III AMBIGUITY 1 AMBIGUITY o o These fallacies

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III. AMBIGUITY 1

III. AMBIGUITY 1

AMBIGUITY o o These fallacies have statements that are either purposefully or accidentally ambiguous,

AMBIGUITY o o These fallacies have statements that are either purposefully or accidentally ambiguous, misleading, or confusing. Their problem often lies with LANGUAGE: n n o grammar punctuation diction syntax Manipulation of language to mislead. 2

AMBIGUITY 1) AMPHIBOLY: o Latin for “ambiguous” o ambiguous, multiple meanings or interpretations o

AMBIGUITY 1) AMPHIBOLY: o Latin for “ambiguous” o ambiguous, multiple meanings or interpretations o caused by Bad Grammar n o misplaced modifiers, poor pronoun reference misleading statistics n percentages: 80% sounds like much, but not if only 5 people were asked (also spelled “amphibole”) 3

AMBIGUITY *EXAMPLES of AMPHIBOLY: n n n “Her parents watered the flowers, yet they

AMBIGUITY *EXAMPLES of AMPHIBOLY: n n n “Her parents watered the flowers, yet they died. ” (confusing PN reference) “Sam gave Bob his baseball glove. ” (confusing PN reference) “I shot a bear in my pajamas. ” (misplaced modifier) “March moved to June. ” “Girl’s slip seen by many. ” “ 4 out of 5 dentists prefer Trident. ” (80%, only 5) 4

AMBIGUITY *EXAMPLES of AMPHIBOLY: n n n n Blind Bishop Appointed to See Patient

AMBIGUITY *EXAMPLES of AMPHIBOLY: n n n n Blind Bishop Appointed to See Patient at Death's Door — Doctors Pull Him Through Teacher Strikes Idle Kids Lawyers Give Poor Free Legal Advice Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant Autos Killing 110 a Day — Let's Resolve to Do Better Collegians are Turning to Vegetables 5

AMBIGUITY 2) BEGGING the QUESTION: o o o *circular reasoning circulus in demonstrando or

AMBIGUITY 2) BEGGING the QUESTION: o o o *circular reasoning circulus in demonstrando or petitio principii To use the Toulmin Method to explain n n someone makes a Claim but offers no Grounds, rephrasing the Claim and using it as proof. 6

AMBIGUITY 2) BEGGING the QUESTION: o o In terms of a syllogism, the Conclusion

AMBIGUITY 2) BEGGING the QUESTION: o o In terms of a syllogism, the Conclusion is used (rephrased) as either the Major Premise or the Minor Premise. In terms of assumptions, the person is assuming what is to be proven in order to prove it. n no “why”: no reasons, explanations, stats or facts, Logos, grounds, proof, support, definition of vague terms or subjective values or meanings the 1 st sentence (claim) is the same as the last (conclusion) vice-versa: sometimes these statements can be reversed 7

AMBIGUITY 2) BEGGING the QUESTION: o from The Skeptic’s Dictionary: n n An argument

AMBIGUITY 2) BEGGING the QUESTION: o from The Skeptic’s Dictionary: n n An argument is a form of reasoning whereby one gives a reason or reasons in support of some claim. The reasons are called premises and the claim one tries to support with them is called the conclusion. If one's premises entail one's conclusion, and one's premises are questionable, one is said to beg the question. 8

AMBIGUITY 2) BEGGING the QUESTION: o EX: n Abortion is the unjustified killing of

AMBIGUITY 2) BEGGING the QUESTION: o EX: n Abortion is the unjustified killing of a human being and as such is murder. Murder is illegal. So abortion should be illegal. n The conclusion of the argument is entailed in its premises. If one assumes that abortion is murder then it follows that abortion should be illegal because murder is illegal. Thus, the arguer is assuming abortion should be illegal (the conclusion) by assuming that it is murder. In this argument, the arguer should not be granted the assumption that abortion is murder, but should be made to provide support for this claim. 9

AMBIGUITY 2) BEGGING the QUESTION: o o avoidance, non-responsiveness restating the premise without answering

AMBIGUITY 2) BEGGING the QUESTION: o o avoidance, non-responsiveness restating the premise without answering the question circular reasoning turns the question around without answering it uses what is trying to be proved as part of the proof: the proposition appears in the syllogism/proof 10

AMBIGUITY 2) BEGGING the QUESTION: o *NOT: n n o not “raising” the question

AMBIGUITY 2) BEGGING the QUESTION: o *NOT: n n o not “raising” the question not “leading to more” questions *BUT: n n “begging” as in “to take for granted without basis or justification: a statement that begs the very point we're disputing” (dictionary. com) “ 6. To take for granted without warrant; esp. in to beg the question: to take for granted the matter in dispute, to assume without proof” (OED, emphasis mine) 11

AMBIGUITY *EXAMPLES: n n Since I'm not lying, it follows that I'm telling the

AMBIGUITY *EXAMPLES: n n Since I'm not lying, it follows that I'm telling the truth. I know my friend is reliable because I trust him. I’m a good person because I’m moral. *vice-versa*: o o notice how these fallacious statements can be reversed I’m moral because I’m a good person. n Proof/Grounds = restatement of the Premise/Claim 12

AMBIGUITY *EXAMPLES: (cont’d) o “The ____ has the right to X” n n n

AMBIGUITY *EXAMPLES: (cont’d) o “The ____ has the right to X” n n n (fetus, women, gays, citizens, …): Is it in fact a right? Not a privilege or duty or custom, something not a law? Assumes that others must allow you, are obliged to allow you X. 13

AMBIGUITY *EXAMPLES: (cont’d) o Why is theft illegal? Theft is illegal because if it

AMBIGUITY *EXAMPLES: (cont’d) o Why is theft illegal? Theft is illegal because if it wasn't then it wouldn't be against the law. n n n No why, no proof, no Logos, no facts, stats, reasons "it's against the law because it's against the law" so the conclusion (that theft is illegal) is used to answer the question ("why is theft illegal? "). 14

AMBIGUITY *EXAMPLES: (cont’d) o “When is a fetus a person? ” n n This

AMBIGUITY *EXAMPLES: (cont’d) o “When is a fetus a person? ” n n This question, in fact, has “begged the question” in that it assumes that a fetus is actually considered a person. When it is no longer a fetus. When the doctor says so. When it has the attributes of a person. ” --- When is that exactly? 15

AMBIGUITY *EXAMPLES: (cont’d) o Syllogism: It is wrong to kill innocent human beings. Fetuses

AMBIGUITY *EXAMPLES: (cont’d) o Syllogism: It is wrong to kill innocent human beings. Fetuses are innocent human beings. Thus, aborting fetuses is wrong. n n n does not define the vague term “innocent” assumes a fetus is considered a human being assumes it is wrong to kill 16

AMBIGUITY *EXAMPLES: (cont’d) o “Marijuana is illegal in all states. And we know we

AMBIGUITY *EXAMPLES: (cont’d) o “Marijuana is illegal in all states. And we know we shouldn’t violate the law. Since smoking marijuana is illegal, we shouldn’t smoke it. Since we shouldn’t smoke marijuana, it is the duty of the government to stop people from smoking it, which is why marijuana is illegal. ” o “Homosexuals must not be allowed to hold government office. Hence any government official who is revealed to be a homosexual will lose his job. Therefore homosexuals will do anything to hide their secret, and will be open to blackmail. Therefore homosexuals cannot be allowed to hold government office. ” 17

AMBIGUITY *EXAMPLES: (cont’d) o Petitio principii: “The Bible is the word of God. The

AMBIGUITY *EXAMPLES: (cont’d) o Petitio principii: “The Bible is the word of God. The word of God cannot be doubted, and the Bible states that the Bible is true. Therefore the Bible must be true. ” 18

AMBIGUITY 3) EQUIVOCATION: o quibble on the meaning of word/s o a deliberate tactic

AMBIGUITY 3) EQUIVOCATION: o quibble on the meaning of word/s o a deliberate tactic to delay, distort, clutter, or avoid issue o trivial distinctions; euphemisms; misuse of definitions 19

AMBIGUITY 3) EQUIVOCATION: o obfuscates, obscures the real issue: n n “I didn’t steal

AMBIGUITY 3) EQUIVOCATION: o obfuscates, obscures the real issue: n n “I didn’t steal your money; I merely borrowed it. ” The issue is not about if you “stole” or “borrowed, ” but that you took the item without asking permission. 20

AMBIGUITY *EXAMPLES of EQUIVOCATION: n n “That depends on what your definition of ‘is’

AMBIGUITY *EXAMPLES of EQUIVOCATION: n n “That depends on what your definition of ‘is’ is. ” (Bill Clinton) I’m not a terrorist; I’m a freedom fighter. I’m not an illegal immigrant; I’m a refugee. I’m not a communist, but a Marxist. o Knock, knock! Who's there, in the other devil's name? Faith, here's an equivocator, that could swear in both the scales against either scale; who committed treason enough for God's sake, yet could not equivocate to heaven: O, come in, equivocator. (from Macbeth 2. 3. 8 -13) 21

AMBIGUITY 4) LOADED LANGUAGE: n n n words “explode” with meaning words = emotive,

AMBIGUITY 4) LOADED LANGUAGE: n n n words “explode” with meaning words = emotive, evocative, prejudicial, biased, inflammatory heavy reliance on connotation & inference o o o remember, “inference” and “implication” are not “fact” hinting , suggesting, implying, evoking, alluding, insinuating part of the “subtle psychology of argument” n indirectly, covertly bringing something to mind 22

AMBIGUITY 4) LOADED LANGUAGE: n Why is this fallacious? : o o o it

AMBIGUITY 4) LOADED LANGUAGE: n Why is this fallacious? : o o o it offers suggestive words instead of support, facts, evidence it expresses value judgments (claims) without offering proof (grounds) (thus) it leads the audience to unwarranted conclusions it uses emotionally charged words in place of reasoning, argument it is manipulative 23

AMBIGUITY 4) LOADED LANGUAGE: n similar to other fallacies: o o o n BTQ:

AMBIGUITY 4) LOADED LANGUAGE: n similar to other fallacies: o o o n BTQ: both fail to meet the burden of proof (no grounds) Amphiboly, Equivocation: fallacies of language, abuse of language Ad Misericordiam: manipulative use of emotion used in other fallacies: o o o Ad Hominem, Fallacy of Opposition, Genetic Fallacy, OG Ad Misericordiam, ad Populum, PF/SA, Straw Man, GBA False Analogy, False Dilemma, Slippery Slope, Red Herring 24

AMBIGUITY *EXAMPLES of LOADED LANGUAGE: n users’ motives = o o n leading questions

AMBIGUITY *EXAMPLES of LOADED LANGUAGE: n users’ motives = o o n leading questions or statements, the answer to which is foregone, misleading, or damning o n n they don’t want to consider the issue; they’ve already made up their minds they are trying to sway without proof questions that are more like statements editorials posing as news reports propaganda, innuendo *sarcasm & irony = ambiguity (so avoid using either) thin–skinny, overweight–fat, soldier–terrorist, plantweed 25

AMBIGUITY *EXAMPLES of LOADED LANGUAGE: n n n “Do I have to research any

AMBIGUITY *EXAMPLES of LOADED LANGUAGE: n n n “Do I have to research any more junk on this stupid topic for this worthless class? ” “Concerning the inexperienced President’s hasty, subvert, and ill-considered appointment of such an incompetent and unproven judge, is the type of underhanded, thoughtless behavior we can expect from this administration? ” “Have you stopped beating your wife? ” 26

AMBIGUITY 5) FALSE ANALOGY: n n n false relationship, false comparison false impression more

AMBIGUITY 5) FALSE ANALOGY: n n n false relationship, false comparison false impression more differences between the 2 than similarities o n dig more and find that not related o n (despite few superficial similarities) collapse when examined critically (difficult to use) exaggerations 27

AMBIGUITY *DESCRIPTIVE vs. EXPLANATORY: o DESCRIPTIVE = metaphorical, more colorful than precise, remain dissimilar,

AMBIGUITY *DESCRIPTIVE vs. EXPLANATORY: o DESCRIPTIVE = metaphorical, more colorful than precise, remain dissimilar, short cuts, not enough to support your claim o “life is a bowl of cherries” n Malcolm X, criticizing the participation of whites in the 1962 march on Washington, DC: “It’s like when you’ve got some coffee that’s too black, which means that it’s too strong. What do you do? You integrate it with cream, you make it weak. But if you pour too much cream in it, you won’t even know you ever had coffee. ” Claim = integration of whites & blacks in the march weakened the black movement for rights & jobs. o Support = putting white cream into black coffee weakens the coffee. o Warrant = weakening coffee with cream is analogous to weakening the black rights movement by allowing white people to participate. Vivid & descriptive, but not convincing. Too many dissimilarities. “Strong” and “weak” need to be defined. No facts, no proof, just racist opinion. o o 28

AMBIGUITY *DESCRIPTIVE vs. EXPLANATORY: o EXPLANATORY= more than imagery; offer facts, proof n “In

AMBIGUITY *DESCRIPTIVE vs. EXPLANATORY: o EXPLANATORY= more than imagery; offer facts, proof n “In a world of nuclear overkill and redundance, the United States and the Soviet Union are like two rivals locked in a small room in a duel to the death where one has 1, 400 pistols and the other 1, 200. The one with 1, 400 has no advantage when one or both of the parties are likely to be killed or maimed with the first pistol shot. ” o o o Claim = In enlarging their nuclear arsenals, the US and the USSR are engaged in a duel that neither can win. Support = A duelist in a locked room with 1, 400 pistols could probably not win against a duelist with 1, 200 pistols. Warrant = A pistol duel is analogous to the nuclear arms rivalry between the US and the USSR. (still some dissimilarities) 29

AMBIGUITY *EXAMPLES of FALSE ANALOGY: o o “The Patriot Act turns our government into

AMBIGUITY *EXAMPLES of FALSE ANALOGY: o o “The Patriot Act turns our government into another Reich. ” Bush and Hitler 9/11 and Pearl Harbor Vietnam and Iraq 2003 30

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END PART 3 C 31