- Slides: 17
Propaganda: Logical Fallacies A logical fallacy is a mistake in logical thinking; it is a MENTAL TRAP
Unfair Emotional Appeals Emotionally Charged or Biased Language “Modern universities are infested by the whining of idle intellectuals who force their decadence and discontent onto our captive youth. ” infested, whining, idle, force, decadence, and discontent imply writer’s disdain for scholars and will immediately alienate many readers
Unfair Emotional Appeals Testimonials/false authorities— assumes that an expert in one field is also an expert in another. Athletes endorsing SUV’s Movie stars selling shampoo
Unfair Emotional Appeals Appeal to “Common Folk” an ad showing a product being used in an average household a politician suggesting he is like everyone else “Join the Crowd” Appeal or Bandwagon Everyone else is, so why don’t you…? Everyone else believes that …, so you should also.
Glittering Generalities Words that have different positive meaning for individual subjects, but are linked to highly valued concepts. When these words are used, they demand approval without thinking, simply because such an important concept is involved. For example, when a person is asked to do something in 'defense of democracy' they are more likely to agree. The concept of democracy has a positive connotation to them because it is linked to a concept that they value. Words often used as glittering generalities are honor, glory, love of country, and especially in the United States, freedom. Methods: "Use attractive, but vague words that make speeches and other communications sound good, but in practice say nothing in particular. ” Use linguistic patterns such as alliteration, metaphor and reversals that turn your words into poetry that flows and rhymes in hypnotic patterns. ” Use words that appeal to values, which often themselves are related to triggering of powerful emotions. ” A common element of glittering generalities are intangible nouns that embody ideals, such as dignity, freedom, fame, integrity, justice, love and respect. "
Errors in Logical Reasoning Guilt by association - a person rejects a claim simply because it is pointed out that people they dislike accept the claim. “You think that 1+1=2. But, Adolf Hitler, Charles Manson, Joseph Stalin, and Ted Bundy all believed that 1+1=2. So, you shouldn't believe it. ” Bin Laden supports Iraq in opposition to the U. S. There is an “alliance of terror” between bin Laden and Iraq, and this is a reason to make war on Iraq.
Straw Man I would also call it “Missing the Point”. It takes place when, be it on purpose or inadvertently, a person attacks a different argument than the one his/her opponent presents. The original argument is distorted, exaggerated or simplified and is replaced by a different one, often weaker and easier to debate. People who think abortion should be banned have no respect for the rights of women. They treat them as nothing but baby-making machines. That's wrong. Women must have the right to choose. People who want to lower taxes must be against the poor, since the tax cuts disproportionately benefit the wealthy.
Errors in Logical Reasoning Ad Hominem - attack on the person rather than his/her viewpoint “She says we need more military spending, but that is false, since she is only saying it because she is a Republican. ” You say I should give up alcohol, but you haven't been sober for more than a year yourself.
MISUSE OF STATISTICS: “Two out of three doctors recommend ____” How many doctors did they ask? You might assume this is the result of a survey of large numbers of doctors -but the statement is legally defensible if they asked just 3 doctors - and these doctors may have been employees of the company! u "One out of 5 people in the world is Chinese” But I know hundreds of people, and none of them are Chinese!” President Dwight D. Eisenhower once expressed astonishment and alarm upon learning that fully half of all Americans have below average intelligence.
Errors in Logical Reasoning Hasty Generalization - conclusion based on insufficient evidence or bias Someone who is a sexist might conclude that all women are unfit to fly jet fighters because one woman crashed one. “Because one apple is sour, all of them in the bowl must be sour. ”
Errors in Logical Reasoning Either-Or Fallacy - states that only two alternatives exist when in fact there are more than two. President George W. Bush: “You're either with us or against us. ” “My country: love it or leave it. ”
False Analogy X has property Y. Z is like X. Z therefore has property Y. Use analogical comparisons to connect the item in question to another item that has desired characteristics. You can then claim that the first item has the desired property. Employees are like nails. Just as nails must be hit in the head in order to make them work, so must employees. Government is like business, so just as business must be sensitive primarily to the bottom line, so also must government. (But the objectives of government and business are completely different, so probably they will have to meet different criteria. )
Errors in Logical Reasoning A question or a statement that conceals an opinion or assumption. Examples: Do you still beat your dog? You don’t think that, do you? All intelligent people agree that …
Unproven premise for argument to justify the war in Iraq: 1) Saddam has WMD; and 2) Saddam has a cooperative relationship with al-Quaida
Errors in Logical Reasoning Non Sequitur - a conclusion that does not follow from the original statement. “Because my doctor is young, I’m sure she’ll be a good doctor. ”
Errors in Logical Reasoning Slippery Slope - assumes that if one thing is allowed, it will be the first step in a downward spiral If a teenager uses birth control, she will have sex more often. If a person uses marijuana, he/she will naturally start using hard drugs soon.
Errors in Logical Reasoning False Cause - assumes that because one event follows another, the first is the cause of the second “Because I brought my umbrella today, it didn’t rain. ” “Because I washed my car, it will rain. ”