Logical Fallacies Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Logical Fallacies?
Logical fallacies are errors in reasoning that lead to false conclusions. They occur when someone makes an argument based on faulty logic or incorrect assumptions. Logical fallacies can take many forms, but the most common are: Ad Hominem, Straw Man, Slippery Slope, False Dichotomy, and Appeal to Authority. Ad Hominem is a logical fallacy where an argument is made by attacking the character of the person making it instead of the argument itself. This type of fallacy is often used as a way to discredit an opponent’s argument without having to engage with it directly. For example, John’s ideas about gun control are wrong because he has been convicted of a crime is an ad hominem attack because it ignores John’s actual arguments and focuses on his character instead. A Straw Man fallacy occurs when someone misrepresents or simplifies another person’s position in order to make it easier to refute. For example: John believes that all guns should be banned from our country which shows he just doesn’t understand how important gun ownership can be for personal protection is a straw man attack because John may not have argued for banning guns entirely and could have simply argued for more regulation instead. Slippery Slope is a logical fallacy that assumes that one thing will inevitably lead to another without providing any evidence or logical reasoning for why this should be so. For example: If we allow people to own guns then eventually everyone will be allowed access to nuclear weapons. This statement assumes one thing will inevitably lead to another without any proof or evidence that this would actually happen; thus making it a slippery slope fallacy. False Dichotomy is a logical fallacy which assumes there are only two possible options when in fact there may be many more alternatives available. For example: You must either support gun control or you must oppose all regulation there is no middle ground. This statement implies that these two positions are mutually exclusive when in fact many people may support some regulation but not complete disarmament; thus making this statement a false dichotomy fallacy. Finally, Appeal To Authority is a logical fallacy which relies on citing experts or authorities as if their opinion trumps all others regardless of evidence presented by opponents of their opinion. For instance: The NRA supports our position so clearly we must be right.