VIEWS: 52 PAGES: 49 POSTED ON: 8/13/2011
Fallacies Fallacies in Making a Case • Fallacies of Relevance • Fallacies of Inadequate Evidence • Fallacies of Illegitimate Assumption Fallacies of Relevance Irrelevant evidence is give to support the argument Fallacies of Relevance Appeal to Ignorance Example: Of course I believe in ESP. No one has ever demonstrated that it doesn’t exist. Fallacies of Relevance Appeal to Inappropriate Authority Example: Aldous Huxley, renowned author, wrote a book advocating that nearsightedness could be cured with eye exercises. Fallacies of Relevance Appeal to General Belief Example: We all know most people on welfare are just too lazy to work. We should start a program requiring those on welfare to provide community service to earn their money. Fallacies of Relevance Appeal to Popular Attitudes & Emotions Example: I’ll tell you why I believe we were right to go into Iraq. It’s because I love my country. If you love America, then you’d agree. Fallacies of Relevance Gambler’s Fallacy Example: The last ten flips have been tails, so heads should come up soon. We’d better bet all we have on heads. Fallacies of Inadequate Evidence Arguments with premises that present relevant, but inadequate evidence to support a conclusion Fallacies of Inadequate Evidence False Cause (Post Hoc) Example: I wore this pair of socks for the last game, and we won, so the socks must have given me good luck. Fallacies of Inadequate Evidence Hasty Generalization Example: An accountant opens her own business. The first two clients lie about their income and she finds out. She concludes that most clients lie about their income. Fallacies of Relevance & Inadequate Evidence After death experiences are a reality. Despite years of attempts at debunking, no one has ever been able to show that reports from beyond the grave are all due to error, deception, or simply wishful thinking. I’ve been feeding this slot machine for 20 minutes, and the person before me pumped in $200 with no payout. I’m due a hit any minute. Nobody wants to say so in public, but we all know that immigrants don’t have as strong a commitment to this country as those of us who were born here. The Dallas group held a rain dance at the Turtle Creek fountain Sunday night, and the group leader, Debra Denton, claimed it got results. “It rained, didn’t it?” she asked. Dr. R.J. Palmer, one of New York’s leading oral surgeons, has pointed out that evolution theory requires us to say that a species of reptile changed into a birdlike creature, so the whole absurd theory is mistaken. Dr. Palmer’s scientific assessment shows why it is that no reasonable person can be an evolutionist. You don’t have to be of noble birth to appreciate Cutty Sark Scotch Whiskey. All that is required is noble taste. Americans reject gun control. A 2003 survey conducted at the National Hunting Association revealed that 71% of the 50 people interviewed are opposed to legal regulation, including the restriction of assault rifles. Fallacies of Illegitimate Assumption Arguments that rely on some sort of illegitimate premise Fallacies of Illegitimate Assumption False Dilemma Example: Either you’re for us or against us. It is obvious that you aren’t for us, so you must be against us. Fallacies of Illegitimate Assumption Loaded Question Example: Are you still beating your wife? Fallacies of Illegitimate Assumption Begging the Question Example: James is a murderer because he wrongfully killed someone. Fallacies of Illegitimate Assumption Slippery Slope Example: If we legalize marijuana, then next thing people will be shooting up heroine in every public bathroom. Fallacies of Illegitimate Assumption Are women still discouraged from excelling in sports by a lack of financial or emotional support? Once we adopt a policy of failing to enforce laws prohibiting littering, loitering, and panhandling, we might as well give up on enforcing the laws on assault, rape, and murder. Adultery cannot be justified. The reason it can’t is simply that it is never acceptable for a married person to have sex with someone who is not his or her spouse. When can I make up the exam I missed? We can achieve peace in the Middle East either by negotiations or by war. Negotiations have led nowhere, so what is there left to do but send in troops? If we recognize Cuba diplomatically, then we will have to grant the same status to every country run by an anti-American dictator. The reason you can’t trust Roth is that he’s a liar, a fraud, and a deliberate deceiver. Senator Anson voted against the proposed constitutional amendment prohibiting burning the America flag as a form of protest. A legislator must either support the amendment or support flag burners. Senator Anson has made his choice, and next November the voters will make theirs. Why do the Democrats always want to raise taxes? Fallacies of Criticism Misdirection away from the main point, so the respondent doesn’t have to consider the legitimacy of the claim Fallacies of Criticism Against the Person (Ad Hominem) Example: As a gay conservative, Andrew Sullivan can’t possibly have anything constructive to offer the right. Fallacies of Criticism You Too Example: • Brown: You are a cheat. You left half your income off your tax return last year. • Smith: Big deal. You lied about deductions and had the nerve to claim your dog as a dependent. Fallacies of Criticism Pooh-Pooh Example: Mr. Paulson would basically pooh-pooh the subprime problems until major Wall Street powers got in trouble and then— presto—swing into action. Fallacies of Criticism Straw Man Example: The theory of evolution boils down to the idea that human beings are descended from apes. Fallacies of Criticism Loaded Words Example: Medical research on animals simply must be stopped at once. This torture of innocent creatures is morally indecent. Fallacy of Response Definitional Dodge Example: You’re not real fan of the Bengals because you don’t finish watching the games when they’re losing. Yeah, well, only a real fan has season tickets. And since I have season tickets and you don’t, I’m the true fan. Fallacies of Criticism Jimmy Carter: The survival of the world depends on ending the cycle of nuclear arms development. That’s why it’s crucial for us to join with other nuclear states and sign the SALT II Treaty. Ronald Reagan: Jimmy Carter says we should sign the SALT II Treaty because nobody will like us if we don’t. If you can’t come up with something besides the feminist cliché that our ad demeans women, I don’t see any reason to answer you. Gloria Grag’s views on fighting terrorism are wrong. Is she an intelligence expert? No. Someone with police experience? No. I tell you what she is, she’s a commercial baker. That’s right, a cookie maker! So I don’t want to see gays in public office, but you’ve got no room to object. You don’t want to see women get elected. Senator Clemens says we should spend less on giving tax rebates to the rich and more on improving education. But this is just the same tired liberal cliché we’ve heard before—nothing worth taking seriously. Bob is as morally bankrupt as he is financially. You’ve never had a taste of beer because beer can’t be tasted in a sip.
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