FALLACIES EXERCISE 3 - ANSWERS

CATA 335 -- McGaan

 

Identify the fallacies found in the arguments below. Be as specific as you can and briefly explain your choice of fallacy. In some cases there may be more than one fallacy in an argument.

 

1. Republicans are traditionally the defenders of the interests of big business, so it makes little sense for a working man to vote for a Republican candidate.

 

Ad hominem, (tradition?)

 

2. The Equal Rights Amendment was endorsed by Presidents Clinton and Carter, Senator Kennedy, and a majority of working women. It is clearly worthy of universal support on these grounds.

 

Ad populi

 

3. My friend Anne has pointed out that just seeing the images from video games at the mall has traumatized her young daughter. Many kids experience this, she says. Therefore, I think we should prohibit the sale to minors of shooter games like "Doom."

 

Emotion/Compasion or Evading the issue (red herring)

 

4. All Americans have political rights, so the Hatch Act, which prevents civil servants from running for public office, is essentially undemocratic.

 

Accident

 

5. The idea that Ingmar Bergman could deliberately cheat on his taxes is absurd to anyone who has seen even a handful of his films. Why would a man incapable of telling a lie in his art succumb to telling one on his income tax return? The idea is inconsistent with the sense of integrity which permeates Bergman's work -- work conspicuously non-commercial.

 

Evading the issue (red herring)

 

6. Homosexuals should not be allowed to live and work where they choose. Laws protecting them from discrimination are, in fact, tacit modes of promoting degenerate and sinful practices within society. We have well-known religious leaders pointing this out to us. Their opinions ought to suffice to prove this point.

 

Emotive-loaded language and ad populi or tradition

 

7. All of the adolescents who have committed shootings at school in the last few years have had extensive "practice" with the game "Doom." Clearly, video games like that are a cause of school violence.

 

False cause - post hoc

 

8. A commission appointed by President Nixon to investigate the effect of pornographic literature on American society reported that there was no evidence that it has a "deleterious effect" upon people. President Nixon, obviously perturbed by a finding contrary to his expectation, argued as follows in rejecting the report, Either the report is wrong or it must be the case that great books, paintings and plays cannot have much beneficial effect."

Dilemma



last updated 12/1/2008