Quiz 6

Identify the fallacies in the following arguments:

SS = Slippery Slope
SM = Straw Man
BQ = Begging the question
EQ = Equivocation
CQ = Complex question
FA = Faulty analogy
AH = Ad hominem
FD = False dilemma
HG = Hasty generalization

  1. Slippery slope argument. One thing doesn’t have to lead to the other – no logical necessity even if probability.
    If euthanasia is legalized, then many people who are not terminally ill and have not elected euthanasia will wind up untreated or administered sufficient medication to end their lives.
  2. Slippery slope argument. If recreational marijuana is legalized it will open the door to more dangerous drug use.
    One thing doesn’t have to lead to the other – no logical necessity even if probability.
  3. Straw man argument. There are many other ways to balance the budget, investing in alternative energy need not be the culprit for an unbalanced budget.
    The US needs to reduce its deficit spending. Therefore Congress should vote against an increase in investment in alternative energy sources.
  4. Begging the question. The claim of the conclusion is already expressed in the premise.
    Allowing unlimited freedom of speech is always advantageous to the State. Everyone benefits when there are no limits to individual expression.
  5. Equivocation. Here the term “criminal actions” is used with two different meanings.
    Criminal actions are illegal, and all murder trials are criminal actions, thus all murder trials are illegal.
  6. Equivocation. The term “fine” is used ambiguously.
    The sign said “fine for parking here”, and since it was fine, I parked there.
  7. Complex question. Implies that you are beating your wife.
    How long have you been beating your wife?
  8. Faulty analogy. Caffeine and alcohol are not sufficiently comparable.
    People who have to have a cup of coffee every morning before they can function have no less a problem than alcoholics who have to have their alcohol each day to sustain them.
  9. Faulty analogy. The life of a living creature is not sufficiently comparable to that of a machine.
    To say humans are immortal is like saying a car can run forever.
  10. Ad hominem. Attacking the man not providing evidence.
    President John F. Kennedy had friends in the mafia. He was a bad president.
  11. False appeal to authority. Medical expertise doesn’t always spill over into personal life and habits of doctors.
    More doctors smoke Marlboros than any other cigarette. They must be less damaging to health.
  12. Appeal to authority.
    Isaac Newton believed in astrology. Astrology must be true.
  13. False dilemma.
    Either you’re for us or you’re against us.
  14. False dilemma.
    New York City is too noisy. All bars should be closed at 8 pm to reduce adding to the noise level in neighborhoods around the bars.
  15. False dilemma.
    If you vote for this bill you must be a Communist.
  16. Hasty generalization.
    Jake is tall. He’d be a good choice for our basketball team.
  17. Hasty generalization.
    The man I saw break into the apartment was wearing a hoodie. Philip is wearing a hoodie. He must be the man I saw.
  18. Hasty generalization.
    The most common age for women having twins is 34 years old. I am 33. I should wait until next year to get pregnant if I want twins.
  19. Begging the question. First premise assumes the conclusion.
    If God is perfect then he exists. God is perfect. Therefore he exists.
  20. Ad hominem. One does not have to be well educated in order to see well. Brown’s character is irrelevant to what he claimed to see.
    Old man Brown claims that he saw a flying saucer in his farm, but he never got beyond the fourth grade in school and can hardly read or write. He is completely ignorant of what scientists have written on the subject, so his report cannot possibly be true.
  21. Begging the question. Circular reasoning. Establishes the truth of the conclusion from the assumed truth of the premises.
    I believe in the Bible because it is the written word of God through his prophets. Obviously, God would not lie to his prophets. After all, the Bible says so.
  22. Complex question. Assumes you are going to buy the car.
    You look like you are ready to buy a new car. Would you like to pay cash or buy on the installment plan?
  23. Hasty generalization. One walk through campus does not provide sufficient evidence for this conclusion.
    As I walked around campus today, not one person said hello to me. This is not a friendly campus.
  24. Ad hominem. Attacks character instead of addressing evidence and logic.
    I don’t care what your arguments are. You are a mean old man and nothing you say should be taken as truth.
  25. Ad hominem. Attacks character instead of addressing evidence and logic.
    Quincy says that we should spend more state revenue on education. But Quincy is a professor who wants a better salary, so you know his opinion is worthless.
  26. Straw man argument. Misstates the position of those against gun control.
    Those who support gun control are wrong; they believe that no one should have the right to defend himself under any condition.
  27. False dilemma. There are other possibilities. It’s not a question of either/or.
    Paul came home late again. He must have a girlfriend or else he was out drinking.
  28. Hasty generalization. Needs more evidence.
    Republicans in Congress refuse to raise the tax rate on the wealthiest Americans. They don’t care for the common man at all.
  29. False dilemma. There are other alternatives.
    We have to cut social programs this year or we will have a huge deficit which is unacceptable.
  30. Ad hominem. Bases the argument on the character.
    Hitler was a vegetarian. Therefore we should eat meat.
  31. False dilemma. There are many steps of negotiation between disagreement and arguing.
    If you don’t agree with me then we can’t talk. I don’t want to argue.
  32. Begging the question. The premise contains the conclusion.
    Water is not a human right. It should be privatized.