1. Name-CallingFallacy that attempts to ruinan opponent’s reputationwith an unfavorable label.(It often backfires.)
Name-Calling in the News Rush Limbaugh referred to a woman who wanted the cost of contraception covered by healthcare as a “prostitute.” Bill Maher has also used female vulgarisms to criticize female politicians.Both have been heavily-criticized lately.
2. Either/Or• A fallacy that presents only a limited range of choices• In reality, there can be many more.
Either/Or Examples• “You’re either with us or against us.”• “You can support your country by voting for me, or you can watch it fall to pieces.”• “If you don’t fight against animal abuse, you must condone it.”
3. Hasty GeneralizationA fallacy in which a conclusion is made about an entire group based on a sample that isn’t big enough.Example:“A group of Muslims were responsible for 9/11 attacks. Therefore, no Muslims can be trusted.”
Hasty Generalization in the NewsZimmerman (right): “This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.”Trayvon Martin’s shooting death—racial profiling?
4. Cause and Effect“A and B occur together.Therefore, A is the cause of B.”
Cause and Effect ExampleMany people think the following:“Rap is ruining our youth. They should ban rap music from TV and radio because all it does is tell kids to kill cops, do drugs, and abuse women.”How is this an example of false cause/effect?
Cause and Effect In the News“Does God hate Haiti? That is the conclusion reached by many, who point to the earthquake as a sign of God’s direct and observable judgment.” – Albert Mohler
5. Loaded LanguageLanguage that carries with it a heavy emotional charge.Can be positive or negative.Unloaded Negatively LoadedAnimal BeastHome CavePlan TrapInform BrainwashTalk Lecture
Loaded Language Example“Mary screeched at her new employees and dictated their every move while she slithered around the workroom.”Which words carry a heavier meaning?• “Screeched,” “dictated,” and “slithered”
Loaded Language Example 2“Mary’s angelic voice soothed her new employees’ nerves as she glided throughout the workroom.”Which words carry a heavier meaning?• “Angelic,” “soothed,” and “glided”
Have some practice…See if you can identify which logical fallacyoccurs in the following examples.
Have some practice…1. The following describes a famous speech given by Douglas MacArthur:“Here was prophecy as revealing as a beacon light…. Here was hope: the dedication that we will live in a world where those of us who are Americans can be proud…. Here was history tolling like an old and important bell: the mighty warning that mighty America, once having entered this major war, must not let it end in impasse….”Answer: Loaded language (positive)Prophecy, beacon light, hope, proud, mighty
Have some practice…2. Robin: I guess you can never trust a woman. Batman: Youve made a _______________________, Robin. Its a bad habit to get into.Answer: hasty generalizationRobin falsely assumed that all women are untrustworthy.
Have some practice…3. “Will you donate to protect endangered animals, or will you watch them disappear before your eyes?”Answer: either/orThe speaker makes us feel like only two choices are available. In reality, there are more.
Have some practice…4. “You just can’t trust that misguided idiot.”Answer: name-callingThe speaker attempts to make someone else look bad by labeling him/her an “idiot.”
Have some practice…5. “Money makes people arrogant.”Answer: false cause/effectNot all people, and not always just money.