Fallacies are all around us. Every time we turn on a TV, or a radio, or pick up a newspaper, we see or hear fallacies. According to Dictionary.com, a fallacy is defined as a false notion, a statement or an argument based on a false or invalid inference, incorrectness of reasoning or belief; erroneousness, or the quality of being deceptive (www.Dictionary.com). Fallacies are part of everyday and become a staple in certain aspects of life. Political campaigns and reporters would be lost without the use of fallacies. Fallacies can be divided into two broad groups: fallacies of relevance and fallacies of insufficient evidence. Fallacies of relevance occur because the premises are logically irrelevant to the conclusion. Fallacies of insufficient evidence occur because the premises fail to provide sufficient evidence to support the conclusion, even though the premises may be logically relevant to the conclusion (Bassham, 2000). In this paper I will define three fallacies, explain their significance to Critical Thinking, and discuss their general application to Decision Making. The three fallacies I will discuss are Ad Hominem (attacking the person), Two Wrongs Make a Right, and Slippery Slope. Ad Hominem (Attacking the Person)
Ad hominem occurs when we reject a person's argument or claim by attacking the person rather than the person's argument or claim (Bassham 2000). This type of fallacy is a common occurrence in political debates. If a candidate cannot find valid reasons to dispute another candidate's claims or ideas then the candidate attacks the person himself, not the issues. It is important to mention that not every personal attack is a fallacy. A personal attack is only a fallacy if an arguer rejects another person's argument or claim, and the arguer attacks the person who offers the argument or claim, rather than attacking the merits of the argument or claim. A simple statement attacking a person's character, though not right, is not a fallacy....
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