Asking a question based on a false premise. “Why does the Obama administration want to punish poor people? ” A political pundit might ask this question about the proposed health care plan in which Americans will be required to buy insurance. Equivocation: Relying on two meanings of a word to make your point; changing the meaning partway through the argument. “I’m not prejudiced. Some of my best friends are black. ” This argument takes advantage of different meanings of the word “prejudiced”.
On the one hand, it can mean actively or knowingly disliking people of a particular race or ethnic group. But on the other hand, it can also mean having under-the-surface, unconscious stereotypes. Most people probably have the second kind of “prejudice”, even if it’s subconscious. Dada hominid: attacking the person instead of the issue; name-calling. “Arnold Schwarzenegger is a muscle-bound launched who doesn’t know what’s best for this state. ” This would be a personal attack on an individual that doesn’t at all address NY kinds of arguments or issues. Mere assertion: Stating something but not giving any reason for it. “God doesn’t exist. ” The most common atheist “argument” is no argument at all but simply a statement of fact. Of course, in the case of atheism, atheists are arguing from negative evidence, which is much harder than simply making the assertion. Curricular reasoning: Using the premise itself, or something that follows from the premise, in order to prove the premise. “l know God exists because the Bible says so and the Bible is the word of God.
This argument is circular; in fact, nothing in the Bible can be said to “prove” the existence of God. 000 Red herring: Changing the subject. Bringing up irrelevant information instead of addressing the relevant points. “The drinking age should be lowered to 18 because 18 year olds are old enough to die tort their country. ” This is a common argument about drinking age, but in fact, it’s a red herring. The drinking age of 21 was set based on statistics about teenagers and alcohol-related traffic accidents.
The age of onset for other actions like military service has nothing to do with it. Falsely cause: Stating an incorrect cause of something. One of the Hollywood “celebrity kids” (l can’t remember who know) was once quoted as saying that she doesn’t think her family connections had anything to do with her success. She says her parent’s just introduced her to the right people, but the rest of it was based on talent. This is assigning a false cause to her success. In the world of movies, “being introduced to the right people” is probably all that matters.
Most people never even get a chance to be considered for an audition. She may have talent, but the direct cause of her success was her family’s connections. Sweeping generalizations: Saying that something is always or almost always true based on less evidence than would support the claim. “Fat people need to get off the couch and stop eating at McDonald’s”. I’ve seen claims like this a lot recently in the media. The truth is that someone can have an active lifestyle and never eat fast food and still have a higher body weight than is socially acceptable. Slippery slope: Claiming that a certain event would cause even more of that event, or that if a certain course is started, then it will eventually cascade until it’s far beyond what was desired. 0″elf we allow doctor- assisted suicide, eventually there will be death panels that determine whether any given person should be treated or euthanized. ” This is a slippery slope because the leap from a fully aware, consenting patient requesting assistance to die is a far leap from doctors terminating patients’ lives without consent.