Instructions: Each of the following passages contains one of the major fallacies we have discussed so far:
|Loaded question||Asking a question with a false or debatable presupposition.|
|Question-begging language||Pushing a conclusion not by offering evidence, but by using language that restates what you want to prove.|
|Equivocation||Using an ambiguous word, phrase or sentence to confuse or mislead.|
|Accent||To change the meaning of a sentence unambiguous in a context by omitting or stressing words in it.|
|Composition||Arguing that what is true of the parts must be true of the whole, or using a general term distributively in the premises but collectively in the conclusion.|
|Division||Arguing that what is true of the whole must be true of the parts, or using a general term collectively in the premises but distributively in the conclusion.|
For each passage, explain what is wrong and choose the appropriate label.
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Question 1 of 15
When are Americans going to learn to respect achievement? Until they respect achievement, they will wallow in mediocrity.
Question 2 of 15
Pharmacist sign: “We dispense with care”
Question 3 of 15
Your brain is made of molecules. Molecules do not have consciousness. Therefore, your brain cannot be the source of consciousness.
Question 4 of 15
Ad in store: “We stand behind every bed we sell!”
Question 5 of 15
The American judicial system is a fair system. Therefore, that guy who just got executed must have had a fair trial.
Question 6 of 15
Fred: “Ted, why do you claim that astronauts never landed on the moon?”
Ted: “Because Mayor Tina Louise says so, and she doesn’t lie.”
Fred: “How do you know she doesn’t lie?”
Ted: “Because she tells the unvarnished truth, and is totally honest in her statements.”
Question 7 of 15
Ad (top of page): FLY TO FRANCE FOR ONLY $150*
Ad (bottom of page): Not counting taxes, fuel charges, surcharges, and baggage fees.
Question 8 of 15
When will our Leftist news media stop attacking our patriotic President?
Question 9 of 15
Beautiful models sell cars just by being pictured next to the cars in the ads. But models are composed of atoms, so in fact atoms sell cars.
Question 10 of 15
Why do I think that the President is incompetent? Because he can’t accomplish anything, no matter how hard he tries. His is absolutely unable to succeed at even the simplest things.
Question 11 of 15
Sue: “I think it would be a mistake to promote Sam. He is very aggressive with other workers, and his honesty is questionable.”
Mona: “I agree with you that we should promote Sam, because he is very honest.”
Question 12 of 15
Announcement: “Our X-ray unit will give you an examination for tuberculosis which you will receive free of charge.”
Question 13 of 15
Martha, Wolfgang and Julia are all superb chefs. So putting them together in the kitchen here will have fabulous results for our restaurant.
Question 14 of 15
Teacher to student: “I shall lose no time reading your paper.”
Question 15 of 15
Headline: “Grandmother of eight makes hole in one.”
Woman to husband: “I can’t believe a woman would do that to her own grandchild!”