FALLACIES IN-CLASS EXERCISES

 

1. Nothing is better than wisdom; dry bread is better than nothing; therefore, dry bread is better than wisdom.

2. We must either gratify our vicious inclinations, or resist them. The former will involve us in sin and misery; the latter requires self-denial. Therefore, we must either fall into sin and misery or practice self-denial.

3. I ruined the cause and injured my own prospects which I deeply regret.

4. If you fire that gun, you will hear a loud noise; you did not fire that gun; therefore you do not hear a loud noise.

5. Sir Walter Scott's novels have ceased to be popular, and the reason is that nobody reads them.

6. One high-efficiency stove saves half the ordinary amount of fuel. Therefore, two would save it all.

7. No, I wonít let you drive to school so youíll just have to keep taking the bus. But be grateful for that, since when I was your age I had to walk to school.

8. You are a racist since you claim that some of President Anglophileís views have merit.

9. You should reject Senator Zucchiniís pro-human cloning bill since he owns stock in a human cloning startup company.

10. The movie Donnie Darko flopped at the box office, so it must be a bad film.

11. Euthanasia is permissible; therefore, we should permit human cloning.

12. Old professors are boring; I had one last semester and he put me to sleep every class.

13. Making people register their own guns is like the Nazis making the Jews register with their government.

14. The answers to most of the questions on this true-false quiz have been true, so the answer to this final question is probably false.

15. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. (Exodus 20:16)

16. Wanted: a groom to look after two horses of a pious frame of mind.

17. This criminal is charged with violently murdering the innocent victim.

18. The end of a thing is its perfection; death is the end of life; therefore, death is the perfection of life.

19. Look at the photographs of the victims of this terrorist attack; you must find the defendant guilty of terrorist activity.

20. Alec Baldwin supports vegetarianism, so it must be the right thing to do.

21. Have you given up your self-indulgent habits?

22. Animal food may be entirely dispensed with, and vegetable food may be entirely dispensed with. But all food consists of animal food or vegetable food. Therefore, all food may be dispensed with.

23. The left-handed man lacks will power, for, if not, he wouldn't be left handed.

24. Twelve is greater than ten. Five and seven make twelve. Therefore, five and seven are each greater than ten.

25. All who believe shall be saved; devils believe; therefore, devils shall be saved.

26. You should reject Senator Zucchiniís pro-human cloning bill since he has prevented his aging father from getting cloned in foreign country.

27. It is wrong to stick knives into people. Therefore, surgeons ought to be punished.

28. Animals that face hardships in regions of severe climates are usually robust. Therefore, those hardships are the cause of their robustness.

29. If you step on that glass then your feet will bleed; your feet are bleeding, therefore you stepped on that glass.

30. Since no one has been able to prove freedom of the will, we must conclude that we do not have free wills.

31. Asbestos is the best fire retardant, so since you want fire-resistant clothing, you should wear clothing made from asbestos.

32. Moderate drinking leads to heavy drinking, which then leads to alcoholism. Since you donít want to become an alcoholic, then you should avoid even moderate drinking.

33. To allow every man an unbounded freedom of speech must always be, on the whole, advantageous to the State; for it is highly conducive to the interest of the community that each individual should enjoy a liberty perfectly unlimited, of expressing his sentiments.

34. You should accept the administrationís position on global warming if you want funding for your project.

35. What we produce is property. The sheriff produces a prisoner. Therefore, a prisoner is property.

36. The ages of all the members of this family are over 150 years. The baby is a member of this family. Therefore, its age is over 150.

 

ANSWERS

1. equivocation

2.. excluded middle

3. amphiboly

4. denying the consequent

5. circular reasoning

6. composition

7. red herring

8. straw man

9. ad hominem vested interest

10. appeal to the masses

11. irrelevant conclusion

12. hasty generalization

13. false analogy

14. gamblerís fallacy

15. accent

16. amphiboly

17. question-begging epithet

18. equivocation

19. appeal to pity

20. appeal to authority

21. complex question

22. composition

23. circular reasoning

24. division

25. equivocation

26. ad hominem you too

27. accident

28. false cause

29. affirming the consequent

30. appeal to ignorance

31. suppressing the evidence

32. slippery slope

33. circular reasoning

34. appeal to force

35. equivocation

36. division