February 21, 2011
In John’s Blosser “Shocking Truth about the Homeless”, he shatters America’s stereotype of the homeless and presents the concealed truth. Many Americans view the homeless as helpless and innocent victims that crumble under the pressure of the cruel world but Blosser view is the opposite. Blosser relies on statistics and testimony of authority figures, who study the homeless to persuade Americans that the homeless are not in their unfortunate circumstance by chance. Blosser presents a controversial argument and fails to defend it due to his blatant use of fallacies such as the ad hominem, begging the question, and hasty generalization.
Blosser opened his argument with an ad hominem, which is an ethical fallacy. By stating, “Homeless Americans have been portrayed as pathetic victims of society, ordinary people down on their luck but most of them are really alcoholics, drug-abusers, and criminals or are mentally ill, experts say.” (166, Blosser) The quote somewhat damages his argument because not all homeless people are alcoholics, drug-abusers, criminals, or mentally ill. There are other causes of homelessness besides alcohol, drugs, mental illness, and criminal activity. Other contributing causes of homelessness are loss of income, loss of a loved one, and low education level. Rather than completely considering other contributors to homelessness, Blosser’s argument depends heavily on personal attacks against the homeless that are baseless.
Blosser and other experts assume that the majority of homeless people abuse either drugs or alcohol, are mentally ill, or are criminals. How can this be proven? Were surveys conducted in high populated homeless communities? What about the homeless children. Begging the question, a form of logical fallacies is defined as a statement assuming what needs to be proven. “I estimate 80 percent have serious drug, alcohol or mental problems. Many of them are involved in crime.” (166,... [continues]
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