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Logical Fallacies Exercise

Identify the logical fallacy in the following arguments. Consult the Logical Fallacies Handlist in the Course Packet or online at Logical Fallacies Handlist.

1. Friedrich Nietzche's attack on social welfare should not be taken seriously. He is said to have been a degenerate and it is a fact that he went insane.

2. You can be sure of getting the best watch possible if you buy a Tempus Fugit watch, because you will be buying the world's greatest watch.

3. I guess I will receive a C on my next English paper because the teacher said my average was a C so far, so the chances must be that I'll get a C on the next one.

4. You will get pregnant if you kiss a boy. I've seen Sally kiss boys three times, and now she is pregnant.

5. My honesty is a matter of record. My enemies have tried to bring similar charges against me before, but they couldn't prove anything that stands up in court. That proves I am an honest man.

6. Just answer the question yes or no. Were you still selling drugs when you came to this town?

7. Senator Jones shouldn't be blamed for having sex with teenage girls. After all, other senators have done much worse things.

8. How can you justify giving this man life imprisonment by declaring him guilty of murder? After all, since that time he has become a devout Christian and proven to be an exemplary prisoner during the whole time he was on trial.

9. I have been a member of the NAACP for ten years. My son cannot possibly be a bigot.

10. American citizens must raise taxes to support schools. Without more money, our schools cannot possibly do a good job.

11. Rare taste: you either have taste or you don't. (Scotch ad)

12. In this freedom-loving land of ours, beer belongs. Exercise your American freedom and enjoy beer.

13. Bob True is the best qualified candidate for tax assessor. I've known him eight years and he is an honorable man, a devout individual, and an outstanding father.

14. Men are all alike: selfish creatures who spend every weekend glued to a television tube.

15. The pinkos, socialistic liberals, and weirdos in that other department are naturally against my legislative reforms.

16. I interviewed the entire third floor of my dorm, and my research shows that most of the people at this university go home on weekends.

17. He is using unfair arguments because none of his arguments are equitable. Because they are not equitable, they are not just, and hence, unfair.

18. Alien abductions must take place because no one has found any evidence to disprove the eye-witness accounts.

19. We must put God back in our schools, or else American society will degenerate.

20. You cannot listen to Rush Limbaugh's ideas because he is a conservative. Conservative speaker's ideas are not worth listening to. Since Limbaugh is conservative, you cannot listen to his ideas.

21. We should not allow legislation to ban tobacco. After all, tobacco has been sold for 200 years in America. So, we have no reason to ban it now.

22. Your honor, the defendant must be guilty because no one can prove his innocence.

23. Susan passed Writing 121. Joey passed Writing 121. Kory passed Writing 121. Writing 121 must be an easy class, since three out of three students I know passed it.

24. In spite of what some say, the number of the poor is rising in America because there is no evidence to suggest that number is decreasing.

25. You may tell me that it is cruel to require students to learn Latin. But is it any less cruel to require them to enroll in physical education courses? The mental strains of mastering a dead language pale beside the rigors of athletics.

26. Bicycles are a means of transportation, and we all know that transportation is vital to American commerce. If we get rid of all the current bike lanes, there will be less bikes, hence less transportation. Getting rid of bicycle lanes would cripple American trade entirely.

27. Why should responsible adults who are eighteen be given extended credit? Because people who are adults are mature, and anyone who is mature is responsible enough to have control of money.

Section of Fiendish Difficulty. Some of the following sentences are logical fallacies, and some aren't. Which do you think constitute logical fallacies and which are logically valid?

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