4.3

 

Nolan argues that the reason so many people are watching a particular new reality show is that “it’s the hottest and most popular show on television right now.” Which of the following fallacies is he committing?

  • straw man
  • weak analogy
  • begging the question
  • ad hominem

Correct. Because lots of people watching a show is what makes a show hot and popular, Nolan’s premise assumes his conclusion and thus begs the question.

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Multiple Choice Question

Tyrone tries to persuade his friends not to believe in evolution because “evolutionists all believe it’s impossible for there to be any higher power or spirituality in the world and say there’s no more meaning to life except for the fact that we all used to be monkeys.” What fallacy is Tyrone committing here?

  • red herring
  • weak analogy
  • straw man
  • slippery slope

 

Question: Father McDowell presents an anti-abortion argument in which he argues that life begins at conception and that scientific studies have demonstrated that fetuses can feel pain. Roger responds to this argument by saying, “You can’t listen to Father McDowell—he’s biased because he’s a Catholic priest, so he has to be against abortion!” Explain why Roger’s statement fails to adequately rebut Father McDowell’s argument.

Answer: Roger is using Ad hominem fallacy because he is trying to attack McDowell’s personal characteristic of being a Catholic Priest to win the argument instead of providing solid evidence to support his argument.

Question: Julio is trying to get his friend Megan to upgrade her flip phone to a smartphone. He tells her that not having a smartphone in this day and age is like driving a horse and buggy in the 1930s when the rest of the world has upgraded to automobiles. Do you think the parallels between driving a horse and buggy in the 1930s and using a flip phone in the 2010s are strong enough for the analogy to be persuasive, or do you think Julio is committing the fallacy of weak analogy? Explain your answer.

I believe that the parallels have been made correctly. Julio is comparing two similar situations (not same) of switching to a modern thing to present the argument.