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Logical Fallacies Round 2. Playing Dirty to Win an Argument “First remember that those who strive to manipulate you always want something from you: your.

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Presentation on theme: "Logical Fallacies Round 2. Playing Dirty to Win an Argument “First remember that those who strive to manipulate you always want something from you: your."— Presentation transcript:

1 Logical Fallacies Round 2

2 Playing Dirty to Win an Argument “First remember that those who strive to manipulate you always want something from you: your money, your vote, your support, your soul—something!” (19). Those who engage in “dirty” arguments do not offer valid reasoning and sound evidence (19).

3 How to inoculate against logical fallacies: Ask key questions. Probe behind the masks, the fronts, the fostered images, the impressive pomp and ceremony. Take charge of your own mind and emotions. Become your own person (remembering this is a process and not a single action or thought).

4 Accuse Your Opponent of Doing What He is Accusing You This is a way to shift the focus away from yourself; it is a move that does not have integrity.

5 Assume a Posture of Righteousness This fallacy assumes that the believe that one’s intentions are pure of heart and is often tied to begging the question/circular reasoning. “American Exceptionalism” is an example. This is the idea that if America is doing something, then it must be inherently “right.”

6 Call for Perfection If you remark that a proposal or claim should be rejected solely because it doesn't solve the problem perfectly, in cases where perfection isn't really required, then you've committed the perfectionist fallacy. Example:You said hiring a house cleaner would solve our cleaning problems because we both have full-time jobs. Now, look what happened. Every week she unplugs the toaster oven and leaves it that way. I should never have listened to you about hiring a house cleaner.

7 Devise Analogies Many arguments rely on an analogy between two or more objects, ideas, or situations. If the two things that are being compared aren't really alike in the relevant respects, the analogy is a weak one, and the argument that relies on it commits the fallacy of weak analogy. Guns are like hammers:they're both tools with metal parts that could be used to kill someone. And yet it would be ridiculous to restrict the purchase of hammers ム so restrictions on purchasing guns are equally ridiculous Tip : Identify what properties are important to the claim you're making, and see whether the two things you're comparing both share those properties

8 Question Your Opponent’s Conclusions

9 Create Misgivings This one works by creating an “air” of uncertainty about one’s opponent. –“Obama is a Muslim.” –“Palin doesn’t know what the Vice President does.”

10 Defend or Deny Inconsistencies

11 Demonize His Side, Sanitize Yours Paint your opponent and his/her actions negatively; paint yours positively. This can easily be confused with double talk; the key in this fallacy is to understand that in demonizing his side, certain kinds of words will be used: tyranny, violence, subversion, plots, terrorism. In sanitizing your own, such words might include: civilization, human rights, honor, God’ comfort, etc...

12 Evade Questions, Gracefully

13 Hedge You are hedging if you refine your claim simply to avoid counterevidence and then act as if your revised claim is the same as the original. Samantha: David is a totally selfish person. Yvonne: I thought we was a boy scout leader. Don’t you have to give a lot of your time for that? Samantha: Well, David’s totally selfish about what he gives money to. He won’t spend a dime on anyone else. Yvonne: I saw him bidding on things at the high school auction fundraiser. Samantha: Well, except for that he’s totally selfish about money.

14 Ignore the Evidence

15 Ignore Main Point This occurs when someone refuses to engage in the main point. Skilled manipulators are good at “moving” at argument away from the main point to something else without most people noticing.

16 Attack Evidence

17 Insist Loudly on a Minor Point Is someone is insisting loudly on a minor point, he/she is probably drawing attention away from the MAIN point. Some could say that Palin’s focus on Obama’s “connection” with Ayers was such an example. To be clear: possible terrorist associations are highly important to consider, yet in Obama’s case, this information had been “out” for over two years.

18 Hard-Cruel-World This is used to justify what is unethical. When a person is making this logical fallacy, he/she is insisting that the world is a difficult place to survive and that certain actions are justified BECAUSE of this difficulty. This fallacy is a way to excuse one’s one behavior (possibly unethical) by saying anyone who is negatively impacted by this behavior needs to quit complaining and “suck it up.”

19 Sweeping, Glittery Generalizations When someone makes positive generalizations about a group of people. Is there “sparkle” in the generalization?

20 Make Much of Opponent’s Inconsistencies Every human being will be inconsistent and/or hypocritical, at times. If an opponent can only focus on your human failings, then he or she is making much of inconsistencies. Someone who is loudly making a big deal out of his opponent’s faults might be drawing attention away from his/her own.

21 Make Opponent Ridiculous “Lost in the Laugh” Opponents strive to create situations where the other person looks ridiculous. For example, when Obama supporters passed around the picture where it seemed John McCain was grabbing Obama’s butt. The image made McCain look ridiculous and had the possibility of potential voters not taking McCain seriously.

22 Oversimplify You oversimplify when you cover up relevant complexities or make a complicated problem appear to be too much simpler than it really is. Example:President Bush wants our country to trade with Fidel Castro's Communist Cuba. I say there should be a trade embargo against Cuba. The issue in our election is Cuban trade, and if you are against it, then you should vote for me for president.Whom to vote for should be decided by considering quite a number of issues in addition to Cuban trade. When an oversimplification results in falsely implying that a minor causal factor is the major one, then the reasoning also commits the false cause fallacy.false cause

23 Raise Nothing but Objections This fallacy happens when an opponent will not let a discussion move forward because he/she raises continually objections. This can easily be confused with Call for Perfection, but in this one, an opponent isn’t saying certain conditions have to be met. Instead, the opponent simply says no, again and again.

24 Rewrite History This fallacy occurs when someone changes the course of history to meet his/her needs and/or to justify a current situation based on a CHANGED version of a historical event.

25 Seek Your Vested Interest When a person cannot or will not consider another point of view because doing so would mean a loss of his/her own vested interest (Haliburton). A person hides his/her true motives behind high ideals.

26 Shift the Ground Shifting the ground means that a manipulator is subtly moving the argument away from the main point.

27 Shift Burden of Proof The idea here concerns who has the responsibility to PROOF a claim. When someone shifts the burden of proof, he/she is making an opponent responsible for the proof. "You cannot prove that God does not exist, so He does."

28 Spin This occurs when a person (or news source) presents information with a bias. The information is presented in such a way as to be “spun”. The principles of selection and slanting (that we have discussed in class) are a major part of spin. One way to counter spin is to find another source about the topic.

29 Talk in Vague Generalities This fallacy occurs when a speaker uses such vague terms he/she cannot be attacked for anything specific that is said. From Critical Thinking, “Forget what the spineless liberals say. It’s time to be tough; tough on criminals, tough on terrorists, and tough on those who belittle our country” (34).

30 Double Talk Also called double speak. This occurs when we use positive language for our own activities and negative language for our opponent’s. This fallacy often involves the use of euphemisms, words that “code” meaning. For example, in a war situation, people building called, “soft targets.”

31 Tell Big Lies “All skilled manipulators are focused on WHAT YOU CAN GET PEOPLE TO BELIEVE, not on what is true or false. They know the human mind does not naturally seek the truth; it seeks comfort, security, personal confirmation and vested interest” (Elder and Paul, 35). If you lie long enough, many people will believe you.

32 Treat Abstract Symbols and Words as if Real When an abstract idea is given a life of its own. It is coupled with an action verb. The flag marches on. Freedom supports us.

33 Throw in some statistics Because people are often impressed by numbers, manipulators will throw in statistics without giving the source to try and win an argument. Always ask for the source for statistics and if you cannot (because you’re reading an editorial or something along those lines), be on the alert.

34 Use Double Standards Not judging two people or situations by the same standards. I know we will hire any man who gets over a 70 percent on the screening test for hiring Post Office employees, but women should have to get an 80 to be hired because they often have to take care of their children. (This is a double standard if it can be presumed that men and women should have to meet the same standard for becoming a Post Office employee).


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