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Appendix I Logical Fallacy Examples

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Keith Morrison

on 29 October 2014

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Transcript of Appendix I Logical Fallacy Examples

Appendix I Logical Fallacy Examples
Example 1
William F. Buckley, a conservative writer, argued for the legalization of drugs, including cocaine and heroin. But Buckley was just a wealthy elitist intellectual who was out of touch with the people most affected by drugs. Who cares what he thinks?
Example 2
Now, President Obama's birthplace over in Kenya--is that going to be a popular place for Kenyans to visit?


Example 3
Few Pediatricians are trained to diagnose mental illness. Without that training, pediatricians can't prescribe proper treatment for children with mental illness. This poses a huge problem for children with mental illnesses, because it means they can't get access to vital medical care.
Example 4
The opponents of clean energy laws, such as a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade plan for carbon emissions, are either fools or idiots. Think about it. Either they don't mind our country being addicted to oil and dependent on oil-funded dictators or they think that some kind of global pandemic is going to wipe out at least 2.5 billion people in the next few decades. The first option is foolish. The second is idiotic.
Example 5
Atheists are hypocrites. Atheism is the view that there are no gods. But everyone, even atheists themselves, have gods--things in their life that they elevate, worship, praise, and generally pour all of their emotional energy into. How can someone who has gods of his or her own say that there are no gods? You just can't do it.
Ad Hominem: The argument is thrown off track by a personal attack on the individual espousing the argument. The topic is not actually considered, only the person giving it is.
Ad Populum: The argument implies popularity of a city among Kenyans because of the fact that (American President) Obama was born there.
No Fallacy: This is a well reasoned, evidence-based argument.
Either/Or: The reader is presented with two sets of two equally negative choices. One is expected to decide between "Foolish" and "Idiotic"
Equivocation: The terms "god" and "gods" used in at least two ways. God/gods are defined as something that is "Elevate[d], worship[ed], praised[ed], [something that one] pour[s] emotional energy into.
Example 6
Soviet cosmonaut Gherman Titov orbited Earth seventeen times, but he saw no angels in the heavens. Thus, angels to not exist.
Begging the question/Straw man
Example 7:
Everything that any person has ever done is causes by that person's own desires and motivations. In other words, everything that a person does is done to satisfy the person's own desires. Acting to satisfy one's own desires is selfish. And as everybody know, good people are not selfish--at least not all the time. Thus, at the end of the day, no one is really a good person.
Example 8
Government programs--specifically, Medicare and Medicaid--are the primary cause of skyrocketing health care costs in the United States. When Medicare began in 1965, it only cost about $3 billion a year. In just the first twenty-five years after Medicare was established, its cost ballooned to $67 billion.
The death penalty is wrong because it is murder.
There must be some mistake. The people to whom we sold our customer's information aren't identity thieves. We checked their identities, and they all had sparkling clean records.
Circular reasoning/begging the question. Despite the number of sentences used to make the argument, no new information is actually added to support the conclusion sentence.
Circular reasoning: The conclusion and the premise are logically equivalent
Ad ignoratium: The conclusion is held to be true simply because the premise has not been previously proven false.
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