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Terms in this set (38)
Appeal to Force
Child to playmate: Sesame Street is the best show on TV; and if you don't believe it, I'm
going to call my big brother over here and he's going to beat you up.
Appeal to Force
Secretary to boss: I deserve a raise in salary for the coming year. After all, you know
how friendly I am with your wife, and I'm sure you wouldn't want her to find out
what's been going on between you and that sexpot client of yours.
Appeal to Pity
Taxpayer to judge: Your Honor, I admit that I declared thirteen children as dependents
on my tax return, even though I have only two. But if you find me guilty of tax eva-
sion, my reputation will be ruined. I'll probably lose my job, my poor wife will not
be able to have the operation that she desperately needs, and my kids will starve.
Surely I am not guilty.
Appeal to the People
Of course you want to buy Zing toothpaste. Why, 90 percent of America brushes with Zing.
Appeal to the People
A Rolls-Royce is not for everyone. If you qualify as one of the select few, this
distinguished classic may be seen and driven at British Motor Cars, Ltd. (By
appointment only, please.)
Appeal to the People
Mother to child: You want to grow up and be just like Wonder Woman, don't you?
Then eat your liver and carrots.
Ad Hominem Abusive
Television entertainer Bill Maher argues that religion is just a lot of foolish nonsense.
But Maher is an arrogant, shameless, self-righteous pig. Obviously his arguments
are not worth listening to.
Ad Hominem Circumstantial
The Dalai Lama argues that China has no business in Tibet and that the West should do
something about it. But the Dalai Lama just wants the Chinese to leave so he can return
as leader. Naturally he argues this way. Therefore, we should reject his arguments.
Ad Hominem (tu quoque)
Political operative Newt Gingrich has argued about the need to preserve family values.
But who is he to talk? Gingrich has been married three times. He divorced his first
wife while she was hospitalized for cancer, and he engaged in an extramarital affair
while he was married to his second wife. Clearly, Gingrich's arguments are trash.
Fallacy of Accident
People are obligated to keep their promises. When Jessica married Tyler, she prom-
ised to stay with him for life. Therefore, she should stay with him now, even
though he has become an abusive spouse addicted to gambling and drugs.
Mr. Goldberg has argued against prayer in the public schools. Obviously Mr.
Goldberg advocates atheism. But atheism is what they used to have in Russia.
Atheism leads to the suppression of all religions and the replacement of God
by an omnipotent state. Is that what we want for this country? I hardly think so.
Clearly Mr. Goldberg's argument is nonsense.
Missing the point
Crimes of theft and robbery have been increasing at an alarming rate lately. The con-
clusion is obvious: We must reinstate the death penalty immediately.
Missing the Point
Abuse of the welfare system is rampant nowadays. Our only alternative is to abolish
the system altogether.
Environmentalists are continually harping about the dangers of nuclear power. Unfortu-
nately, electricity is dangerous no matter where it comes from. Every year hundreds
of people are electrocuted by accident. Since most of these accidents are caused by
carelessness, they could be avoided if people would just exercise greater caution.
There is a good deal of talk these days about the need to eliminate pesticides from
our fruits and vegetables. But many of these foods are essential to our health.
Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A, broccoli is rich in iron, and oranges
and grapefruit have lots of vitamin C.
Dr. Bradshaw, our family physician, has stated that the creation of muonic atoms
of deuterium and tritium hold the key to producing a sustained nuclear fusion
reaction at room temperature. In view of Dr. Bradshaw's expertise as a physician,
we must conclude that this is indeed true.
James W. Johnston, Chairman of R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, testified before
Congress that tobacco is not an addictive substance and that smoking cigarettes
does not produce any addiction. Therefore, we should believe him and conclude
that smoking does not in fact lead to any addiction.
Appeal to Ignorance
People have been trying for centuries to provide conclusive evidence for the claims
of astrology, and no one has ever succeeded. Therefore, we must conclude that
astrology is a lot of nonsense.
Today's money managers are a pack of thieves, every last one of them. Look at
Bernie Madoff and Robert Allen Stanford. They ripped off billions of dollars from
thousands of trusting clients. And Raj Rajaratnam profited to the tune of millions
of dollars through illegal insider trading.
Before the last presidential election, three residents of Harlem were quoted as
saying they supported Barack Obama even though they knew nothing about his
policies. Obviously the issues played no role in the outcome of that election.
During the past two months, every time that the cheerleaders have worn blue rib-
bons in their hair, the basketball team has been defeated. Therefore, to prevent
defeats in the future, the cheerleaders should get rid of those blue ribbons.
Today, all of us can look forward to a longer life span than our parents and grand-
parents. Obviously we owe our thanks to the millions of dedicated doctors who
expend every effort to ensure our health.
Immediate steps should be taken to outlaw pornography once and for all. The
continued manufacture and sale of pornographic material will almost certainly
lead to an increase in sex-related crimes such as rape and incest. This in turn will
gradually erode the moral fabric of society and result in an increase in crimes of all
sorts. Eventually a complete disintegration of law and order will occur, leading in
the end to the total collapse of civilization.
Amber's dog is similar in many ways to Kyle's cat. Both like being petted, they enjoy
being around people, they beg for food at the dinner table, and they sleep with
their owners. Amber's dog loves to romp on the beach with Amber. Therefore,
Kyle's cat probably loves to romp on the beach with Kyle.
Begging the question
We know that humans are intended to eat lots of fruit because the human hand and
arm are perfectly suited for picking fruit from a tree.
Begging the question
Clearly, terminally ill patients have a right to doctor-assisted suicide. After all, many
of these people are unable to commit suicide by themselves.
Where did you hide the marijuana you were smoking?
Have you stopped cheating on exams?
Either you let me attend the Dixie Chicks concert or I'll be miserable for the rest of my
life. I know you don't want me to be miserable for the rest of my life, so it follows
that you'll let me attend the concert.
Either you buy only American-made products or you don't deserve to be called a
loyal American. Yesterday you bought a new Toyota. It's therefore clear that you
don't deserve to be called a loyal American.
Most dogs are friendly and pose no threat to people who pet them. Therefore, it
would be safe to pet the little dog that is approaching us now.
During the past sixty years, Poland has enjoyed a rather low standard of living. Therefore,
Poland will probably have a low standard of living for the next sixty years.
(Fallacy of Ambiguity)
We have a duty to do what is right. We have a right to speak out in defense of the
innocent. Therefore, we have a duty to speak out in defense of the innocent.
(fallacy of Ambiguity)
A mouse is an animal. Therefore, a large mouse is a large animal.
The tour guide said that standing in Greenwich Village, the Empire State Building could
easily be seen. It follows that the Empire State Building is in Greenwich Village.
Professor Johnson said that he will give a lecture about heart failure in the biology lecture
hall. It must be the case that a number of heart failures have occurred there recently.
Each player on this basketball team is an excellent athlete. Therefore, the team as a
whole is excellent.
Sodium and chlorine, the atomic components of salt, are both deadly poisons.
Therefore, salt is a deadly poison.
Salt is a nonpoisonous compound. Therefore, its component elements, sodium and
chlorine, are nonpoisonous.
THIS SET IS OFTEN IN FOLDERS WITH...
Logical fallacies-chapter 5
Chapter 3 Logic
3.2 Fallacies of Relevance Examples
Ch. 2: Informal Fallacies
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