This is a tutorial on fallacies of faulty assumption. These two fallacies—loaded question and question-begging language—involve introducing into a discussion a point not proven, but just assumed on no evidence. In loaded question, this involves asking a question with a false or dubious presupposition. You refute the fallacy by simply pointing to a doubtful presupposition, or to the phrases which serve to assert the claim without evidence.
Note that there are borderline cases, especially when it is unclear whether the interrogative sentence given is used to ask a genuine question or to make a statement (a ‘rhetorical question’). For example, the passage:
Why do I say Sue is immoral? Because of all the evil that the despicable witch commits!
can be viewed as truly asking why Sue is immoral, which presupposes that she is , so asks a loaded question. On the other hand, the question may be viewed as rhetorical, in which case the passage amounts to saying that Sue is immoral because of all the evil she—an evil person—does. This offers no proof that she is in fact evil; it only offers question-begging language.
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Question 1 of 5
Why do Democrats love criminals so much? I’ll never understand it—it’s just so weird.CorrectIncorrect
Question 2 of 5
Lying is immoral, because it is always unethical to knowingly tell a falsehood.CorrectIncorrect
Question 3 of 5
Why do I think that a flat income tax is the most just tax policy for the country? Because it is the only fair way to tax peoples’ incomes.CorrectIncorrect
Question 4 of 5
Why are you denying what is so obviously true, namely, that the students of today are far less honest than students in the past?CorrectIncorrect
Question 5 of 5
Sue is really pretty, because she is absolutely gorgeous, with a face like an angel.CorrectIncorrect