to know the answer, or rhetorically they ask them as a way to highlight some point or argument and get those present to view the discussion in a different light. Asking questions in bad faith means asking a question when you don’t care about the answer nor really are going to engage with it afterwards, you’re just using it as a vehicle to “win” or otherwise use the answer to jump in to other bad faith argument tactics.

I always thought it was more asking a line of questions designed to make the opponent look bad even though you know it’s not what they mean

Edit. Was ment as reply to Bryant’s post

Arguing *”in bad faith”* is generally thought of as bringing in an argument into a discussion who’s purpose is solely to throw off your opponent: you dont actually care about their response, you just want to get the argument out there so they they are cornered by public opinion.

this sort of argument can also happen if you get attacked with information that was agreed upon to not be disclosed(but not in a legally binding way), ie: using something they told you in confidence to attack them as a person.

this is considered to be **Extremely** poor form and if done improperly you can get yourself in a position to get sued for defamation.