Instructions: Each of the following passages contains one of the fallacies we have studied so far:
|Loaded question||Asking a question with a false or debatable presupposition.|
|Question-begging language||Using language that restates a conclusion rather than provide evidence for it.|
|Equivocation||Using an ambiguous word, phrase or sentence to confuse or mislead.|
|Accent||Changing the meaning of a sentence that is unambiguous in the context by stressing or omitting 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.|
|Pooh-poohing||Dismissing, rather than refuting, a legitimate point or argument.|
|Shifting the burden of proof/appeal to ignorance||Asking others to prove a view is wrong, rather than providing evidence that it is right.|
|Appeal to hate||Arousing irrelevant feelings of hate rather than providing evidence for your point of view.|
|Appeal to fear||Arousing irrelevant feelings of fear rather than providing evidence for your point of view.|
|Appeal to pity||Arousing irrelevant feelings of pity rather than providing evidence for your point of view.|
|Appeal to the crowd||Arousing irrelevant feelings of identity rather than providing evidence for your point of view.|
|Ignoring the issue||Rather than address the issue at hand, you change the subject.|
For each passage, explain what is wrong and choose the appropriate label.
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back to Chapter 8
Question 1 of 30
We don’t have to waste time dealing with Ms. Thompson’s claims about would not being promoted to executive positions. She’s just giving us more of the usual feminist claptrap.
Question 2 of 30
Every person who plays or played professional sports must be rich. After all, professional sports players have the highest average salaries of all professions.
Question 3 of 30
Don’t pick up that toad! They cause warts! Everybody knows that!
Question 4 of 30
Ad in newspaper: “New Housing Development! Beautiful Homes Available Now! Get there first! They won’t last long!”
Question 5 of 30
Sue: “I really love how Billie Holiday could interpret a song, and the way she could convey her emotion in her voice. She was a superb jazz singer.”
Lorna: “What would you know about jazz singers? You’re a white girl!”
Question 6 of 30
The human body is made of cells. These cells are invisible. So the human body is invisible.
Question 7 of 30
Luisa: “I think that the country should invest more money in our educational system.”
Juan: “But aren’t we spending beyond our budget? Where will we get the money?”
Luisa: “Isn’t it obvious that education is crucial in our modern economy?”
Question 8 of 30
Why do I believe that God exists? Because despite centuries of trying to prove He doesn’t, atheists have not been able to do so.
Question 9 of 30
Mr. Hong once again brings up the old liberal chestnut that minorities are being exploited by businesses to keep labor costs low. What a laughable view.
Question 10 of 30
Why does China make only junk?
Question 11 of 30
Yes, you can ask for a raise. And I can fire you. We both have freedom.
Question 12 of 30
Candidate Jones: “If elected, I plan to increase funding for research into electric cars. It may help slow global warming.”
Candidate Smith: “Ladies and gentlemen, my opponent seems to be saying that all our ecological problems can be solved if we all just buy little electric cars!”
Question 13 of 30
You can’t prove that he was to blame for the misfortune, so it must have been someone else.
Question 14 of 30
Both sodium and chlorine are poisonous to people. So sodium chloride (table salt) must be poisonous.
Question 15 of 30
Christianity has a long history of doing bad things. So you Christians should all feel guilty.
Question 16 of 30
We should reject Ms. Harris’s suggestion for increasing the efficacy of our colleges. As a manufacturer, she cannot be expected to realize that our aim is to educate the youth, not make a profit.
Question 17 of 30
The anti-war protesters are all cowards. They’re students scared because they may have to fight to defend their country. Real chickens, if you ask me.
Question 18 of 30
Ad: “Squirrels are man’s best friend, but so many of them go to bed hungry at night. Here at the Save the Squirrels Society, we try every day to stop the horrible problem of squirrel starvation. Won’t you send your support right away?”
Question 19 of 30
Sales leaflet: “This is a genuine offer! We have no connection with other companies which are selling trash!”
Question 20 of 30
Student: “I think that the cafeteria is overcharging for food.”
Teacher: “I doubt that…this is a non-profit institution, after all.”
Student: “Oh, yeah? Well, can you prove that the prices there are fair?”
Question 21 of 30
In all times and places, in every culture and civilization, people have believed in the existence of some sort of deity. Therefore, a supernatural being must exist.
Question 22 of 30
Abstract art isn’t even art. Those pictures and sculptures don’t represent anything, and that’s how you know it’s not even art.
Question 23 of 30
Smith scares me. He’s running for the Senate, and I worry that if he’s elected, he will push for concentration camps to kill people like you and me. I’m afraid not just for my life, but for the lives of millions of helpless children.
Question 24 of 30
Yes, equal pay for women is an important issue, but why is it that the overwhelmingly high percentage of suicides is men? I mean, don’t you care about people dying?
Question 25 of 30
Ad for beer:
YOU ARE GOING TO DIE!!!!
…eventually. So you may as well enjoy yourself while you still live. Abel’s Beer will help you and your friends enjoy life!
Question 26 of 30
Ed: “I think that because America faces major adversaries such as China, Russia and Iran, we should increase our defense spending.”
Ted: “What the hell do you know? You never even went to college!”
Question 27 of 30
Man to a charity solicitor: “I will give no more money, I mean, no more at all, to your so-called charity ever again.”
Solicitor: “Well, thank you for saying you will continue to give your current amount.”
Question 28 of 30
Why do Democrats want the government to completely control our lives? I have always found this amazing….
Question 29 of 30
One employee to another: “I hope management makes Sue the store manager. Yeah, she was once caught stealing, but she’s been through a horrible divorce, two major operations, and her son just got sent to jail.”
Question 30 of 30
Poster: “Save soap and waste paper.”
Man to wife: “I agree we should save soap, but why should we waste paper? That seems odd to me. “