Exercises on Fallacious Appeals

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  • Topic: Critical thinking, Fallacy, Attacking Faulty Reasoning
  • Pages : 1 (423 words )
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  • Published : June 5, 2012
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The exercise provided a great sense of bad arguments and the various fallacies. The quiz gave examples of fallacious appeals such as questionable authority, common belief; two wrongs do not equal a right, common practice, wishful thinking and indirect consequences. Generally speaking the multiple choice answers were tricky as most of the choices were very similar in content and form. The trick to identifying the correct answer is found in previous reading and looking forward. Key words or the way an answer was structured is what gave the correct answer away. From an overall stand point, the general lesson here is to analyze arguments and dissect them which allows one to determine appropriate factual arguments from ones that are formed out of emotion, fear or irrationalism. Beliefs based on assumptions or incorrect information can be formed by people if they are not able to recognize fallacious arguments or interpret the validity of arguments that they read. The answers that I provided on the quiz were 100% correct. Many of the answers provided were tricky as they were at times similar and only a word or phrasing were what gave the answer away. For instance on question 1 “Give up smoking, or you will die” provided two potentially viable answers. Certainly this argument would scare someone as it appeals to a natural fear of death. The answer actually states “cannot be an appeal to fear (scare tactic) because everyone is going to die anyway.” The immediate thought for most would be that this would be the answer based on the common belief that smoking causes death. The answer is in fact that it is an either or fallacy. The “cannot” in the first answer is what gives away that it is not correct. Other key indicators tipped me off to the fallacy of the argument presented as well. Question 3 stated “I owned a Ford once, and it broke down on me. They are terrible cars, and I will never buy one again.” This argument is an obvious generalization. A valid...
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