Some Logical Fallacies. Fallacies are standard forms of flawed reasoning that seduce and often persuade us, but that are not logically sound and will lead to faulty conclusions. Some Logical Fallacies. False Dilemma (Hobson’s Choice)
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The arguer makes her own position appear stronger by misrepresenting her opponent’s position.
Mr. Goldberg has argued against prayer in public schools. Obviously Mr. Goldberg advocates atheism. But atheism is what they used to have in Russia. Atheism leads to the suppression of all religions and the replacement of God by an omnipotent state. Is that what we want for this country? I hardly think so. Clearly Mr. Goldberg’s argument is nonsense.
Is this really what Goldberg was arguing. Almost certainly not.
The arguer states that given a series of cases 1,2,3...n and given that the differences between each case is insignificant, the difference between any two of the cases is insignificant. Here the arguer fails to realize that insignificant differences, when added up can make for a significant difference.
Attempts to outlaw pornography threaten basic civil rights and should be summarily abandoned. If pornography is outlawed, censorship of newspapers and news magazines ins only a short step away. After that there will be censorship of textbooks, political speeches, and the content of lectures by university professors. Complete mind control by the central government will be the inevitable result.
The government is thinking of keeping serious sex offenders behind bars to protect the public, next thing, we’ll be keeping those convicted of manslaughter indefinitely. This will inexorably lead us to a police state where the six year old who steals a piece of bubble gum will wind up in jail and society will throw away the key.
We cannot wait for certainty about WMD because our answer might come in the form of a mushroom cloud. (Condoleeza Rice)
Red Herring: When the arguer changes the subject and take the listener down a different, unrelated path.
Environmentalists are continually harping about the dangers of nuclear power. Unfortunately, electricity is dangerous no matter where it comes from. Every year hundreds of people are electrocuted by accident. Since most of the accidents are caused by carelessness, they could be avoided if people would just exercise greater caution.