Once you learn the names of the major logical fallacies, you will probably start

Once you learn the names of the major logical fallacies, you will probably start noticing them all over the place, including in advertisements, movies, TV shows, and everyday conversations. This can be both fascinating and frustrating, but it can certainly help you to avoid certain pitfalls in reasoning that are unfortunately very common. This exercise gives you a chance to practice identifying fallacies as they occur in daily life.
Prepare: Read through Chapter 7 of the course text, paying special attention to learning the names of common fallacies, biases, and rhetorical tricks.
Reflect: Search through common media sources looking for examples of fallacies. Some common places to find fallacies include advertisements, opinion pieces in news media, and arguments about politics, religion, and other controversial issues. You may also notice fallacies in your daily life.
Write: Present three distinct informal logical fallacies you have discovered in these types of sources or in your life. Make sure to identify the specific fallacy committed by each example. Explain how the fallacies were used and the context in which they occurred. Finally, explain how the person should have presented the argument in order to avoid committing this logical error.
Guided Response: Post a minimum of three responses, two of which must be to your classmates. The third response could be to a classmate or your instructor. Be sure to post on three separate days throughout the week to promote further engagement and discussion. Each response should be a minimum 75 of words.
Read the fallacies presented by your classmates and analyze the reasoning that they have presented. Respond in a way that furthers the discussion. For example, you might comment on any of the following types of questions: Have ever seen or fallen for similar fallacies in your own life? Are any of the cases presented also instances of some other type of fallacy? Is there a sense in which the reasoning might not be fallacious in some cases? What can people do to avoid falling for such fallacies in the future?
The Slippery Slope Fallacy
For this fallacy I have an example that I lived through two weeks ago at work. The Army is full of rules and guidelines, some of which soldiers do not understand, partly because they do not take the time to understand them. Two weeks ago I heard that the Sergeant Major of the Army, Sergeant Major Grinston, was going to have a meeting soon about allowing beards into the Army. The Army does not allow beards because to them it looks unprofessional and if we ever have a chemical attack situation, you cannot get a proper seal when you wear your gas mask because your beard would be in the way. To me, allowing beards into the military is a slippery slope in two ways but I will choose to explain one. If you allow beards into the Army, some soldiers will want to style them the way they want and grow them out and it will look very unprofessional. In return, this will create more counseling’s because senior NCO’s are going to counsel those said soldiers for going against regulation. Too many counseling’s will lead to Article 15’s. Too many Article 15’s and you risk getting kicked out of the Army. When the Army is in dire need of soldiers, kicking soldiers out of the Army is the last thing that we need. If we do not allow beards into the Army at all, then all of this will never happen. Instead of just saying, beards allowed, which will avoid this logical error, Sergeant Major should release regulation to go with the new potential standard.
The Appeal to Force Fallacy
Again, the Army provides me with a perfect example of a fallacy. So in the Army, and in the military in general, there is a ranking system. You must listen the rank above you no matter what, unless it’s an unlawful order, you must listen to them, and if not, you can face consequences. So, there was one morning, last month where my First Sergeant order myself and two other sergeants to get equipment in order and do a “tactical layout” for inspection. Although the inspection was not due for another month, she wanted us to stop what we were doing and do this task. My sergeant stopped and said, First Sergeant, I don’t think we are going to do this today because we have to do other stuff that is due tomorrow. The First Sergeant said, and this is where appeal to force comes into play, “if you don’t do this for me right now, you will pay the consequences.” Even though she had no real leg to stand on other then she wanted it done immediately, we had to listen to her because she was in-charge of us and is our authority. To avoid this logical error, First Sergeant should have asked us when a good time was for us.
The Appeal to Tradition Fallacy
Yet again, the Army provides me with a strong example of how the appeal to tradition fallacy. For decades, there has been a rule in the Army. That rule is, you are not allowed to put your hands in your pockets in uniform. The Army does not care if it is cold outside. To the Army, hands in your pockets in considered unprofessional. Myself, along with other sergeants were standing outside during a PT test this past December. It was 23 degrees outside. We all had our hands in our pockets and our Sergeant Major walked over and asked us why we have our hands in our pockets. We said, its 23 degrees out why can’t we? He said you know how it is, its tradition in the Army, somethings in the Army don’t have an explanation, we have been doing it for a hundred years, its tradition. Instead of saying “its tradition”, and avoiding this logical error, Sergeant Major could have given us a better answer and or talked to his peers on doing something about it.
Three distinct informal logical fallacies I have discovered through common media sources and in my daily life;
Fallacy 1 – Appeal to Popular belief (An argument is good or bad or a claim is true or false because it is widely believed to be so). Michael Jordan is the greatest professional basketball player of all time, claims Skip Bayless, an American sports columnist. Skip Bayless routinely shares this fallacy on his daily sports debate show undisputed and is a huge Michael Jordan fan who spent many years covering his basketball career. To avoid committing this logical error, he should instead state that Michael Jordan is one of the greatest pro basketball players since other pro basketball players excelled in some areas of the game Jordan did not.
Fallacy 2 – Ad Hominem Fallacy (The fallacy of rejecting a claim or argument given by someone because we don’t like something about the person). As a child, I believed that vegetables were not good for me but bad because a very strict babysitter insisted I eat them when she watched me. I resented this babysitter because of how strict she was and the structure she enforced during my supervision. So, when she insisted I eat my vegetables with my meal, I viewed vegetables as bad because they were associated with the babysitter I disliked. To avoid committing this logical error, someone whom I admired could have explained how beneficial vegetables are to me.
Fallacy 3 – Appeal to Authority (a claim is probably true or false because an authority says so). Former professional baseball player and hall of fame inductee Frank Thomas appears in ads for the testosterone booster Nugenix. The ad claims the product helps you feel stronger, leaner, and have more energy and drive. Frank Thomas is an imposing man. His nickname in baseball was “The Big Hurt”. Many men will believe the claims if he is in a commercial promoting a testosterone booster. To avoid committing this logical error, the commercial should have provided footage of Frank Thomas where he appears overweight, weak, and lacking energy and drive compared to his current appearance.
Apr 14 at 1:26pm
Manage Discussion Entry
1. Begging the question; I’ve been at my current job since Oct of last year and recently got transferred over was off all last week and this week I started on the other side working for the government making weapons of defense my supervisor came up to me last night after going over my file and seeing what all I can do calling me his golden egg etc. then proceeds to ask me if I am in school now and hold a degree why do I work there?
2.Circular reasoning: The other day I was going back and forth with my 6 year old about opening an umbrella in the house something I’m sure many of us who grew up with grandparents etc practice to never open when as it would bring bad luck etc just like breaking a mirror he proceeds to question my authority as to why he couldnt do so and me tired of trying to explain to him just eventually told him because we just dont.
3. Hasty Generalization: A while back I was at work, and I had just braided my own hair a few people were intrigued by it a lot of those being women of a different race before I had braided my hair I had taken my hair down and just had a baseball cap and ponytail. Since no one has really seen my hair since I started they assumed I didnt have any and they realized how long and thick my hair usually is. One of my co-workers has a mixed daughter father is black and she was asking me what all I use in my hair to get it to grow because her daughter is 12 years old and it barely grows past her ears. She then made the statement that she thought all mixed kids had long pretty hair.